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Saturday, May 21, 2022

How to become a police officer? passing the initial application stage!

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Boris Johnson has announced plans to recruit 20,000K Police Officers, Police Hour will be releasing content aimed at helping and supporting anyone who wants to prepare for the process and reading tips and advice on becoming a police officer.

The Police Core Competencies are key to succeeding in your initial application because your application will be marked and sourced against these. Those with the most points will be put forward to the next stage of recruitment.

The biggest mistake someone will make when applying to become a police officer is failing to relate these to the core competencies of the role you are applying to undertake. That role is life-changing if you are successful.

You’ll be required to work unsociable hours, and not be able to go out drinking at the same time as your current friends because the chances are you’ll be on an early turn or late turn.

What is the police recruitment process? 

The process is tough but with lots of preparation and time, there is no reason why you should fail the process if you do your homework and prepare. It goes back to the old saying if you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail.

Police Hour are hoping to provide you with some valuable tips and advice that will help you with your preparation and the ideas you should be thinking about when filling out the process.

– Application form completion

– Roleplay and interactive exercises

– Written tests and written report writing

– Numerical and verbal reasoning tests

– Competency-based interview

But to be in with the chance of successfully passing the application process you need to really think about and plan your answers around the core competencies of policing without applying your answers to these you will have little chance of passing the application process.

But when you are answering your questions it’s also best to adapt the S.T.A.R.R approach when answering the questions within the Application and interview stages. They will be of huge benefit to you.

S. State the situation you were involved within.

T. State the task you carried out in relation to the situation.

A.  State the action you took and why you took this action. what was the action you took and what why? the impact it had on the situation.

R. State the result of your action. What was the outcome of the action you took what was the end result?

R. State the reflection of the whole process, many people forget this but it is very important to show that you are able to reflect on the action you took and the result of your action.

Reflecting is a very key part of policing even if you show you would change your action and result within the application process to the outcome you had.

What are the key core competencies of a police constable?

The Key competencies of a police constable are very important. When answering your questions within your application form you should think about the questions you are being asked and apply them to the core competencies because this is what your application is being accessed on.

Failure to relate them with the core competencies will result in your application scouring low and failing at the first hurdle.

The more you relate this to the core competencies you higher you will score and the more chance of success you can have.

In this article, we will explore the new competencies and how you can match them during the different stages of selection.

Serving the public

One of the most important roles of being a police constable is to serve the public and respond to their needs.

It will be a key part of your role to build confidence in the public and within the communities, you will be serving. Communities are now far more diverse.

You will need to be able to gather intelligence and work closely with a number of different agencies, for example, the fire service and the local authority to enable you to provide great public service.

During the application, role plays and written assessments and interviews you must be able to prove an example of really good service.

You will be challenged to deal with a situation whereby good service is expected to be demonstrated as well as relate this to one of your answers within your applications question. You will also later be required to recall this situation during your interview process and be questioned further in relation to your answer and experience.

A good example of the type of question they will ask you in relation to this would be “Please provide an example of when you have delivered an excellent example if customer service”.

Openness to Change

A key part of policing is a willingness and openness to change. Especially when policing budgets and costs have been reduced. Police budgets are more controlled than they have been for a number of years.

Despite numbers increasing there is very little chance of the changes forces have made that have saved them millions changing, they now have proven methods of running a cost-effective service even if officer numbers are stronger it will be key to ensure controlled costs remain controlled.

The police service requires officers to be open to change and during the selection process officers will be assessed on this.

You will be asked questions in relation to your understanding of change and how adaptive to change you are.

these questions will relate to how change impacts the police service This might be done during a police officer final interview if your chosen force decides to have one as part of the police selection process.

Service delivery

Effective service delivery is crucial to the police force. You will have to plan and organise your tasks to fit in with the police force’s main objectives and goals. During the assessment centre, you will have to organise your actions in the role play and interactive scenarios in order to demonstrate that you have this key quality. An interview questions for the assessment centre might be:

“Can you give an example of when you have planned or organised an event to meet someone else’s requirements?”


Without a doubt, this is one of the most important core competencies. The public expects its police officers to be professional at all times and uphold the principles of great service delivery. You will need to act with integrity and take ownership for resolving problems. In particular, during the police assessment centre role-play scenarios you will have to act in a resilient manner and take action to solve any problems. You can demonstrate this by saying to the role-play actor: “I can assure you that I will take personal responsibility for making things happen and I will act now in order to resolve this issue.”

Decision making

As a police officer, you will have to gather information from a range of sources in order to allow you to make effective decisions. Before making a decision you will need to consider all of the facts of the case. During the report writing stage of the selection process, you will have to read a summary of events in relation to the Westshire Centre and then come up with a written report solving the problem. Most candidates fail at this stage due to poor spelling and grammar. Make sure you practice these in the build-up to the assessment centre.

Working with others

Finally, as a police officer you will have to work with others as part of a team in order to solve problems. You will also have to offer support to your work colleagues and be flexible in your approach to tasks. Furthermore, you should be willing to work with anyone regardless of their age, sex, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. The police force needs to be diverse in nature if it is to provide an excellent service to the public.

Spelling and Grammer during the application 

It is always best to write your answers on a word programme first within your PC and run it through a spell checker.

This is very important because if you spell your words incorrectly you will lose points. If you use the incorrect grammar you will also lose more points. The more spelling and grammar errors you have the more points you will loose from your core competencies points.

Too many mistakes can cost you your first chance at passing the first hurdle of becoming a police constable.

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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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