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.

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Advice for candidates required to attend an additional board/panel interview

There are approx 7 forces in England and Wales that in addition to the competency interview as part of your assessment centre, they also require to complete a further board/panel interview.

This additional interview is NOT part of the National process, so rejection at this stage does not mean you have to wait a further six months to reapply. You can  transfer your assessment centre scores to another force and you begin where you left off (normally security vetting, medical and fitness test to complete).

If you are one of the unlucky candidates whom is also required to pass an additional interview, here is some useful advice:

Prepare answers for each of the core competencies. It is best not to use your application form answers (Q1-Q4), interviewers like you to give further evidence of the skills.

* You have yet to be tested on Personal Responsibility, a typical question is to ‘provide an example of when you have used your initiative’. This basically means a time when you undertook a task without being asked. Why? Because you take pride in your work, you are enthusiastic and you don’t like to see the team others/team down.

* Source the name of the Chief Constable of your chosen force. This is sometimes a trick question.

* What tasks do you expect to be undertaking as a police officer? You can refer to Question 7 in your application form to answer this question.

* What research have you undertaken? It is always best to say you have spoken to the recruitment team to source information about the process. You have spoken to serving officers about the role. You have also researched the role on the police could you website. If you can give names of the people you have spoken too, this provides evidence of genuine answers. BEWARE: Avoid making reference to internet forums.

* Research Neighbourhood Policing and the Policing Pledge. Your chosen force website should have details about Neighbourhood Policing.

* Undertake a search on the Home Office website for the phrase ‘Citizen Focused Policing’ – this should return several documents about the new way of policing – which the needs and expectations of local communities are reflected.

* What do you know about ethnic minority communities in your chosen force? i.e. what communities exist and where exactly?

* Do you have any questions to ask the interviewers? Of course you do! How about? When will I start? Can you tell me where I can get more information about the training process? What is their posting policy – do they post officers to where they live?

That should be plenty to help you pass this stage of the process. Remember, be polite and smile – these types of interview are more about your personality rather than your skills.

Recruitment Director – policeapplication.co.uk

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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…

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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.

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How to apply to become a police officer…

This post is for candidates whom are unsure how to apply to become a police officer for forces in England and Wales.

Despite popular belief the police service is not short of candidates wishing to become police officers so you will find that most forces do not issue application forms 365 days a year. Smaller forces may only have one or two windows of opportunity throughout the year, while larger forces may be open for considerable months at a time.

Each force is responsible for issuing their own application forms and each have their own methods – some are online while others use a traditional paper-based application form. So to obtain an application form you first need to contact your chosen force – using Google simply search ‘the name of your force, followed by the word ‘recruitment’ i.e., Metropolitan Police Recruitment – this will narrow your search and save you time having to navigate through the whole of their website to find the page you really want.

Some forces only accept applications from candidates whom have attended a recruitment event, so be prepared to have to visit them. Others, if currently sending out application forms will simply send you one via the post, or as an email attachment.

The application form is a 22-page competency based document, so you will need to evidence your suitability for the role by answering a series of questions. This section is pass / fail so it is important that your answers provide the necessary evidence. 60% are rejected at application stage because their answers do not tick the correct boxes. If you would like helpwith your police application form I can provide this assistance, ensuring that your form meets the necessary standard.

Once you have had confirmation that your form meets the required standard you will then be called to attend a police assessment centre. An assessment centre is a process, not a place. It is during this process that you will again be asked to demonstrate your suitability for the role by completing a series of exercises. These  include role-plays, written reports, interview, Maths and English test, in all it is a five hour day!

In order to pass an assessment centre there are four pass marks that must be achieved – Overall, Race and Diversity, Oral Communications an finally Written Communications. Written Communications is your spelling and grammar, so extra care and attention should be given to the written reports you write. Forces do have differing pass marks for assessment centres, so although you may be unsuccessful with your current force, others may accept your scores, this will prevent you from having to reapply at a later date. Please refer to my earlier post ‘Assessment Centre Pass Marks 50% or 60%’

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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 written communications, in particular spelling and grammar.

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

If you exceed this in your application form, or you exceed this amount in both written proposals, you will be rejected. 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.

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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.

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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.

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