Recruitment process | Detailed information
WHAT TO EXPECT THROUGHOUT THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS
Eligibility Questions, National Sift and Application form
The first step will be an online application process which includes some eligibility ‘killer questions’. If you pass this stage you will be required to complete two online tests. If successful, you will then complete the online application form.
You will receive one invitation email with a link which takes you to the national sift platform which you will need to register your details.
There are 2 tests that every applicant must complete (regardless of qualifications), these are a Situational Judgement Test and a Behavioural Style Questionnaire. Both must be passed in order to continue to the next stage of the process:
Behavioural Styles Questionnaire (BSQ)
The Police Behavioural Styles Questionnaire measures your typical behaviour and preferences at work. The purpose of the questionnaire is to assess whether you have the right behaviours and attitudes to be effective in the role.
You will be presented with 80 statements regarding your typical behaviour and preferences at work. You will need to indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each statement.
Depending on your responses, you may also be asked to rank particular statements in terms of how well they describe your typical behaviour at work. There is no time limit, but it should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire. The test does not require any specialist knowledge to complete.
This exercise is untimed. However, this is expected to take approximately 20 minutes.
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
The Police Situational Judgment Test assesses your judgement and decision-making skills in relation to job-relevant situations. In the test you will be presented with 15 scenarios, which police constables may face in their role. For each scenario, you will be given four actions. You will need to rate the effectiveness of each action in addressing the scenario.
The test does not require any specialist knowledge to complete. Your responses should be based solely on the information presented in each scenario.
This exercise is untimed. However, this is expected to take approximately 30 minutes.
Visit the College of Policing website for further information on the 'Sift and online assessment process'
Transferred National Sift Scores
We are able to accept national sift scores providing you meet the following requirements:
- National sift score is a pass, this must have been completed within the last 12 months from the date of submission of your application.
- You will need to provide proof of your score (either confirmation from another force or College of Policing) and submit it to us with your online application form.
The national recruitment process does not allow applicants to take more than one national sift in any three-month period.
If you are successful pass the National Sift process you will be invited to complete the online application form.
If you have any tattoos, please ensure you enclose a photograph of them as per the application form guidelines.
You will be required to upload and attach your relevant Degree Certificate before you submit your application. If you do not have a copy of this you will need to obtain one from the appropriate educational establishment. Please check you meet the qualifications requirements prior to applying as this will not be checked until you have attended the national interview.
National Online Assessment (we're accepting score transfers)
If successful at the national sift and online application form, you will be invited to attend a National Online Assessment. Candidates are required to undertake a variety of exercises, which will be Competency and Values Framework (CVF):
- Competency-based structure interview
- Written exercise and briefing exercise
Note: You will not be able to submit an application if you have attended the SEARCH assessment centre within the previous three months from today's date.
Transferred scores - SEARCH Assessment Centre
We are able to accept transferred scores providing you meet the following requirements:
- assessment centre – score a pass and mark of 50% or above, this must have been completed within the last 12 months from the date of submission of your application.
- the transfer of scores can still apply if your application is in process with another force.
You will need to provide proof of your score (either confirmation from another force or College of Policing) and submit it to us with your online application form.
If you have been declined at any other stage of the national process, for example national criteria, Competency Based Questionnaire (CBQ), assessment centre, medical, fitness and vetting you will not be able to transfer your score.
Applicants transferring scores should be aware of the following:
- if you are transferring your assessment centre score you will be required to attend and pass the force interview
- the national recruitment process does not allow applicants to take more than one SEARCH assessment Centre in any three-month period
For more information, visit the College of Policing website
National Force interview and presentation
If successful at the online assessment centre, you will be invited to deliver a 10-minute presentation which will also include a 10-minute Questions & Answers session and the national force interview with our senior managers. You will be provided with further details nearer the time, so you are able to prepare.
You will need to bring with you original level 6 certificate or equivalent, exam slips or letters from the relevant educational establishment as proof of your qualification that you have successfully attained at the time of your application.
If you are successful at the National Interview assessment, you will receive a letter stating that you will be appointed, subject to satisfactorily passing vetting checks, media checks, finance checks, references, medical and fitness tests. Once you have successfully completed all pre-employment checks you will receive an offer of appointment, conditions of service, starter pack and joining instructions.
During the application and selection process we will be assessing your mental and physical fitness to undertake the role.
The Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT) looks to see whether you are fit for the job and are ready for Officer Safety Training, where you learn to protect yourself and others. You will be required to undertake:
- a running test (known as a multi-stage shuttle run or bleep test) to level 5:4
TO PASS - improve your fitness before your medical. For the bleep test, aim for a hard run for 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week.
A medical assessment will generally be carried out by our Occupational Health Team. They will check the following:
- eyesight test
- colour vision
- lung function
We do not carry out a Body Mass Index (BMI) check as part of the application process. However, please bear in mind that as part of the Occupational Health Assessment, BMI may be considered if there are other medical concerns.
You will be asked to complete a confidential medical history questionnaire. Depending on your medical history, we may have to contact your GP/specialist for further information.
Once you have been declared medically fit we will progress your application to the next stage.
We send reference requests to your current employer and all previous employers in the last three years. If you haven't been employed for three years, we will ask for a character reference or an educational reference.
The force has a strict absence policy set of criteria of no more than nine and/or more than three separate occasions of sickness absence in the previous 12 months.
The vetting process is entirely confidential and the outcomes (other than pass/fail) are not shared with anyone else in the organisation (including future line managers or fellow trainees) or anyone outside of the organisation (including family).
We will carry out security checks on you and your:
- stepfather/mother's partner
- stepmother/father's partner
- brothers/sisters (full/half/step)
- children/children of your partner (only those aged 10 years and over)
- any other adult living at your address
Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because police officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.
Applicants with outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application. At least three years will need to have passed since the date of discharge.
Applicants with cautions/convictions/reprimands, other than some motoring offences, may not be accepted.
We will need to take fingerprints and DNA samples to carry out some final vetting checks against the national police database.
As part of our pre-employment checks, we undertake drug screening. This is conducted by an external company called Abbott. The process involves samples of hair being collected and analysed to determine whether any of the following six core substances are present:
- Cannabinoids (cannabis)
- Amphetamines (including ecstasy)
- Opiates (e.g. morphine and heroin)
Before this you will be required to complete a consent form to confirm that:
- you consent to the screening taking place
- you accept that a positive screening will be recorded on your medical file (if applicable)
- you have declared if you have taken any medicines within the period relevant to the history
- you understand that a positive result could affect a successful application.