Assessment Centre Secrets Course Updates

Lincolnshire Police Assessment Centre Training Course 25th Sept 2010

Are you preparing for a police assessment centre with Lincolnshire Police? We are running a training course in Lincoln on Sat 25th Sept. On this course you will learn about the current exercises, the skills/behaviours required to pass an assessment centre. The course covers all aspects of the assessment centre includes role-plays, written proposals, interview etc, basically it will be a rehearsal of your real assessment!

Over 90% of clients who attend an assessment centre course with are successful. These results speak for themselves…

All attendees will also each receive a FREE Police Fitness Training Programme and Bleep Test CD worth £20.00 to aid in your preparations for the police fitness test.

Full course details at:

Alternately, if you would prefer a one to one police assessment centre training course, further details can be found at:

Application Form Secrets Assessment Centre Secrets

Race and Diversity : Application Form Vs Interview

Despite popular belief, the Race and Diversity answer in your application form, will NOT be a suitable answer for the assessment centre competency interview. Think about this logically…If you have already passed the application form and demonstrated a suitable answer for this competency, why on earth would they ask you the same question at assessment centre? It’s absolutely pointless and a waste of time!

There are two types of Race and Diversity questions:

a) A time when you challenged someone using inappropriate behaviour, and

b) A time when you adapted your behaviour so not to cause offence to someone even though they had differing views to yourself.

Question b, requires a completely different set of behaviours. This is all about being able to adapt your own behaviour, to be sensitive to another persons views/beliefs, even though they differed from your own…

So what type of question do you think is coming up in the police officer assessment centre? The same applies for the role of PCSO, only the questions are in reverse order.

Passing the police assessment centre is a very difficult process. It requires you to evidence set behaviours, in other words ask the right questions and make the right statements. If you want to ensure success, run police assessment centre courses in group format and they also offer one to one police assessment centre coaching.

Assessment Centre Secrets

Managing Customer Expectations : Community and Customer Focus: Police Assessment Centre

One positive indicator for the Community and Customer Focus competency is to manage customer expectations, just how do you do this? Well firstly you have to establish what their expectations are:

You walk in the room and the the role-actor say’s to you ‘I hope you are going to do something about that security guard‘. To establish their expectations at some point during the role-play you need to ask:

1) ‘Please tell me what you would like to see happen to the security guard?’

Alternately, you could ask ‘What you would like to achieve from today’s meeting?

Now you have established their requirements, you can now set about managing their expectations by explaining what action is going to be taken (or not in some cases). In most cases, you have policies/documents present (as part of the brief outside and inside the room) that you use to help you explain your decision and reasoning. Examples of managing clients expectations can be found in the Remaining Unbiased article below.

This article was written by a Police Recruitment Director. He is the owner and course tutor of a training provider for candidates interested in passing the police application and assessment centre process.

Assessment Centre Secrets

Remaining Unbiased : Race and Diversity : Police Assessment Centre Process

Race and Diversity is continually monitored throughout the police and PCSO assessment centre day. During the role-plays, despite popular belief NOT all of them contain inappropriate behaviour displayed by the role-actor that must be challenged. Race and Diversity is your ability to remain impartial and considerate towards others. (It’s not just about challenging inappropriate behaviour)

Even in the role-plays where challenging behaviour is not required, the scenario’s still contain elements or situations whereby you could act biased or with prejudice. Let’s consider the following example:

You are dealing with a complaint from a customer about the actions of the security team. A child was recently lost in the centre. The security team then acted in accordance and followed the ‘lost child’ policy. They were all dispatched with the appropriate description to look for the child and all CCTV camera’s were used. The child was eventually found by another member of the public. The customer wants the security team disciplined for not finding the child. Do you think the security team should be disciplined?

The answer is ‘NO’. Given that they acted in accordance and followed the ‘lost child’ policy it would be unfair to suggest or agree for disciplinary action to be considered. Thus, if you agreed with the customer and suggested that action would be taken against the security team, this could result in a ‘D’ grade for diversity.  Clearly, although the policy was followed, perhaps a review of the policy is required…

Let’s have a look at another possible scenario:

You are dealing with a complaint from a customer about the actions of a Customer Service Officer. The Customer Service Officer recently approached the child of the customer in the centre as they were climbing on a temporary wall. The centre has a policy that does not permit anyone climbing on walls. A statement from the Customer Service Officer confirms the situation took place and they did ask the child to remove themselves. During the course of the role-play the role actor informs you that the Customer Service Officer shouted at the child and asked them to remove themselves from the wall for Health and Safety reasons. The customer wants the Customer Service Officer sacked. Do you think the Customer Service Officer should be sacked?

The answer is ‘No action will be taken at this time’. Although they have enforced the policy, you should be concerned that the Customer Service Officer shouted (this is unprofessional), so you will want to speak to them before any decision is made. Again, if you agreed that they should be sacked, or completely defend the actions of guard, you run the risk of being awarded a grade ‘D’ in Race and Diversity for being biased. Clearly, although the policy was followed, it would be advisable to speak with the Customer Service Officer about the allegation of ‘shouting’ before any decision is made. You should reassure the role-actor that action will be taken if the guard’s behaviour following your investigation is found to be inappropriate. But until they have been spoken too, no action will be taken.

This article was written by our Police Recruitment Director. He is the owner and course tutor of a training provider for candidates interested in passing the police application and assessment centre process.

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

Assessment Centre Secrets

Police Assessment Centre : Avon and Somerset

Are you preparing to attend a police assessment centre with Avon and Somerset and would you like to learn the skills required to pass the role-play, written and interview processes?

Our Workbook will teach you all the skills necessary to be successful at this stage. In particular four* of the role-plays in the Workbook test exactly the same skills as those required in the current role-play exercises. Two* of the written proposal exercises test the required skills, and also included is an interview module which outlines how to select your own appropriate interview answers and include the necessary competency behaviours.

Full details of the police assessment centre workbook can be found at:

Alternately, if you prefer to buy individual police assessment centre exercises these can be purchased at: (Role-Plays 5, 6, 7 and 8 – Written Exercises Suspicious Vehicle and Park and Ride)

*The workbook contains ten role-play exercises in total and six written proposal exercises

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:

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.

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Assessment Centre Secrets

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, please do consider one of our police training courses. Our recruitment expert can offer you one to one police assessment coaching as well as group format courses.