How To Prepare For The National Police Officer Assessment Centre


Every year, thousands of candidates apply to the police force. Some will be successful, some won’t; but what really matters is that you are successful. The application process for the police force is designed to test candidates in a rigorous manner, in order to determine the very best candidates from a wide field of applicants. In order to give yourself the greatest chance of success, you need to maximize your preparation.

Using our top tips for success, you can pass the selection process, and begin a successful career with the police force.

What is the assessment centre?

The police officer assessment centre is designed to assess how suitable you are for employment with the police force. The majority of assessment centres are conducted over a five hour period, but this can vary depending on the force to which you are applying. The assessment centre is the second stage of the process, and involves a series of challenging exercises that will test your abilities. During the assessment centre, you will take:assessment centre police

  • A numerical ability test.
  • A verbal ability test.
  • A series of written exercises.
  • A series of interactive/role play exercises.
  • A competency based, structured interview.

Finally, you may be required to sit a final interview. This will normally take place after the assessment centre, and depends largely on the force to which you are applying.

As with any assessment centre, the key to success is preparation. Using our top ten tips, you can fully prepare, and ace the police officer assessment centre.


Top Tips for Assessment Centre Preparation


When you are preparing for the assessment centre, break down the learning requirements in order to make the process easier for yourself. Start by learning about the role of a police officer. Then, learn and understand the core competencies. Finally, make a huge effort to improve your written and numerical skills. You should spend significant time on the latter. Many applicants go into the assessment centre with very limited practice of the exercises they will be taking. With our help, you can be completely sure of what to expect.


One of the core competencies of working with the police force is to understand and demonstration your belief in equality. This is a crucial in today’s society. If you do not believe in equality and fairness, then you are almost certainly applying for the wrong position. Police officers are expected to set an example. During the assessment centre, your understanding of equality will be tested at multiple points, in particular during the interview and role play scenarios.


This is extremely important, particularly during the interview stages. The force that you are applying to join wants to know exactly what it is about them that attracts you. In order to provide a good response to this type of question, you will need to carry out some research. During the interview, it is guaranteed that you will be asked questions relating to your knowledge of the force. Researching your local force is extremely easy, as the majority have a website. Use this to find out exactly what they are doing to aid the community, in order to deliver the best service to the public.



This is absolutely fundamental. The core competencies of a police officer are the basis for the essential requirements of the role. They
determine how you should behave whilst performing the job, and outline the expectations of the force. When you are answering the assessment centre questions, you should be tailoring every single answer to incorporate as many of the core competencies as possible. Your assessors will be judging you against how well you have exhibited these competencies. You should be able to find a copy of these competencies in your application welcome pack, or on the website of the force you are applying to.


The more you practice, the more likely you are to be successful. There are numerous ways to practice for the assessment centre. Firstly, you should ask your friends and family to help you prepare. They can do this by acting out the role play exercises, and helping you to improve your communication skills and body language. Remember that the majority of candidates will only start preparing only a week or so before the assessment centre. The earlier you start practicing, the more practice you will get, and the more likely you will be to succeed.


As we have already mentioned, the more practice you do, the better your results will be. One of the best ways to practice is to use testing books and guides, which will give you an insight into the type of questions you will be expected to answer at the assessment centre. Here at How2Become, we have prepared a comprehensive and detailed guide on the entire police officer selection process. This book contains hundreds of testing examples, as well as a wealth of information on the other stages of the selection process. It is the ultimate guide on How To Become a Police Officer.