Frontline Voices

Frontline Voices is a project commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire in order to gain insight into the perspectives of those delivering blue-light services. In agreement with the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner, the IPSCJ will deliver against the following objectives:

  • Ensure frontline staff opinions and experiences are heard on a variety of issues across their professions
  • Measure the wellbeing and motivation of staff in the context of the specific challenges frontline public service personnel experience
  • Significantly increase ideas and learning, by comparing contexts, responsibilities, management approaches, wellbeing and retention

The IPSCJ will deliver the Frontline Voices findings and conclusions in December 2015, along with recommendations of how the OPCC could most effectively use the information to improve the experiences of frontline staff.

Detailed overview

Frontline, public-facing members of staff across the criminal justice system face many challenges during their day-to-day work. Such challenges include working with members of the public with complex and changing needs; maintaining and improving standards under a climate of increasing fiscal constraint; and an increased focus on effective partnership working with other organisations – both within, and outside of, the criminal justice system.

Whilst many of the challenges faced by frontline staff are known anecdotally within organisations there is no formal evidence base with which to appraise these experiences. Therefore, strategic decision makers lack the evidence needed to inform future working practices, such as collaborations across blue-light services and other partnership working.

Existing templates for employee feedback are typically conducted from the perspective of the organisation and often fails to capture the true voice of staff, including the individual perceptions and experiences of day-to-day service delivery on the frontline. As such, there is a concern that the voices of frontline staff are not being heard, which means opportunities and barriers to more effective and successful working may be missed.

This research programme therefore begins with a qualitative exploration of the field before designing appropriate tools to measure and improve frontline public services.

The outputs and outcomes of the Frontline Voices project will be:

  • Understanding of the reasons and motivations about why individuals choose to work on the frontline, including the factors which help to retain them in their roles
  • Understanding of the factors which help and impede those working on the frontline to be effective in the delivery of their roles
  • Understanding of the efficacy of partnership working within and between public safety agencies in the delivery of roles and services
  • Understanding of the impact of frontline working on individuals health and wellbeing
  • Insight into the experience and management of change, and the impact on attitudes, behaviours and abilities to perform frontline roles
  • Application of the research and evidence to the design and management of frontline roles and management of change, through CPD and training
  • International comparison and learning through testing models and approaches in different contexts
  • Production of methodologies to work with other areas to engage staff in similar ways and build organisational engagement models beyond staff surveying programmes
  • Understanding of the perceptions and experiences of minority groups in policing and models to improve recruitment, professional development and retention
  • Improved diversity in policing and representation of communities