New Values, Competencies Foundation of People Plan
Service and community members have defined the values and behaviours to aspire to as a member of the Toronto Police Service.
The new Competency Framework was created to help guide the implementation of the People Plan, a response to the recommendations requested to modernize human resources systems in The Way Forward Action Plan. They were developed through interviews with almost 200 Service members, uniform and civilian, from all ranks, and another 100 people from community advocates to members of Community Police Liaison Committees.
“Our new core values and Competency Framework will be part of our DNA. I want Service members to read them, start thinking about them, and ask the questions of themselves,” Deputy Chief Barbara McLean says, of the new Core Values acting as a self-reflective tool. “I’m asking these questions of myself on a daily basis.”
There are four new Core Values: Service at our Core, Do the right thing, Connect with Compassion and Reflect & Grow.
“It’s so simple now. The new format really says everything that the other values had said, but we now have four things that really prompt us. They act as reminders that are simple and instructive in the moment,” she says, of the questions that sum up each value.
Chief Mark Saunders said the Competencies help guide the behaviours of all Service members, including supervisors, managers and executives to support the Core Values.
“These are the behaviors you should expect from each other and the Service as a whole,” the Chief said. These are the foundational behaviors that tell us who we employ, what behaviors we need to develop, the behaviors that will be recognized and rewarded, and the behaviors necessary for promotion and greater responsibly within our ranks and leadership.”
McLean says those expectations were communicated from Service members.
“This is what our members told us: ‘This is what we value.’ This isn’t the leadership saying you will do this. This is what our members said is excellence and the standards we want to hold ourselves to, and the values we believe in and the behaviours we want to engage in,” McLean says. “It’s not just about getting the work done, but how we get the work done. We want to work collaboratively and care for other people, not just who we work with, but who we’re serving, and do it in such a way that we are showing compassion to those affected by the work that we do.”
She expects members will be able to see themselves in the Competencies and use them to guide their work.
“It’s putting a lot more control in people’s hands. They will see roles they want to be in and learn what they can do now to help prepare them for that role,” McLean says.
Gloria Pakravan, Manager of HR Performance Management & Administration, says the core values and competencies will support the initiatives outlined in the People Plan and will affect how the Service hires, develops and promotes its members.
“The Core Values and Competencies are the foundation of all the work we will do going forward,” she says, of how the Service will choose new recruits, train current members and elevate members to leadership roles. “They will be used in all the touchstones of a person’s career.”
Acting Staff Sergeant Shari Mackay says Service members will be supported and encouraged to develop themselves to the competencies.
“The Competencies reflect the behaviours that are key to a modern police service,” she says. Our competency development website is designed to assist you in planning your development. You will find ideas and practical on-the-job applications where you can develop particular competencies.”
As our members contributed to developing the Core Values, we found the common threads that bind us and define our culture. Our members joined the Service to serve their community, they are true to their values, they truly care for others, and they want to develop.
“We heard that resoundingly. People chose the Service so they could serve the public,” Mackay says. “These Core Values represent this commitment to Service.”