I recently transfered from Merseyside to Lancs after nearly 7 years in Merpol, I gathered I was a bit of a test subject as far as the transfer process went as it hasn't been that common for people to transfer. You shouldn't need to do the 'assessment centre', rather just go straight for an interview and then medical/fitness. Once accepted, you will still do the 5 weekends basic training which includes the two weekends of UDT, actually pretty interesting for the most part and doesn't hurt having a refresher, a good laugh too given it's residential with nights in the HQ bar, where Cheetah always wins the raffle and has the walk back with his box of beer!
Presuming you're IP, then as long as you can evidence you're competencies, you shouldn't have any problems keeping your IP and being signed off by HQ. You won't be able to transfer as a Sgt though, I had been a Sgt for 4 years in Merpol but had to move over as a Con, I believe this is supposedly being changed soon to allow transfers at rank between North West forces, but as with everything in the police, when it will happen nobody knows!
As mentioned, expenses wise you will only get paid from the border, also Lancs do not offer any food/subsistance allowance so worth checking you won't actually be making a loss by coming on duty. If you decide on Southern then you'll have the choice of either West Lancs - covering Ormskirk and Skem, Leyland or Chorley. Leyland and Chorley seem to be the most developed when it comes to SC's, West Lancs is a work in progress.
Can't really tell you what's covered/not without knowing what you do. But you can expect to do a good mixture of neighbourhood and response work, you may also get the opportunity to do shifts with other departments such as traffic. Southern actually have two SC's which are part of traffic, white hat included!
Driving authority is A-B + patrol, there are a limited number of courses made available to each division per year, it seems there have been some issues with driving and it's a bit of a difficult subject at the moment. Lancs have SC's that have completed response courses, but for some reason, they have had their tickets revoked and restrictions have also been put in place on what vehicles SC's can now drive. Seems to go in cycles this driving business as Merseyside had issues with driving a few years ago too, we lost ours completely for reasons unknown, it was only returned a year ago with a change of CC.
A couple of differences I've noted since moving is Lancs is years behind Merseyside when it comes to IT, one Lancs bobby described to me that when he visited Copy Lane it was like being on the starship Enterprise in comparison to Lancs, everything here is pretty manual still with lots of paper. There is also a single crewed policy with response in Lancs, which isnt very popular with officers as you can imagine, Merpol try to double crew every car for safety.
Overall I'm still getting used to the differences but don't regret the move so far!
Edited by Dan_05, 15 June 2012 - 10:32 PM.