Category: accreditation, Independent Office for Police Conduct, Police, customer, customer service, customer services, police force
The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) has been awarded the Customer Service Excellence® (CSE) accreditation - an award that demonstrates the achievement of a national standard for excellence in customer service.
In March 2020, independent assessors carried out a formal assessment of the IOPC against the standard’s five criteria and 57 elements.
To evaluate the IOPC’s compliance against the standard, the assessors reviewed submitted evidence to support the organisation’s accreditation application. Throughout the process IOPC staff, external service users and key stakeholders were all interviewed by the assessors.
In order to achieve the CSE accreditation, the IOPC was also assessed on its customer service operation and giving greater emphasis to the voices of IOPC staff and service users.
Among the key strengths highlighted by the external assessors in their assessment were the constant focus on customer experience, robust processes, and continuous staff engagement and development.
The CSE assessment report noted that:
“Employees` are professional, patient and respectful and showed customers high levels of understanding and empathy. This was not just anecdotal evidence from interviews: assessors listened in to some live calls and were impressed with how staff handled very difficult conversations.
“Staff endeavoured to contact and build relationships with hard-to-reach and disadvantaged groups and individuals. The consultation activities which influence improvements in service users’ journey was also recognised.
“There is a clear, genuine desire for staff at all levels to deliver strong performance results and support colleagues through training and development opportunities.”
The assessors found a strong understanding of service users, with our Learning the Lessons magazine, the website and learning recommendation workshops mentioned by assessors as positive organisational attributes.
The assessors were impressed with how staff are encouraged to share ideas and opinions and are empowered to make and implement decisions, changes and improvements to the service.
IOPC Director General Michael Lockwood said: “The accreditation is good news and gives our employees the recognition they deserve for the work they do to put our service users at the centre of our work. This nationally recognised standard demonstrates our commitment to listening and responding to the needs of those affected by our work (our service users) and is a mark of quality.
“Our work can involve a wide range of people, often with varying needs, including complainants, survivors and bereaved families, as well as police officers and staff who are subject to or witnesses in our investigations. Our work is not always easy and involves difficult conversations and issues, but our focus on putting our service users at the heart of what we do must remain consistent throughout. This accreditation is a strong reflection of that.
“However, we are not complacent. We will continue to strive to make further improvements so the experience of our service users are the best they can be, focussing on their individual needs as effectively as possible.”