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A story of mixed success...And subsequent failures (Advice needed please)


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#1 L-M.A.B_90

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:02 PM

Hi everyone,

I am new to this website and this is my first post (but certainly won't be my last - there is a whole wealth of useful information here).
Basically this is my story (it makes for very interesting reading I'm sure you will agree...)

Originally (back approximately two years ago) I contacted S.W.P Specials recruitment and requested an application pack, at the time of me making that request they told me they were not recruiting but said my name would be stored on the system with an application pack being dispatched in due course. Anyway, whilst waiting for this application pack from S.W.P I noticed that B.T.P were recruiting for Specials within the Wales and Western area. So thinking ahead what was best for me and to increase my chances of becoming a Special I completed the online application for B.T.P (which if some of you are unsure DOES contain competency based questions). After my application to B.T.P I received a telephone call, apparently I had passed the papersift stage and was invited to attend an assessment centre in the coming month or so; there was some ambiguity as to where the location for training would be (had I passed the assessment centre) I was told the training would probably be in Birmingham and run over the course of many weekends.
Deciding that this would be impracticable I dropped out and decided it was best to wait on the S.W.P application when it came through the post.
Some good time later I did receive my S.W.P application, completed it (spent a stupidly long, long time completing the CBQs, making sure no space was left) and FAILED miserably in the papersift.
I was graded D's in all four of the questions (with A's and B's being passes so I understand).

Obviously I must have totally lost track and my trail of thought but after passing the papersift for B.T.P I was at the time quietly confident I would pass the papersift for S.W.P (so when I did fail it did leave me somewhat shell-shocked).
I will apply again on the next recruitment drive because I believe I have what it takes, it's my lifelong ambition to serve the community and make that difference.

I am not expecting any perfect answers as I'm not one for unfair cheating, I just need general advice (and pointers in the right direction) as to what they are expecting from my examples.

(Just for some additional info - I do not work as I am currently in University education, I have looked for work and been to various interviews but as many of you will know all too well finding work in this economic climate is FAR from easy; therefore I cannot use examples from my employment because as yet there hasn't been any).

Many thanks for reading this very long first post; as can be seen I'm in a bit of a mess - But I'm determined to make it and I'm sure I will with the right help and proper advice.


#2 oddbod

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:17 PM

Make yourself familiar with the 'Policing Professional Framework Personal Qualities'. This is what your answers to the competency related questions are compared to when they are marked. All of the competencies have positive and negative indicators, sometimes all it takes is one negative indicator in an answer and you will score badly. With most people a simple rewording of an answer will improve their scores, bearing in mind any answers you give must be honest and truthful.
Don't be tempted to make stuff up.

#3 L-M.A.B_90

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:42 PM

Make yourself familiar with the 'Policing Professional Framework Personal Qualities'. This is what your answers to the competency related questions are compared to when they are marked. All of the competencies have positive and negative indicators, sometimes all it takes is one negative indicator in an answer and you will score badly. With most people a simple rewording of an answer will improve their scores, bearing in mind any answers you give must be honest and truthful.
Don't be tempted to make stuff up.


Many thanks oddbod; how much emphasis do they put on previous work/job experience? Or are they mainly interested in the results of the CBQs as an assessment of experience?

#4 Skeptocynic

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:48 PM

Hi everyone,

I am new to this website and this is my first post (but certainly won't be my last - there is a whole wealth of useful information here).
Basically this is my story (it makes for very interesting reading I'm sure you will agree...)

Originally (back approximately two years ago) I contacted S.W.P Specials recruitment and requested an application pack, at the time of me making that request they told me they were not recruiting but said my name would be stored on the system with an application pack being dispatched in due course. Anyway, whilst waiting for this application pack from S.W.P I noticed that B.T.P were recruiting for Specials within the Wales and Western area. So thinking ahead what was best for me and to increase my chances of becoming a Special I completed the online application for B.T.P (which if some of you are unsure DOES contain competency based questions). After my application to B.T.P I received a telephone call, apparently I had passed the papersift stage and was invited to attend an assessment centre in the coming month or so; there was some ambiguity as to where the location for training would be (had I passed the assessment centre) I was told the training would probably be in Birmingham and run over the course of many weekends.
Deciding that this would be impracticable I dropped out and decided it was best to wait on the S.W.P application when it came through the post.
Some good time later I did receive my S.W.P application, completed it (spent a stupidly long, long time completing the CBQs, making sure no space was left) and FAILED miserably in the papersift.
I was graded D's in all four of the questions (with A's and B's being passes so I understand).

Obviously I must have totally lost track and my trail of thought but after passing the papersift for B.T.P I was at the time quietly confident I would pass the papersift for S.W.P (so when I did fail it did leave me somewhat shell-shocked).
I will apply again on the next recruitment drive because I believe I have what it takes, it's my lifelong ambition to serve the community and make that difference.

I am not expecting any perfect answers as I'm not one for unfair cheating, I just need general advice (and pointers in the right direction) as to what they are expecting from my examples.

(Just for some additional info - I do not work as I am currently in University education, I have looked for work and been to various interviews but as many of you will know all too well finding work in this economic climate is FAR from easy; therefore I cannot use examples from my employment because as yet there hasn't been any).

Many thanks for reading this very long first post; as can be seen I'm in a bit of a mess - But I'm determined to make it and I'm sure I will with the right help and proper advice.


There is always something you can do to improve the next time around, and I will get on to this later. First of all, I'm going to explain why it may not be your fault.

All forces are obliged to recruit applicants for the role of Police Constable and Special Constable by using certain nationalised standards. The idea, following their introduction in the early 2000s, was to standardise recruitment to ensure that each successful applicant possesses the essential qualities a Police Officer needs to carry out his/her role with impartiality and competence. Prior to this system, each force by and large designed its own recruitment process, the requirements of each applicant being established based on the needs of the force.

Most of the standardised system is based on a competency framework, both in the initial stage and at the assessment centres. This has presented several problems. Firstly, each application form is marked by an individual, trained to seek out certain 'buzz words' and award marks based on evidence provided, which could quite easily be entirely falsified. The application form now becomes 'best blagger wins', and those with the ability to fabricate evidence suitably tailored to hitting the buzz words and satisfying the lingo, will ultimately score higher than those who are not accustomed to this bizarre routine.

Secondly, while the system is designed to remove subjectivity from the process and determine scores based on a 'one size fits all' framework, each paper is marked by an individual. This explains some of the stories we have seen on ps.com, whereby an applicant has applied for two different jobs using the same competency framework, with the same answers, believing that two assessors are likely to agree on its result.

Thirdly, some recruitment departments are historically corrupt. One example here: http://www.real-whit...sconduct-charge. It would be unwise to believe that human prejudices are a total non-occurrence in the recruitment of police officers.

Lastly, the system we see today has spawned dozens of companies devoted to helping you beat the system, by marking your answers in advance and providing feedback, allowing you to change your answers and submit them. The fact that such services have a market to operate in reflects poorly on the process, which as I have previously mentioned, is designed to remove subjectivity from the process and determine scores based on a 'one size fits all' framework.


The main advice I can give is to not allow the system to wear you down. Just because you have failed, doesn't mean you are currently unsuitable for the role of Police Officer. All it means is that you have not beat the system. I would actually highly recommend using a company such as 'In2Police' or 'TalkingBlues'. While it does cost money, they will point out where you are going wrong and help identify your weaknesses.


Hope this helps,

Rob

#5 Two Wheeler

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 02:08 PM

(Just for some additional info - I do not work as I am currently in University education, I have looked for work and been to various interviews but as many of you will know all too well finding work in this economic climate is FAR from easy; therefore I cannot use examples from my employment because as yet there hasn't been any).


One thing that jumped out at me was this statement.

I understand that you may find it challenging looking for employment at the moment, but there are plenty of other ways where you can get some experience (and perhaps, examples).

If you can't find work, I suggest you find some charity work to get involved in. It will give you some experience in a "work place" and may give you experiences that would be useful; not to mention that it would be extremely worthwhile.

I'm sure you'll find a charity that would be grateful for you to volunteer your time and skills. I'm sure it will also be viewed positively in any future police application you make.

#6 L-M.A.B_90

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 03:36 PM

There is always something you can do to improve the next time around, and I will get on to this later. First of all, I'm going to explain why it may not be your fault.

All forces are obliged to recruit applicants for the role of Police Constable and Special Constable by using certain nationalised standards. The idea, following their introduction in the early 2000s, was to standardise recruitment to ensure that each successful applicant possesses the essential qualities a Police Officer needs to carry out his/her role with impartiality and competence. Prior to this system, each force by and large designed its own recruitment process, the requirements of each applicant being established based on the needs of the force.

Most of the standardised system is based on a competency framework, both in the initial stage and at the assessment centres. This has presented several problems. Firstly, each application form is marked by an individual, trained to seek out certain 'buzz words' and award marks based on evidence provided, which could quite easily be entirely falsified. The application form now becomes 'best blagger wins', and those with the ability to fabricate evidence suitably tailored to hitting the buzz words and satisfying the lingo, will ultimately score higher than those who are not accustomed to this bizarre routine.

Secondly, while the system is designed to remove subjectivity from the process and determine scores based on a 'one size fits all' framework, each paper is marked by an individual. This explains some of the stories we have seen on ps.com, whereby an applicant has applied for two different jobs using the same competency framework, with the same answers, believing that two assessors are likely to agree on its result.

Thirdly, some recruitment departments are historically corrupt. One example here: http://www.real-whit...sconduct-charge. It would be unwise to believe that human prejudices are a total non-occurrence in the recruitment of police officers.

Lastly, the system we see today has spawned dozens of companies devoted to helping you beat the system, by marking your answers in advance and providing feedback, allowing you to change your answers and submit them. The fact that such services have a market to operate in reflects poorly on the process, which as I have previously mentioned, is designed to remove subjectivity from the process and determine scores based on a 'one size fits all' framework.


The main advice I can give is to not allow the system to wear you down. Just because you have failed, doesn't mean you are currently unsuitable for the role of Police Officer. All it means is that you have not beat the system. I would actually highly recommend using a company such as 'In2Police' or 'TalkingBlues'. While it does cost money, they will point out where you are going wrong and help identify your weaknesses.


Hope this helps,

Rob


A very interesting response - Many thanks Rob, I do agree and feel it is often the concept of 'best blagger wins' :w00t:
.
I won't let this failure get me down, I will work on my responses and hopefully be successful next time round. I believe I have what it takes to be a successful candidate and view myself to be a competent and capable individual.
Thanks again. :aok:

#7 mph

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 09:05 AM

As it was said above there are buzz words that stand out and using certain phrases will gain you marks. Also spelling and legible handwriting (if you did the handwritten version) go a long way.
It might be wise to get someone else to read you application after you’ve completed it. I’ve done it in the past, written a document and it all looks fine to me (I think its down to thought processes) but when someone else has looked over it there have been some parts that just don’t read correctly

Good luck with your next application

#8 L-M.A.B_90

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 11:50 PM

As it was said above there are buzz words that stand out and using certain phrases will gain you marks. Also spelling and legible handwriting (if you did the handwritten version) go a long way.
It might be wise to get someone else to read you application after you've completed it. I've done it in the past, written a document and it all looks fine to me (I think its down to thought processes) but when someone else has looked over it there have been some parts that just don't read correctly

Good luck with your next application


Cheers for that, I will keep you all updated on how it all goes -
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.




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