Assessment Centre Secrets

70% fail a police assessment centre

If your chosen force requires you to achieve a 60% ‘overall’ pass mark for the police assessment centre, 70% of those who attend will fail. The assessment centre is the largest sift of applicants within the recruitment process, ahead of the application whereby approx 50% fail to meet the standard.

The vast majority of those that fail a police assessment centre are simply ill prepared or do not understand the mechanics and processes required. The role plays are stressful and without doubt the most anxious part of the day. The problem with this, is that over half (53%) of all marks during an assessment centre are weighted towards the role play exercises; this means that unless you perform to a high standard during these, you will not pass.

The truth is, very few people like role plays and fewer are able to actually perform due to the stress and high levels of anxiety you will feel.

Because of the recruitment freeze throughout most of England and Wales, we are not running any group or one to one courses at present. However, for as little as £9.99 you can purchase practice role play and written exercises; we also now have our police role play A – Z training tool for just £15.00. This 29 page document is comprehensive and teaches you most of the necessary skills to pass role play exercises: the importance of listening to the role actor; asking appropriate clarifying questions; effectively communicating information that has been provided to you; the preparation and interactive phases and room layout. The document is multiple choice, with clear explanations for correct and incorrect answers.

Here is an example of what the police role play A – Z teaches you:

a) You are a newly appointed Customer Service Officer. You walk into the role play room, as you enter you are greeted by the role actor walking towards you, pointing and saying “Hello, my name is James Bacon, I hope you are going to do something about that security guard.”

Do you?

  1. Interrupt them so you can firstly introduce yourself?
  2. Politely ask them not to point?
  3. Politely request that they take a seat, introduce youself and then ask them what the problem is?
  4. Politely request that they take a seat, introduce yourself and then ask them what they want done about the security guard?
  5. Politely introduce yourself as James Bacon and ask what the problem is?

Positive Behaviour

The correct answer is number 4.

You must always be polite and at this time it would be timely to ask them to be seated, then introduce yourself. You are a newly appointed Customer Service Officer, and the reality is you have never met any of characters played by the role actors so an introduction is necessary.

An introduction would be your full name, your position (Customer Service Officer) and confirmation that you work at the Centre.

You must never interrupt a role actor as this is deemed provoking and demonstrates little respect for the role actor (not good!).  Although you could ask them politely not to point, it would not be the most appropriate action to take at this time. It doesn’t score you any marks!

A broad question, e.g. ‘what is the problem?’ is not advisable as the role actors opening statement provide the opportunity to ask a more precise question. A precise question would be to ask ‘what would you like done or to happen to the security guard?’ More precise and decisive questions score higher on the scalar than brood and vague questions.

You play yourself during the role-pay exercises so you should give your own full name. The person you are meeting is call James Bacon. You would be surprised how many candidates misunderstand this!

The police role play A – Z training tool is just £15.00 and will definitely help you develop the skills required to perform to a high standard in the role play exercises.

We wish you the very best of luck with your preparations.

This article has been written by former police recruitment manager David Vidgen.

By David Vidgen

This article has been written by former police recruitment manager. David was responsible for overseeing all police recruitment marketing including assessment centre practice days, recruitment website, adverts and recruitment fairs