The Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys has introduced new regulations that she says will “significantly reform” the promotion process for the key garda ranks of sergeants and inspectors.
The Garda Síochána (Appointment to the Ranks of Inspector and Sergeant) Regulations 2021 will also allow hundreds of members of the force to be promoted.
A new promotions and appointment process will be managed, for the first time, by the Public Appointments Service, rather than internally in an Garda Síochána.
Promotions to begin this year
The Department of Justice says that there are currently 266 vacancies at the rank of sergeant in the force, and that 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. There are currently 57 vacancies in this rank.
Among the other key changes in the regulations are the introduction of a period of probation after promotions, and the introduction of a time limit of five years within which candidates must have passed promotion exams.
“These moves will both strengthen an Garda Síochána with new recruits and increase supervision and mentoring within the organisation,” the minister said.
The department last year approved an increase in the number of sergeants and inspectors to create additional supervisory positions in the force.