College of Policing Online Assessment Process Overview

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on March 23 and additional guidance introduced to keep our communities safe, all SEARCH and Day One activity has been postponed until 2021. As the COVID situation develops, it has become clear that digital
solutions to police recruitment would be required.

In response to this, we have developed an online assessment process that enables effective assessment of the required competencies and values that are important for Police Constables, and meets the current standards for assessing new recruits.

The online process enables rapid recruitment without face-to-face contact while social distancing measures are required. It will also enable secure online assessment to be part of an efficient and user-friendly candidate journey in the future. The process incorporates a progressive sifting approach to effectively manage numbers and identify those most suitable for the role of a police officer.

To ensure consistency and fairness to candidates, the online assessment process will remain in place until the end of June 2021. This decision has been based on initial findings of an evaluation and independent review of the assessment process which showed that the online assessment is fit for purpose, to support diverse recruitment. The commitment to delivering online assessments is also in light of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and a second national lockdown being imposed.

We will continue to implement recommended improvements identified by the evaluation and review, to improve the current online assessment centre. We are also working closely with the Police Uplift Programme and police forces on the recruitment stages outside of the online assessment centre, to improve overall recruitment outcomes.

The online assessment process is currently managed centrally by the College, however we are developing the ability for forces to opt to manage this locally themselves, or in regional collaborations. Guidance has been developed to assist forces with their planning. To support implementation we are delivering online training for assessors, covering both generic principles of assessment and exercise-specific content.

The online assessment process

The online assessment process consists of a three-stage approach designed for the efficient assessment and recruitment of police constables. The three stages are:

Stage 1 – Situational judgement test (SJT)

This test measures your ability to choose the appropriate action in situations similar to those you are likely to face as a police constable. This test will measure your judgement and ability to make effective decisions against the Competency and Values Framework for Policing. If your hiring force is already using a sift, this stage may not be mandatory.

Stage 2 – Competency-based interview

You will be asked a series of questions about how you have dealt with specific situations in the past. This is your opportunity to provide some examples of the key competencies and values that are important for police constables. You can use examples from both your work and your personal life. If you have completed stage 1, you will be required to take stage 2 immediately upon completion.

Stage 3 – Written assessment and briefing exercise

Stage 3a – Written assessment

In this exercise, you will assume the role of a police constable and will have to complete an urgent written task for your line manager. You will receive four items of information to help you with this task.

Stage 3b – Briefing exercise

In this exercise, you will assume the role of a police constable and will have responsibility for dealing with some issues presented to you. You will be tasked with providing a response to a number of questions in relation to this issue. You will be provided with preparation materials to consider your answer.

In both parts of the stage 3 assessment, please only use the information provided and do not add any additional information. Please note that you will be able to take stages 3a and 3b separately.

Device Requirements

You can use a desktop or laptop computer, as well as mobile devices to complete your assessments and interview. If planning on using a mobile device, please download 'Launchpad interview' from your device's app store.

Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari (mac only) browsers are supported, though others may work too.

You will need speakers or headphones to hear instructions, and a webcam or inbuilt camera and microphone, to record sound and video.

Reasonable adjustments and accommodations

If you have any condition that might cause you to be disadvantaged during the online assessment process, temporary or otherwise (e.g. pregnancy, injury, disability including dyslexia, etc.) , you may be entitled to accommodation or reasonable adjustment.

Any accommodation or reasonable adjustment provided for the online assessment process will be based on the supporting information provided to us in a relevant report, produced by an appropriately qualified professional. Reasonable adjustments may include additional time in the exercises or other adjustments as recommended by a specialist.

If you believe you may have a condition that could disadvantage you, please contact the force you are applying to directly. They will be able to assist you with your application for accommodation or reasonable adjustment. For further information, please consult our policy on accommodations and reasonable adjustments for candidates attending the online assessment process.