New regulations to pave way for promotion of hundreds of members of An Garda Síochána

Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

THE Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys TD has introduced new regulations which will significantly reform the promotion process for the key Garda ranks of sergeants and inspectors and pave the way for the promotion of hundreds of members of An Garda Síochána.

Minister Humphreys has received Government approval for the Garda Síochána (Appointment to the Ranks of Inspector and Sergeant) Regulations 2021.

A new promotions and appointment process will be carried out under the remit of the Public Appointments Service for the first time, rather than managed internally in An Garda Síochána. The new process will be fair, modern and transparent and in line with the findings of the cultural audit undertaken by An Garda Síochána in 2018.

There are presently 266 vacancies at the rank of sergeant in An Garda Síochána and the new regulations will allow these new promotions to begin later this year. There will also be a competition for new inspectors in early 2022, where they are currently 57 vacancies.

Minister Humphreys said:

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“These new regulations deliver another key policing reform and will now allow for the promotion of hundreds of members of An Garda Síochána, beginning by the end of the year.

“The Government is committed to ongoing recruitment into An Garda Síochána as well as allowing for promotional opportunities within the service. Together, these moves will both strengthen An Garda Síochána with new recruits and increase supervision and mentoring within the organisation.

“The restructuring of the promotion process for Garda sergeants and inspectors is a crucial action under ‘A Policing Service for our Future’, the implementation plan for the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.

“The new regulations have been finalised following extensive engagement between my Department, the Public Appointments Service and An Garda Síochána, and in consultation with the Policing Authority and the Garda Associations. I am very grateful to all parties for their participation and contribution to realising this commitment.”

The new regulations follow the sanction last year by the Department of Justice of an increase in the number of sergeants and inspectors to create additional supervisory positions in An Garda Síochána. This sanction will provide for total numbers in these ranks of up to 2,210 sergeants and up to 482 inspectors. Many of these inspector positions will facilitate the rollout of the new Garda operating model.

Among the other key changes introduced in the latest regulations are the introduction of a period of probation following promotions and the introduction of a time limit of 5 years within which candidates must have passed promotion exams.

The new system will be more efficient, cost effective and in line with best human resource management practices.