Assessment Centre Secrets

Practice Police Role-Play and Written Proposal Exercises

I have devised a series of practice role-play and written proposal exercises that are available for immediate download for as little as £5.99 each.

These are ideal if you are concerned about the role-play/written exercises and you are not sure how the process works.

Each exercise has been produced to test the same competencies and skills required during a police and PCSO assessment centre. Each role-play exercise contains a full exercise brief, role-actor script and answer marking sheet; this enables you to identify, develop and practice the required skills and gain an insight not only into how you as a candidate must perform but also the role actors behaviour and typical responses. All are designed to test the full seven core competencies (race and diversity, team working, effective communications, problem solving, resilience, personal responsibility, and community and customer focus).

The written exercises also help you identify the skills required, plus each proposal exercise provides you with an example of a completed written (layout etc).

These exercises are available on our new website:

Application Form Secrets Course Updates

Police Officer Application Form Competency Answers – 40 Great Examples

If you’re applying to become a police officer and you’re looking for advice and inspiration on how to complete the application form to the required standard, we recommend – you can now purchase 40 Great Answers to the Police Officer Application Form for just £10.00.

This includes 10 great examples for each of the police competency questions (Race and Diversity, Team Working, Resilience and Effective Communications), all designed to help and inspire you to devise your own answers to the required standard. 40 Great Answers to the Police Officer Application Form is an electronic document, available for immediate download once your payment has been made – so no waiting for the post to arrive!

In addition to this, if you want us to check your form to ensure it meets the required standard, you can purchase both the 40 Great Police Officer Application Form Answers and Police Application Form Checking Service for just £25.00

Interview Board

More police board interview advice

With diversity high on the police agenda, it should be no surprise that much of your board interview is likely to focus on your understanding and exposure to race and diversity.

Forces face many obstacles when it comes to diversity. Firstly they have a shortage of officers from under represented groups, this causes obvious language barriers when trying to communicate with those who do not speak English. With a lack of language skills comes expensive interpreter fees, often budgets in their £millions per annum are required for each force.  Minority officers also bring sensitivity when it comes to making arrests. It is very rare that arrests would take place in buildings of worship such as mosques, this is because such action would be deemed highly insensitive and would any hinder progress made in reducing the perception of racism in the service.

Not only should you be aware of the problems listed above, it is worth noting that you should have some idea of what minority groups your chosen force actually police. For example, is there a Chinese community or perhaps a Somalian community? You should also know exactly where they exist in your chosen force area – this demonstrates a full understanding of the force area and it’s make-up.

You should also research what actions your force is undertaking to address these problems. Neighbourhood policing is one aspect, but it would be useful to try an obtain a copy of your chosen force Diversity Action Plan – this normally sits with Human Resources or with a Diversity and Equalities Officer.

More information on the police board interview can be found at:

Course Updates

Army Resettlement Courses – Become a Police Officer or PCSO

Many of our clients are from either the Army, Navy or RAF. Our courses are suitable for those leaving the armed forces and looking for a career in the police service as police officers or PCSO’s.

We provide initial application form guidance and checking – this ensures that your form meets the required standard and avoids rejection at this early state of the recruitment process.

Once your application has been accepted and confirmation that it has met the required standard you are then called to attend an assessment centre. We can then offer you either a one to one assessment centre course, or if you prefer you can attend one of our group sessions that we run throughout the country. These courses are designed to teach and further develop your ability to perform role-plays, written proposals, complete a structured competency interview, numerical reasoning test, and verbal logical reasoning test. We teach you all the necessary skills to evidence your understanding of team working, resilience, problem solving, personal responsibility, race and diversity, community and customer focus, and effective communications. We run over 100 courses per annum and over 90% of our clients pass their assessment centre – our results speak for themselves.

A full 200 page course manual is provided. This provides sufficient material to  practice further role-plays, written proposals, structured interview, as well as practice maths and verbal logical reasoning tests

Full details about each of the courses are listed below:

Assessment Centre Secrets

Can I use my application form answers for my structured interview?

If you want to obtain good grades in your interview then we do not recommend that you use the same examples as compiled in your application form. During your interview you will be asked a question on Community and Customer Focus – this did not feature in the application so you will need a new example to evidence these skills.

You will also need a new example for Team Working and Race and Diversity as the interview is asking you to evidence different skills to those tested in the application.  For example Q2 in the application form (Team Working) was a time when you were willing to share in less attractive tasks. The interview tests different team working behaviours, so a new example will be required. The same will apply for Race and Diversity.

It is possible that you could use your Resilience answer in your interview, but that will depend on exactly what you wrote.

If you want to be 100% prepared for the assessment centre then we advise you to attend one of our police assessment group courses or book a one to one session.

Assessment Centre Secrets

The Structured Competency Interview (Police Officer)

The structured interview carries 12% of the marks in your assessment centre. This is the third most important exam, behind role-plays and the written exercises. From the 1st Nov 2009 you will be required to answer questions relating to the following competencies:

  • Community and Customer Focus
  • Resilience
  • Team Working
  • Race and Diversity

In addition to the above four competencies, you are also being assessed against Oral Communications. This is your ability to use plain and clear English, with structure to your answers. You will be penalised if you use Acronyms or Abbreviations such as BT, IBM, MPS etc, as these mean different things to different people.

You will be given 5 minutes to provide an answer to each question. A copy of each question will be provided on a laminated card, this is so you do not have to keep asking the interviewer to repeat the question. If your answer does not contain the necessary information, then the interviewer will ask you further probing questions i.e., what was the outcome?

At the end of each 5 minutes the interviewer will stop you, and you will move onto the next question. If you complete all questions in under 20 minutes, you will remain in the room until the process has been completed. The interviewer will advise you when you can leave. Some common myths about the interview:

  1. More than 1 person will interview me – Incorrect. Only 1 person carries out the interview. This same person is also responsible for assessing you.
  2. I need to know about my chosen force – Incorrect. You will be required to ask 4 questions, each relating to your past experience. Police knowledge is not required nor is essential.
  3. I will lose marks if the interviewer has to prompt me – Incorrect. If the interviewer is asking you further probing questions, this is to help you. It means you have yet to provide this information and they are using probing questions to try and elicit the information from you. Marks are not deducted for being prompted.
  4. I must speak for 5 minutes – Incorrect. This is a tick-box process, so if you answer your question in 2 minutes and it contains all the necessary skills they are seeking, then there is no need to talk for the remainder of the time. The interviewer will advise you that you have time remaining and if there is anything else you would like to add.
  5. I cannot use examples from the same place or work/education – Incorrect. Providing the examples you deliver meet the skills required, it does not matter whether they all relate to the same place of work/education etc.

I hope you found this useful.
Course Tutor and Recruitment Director

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

Course Updates

New police assessment centre courses added

The following police assessment centre courses have now been added:

Saturday 28th November 2009: City Inn Birmingham – ideal for those candidates applying to West Midlands, Staffordshire, West Mercia, Warwickshire, Leicestershire,

Saturday 2nd January 2010: Holiday Inn Express, Poole – ideal for those sitting their assessment centre with Dorset Police – Recruitment.

Full details of all courses can be found here: police assessment centre courses

1 to 1 assessment centre courses are also available weekdays. Further details at:

Application Form Secrets Assessment Centre Secrets Interview Board

@police_app on twitter


Follow us on twitter… You can have your police recruitment questions answered in most cases in a matter of minutes* (between 09:00 – 20:00) –

Application Form Secrets

Failed Assessment Centre : Pass Marks Explained

Candidates who are successful are required to achieve pass marks in four specific areas, 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% 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.

Interview Board

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

There are just over a handful of forces in England and Wales that in addition to the structured interview as part of your assessment centre, they also require to complete a further interview (sometimes before your assessment centre).

This 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 simply transfer your assessment centre scores to another force (that does not have an additional interview) 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.
  • 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…

Thanks for checking out my blog.

Recruitment Director –