So, big news, and the second rung on my ladder to joining the Police- Iâ€™ve been given an assessment date! Iâ€™ve got a few weeks to work on my competencies and make sure my examples are as strong as they could be. Iâ€™m mainly going to talk about the pack Iâ€™ve been given, maybe try and break some of the things down, and in the process, get my mind-cogs turning (maybe even add a bit of WD-40), and see if I can come up with the best examples I can. Iâ€™ll also be mentioning a few of the things Iâ€™ve noticed in past couple of weeks that you guys may find of interest. For you guys who have already been through the process, you may want to tune out for a while until Iâ€™ve finished this first bit.
So- the assessment day information pack. First thingâ€™s first- send the reply letter off, otherwise any effort you put into practicing it will be utterly wasted, as youâ€™ll have to wait another 6 months and re-apply, without replying or just the 6 months, if for whatever reason you canâ€™t make the date.
Iâ€™m going to throw in a quick disclaimer here- everything I discuss in this post is based on the Staffordshire Policeâ€™s assessment day pack, and it may vary between forces (but the general principles will be the same, if there is any variation whatsoever), and nowhere does the pack say I canâ€™t discuss the contents, which are actually more vague that youâ€™d expect. Disclaimer over.
Right, so, the pack (for me) includes a map of Stafford, a cover letter telling me Iâ€™m invited to an assessment day next month, and a â€˜recruitment process bookletâ€™ as it like to call itself and an RSVP letter, just like you used to get for birthday parties. Itâ€™s making me all nostalgic.
Moving swiftly on- The process booklet contains information on the three activites that will take place on the day- A written test, structured interview and a situational judgement test. The written test is self-explanatory- Youâ€™re given a fiction scenario in a fictional town (Sandford Town, like Hot Fuzzâ€¦no influence, either way, of course) and you have to write a proposal document for your response, in 20 minutes. The interview is just that, an interview where, I believe you are asked questions such as â€˜give an example of a time when you showed resilienceâ€™ (I canâ€™t be certain about this, and if anyone whoâ€™s been through the process can, and would like to, let me know if Iâ€™m right or not, can feel free to leave a comment below. Iâ€™m not certain if youâ€™re allowed to do this however), like in some versions of the original application form. Finally the situational judgement test- a 65 minute, multiple choice quiz, where you have to select the best and worst answer. These will be a process of elimination, but as with the example question I was given, it can be tricky- Make sure that the question is read thoroughly, and what seems to be the worst option might not necessarily be the worst. Needless to say I got the worst answer wrong. I still say it was a trick question though, there were equally as bad.
like I said earlier, the assessment day pack is actually a bit vague, especially in regards to the interview, which is (quite simply) what I find to be making me most nervous. But donâ€™t worry! Youâ€™re assessed on various competencies all day, at least twice. The assessors will give you a grade per competency, between A and D, and itâ€™s your average grade, I believe that youâ€™re passed/failed on. You are also told what you need to get in each competency (I assume) to pass, as well as what it is theyâ€™re looking for, and what will get you kicked out of the process before you can sayâ€¦uhmmmâ€¦donâ€™t kick me out of the process. Race and Diversity you need an A. No surprises there. The others itâ€™s either a B or C. Donâ€™t get a D.
As a whole Iâ€™d say that the instructions given are pretty good, and I suppose that itâ€™s designed not to give you clues, and while, from what Iâ€™ve heard, they want you to pass (and itâ€™s going to take some serious stupidity to fail straight up) they arenâ€™t going to give you examples and answers. They expect you to put the work in, otherwise thereâ€™d be no point in the tests.
A final point- The hardest part, I find, it that while itâ€™s going to take real idiocy to get Dâ€™s on things like Race and Diversity, it doesnâ€™t appear to be that easy to get an A. On a similar line- to those that have done this bit- can you give multiple examples per competency, or does it have to be just the one situation?
Now then- stuff Iâ€™ve noticed. This bit will be brief, mainly because I donâ€™t really notice anything, because I donâ€™t really do anything. Iâ€™m a student. â€˜Nuff said. Actually, the one thing Iâ€™d like to mention is the way that people will often say â€œI expect this will get -1â€™d, but Iâ€™m going to say it anywayâ€, or â€œYouâ€™re all going to neg me, but I donâ€™t careâ€, or similar. If you donâ€™t care, a) why say it? b) donâ€™t let people use the reputation system to change your opinions.
One of my favourite things that Iâ€™ve noticed is that people are more than happy to tell you that theyâ€™ve _1â€™d you, but will rarely tell you theyâ€™ve -1â€™d you. Why is this? It may be that theyâ€™re scared of being -1â€™d back? The MODs arenâ€™t stupid, theyâ€™ll pick up on this sharpish and will get it sorted, especially if you ask them to look into it. I love the rep. system personally, but I wish people would explain why theyâ€™re giving a +/-. I mean, if a child gets an answer wrong the teacher doesnâ€™t just mark them down, they explain where they went wrong, so they can have a better chance of being correct next time. This is the same with opinions- you have to explain, maybe even give evidence as to, why your opinion is right and why theirs is wrong, as opposed to â€˜it just isâ€™.
NB- Hi everyone, thanks for reading my blog, again Iâ€™d love some feedback on it. Any improvements you think I could/should make- too long, too short, more/less detail. What sort of things would you like to read about? How often would you like me to make a blog? Iâ€™m currently leaning towards fortnightly, but Iâ€™m more than willing to do a weekly blog if thatâ€™s what youâ€™d be interested in. I find that a lot of policing related blogs are fairly irregular. I expect a lot of people lose interest after a few blogs. Not me though, youâ€™re stuck with me now. Iâ€™ve got the bug ^^. On that note, I do spend quite a bit of time writing these and Iâ€™d really appreciate it if you spend a few moments leaving me a comment, maybe even rating the blog (5* would be lovely, but itâ€™s up to you), let me know how you feel about the things I discuss and letting other people know about the blog, especially if you think it would be of use to them.
Thanks very much,