Police Role-Plays : Problem Solving and the importance of listening

During the course of the role-play exercises, you are scored on your ability to ask appropriate clarifying questions. The wording of the question is important because you are being scored on how thorough / vague your questioning is. On a Scalar, 1 being highest and 5 being lowest.

In relation to Problem Solving, there will be 4 or 5 appropriate questions to ask in 3 of the current role-play exercises, each also marked against the Scalar for thoroughness. If you fail to ask any appropriate questions, you would be awarded a grade D.

For example:

If a role-actor states ‘I am unhappy with what was said to me’ – the appropriate clarifying question would be to ask ‘what was said to you that has made you unhappy?’ this would score 1 on the Scalar (1 being highest). If you were to ask ‘was something said to you?’ this would score 5 on the Scalar (5 being lowest), because the question is not thorough.

It is the combination of both how many behaviours (appropriate questions) you asked and the thoroughness of your questioning on the Scalar that dictates your final grade. Clearly if you ask all appropriate clarifying questions and each of them are thorough and score 1 on the scalar, this would result in an A grade.

In short, it is vital you you listen to the role-actor and word your question to reflect / mirror using similar words that the role-actor just used. Here are some further examples:

Statement: ‘That’s okay, I just wanted to let someone at the centre know how the guard’s behaved’
Appropriate Question: ‘Please tell me how the guard’s behaved?’

Statement: ‘That’s okay, I just wanted to let someone at the centre know what’s happened’
Appropriate Question: ‘Please tell me exactly what has happened?’

Statement: ‘Security are not doing their job’
Appropriate Question: ‘Please tell me exactly how security are not doing their job?’

Statement: ‘This is a serious matter and I want something done about the security team’
Appropriate Question: ‘Please tell me what you would like done about the security team?’

If you are in a customer service role, try and practice this the next time someone wishes to make a complaint…

If you want to learn the skills vital to become a police officer, Police Recruitment Director runs regular courses for those wishing to join the police service. Full details can be found at: www.policeapplication.co.uk

Did you like this? If so, please bookmark it,
tell a friend
about it, and subscribe to the blog RSS feed.

Published by

David Vidgen

David Vidgen is a former police recruitment manager responsible for overseeing all police recruitment marketing including application form and assessment centre practice days, recruitment website, adverts and community outreach programmes such as Gay Pride.