Assessment Centre Pass Marks Explained

If candidates are to be successful in passing their police assessment centre, there are four pass marks which much be achieved,  these are:

  • Overall (50%, 55% or 60% depending on force)
  • Race and Diversity (50%, 55% or 60% depending on force)
  • Oral Communications (50%, 55% or 60% depending on force)
  • Written Communications (44%)

In addition to the above candidates must not score a grade D in Race and Diversity.

Overall in an assessment centre there are 123 marks available. If you achieved 50% overall this means you obtained 1/2 of the 123 marks available (approx 62 marks). If you scored 57% you obtained 70 marks.

For Race and Diversity there is a total of 21 marks available. If you scored 52% this equates to 11 out of the 21 marks. 57% equates to 12 marks.

In Oral Communications there is a total of 15 marks available. If you obtained 87% this means you scored 13 out of the 15 marks available.

For Written Communications there is just 9 marks available. If you scored 33%, this means you scored just 3 out of the 9 marks.

Even if you obtained 100% in Race and Diversity, Oral and Written Communications, this only accounts for 45 marks out of the 123. So although you may have met the required standard for these 3 competency areas, it is still possible you are rejected because your overall score did not meet the requirement. The remaining 78 marks are accounted for in Team Working, Resilience, Customer Focus, Problem Solving and Effective Communications.

So if you scored:

  • 49% Overall
  • 90% Race and Diversity
  • 100% Oral Communications
  • 100% Written Communications

This means you scored 60 marks out of 123 overall. 19 out of 21 marks for Race an Diversity, 15 marks out of 15 marks for Oral Communications and 9 marks out of 9 for Written Communications. Because you only achieved 60 marks overall (49%), this standard is not sufficient to join any force.

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope this helps you understand your scroes.

Advice for Police Officer and PCSO Applicants: Spelling and Grammar

Both the police officer application form and police assessment centre are designed to test your ability to use correct spelling and grammar.

In the competency section of your police / PCSO application form, you must not exceed 10 errors or more, while in the assessment centre this is limited to no more than 5 spelling / 4 grammatical errors in each written proposal.

If you exceed this amount in your application form, or you exceed this amount in both written proposals, this will result in rejection. To help candidates I have compiled the following advice:

Let’s have a look at when to use capital letters

Which is correct?

  • I attended School between the ages of four and eighteen
  • I attended school between the ages of four and eighteen

Answer: I attended school between the ages of four and eighteen

The word ‘school’ only needs a capital letter at the start when it is part of a name of a specific school. It does not need one when it appears on its own. The same is true for other places, institutions, organisations, and buildings.

When using capital letters in titles (for a film, book, ‘role’, period or event) however, be careful only to use them for the start of the first and key words, and not for small words within the title.

Which is correct?

  • an Officer and a Gentleman
  • An Officer And A Gentleman
  • An Officer and a Gentleman

Answer: An Officer and a Gentleman

The above examples throw up a few additional points to remember. People’s titles should always have capital letters, for example: Prime Minister, Princess Royal.

Periods have titles, and begin with a capital letter: Gothic, the Renaissance, the Depression.

Countries begin with a capital letter, but so too do languages and nationalities, for example: English, Kurdish, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish. Note that all words that are formed from, or are connected to, these base words also begin with capital letters, for example: Frenchman, Arabia, Chinese lantern.

Which is correct?

  • It is far warmer in the south, especially in the summer
  • It is far warmer in the South, especially in the summer
  • It is far warmer in the south, especially in the Summer
  • It is far warmer in the South, especially in the Summer

Answer: It is far warmer in the south, especially in the summer

Note that although capital letters are used for days of the weeks and months of the year, they are not needed for the points of the compass, or for seasons.

Let’s have a look at when to use commas

Commas should be used in a sentence to indicate where someone reading the sentence would pause (for a fraction of a second only), perhaps to take a breath. As a rule, longer and more complex sentences are more likely to need commas than short sentences.

i.e. While teaching my recent assessment centre training course, a client whom I never met before, kindly introduced themselves on arrival as Julie Smith.

Police Assessment Centre Role-Play Exercise

LINK to FREE download below (Practice Role Play Exercise)

The role-plays account for 57% of all marks available (72 marks) during your assessment centre. All four role-plays take approx 45 minutes to complete, with the addition of a 15 minute scripted brief before commencing.

Each role-play tests a minimum of five competency areas, plus the addition of Oral Communications. Initially you are given 5 minutes to read an exercise brief ‘preparation phase’ and make any necessary notes – each brief contains a memo from the Operations Manager asking you to meet with a customer, storeowner, pub owner and employee. In addition to the memo you also have supporting material such as a guards incident report, policies, operating procedures etc.

Candidates should use the 5 minutes preparation phase to list the skills they need to evidence in the room i.e. introduce themselves, be apologetic, promise to investigate and to take ownership of their complaint, ask appropriate clarifying questions. Do NOT use the 5 minutes preparation phase to copy the brief into your own words – an exact copy of the brief is also available in the room, so this would be a complete waste of time!

At the end of the 5 minutes preparation phase is a short 90 second wait until you are told to enter the room for the 5 minute activity phase. On entry you will be greeted by the role-actor – whom always speaks first! (Let them complete their sentence before introducing yourself). You now have 5 minutes to ask the necessary questions, where appropriate defend the actions of your colleagues, apologise for errors that have been made, and propose solutions to resolve the matter/s. Role-actors will behave inappropriately towards you – raise their voices, interrupt you, talk over you – you MUST ensure you remain calm, patient and professional – never shout at them unless you want to receive a grade D in resilience…

To help you understand a role-play exercise we will send one to you on request. Simply visit and we’ll forward an electronic copy for your attention. The exercise will be a full exercise including the role-play brief, role-actor script and the answers. This will give you a better understanding of the process and an idea of what the role-actors say an the skills you are require to evidence.

Our Recruitment Director of Police Application has been helping individuals join the police service since 2001.

Police Assessment Centre MYTHS

Myth Number 1:

You are continually assessed against the competencies throughout the whole day. So even when I am waiting for the next exercise, I am still being marked for team working etc…

Not true – your are only assessed against the competencies in the relevant exercises. The only competency you can be rejected on between exercise is Race and Diversity. In other words, if you come out of your role-play and say “blimey I had a real blonde moment in that exercise” you would receive a D grade in Race and Diversity and be rejected.

Myth Number 2:

I must wear my best trouser suit…

Not true – you are not assessed on your appearance, therefore you do not need to go dressed to impress. A pair of trousers / open shirt is fine for gentleman and for the ladies trousers/skirt and a blouse. Go comfortable, because it’s a five hour + day.

Myth Number 3:

I must say completely different things in each role-play room.

Not true – some role-plays test exactly the same skills. For example in the role-play where someone wishes to discuss a concern, you would ask: Do any other store-owners share your same concerns with security? You ask a very similar question in another: Do any other security guards share your same concerns?

You have different assessors in each room, so don’t be alarmed if you are saying similar things. Each competency is assessed a minimum of 3 times, this means sometimes they are looking for exactly the same skills on more than 1 occasion!

If you want to give yourself a 90% chance of passing the police assessment centre, attend one of our police training courses. Our recruitment expert can offer you one to one police assessment coaching as well as 1-day assessment courses.

Police Assessment Centre – Problem Solving: Never jump to conclusions!

With nearly a quarter of all mark available at assessment centre available from the Problem Solving competency, it is important that you can evidence this skill…

Good problem solvers avoid jumping to conclusions, but instead gather information about all the possible causes; and then draw conclusions after a logical examination. If you don’t collect enough information about all the possible causes, then of course the problem is unlikely to be resolved. It is this that is often the main challenge for people, they just don’t collect enough information. If they don’t know where to look or don’t really know what they are looking for, then of course your likely to be left facing the same problem, time and time again!

During the course of the assessment centre, one of the main skills to demonstrate is the ability not to jump to conclusions. So where role-actors are putting pressure on you to make quick decisions, you should resist this – saying “you understand their concerns however you will not be drawn into jumping to conclusions, you will fully investigate and gather as much information about the situation before any action is taken”.

This kind of pressure arises in at least three of the role-plays…

Maths pass mark for Police Assessment Centre

The Numerical Reasoning test does NOT have a pass mark. It is worth only 3 marks out of the 123 available in a police assessment centre – that 2.5% overall.

It is a part of the Problem Solving competency which you are assessed 7 times during the course of your day (total 21 marks available). There is also no specific pass mark for Problem Solving, nor any other competency with the exception of Race and Diversity.

To find out exactly what skills you need to demonstrate on your assessment day, book one of our 1-day police assessment courses or a one to one police assessment training course.

Ministry of Defence (MOD): Firearms Assessment

I teach many clients whom are applying to the MOD police. With the MOD they require you to pass the fitness test and firearms test, normally held the day before your assessment centre.

The firearms test consists of you handling an unloaded MP7 handgun and they teach you a simple drill with it; they are simply looking to see if you can follow instructions for safe handling of the gun and that you get the hang of moving the parts of the gun. Easy! It also gives you the opportunity to see if they really want a career where they will be carrying a gun 70% of the time.


Welcome to the updated police application website and blog. This site is completely committed to helping people join the police service as police officers and PCSO’s.

Police Application is owned by a police recruitment specialist who has over 9 years experience helping people join the police.

You are given advice on completing application forms, assessment centre, financial concerns, convictions/cautions, plus advice on appealing against force decisions.