The assessment centre is designed to assess whether you have the core skills to become a police officer.
The assessment centre will take, on average, five hours to complete and will be held at a suitable venue didtated by your chosen force. During ths day you will undertake four role play exercises, an interview, two written exercises and a verbal and numerical reasoning test (PIRT). Furth reading on the Police PIRT
Role Play Exercises (4 scenarios)
The role play exercises are designed to test your ability to handle situations in front of you. The standard structure for each role play is the same. There will be 6 rooms leading off of one coridor. Outside each room there will be written instructions as to what the role play will involve. Four of the rooms are for role play exercises, the remaining two are rest stations to allow you to reflect on your performance thus far. Inside each role play room will be one role player and one assessor. The assessor will be sat in the corner of the room and will not be involved in any part of the role play. Their presence is merely to assess your performance during the exercise. As difficult as it may be it is best to just forget they are there, do not acknoledge them during the role play. Your focus will be the role player; listen to whatthey say and deal with the situation how you see fit. The role player will be working from a set script, their role is to test your ability to demonstrate the core competencies detailsed below.
Example of pre-exercise briefing:
"You have been called to a report of a missing elderly male who suffers from dimentia. Inside this room is the males grand daughter who was out shopping with him for the day."
Written Exercise (2 scenarios)
The written exercises are designed to test your ability to communicate in written form. It is normal for all candidates on that particular assessment day to be taken to one room (a lecture theatre for example) to complete this part fo the assessment day). Your work will also be assessed for spelling, punctuation and grammar. You will be given a briefing sheet prior to starting the exercise. This will give you basic information as to who you are (Customer Service Manager, Security Guard etc) and what you are expected to do during the exercise. An example may be that you have received a complaint from a member of the public regarding the poor facilities for children or something of this nature. Your task is to respond to that persons complaint by letter. You will have twenty minutes to complete each exercise after which time you will be instructed to stop writing immediately.
Example of pre-exercise briefing:
"You are a Security Guard Supervisor at the Westshire Centre. You have received a complaint from a parent of a 14 year old boy who states that the security guard was rude to him when he was asked to leave the centre. You have spoken to the security guard who states that he did speak to the youth concerned however the allegation of rudeness is untrue. You are now to respond to the complainants letter."
Structured Interview (4 questions)
During this part of the assessment day you will be interviewed by an assessor, during which time you will be asked four questions. There will only be you and the assessor in the room. The assessor will have a standard set of questions available to them, they will chose four of these questions for you to answer. Think about your response prior to opening your mouh. Consider the question and form a response to it. Include examples from incidents you have experienced in the past, if you cannot draw on experience from a past incident then say so but then go on to say what you would do should a situation like that occur to you in the future. I am not saying just sitthere for five minutes whilst you come up with the wording to the perfect answer in your head, you will have to think quickly to prevent a long silence! The structured interview lasts for approximately twenty minutes, giving five minutes for each question and answer.
"Give me an example of a time where you have challenged someones behaviour."
This will test your general arithmatic and problem solving abilities. You will have twelve minutes to answer twenty five numerical questions. The questions are multiple choice and you will be given five possible answers. The best advice for this part is that if you do not know an asnwer or know that it would take some time to work the answer out then skip that question and move onto the next one. If you have time once you have reached the end then go back to the questions you have skipped. If you have seconds to spare and still have unanswered questions then the best thing to do is take a wild guess. You will not be marked down for incorrect answers so what have you got to lose?
This will test your problem solving skills. For this there are a total of thirty one questions to asnwer, you will have twenty five minutes in which to answer all questions. For each question you will be given a situation and certain facts about it. You will then be presented with a statement about that incident, from the information you have been given you must say if that statement is true, false or impossible to say given the information available to you. An important thing to remember here is that you should base your answers solely on the information you have available to you, not on any additional knowledge you may have of the situation. As with the numerical reasoning test if you cannot answer a question or believe that it will take you some time to come up with the answer then move onto the next question. If you have time when you have reached the end of the paper then go back and attempt the questions you skipped. If you have seconds to spare and still have unanswered questions then the best thing to do is take a wild guess. You will not be marked down for incorrect answers so what have you got to lose?