25 March 2013



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service









That the Ottawa Police Services Board receive this report for information.




Section 31(1)(c) of the Police Services Act states that a board shall establish policies for the effective management of the police force.  Board Policy CR-7 provides direction with regard to managing the workforce within the OPS.  It requires the Chief to put in place promotional processes. Further, the Chief must report, on an annual basis, as to how the promotion processes met Board policy objectives.   This report fulfils that requirement.  The report is primary focused on the two promotional processes that were conducted in 2012; one at the rank of Superintendent and one at the rank of Sergeant.




Rationale for the Design of the Promotional Process


Prior to 2008, the sworn promotional processes drew significant resources, effort and time commitments from members participating, overseeing and scoring the process.  Promotional processes were not regularized or implemented on a cyclical basis. As such, there was a risk that promotion lists would be exhausted before a new promotion process could be administered (which, in fact, did occur in two instances). 


The current promotional process was designed based on feedback from members and the Executive. The goal was to create a process that was more streamlined and efficient while producing successful candidates ready to take on the challenges of the next rank. Further, the promotion process was designed to encourage interested Ottawa Police Service (OPS) members to participate in a fair, open and non-discriminatory process. After each promotional process, feedback is received from both participants and panel members. This input leads to improvements and more effective tools with each subsequent process. Our goal is to ensure that the promotion process at all ranks is fair, consistent and delivers high calibre candidates ready to take on the challenges of the next rank.




The promotion process at the OPS is overseen by a Promotion Steering Committee, chaired by the Superintendent of Resourcing and Development. The membership of the Steering Committee includes the two Deputy Chiefs, the Director General, the Inspector of Outreach and Development and the Staff Sergeant of Career Development. The Steering Committee reviews process and policy changes and provides direct guidance and input into the many practical aspects of each process. All aggregate promotion results and individual candidate results are approved by the Steering Committee prior to the Chief’s final approval.


Process Overview

The sworn promotional process has a standardized framework which is applied to the process at all ranks. The broad framework is tailored to reflect the relevant competencies and job requirements at each rank.  The standardized framework is comprised of the five steps outlined in the diagram below:


Each promotional process is supported by a group of panel members responsible for reviewing a candidate’s application package, assessing their scenario or in-basket (where relevant) and conducting their interview.


The Sergeant and Staff Sergeant Promotion Processes have panels comprised of a Staff Sergeant and an Inspector. The panels for the Inspector Promotion Process are comprised of an Inspector and a Superintendent. The number of panels for the Sergeant to Inspector ranks is dependent on the number of candidates in the process. Each process is overseen by the Staff Sergeant, Career Development.


At the end of each promotional process there is a debrief step whereby the candidates in the process are provided with an opportunity to receive feedback on their results. The process is concluded with an appeal stage which allows candidates who believe there was an error in the scoring an opportunity to petition for a review of their score.


Superintendent Process


In 2012, the most recent Superintendent promotion process, OPP Deputy Commissioner Vince Hawkes was invited to join Deputy Chief Larochelle and Director General Frazer to serve as the promotion panel. This was in accordance with the OPS Superintendent Promotion Policy which allows for an outside resource from the policing community to participate in the interview panels.

An additional screening was also introduced into this year’s Superintendents promotion process. This screening or “readiness” discussion was implemented to enable current Superintendents to assess the readiness of each Inspector for the next rank.  In this new step, the Superintendents discussed each of the prospective candidates based on a set of defined criteria.  All decisions were based on data collected on each Inspector which summarized their career history, time in each rank and achievements. All decisions required a consensus.  Some of the tools developed to support this process will serve as starting points to facilitate future Executive Succession Management Program discussions. In addition, the readiness discussion concept will be modified and introduced at other ranks.


Sergeant Process


No significant process changes were introduced for the 2012 Sergeant promotion process, however there were minor improvements made to the tools used to support the process.


Promotion Cycle


A three-year cycle has been developed and approved by Executive Command and communicated to members. The cycle outlines the timelines for each promotion process. Currently the communicated plan indicates that there will be two promotion processes per year. In the calendar years ending in an even number, promotion processes for the Sergeant and Superintendent will be held. Odd years, promotion processes will be held for Inspectors and Staff Sergeants.  Communicating this cycle enables members to better plan their careers and prepare for promotion processes by gaining the necessary experience and skills.  Further, it will allow a greater number of successful candidates on the eligibility lists an opportunity to act or be promoted.













Staff Sergeant


Staff Sergeant








Results of the 2012 Promotion Processes


Below is a chart summarizing the two promotional processes held in 2012:





No. of Candidates



Standing on Mark*



Screened out





Total List:



Number of Panels






Promotions off list**




*      For the NCO ranks, candidates can retain their mark from the previous promotion process for one additional promotion cycle

**    Promotions from a list may span more than one calendar year; life span of a list is approximately 24 months

Note:  For the Senior Officers ranks, candidates may stand on their result for five years.


Promotion Activity in 2012


The Quarterly Workforce Management Report identifies the promotions by rank for that period.  They are summarized in the table below:




Staff Sergeant




#  Promotions







Feedback from Member’s Survey


In order for it to be successful, the Promotion Process must be fair and transparent to everyone.  Staff will be reviewing the results of the 2012 Members Survey to identify any issues or suggestions relating to the fairness and transparency of this critical process.




Not applicable.




Not applicable.




The OPS recognizes the importance of maintaining a fair and transparent promotional process to facilitate the promotion of successful candidates to the next rank. Under the guidance of a strong governance team, the sworn promotion process helps the OPS identify officers ready to take on new leadership roles within the organization at all ranks.



(Original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police


Responsible for report: Director General Debra Frazer