More police officers are going back to school in an effort to gain promotion. The move comes after management began to put more emphasis on education when deciding who to promote. An internal document shows education level and the pursuit of self-development or studies took up 18 per cent of marks for assessment reports on promotion to station-sergeant rank. The factor was added for junior ranks last year amid keen competition for the posts. Candidates are also graded according to factors such as years of service, leadership potential and awards record. Chairman of the Local Inspectors Association, Liu Kit-ming, noted an increasing number of officers, especially those of junior rank, were pursuing further studies, including courses on language, management and computers. Senior Superintendent Tse Ho-yin said an officer who had pursued further studies would have an advantage over other candidates with a similar background and work experience. But he said education accounted for only a small portion of the overall assessment, which included an interview in which job knowledge and skills such as power of expression were tested. There were 2,867 constables recommended for promotion last year, but only 250 sergeant posts available. A total of 793 sergeants were recommended for the 50 station-sergeant posts available last year. Chairman of the Junior Police Officers' Association, Lau Kam-wah, said it was reasonable to count educational achievements as an assessment factor. There are 575 sergeants this year vying for an estimated 50 station-sergeant posts available.