Why it was developed

In the last few years, the profile of both physical and mental health has been raised, emerging from a variety of sources such as staff association surveys, the MIND Blue Light Programme and the Police Dependants Trust survey. We believe it is a positive step forward and a sign that the physical, emotional & psychological impact of the work carried out by our emergency services is starting to be de-stigmatised and we can now start to understand the problem in greater depth.

The NPCC working group has collected significant information, feedback and research that suggests a need to introduce specific areas to cater for the unique needs of the emergency services. As a result, Dr Ian Hesketh was asked to work with leading academics, staff networks and Public Health England to design the first ever sector-specific self-assessment – ‘The Blue Light Wellbeing Framework’.

The Framework represents an up-to-date and ambitious standard for employers to self-assess against, so that their subsequent strategy and interventions are based on evidence of need, and also what is proven (evidence-based) to improve outcomes.

It is grounded in robust academic research on what works in relation to wellbeing in policing, coupled with expert guidance from Public Health England. This Framework provides invaluable contemporary guidance, advice and support in the key areas of leadership, environment and resilience, including some of the emerging risks faced by staff, such as exposure to indecent imagery. This can be adapted to issues faced across blue light services.

It’s overarching focus is on creating a positive working environment in which the workforce can draw meaning and purpose from what is both a challenging and hugely rewarding profession. Using guidance within the Framework, all services can embed wellbeing into daily business, avoiding it being seen as a nice-to-do or an add-on.

What’s involved and what do I do next?

First of all, read the information on the website and familiarise yourself with the concept of the Blue Light Framework and its different levels.

If your organisation decides to adopt the Framework, you can request a login in and begin using the online self-assessment tool, and find out what you are already doing right, and where you might need to improve as an organisation.

Once your organisation has signed up and you have a login, you will also be able to access other resources developed by Oscar Kilo and the College of Policing including:

  • Strategic and tactical planning templates,
  • Psychological Risk Management guidance
  • Responding to Trauma guidance
  • The GAIN pyramid
  • Animations : Real Stories

Once you have completed the self-assessment, if you wish, you will then be able to request an online peer review 


Want to know what the framework looks like? You can down load it below.