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About the Professional Standards Branch

Professional Standards Branch

  • The Professional Standards Branch is responsible for assessing and recording all public complaints and allegations of misconduct or breaches of professional standards of any police officer or member of police staff.
  • Headed by a Detective Chief Superintendent, the Branch consists of trained and experienced investigators, supported by dedicated civilian staff. Our staff come from a variety of policing backgrounds.
  • The Branch is committed to ensuring emphasis on treating you with fairness, dignity and respect and ensuring that you have fair access to our services at a time that is reasonable and suitable to you.


  • All members of the Police Service are required to live up to nationally agreed standards of professional behaviour. Any breach of these standards of behaviour may result in disciplinary action.
  • Many less serious complaints can be resolved quickly by local supervisors and managers without the need for a full enquiry, with the remainder being dealt with by Professional Standards Branch investigators.
  • At the conclusion of any investigation, a decision is taken as to whether any officer or member of staff has done anything wrong and, if so, what action should be taken. In serious cases concerning gross misconduct, this may involve a formal disciplinary hearing at which the person may be dismissed. In lesser cases of misconduct where a breach of professional standards is either admitted or found proven, a range of lesser disciplinary sanctions is available as a sufficient sanction.
  • Very serious matters will be referred to the Independent Office Police Complaints (IOPC) for investigation, who have their own non-police investigators. GMP will always co-operate fully with the IOPC in such cases.

Lessons Learnt

  • It is most important for the Police Service to use the information gained from investigations to improve its service to the public. Professional Standards Branch staff work closely with local police commanders to provide them with feedback and lessons from complaints received and investigated, as well as identifying staff attracting more complaints than others. Such information enables local senior officers to address unprofessional behaviour by their staff in a positive way.
  • Professional Standards Branch staff attend meetings, training courses and seminars throughout the Police Service to raise awareness of these issues and to ensure the lessons learnt are passed on to the widest possible audience.
  • All members of the Police Service are encouraged to help tackle unacceptable behaviour by reporting wrong doing direct to their supervisors and managers or by leaving details on a confidential report telephone line. The Force has procedures to support individuals who do the "right thing" and bring this unprofessional conduct to attention. The Professional Standards Branch also actively monitors the organisational integrity of the Police Service, including auditing and checking specific aspects of work or procedures and seeking to identify members of staff who, by their conduct, might be a present or future risk to the Force.
© Greater Manchester Police 2019