Recruitment, Appointments and Promotions for Uniform and Civilian Members of the Toronto Police Service



 September 27, 2021

Minute No.: P2021-0927-3.0.








Chief to report to Board quarterly, annually, and as required, as described;


Police Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.15, as amended, s. 31(1)(c).


Uniform Promotions and Appointments

Civilian Promotions and Appointments

Delegation: Appointments and Promotions


Board Administration, Human Resources

Guiding Principles

The Toronto Police Services Board is the employer of all Members of the Toronto Police Service, and in that capacity, is responsible for the recruitment, appointment and promotion of all Members, uniform and civilian.  In addition, candidates for appointment as Police Officers must meet the conditions as prescribed in sections 43(1) and 45 of the Police Services Act and any other conditions as approved by the Board from time to time.

The members of a police organization have a direct and real impact on the lives of those who interact with them, as victims of crime, as suspects, or in any other circumstance. Both the appointment and promotion processes play critical roles in the composition of a policing organization, determining who is a part of it, their values and characteristics and who ultimately is placed in positions of seniority and leadership, shaping the way in which decisions are made, and the approach to delivering police services in partnership with Toronto’s communities. 

Recruitment and appointment of new Members must be made in the context of a long-term human resources strategy, identifying the educational attainment, skills and characteristics sought after in new recruits, and ensuring that the Service’s Members represent a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. At the same time, the Board is committed to building a more inclusive, accessible and barrier-free workplace that supports all Service Members in realizing their full potential.  The Board and Service are working on many fronts to support inclusive employment, through evolving policy, procedure, practice, and supporting a positive workplace culture. These efforts will not only increase public trust in the Service across all communities, but also create the necessary conditions for an effective promotions process, with a broad and diverse slate of Members to select from into the most appropriate positions.

It is important to view how promotions, too, are made as part of a long-term, human resources strategy, ensuring that the priorities of the Board and Service are reflected in those who are chosen to be leaders and supervisors.  The process must be based upon the need to ensure proper succession that looks beyond an individual promotion to a longer term organizational strategy. This will ensure senior roles are consistently and appropriately filled by qualified individuals, representing a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds, to provide excellence in leadership for the Service of the present and of the future.  These decisions must also be informed by the principle that diversity in leadership contributes to strong performance, innovation and higher morale. 

The appointment and promotional processes used by the Service must also be transparent, accessible, efficient and fair for those that are involved in them.  The opportunities, criteria, process and outcomes related to appointments and promotions must be transparent, widely available, and consistently applied with final decisions communicated effectively.  The processes should be designed efficiently and with reasonable balance in light of their objectives, so as to reduce potential loss of talented and skilled Members to other opportunities, and increase the appeal of the Service as an employer of choice. The processes for selection should ensure that bias and the appearance of bias do not manifest in the decision-making process.  More than this, the appointments and promotions processes used by the Service must be designed so as to dislodge any systemic bias that may have potentially limited certain groups’ opportunities to undertake job assignments traditionally valued as the most rewarded or challenging in policing. 

The appointment and promotion processes are an important tool in ensuring that the Service reflects the diversity of our City, and that such diversity is seen throughout all levels of the organization.  The promotional process should also explicitly value the importance of working in partnership with the community, experience in effectively and compassionately assisting individuals dealing with mental health and addictions issues, understanding of and adherence to the Service’s mission and values, and modeling excellent conduct and professionalism in the full range of interactions that Members experience in their roles.  

Purpose of the Policy

The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that the processes for the Service’s appointments and promotions for both its Uniform and Civilian Members emphasize the following as priorities:

  • Ensuring that the Members of the Toronto Police Service embody the Service’s values, and are ready and able to provide excellent policing services to the people of Toronto;
  • Ensuring that the City’s diversity is reflected both in new recruits and civilian members and throughout the ranks and levels of the organization, both uniform and civilian;
  • Maintaining appointments and promotions processes that recognize the existence of systemic barriers, are designed to address and minimize these barriers and facilitate opportunities to more equitably provide the most rewarded and challenging job assignments to those with the proven ability to undertake them;
  • Ensuring excellence in the Service’s leadership cadre, emphasizing proven leadership in decisions about advancing in the organization;
  • Incorporating comprehensive organizational succession planning into the promotional process and promotional decision-making;
  • Transparently and fairly including candidates’ disciplinary history in promotional decision-making;
  • Reporting regularly to the Board on appointments and promotion recommendations or decisions, including reporting demographic information, and an analysis of how the appointments and promotions fit into the Service’s larger strategic human resources plan, including outcomes associated with how diversity in human resources is being prioritized and achieved by the Service with respect to recruitment, hiring and promotion, at all ranks and levels of the organization.


In this policy:

  • Appointment means the initial appointment of a new hire into a position as a member of the Service;
  • Promotion means the assignment of a member to a higher rank or job classification;
  • Classification means a job classification as outlined in the Collective Agreements between the Board and the Toronto Police Association or the Toronto Police Service Senior Officers’ Organization;
  • Reclassification means the movement of a constable to a gradation within the rank of constable as defined in the Board’s Rank Structure Policy, or the movement of a civilian member from one classification to another which is not a promotion.

Board’s Policy

It is, therefore, the policy of the Toronto Police Services Board that:

Recruitment and Appointments

  1. The Chief of Police will establish processes for the recruitment of new Uniform and Civilian Service Members, ensuring that the processes and approach:
    1. Reflect the requirements for appointment as set out in the forthcoming Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 (CSPA) and any other applicable legislation;
    2. Require that successful cadet-in-training candidates must have at least one of:
      1. a university degree;
      2. a degree from a college of applied arts and technology authorized to grant the degree;
      3. a diploma or advanced diploma granted by a college of applied arts and technology following successful completion of a program that is the equivalent in class hours of a full-time program of at least four academic semesters;
      4. a certificate or other document by a post-secondary institution evidencing successful completion of a program that the regulations prescribe as being equivalent to a degree or diploma described in subclause (i), (ii) or (iii); or
      5. if alternative criteria have been prescribed in the legislation and the candidate meets the alternative criteria, a secondary school diploma.
    3. Are inclusive, comprehensive, and linked to communities across Toronto, including those whose members have not historically sought or successfully secured employment with the Service;
    4. Are grounded in a comprehensive strategic human resources approach that is data-driven, analytical and regularly evolving to meet the needs of the Service;
    5. Ensure that any communication or advertisement of open positions will not contain unnecessary or discriminatory barriers that would screen out potential employees for reasons unrelated to qualifications, merit, or occupational requirements;
    6. Are clearly communicated on the Service’s website, through its social media channels, and through traditional media; and
    7. Are evaluated regularly to ensure its outcomes achieve the purposes outlined in this Policy and priorities as articulated by the Board from time to time and in its Business Plan, including:
      1. representing the diversity of the City;
      2. transparency of the process and its decisions, and the satisfaction of candidates with it fairness;
      3. timeliness of the process and of the communication of decisions to candidates;
      4. maintaining the Service as an employer of choice; and
      5. providing the promotions process with a strong slate of potential candidates for promotion with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
  2. In addition to meeting any minimum standards for appointment articulated in the applicable legislation, Cadets-in-training must also successfully complete the applicable training program conducted at the Ontario Police College and at the Toronto Police College, to be appointed by the Board as Service Members.
  3. The Board will, after taking into account the recommendations of the Chief of Police, determine whether to appoint uniform and civilian Members, recognizing the Board’s role as employer, the significant legal authorities that accompany the role of a police officer, and the role civilian governance plays in promoting public confidence in policing.
  4. The Board’s responsibility to appoint new police officers and civilians to the Service is delegated to the Chair and Vice Chair, except for appointments to the following classifications, which shall be approved by the Board:
    1. Uniform Senior Officer rank of Inspector and above;
    2. Civilian Senior Officer classification of Z28 and above; and
    3. Excluded Member classification of X34 and above.

Job Descriptions

  1. The Chief of Police will establish processes to ensure that:
    1. Job descriptions for all civilian classifications are developed, and maintained;
    2. Job descriptions reflect legitimate requirements and standards of the job and will be evaluated in accordance with the relevant collective agreements to ensure that the requirements are bona fide and updated as appropriate; and
    3. New job descriptions are approved by the Chief or his or her delegate, provided that the delegate is a Director or Staff Superintendent or of higher rank.

The Promotional Process

It is further the policy of the Toronto Police Services Board that the Chief of Police will develop Procedure(s) regarding the promotional process for Service Members:

  1. Stating that, to apply and be eligible for promotion, candidates must meet all the mandatory requirements of the process;
  2. Outlining that the promotional process must be:
    1. open, fair, consistent and transparent;
    2. reflect the diversity and evolving needs and expectations of the communities served by the Service;
    3. accommodating, so as to reflect unique individual circumstances;
    4. based on the Service’s core competencies and values; and,
    5. grounded in a comprehensive and strategic human resources approach that includes succession planning in identifying current and future leaders;
  3. Requiring enhanced transparency in any promotional process, including:
    1. the advance posting and description of any promotional opportunities so as to provide sufficient notice for those that may wish to apply and adequately prepare for the process;
    2. publication of the specific criteria that will be applied to promotional decision-making;
    3. a fulsome description of the elements of the promotional process, so as to provide candidates with sufficient information to adequately prepare for the process;
    4. for civilian positions, clearly outlined career pathways for advancement and promotion; and,
    5. the dissemination of information about the outcomes of any promotional process in terms of those who were successful, including gender-identity and race-based statistics;
  4. For Uniform promotions (in addition to sections 7 and 8, above):
    1. Indicating that candidates for promotion must have at least two years with a clear discipline record from the date of any finding of misconduct made as a result of the professional discipline process prescribed by the Police Services Act;
    2. Requiring that a candidates’ previous two-year disciplinary and complaint history, including complaints that were not substantiated but that, when taken as a whole, may suggest a pattern of behaviour that could impact on the candidate’s suitability for promotion:
      1. be considered as part of the promotional process; and
      2. reported on to the Board in camera when making any promotional recommendation by the Chief of Police; and,
  5. For Uniform promotions and where appropriate for Civilian promotions, placing emphasis in the promotional process on a candidate’s particular skills and proven abilities in effectively and compassionately representing the Service’s core competencies and values when: assisting people in crisis, including those experiencing mental health and addictions issues; supporting and contributing to community safety and community relationships, in particular with members of Black and Indigenous communities and other racialized, marginalized and vulnerable communities; engaged in situations that require the application of de-escalation approaches and techniques.

Approval of Promotions

It is further the policy of the Toronto Police Services Board that:

  1. The Board will, after taking into account the recommendations of the Chief of Police, determine whether to approve promotions of Uniform Service Members to the rank of Inspector or above, of Civilian Senior Officers to the classification of Z28 or above, and promotions to Excluded positions to the classification of X34 or above.
  2. All promotions of Uniform Service Members to ranks below the rank of Inspector, or of Civilian Service Members to classifications other than Z28 and above, will be approved by the Chief or his or her delegate, provided that the delegate is a Staff Superintendent or of higher rank.
  3. All promotions to Excluded positions below the classification of X34 will be approved by the Chair and Vice Chair.

Reclassifications and Confirmation in Rank

  1. All reclassifications and confirmations in rank for Uniform Members will be approved by the Chief or his or her delegate, provided that the delegate is a Staff Superintendent or of higher rank, except in cases where the Member has outstanding civil, Office of the Independent Police Review Director and/or Professional Standards complaints, where approval by the Chair and Vice Chair is required.
  2. All reclassifications for Civilian Members will be approved by the Chief or his or her delegate, provided that the delegate is a Director or Staff Superintendent or of higher rank.


  1. All terminations of Uniform or Civilian Service Members will be approved by the Board.

Reporting Requirements

Further, it is the policy of the Toronto Police Services Board that the Chief of Police will:

  1. Provide a quarterly report to the Board on hiring and promotions, including statistics on the distribution of race, gender identity, and other demographic information across every stage within the process;
  2. Provide an annual report to the Board, including:
    1. A copy of the current promotional process;
    2. New job descriptions for Civilian Service Members
    3. Detailed demographic information about applicants applying for, and who are successful in promotion, including race, gender-identity and other demographic information; and,
    4. An analysis of trends at every stage of the promotional process, including whether it appears that there may be systemic or other barriers to promotion based on aggregated demographic information, and if so, what strategies the Service intends to employ in order to rectify any potential concerns about the promotional process and/or disparate outcomes for identified groups.

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