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2.12 ACTING / TEMPORARY RANKS
Acting up arrangements are designed to meet short term needs. Periods of acting up should be used for covering a vacant higher rank and should not be viewed as a long term arrangement.
In line with this principle, there is a 56 day maximum period for all federated and superintending rank officers acting up to a higher rank. Whether or not it is continuous the qualifying period counts towards this 56 days (see 2.12.2). Although the period after the qualifying period must be continuous.
If it is anticipated at the outset that the time spent in the higher rank will exceed 56 days the officer will be temporarily promoted at that time.
Periods of acting should be reviewed to establish if temporary promotion maybe more applicable (if this is unclear at the outset).
2.12.2 Qualifying Period
To qualify for an acting rank, officers are required to carry out 10 complete cumulative days (or 80 complete hours if on flexible working or variable shift arrangements) at a higher rank in a 12 month period.
The 12 month period starts on 1 April every year.
2.12.3 Calculating 56 Days
Whether or not it is continuous, the qualifying period counts towards the 56 days.
From Day 11 to 56 the acting rank period must be continuous. If this continuous period progresses into a new 12 month period (1 April) these days will be treated as if they were part of the previous year (i.e. the qualifying period would not have to recommence on 1 April).
When calculating the 10 day cumulative qualifying period, this relates to 10 working days (80 working hours). When calculating the remainder of the 56 day period (i.e. 11 to 56) it should be calendar days.
Continuity is preserved where the officer is not at work as a result of routine short term absence i.e. no more than 10 working days (rest days, sickness absence, annual leave).
2.12.4 Exceeding 56 days
The 56 day maximum period should only be breached if the individual is not qualified for promotion (see 2.12.7 below and not applicable to chief superintendents acting up to ACC) and/or during a rare occasion the chief constable is required to respond to an overwhelming operational emergency that requires an immediate application.
When setting out these arrangements the PNB agreed to set out the need to ensure that shortages of available officers who are able to undertake temporary promotion should not result in the need to rely on long-term acting arrangements to provide cover for higher ranks. The 56 day period should not be routinely breached with a need to focus on resolving shortages in available officers able to undertake temporary promotion where possible.
The service should not artificially curtail a period of acting duties in order to avoid temporarily promoting an officer.
2.12.5 Pay and Pension Status
In line with section 2.12.2, the qualifying period is not paid at a higher salary. Acting ranks will always be paid based on Pay Point 1 of the relevant rank (Day 11-56).
Periods of acting are not included as relevant service at the higher rank if subsequently promoted.
Additional salary received for acting up will not be pensionable except where an officer has been acting up for a continuous period of more than 56 days, in which case the officer’s temporary salary on acting up will become pensionable starting at day 57.
Temporary promotion should be used when a shortfall has been identified in a particular rank which is likely to be for a lengthy period of time e.g. maternity leave cover, ill health absence and new projects/workstreams etc. All periods of temporary duty performed at a higher rank to be reckonable for pay and pension purposes with effect from 1 January 2023.
Officers are required to have obtained the qualifying diploma (or previous qualifying examination pre 1 April 2013).
2.12.8 Length of Temporary Promotion
Temporary promotion does not have a defined cut off point and therefore can provide key experience of performing the duties of the higher rank over a longer period than acting up.
2.12.9 Pay and Pension Status
An officer on temporary promotion will progress on the higher pay scale as though they had been permanently promoted.
Any new period of temporary or permanent promotion will place the officer on the pay point at which they completed the last period of temporary promotion or permanent promotion provided the temporary promotion has occurred within the last 5 years (excluding any period of maternity or adoption leave).
Additional pay will be pensionable in all cases. Where an officer is given temporary promotion after a period of acting up only the period of temporary promotion is pensionable.