The president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) is to step down at end of the year when the organisation is scrapped.
Sir Hugh Orde's decision comes ahead of the formation of a new body representing senior officers called the National Police Chiefs' Council.
The body will co-ordinate operational policing at national levels, Acpo said.
Sir Hugh, who has been Acpo president since 2007, said he was standing down to allow the process to run seamlessly.
He said he would stand aside at "around the end of the year".
Sir Hugh said it had been an "immense privilege" to have been president of Acpo during a time of "changing modes of crime, seismic shifts in the policing landscape and the impact of austerity on the service".
"I want to thank my colleagues all for their support and comradeship, along with all those others that I have served with in 37 years as an officer," he added.
Sir Hugh is a former chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
'Improved co-ordinating body'
The new National Police Chiefs' Council will "help police cut crime and keep the public safe, by joining up the operational response to the most serious and strategic threats", Acpo said in a statement.
It will be hosted by - but be independent of - the Metropolitan Police and a chair of the new council will be elected by the end of the year.
Acpo said police chiefs had agreed the legal structure and operating model of the new council.
The aim was to "develop a modernised and improved co-ordinating body that will be sustainable and effective in supporting policing in delivering at the national level for the public", it said.
The move comes after chief officers in July voted in support of proposals to establish a new co-ordinating body to replace Acpo.
It followed an independent review, led by retired general Sir Nick Parker, which recommended an overhaul of Acpo.