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Acting Up and Temporary Promotion – Police Officers

As you are aware there have been changes to the arrangements for officers who are acting up or are temporary promoted. A recent Home Office circular endorses previous guidance received therefore, we are now in a position to publish a policy on this matter.

The key changes for South Wales Police are as follows:

Qualifying period

If an officer acts up, the qualifying period for claiming acting up allowance is now 10 complete days cumulative (in the case of a part-time officer 80 complete hours, and an officer with variable shift arrangements qualifying shifts amounting in total to 80 hours), rather than 14 days, in any 12 month period beginning on 1st April. 

Temporary promotion

If an officer acts up for a further 46 consecutive days following the qualifying period then they should be automatically temporarily promoted.  It is important to note that an officer would only be eligible for temporary promotion if he/she has passed i.e. OPSRE part 1 and 2.

The ethos of the PNB circular is to support an officer’s development by providing opportunities for him/her to experience the duties of a higher rank therefore, there is an assumption that priority for these opportunities will be given to those qualified for promotion.

However, there is a facility within the PNB agreement to pay temporary salary to officers who are not qualified and act up longer than 56 days.  This is a new concept and should only be utilised when there are no qualified officers available for acting up duties that are likely to exceed 56 days and/or during a rare occasion when the Chief Constable is required to respond to “an overwhelming operational emergency that requires an immediate application”.

There is clearly a cost to the organisation of acting up, temporary promotion or temporary salary therefore the necessity test still applies as follows:

  • Is there a statutory need for an officer to act up, OR
  • Is there an operational or organisational need to cover a position in the absence of the post holder
  • What will actually be achieved by designating an officer to act up
  • Is there another substantive officer who could perform any of the duties during an absence.


Your General Manager will be aware of the above and will have worked with HR to devise a new administrative process.  Salary for temporary promotion and temporary salary is reckonable therefore, when an officer becomes eligible for temporary promotion or temporary salary HR must be informed in order that their salary can be amended accordingly.  HR will require an “end date” for periods of temporary promotion/temporary salary in addition to which any change in circumstance e.g. protracted sickness should be communicated to HR Shared Services in order that overpayment does not occur.

There has been a delay in publishing information about this matter as we have been seeking clarification from the Home Office on specific aspects of the appropriate PNB agreements, therefore,  some officers may wish to claim backdated payment,  this is acceptable but must be authorised prior to submission.  Please note the PNB agreement was published on 31st January 2012 so claims would be valid from that date.

I trust this clarifies the position,a policy supporting the above will be published shortly.  If you have any queries please let me know and please encourage your supervisors and managers to contact your HR Business Partner or the HR Helpdesk for clarification.

Mark Milton MCIPD
Director of Human Resources