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Case Study
Health and Safety Executive

BME Programme

Context

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Career Development Programme was a 24 month positive action development programme for people within the HSE that were from black minority ethnic (BME) groups. 

Objectives

The Career Development Programme was aimed at job bands 6 to 4 and was intended to provide specific developmental opportunities to assist these people to help them to compete more effectively for posts (level moves or on promotion). The programme aims were to:

  • Equip participants with the tools and techniques that will allow them to constructively overcome barriers and compete, as individuals, on an equal footing for promotion opportunities in the HSE
  • Help the HSE to identify and eliminate any systemic or procedural barriers to ethnic minority staff
  • Identify the barriers that can prevent BME staff from progressing through the grades
  • Help participants to create and maintain the motivation to pursue challenging developmental activities in a structured and goal-driven way
  • Assist participants to build confidence that will help them to maximise their individual and team performance
  • Aid participants to fulfil their potential to rise two job bands within five to six years by being able to compete on merit during promotion and job selection exercises

Solution

A rigorous competitive selection process was used to identify the programme participants.  The selection process had 2 stages:

Stage 1: Situational Judgement Test

Participants completed an online Situational Judgement Test (SJT). Participants were scored on the appropriateness of their responses to a range of fictitious, but realistic, situations presented by the SJT. The SJT examined three broad factors that are strongly associated with potential for career progression:

  • Interpersonal judgement
  • Approach to work
  • Analytical judgement

Participants who were successful at Stage 1 progressed to the Stage 2.

Stage 2: Assessment Centre

The Assessment Centres were one day events - each attended by 12 candidates and consisted of 4 exercises and an interview.

Candidates were invited to take part in a series of group and individual exercises and a structured interview looking at a range of competencies including communication, analysis and use of evidence and potential leadership skills. The interview looked at personal development, self-awareness, and commitment to the programme, if successful.  Each participant was required to complete an ‘interview submitted question sheet’ ahead of attending the interview, so some preparatory time was required. 

The interview submitted question sheets were not formally assessed or marked; they provide information to assist the interviewers. There were four additional exercises, each designed to measure the candidate against the stated competencies:

  • Role Play
  • Written Briefing Document
  • Planning Exercise
  • Case Study

The assessment centres were facilitated by Eliesha’s Occupational Psychologists and administered by the contract manager.  Assessors and interviewers were senior HSE managers who had been trained and briefed by Eliesha.

Participants who were successful at Stage 2 were invited to join the Programme and attend a bespoke programme of events. Participants were each allocated a mentor. 

Outcome

The programme has:

  • Equipped participants with the tools and techniques that will allow them to constructively overcome barriers and compete, as individuals, on an equal footing for promotion opportunities in the HSE
  • Helped the HSE to identify and eliminate any systemic or procedural barriers to ethnic minority staff
  • Identified the barriers that can prevent BME staff from progressing through the grades
  • Helped participants to create and maintain the motivation to pursue challenging developmental activities in a structured and goal-driven way
  • Assisted participants to build confidence that will help them to maximise their individual and team performance

Delegate feedback comments included:

  • Can certainly see a change in myself
  • Increased knowledge / awareness in dealing with complex situations
  • Improved…communication skills, my learning skills and my thinking style
  • I feel very privileged to have been selected
  • I have changed my approach to work and colleagues into a positive way of thinking…also, now when I have been given a problem…look at it as an opportunity to reach a solution
  • Preparing me to take on roles that are necessary to move up within the organisation
  • Useful… to challenge our own ideas and practices and develop our approaches

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