Becoming a police officer is not as simple as many people think. There are 5 selection stages to complete in including:
an application form, online sifting situational judgement tests, an assessment centre day which involves role play exercises, written report writing tests, numerical reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests, the bleep multi-stage fitness test, a competency-based interview, a final interview, a medical and 6 core competencies to fully learn that you’ll be assessed on throughout the selection process! Sounds daunting? You wouldn’t be wrong for thinking so.
Each year roughly 65,000 people apply to join the UK’s police, of which on 7,000 are successful.
To help you better understand the entire police selection process we have created a very useful infographic (beware it’s a big one!) that covers every stage you need to know and prepare for.
You can view the infographic below or alternatively download and share your own copy of the Become a UK Police Officer: Selection Process [Infographic].
Become a UK Police Officer: Selection Process [Infographic]
Download the infographic here: Become a UK Police Officer: Selection Process [Infographic] PNG (10mb)
BECOME A UK POLICE OFFICER SELECTION PROCESS
Do you have what it takes to become a police officer? Joining the police force is extremely tough, and that is why you need to fully prepare yourself for a vigorous selection process.
- Around 65,000 Apply each year to become a police officer.
- Only 7,000 successfully become UK police officers.
THE POLICE OFFICER SELECTION PROCESS is not easy to pass, unless of course, you spend a decent amount of time preparing. Your preparation must be tailored to each part of the selection process. This resource will teach you how to be a successful candidate, and learn all the information you need to know regarding how to become a UK police officer.
Police Selection PASS THE PROCESS
STAGE 1 APPLICATION FORM
The first stage you need to pass is the police officer application form.
STAGE 2 ASSESSMENT CENTRE
Next, you need to pass ALL of the assessments held at the assessment centre!
STAGE 3 INTERVIEW
The third stage is an interview. You need to be successful to continue your police journey!
STAGE 4 MEDICAL / FITNESS
You need to pass all of the medical checks and fitness assessments!
STAGE 5 TRAINING
Congratulations! You have now made it to your police training!
Police Officer CORE COMPETENCIES
- SERVING THE PUBLIC
- OPENNESS TO CHANGE
- SERVICE DELIVERY
- WORKING WITH OTHERS
- DECISION MAKING
THE CORE COMPETENCIES ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE PROCESS
The police officer core competencies form the fundamental requirements of the role. They identify how you should perform and they are key to the role of a police officer.
When completing each stage of the application process, you need to base your answers around the core competencies. The most effective way to achieve this is to use “keywords and phrases”.
SERVING THE PUBLIC
Build a rapport with the public, ensuring that their safety needs are met. Your aim is to provide great public service, whilst adhering to police policies.
OPENNESS TO CHANGE
You will have to ensure that your methods and knowledge are kept up to date. You need to be comfortable with openness to change.
You need to provide an effective service to the general public.
The public expects great things from the public. You need to maintain high levels of
professionalism and integrity.
You need to be comfortable with making difficult decisions. You are expected to think on your feet, and make a suitable decision.
WORKING WITH OTHERS
As a police officer, you need to be able to work with a range of different people whilst maintaining fairness. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.
The application form is the first stage for becoming a police officer. Your application has to be successful if you wish to continue with the application process.
Remember, the responses to the questions on the application form must relate back to the police core competencies.
Ensure your application stands out from the thousands of other applications!
The application form is like any other job application form – it assesses whether you are suitable for the job role, and whether you watch the needs to the employers.
Not only will the application form ask for personal details, but will also contain competency-based questions which assesses your reasoning for applying for role. This is where the core competencies come in to play!
75% OF CANDIDATES FAIL THE APPLICATION FORM!
The application form will include:
- Personal information
- employment history
- Education and skills
- 10 competency-based questions!
Below we have provided 8 top tips that you should think about when it comes to the police officer application form.
READ THE APPLICATION
Make sure that you read through the application form at least twice before filling it in. This will ensure that you have read and understood everything before attempting to answer the questions. Also read through any guidance notes you may have been provided.
You need to have profound knowledge regarding the police core competencies. Make sure you know these BEFORE filling in your application form. Remember, your responses need to demonstrate these competencies, so you need to be clear about what they are and how you can apply them to the questions.
BASE YOUR RESPONSES ON EXPERIENCES
Base your responses on real-life experiences. These experiences can be taken from personal or work life. By basing your responses on real-life events, it will make sure that you don’t trip yourself up if you are asked to attend an interview.
Even if you don’t have any viable experiences to base your responses on, you should NEVER lie on your application form. You may think you will get away with it; but if you are caught lying, your application will most likely be rejected.
The police department want to know what YOU said or did on a given occasion when handling a situation. It’s therefore important that the examples you provide are your OWN experiences. This will also allow you to go into as much detail as necessary.
GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION AND SPELLING
You need to pay attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling. The application form you are submitting is heading off to a professional, and therefore careless mistakes will not be tolerated. This is a formal application!
CLEAR AND FOCUSED RESPONSES
You need to write clearly and concisely. They expect your answers to be focused, succinct, and fluently written, as any police report or document would need to be. This means writing in complete sentences rather than notes or bullet points.
PROOFREAD AND SEND VIA RECORDED DELIVERY
Proofread your own work before sending it off. Better yet, get someone else to read over your application form in order to look out for any errors. Once you are happy, be sure to send your application via recorded delivery. This will prevent your form going missing in the post, which happens more times than you think!
STAGE 2 ASSESSMENT CENTRE
– NUMERICAL REASONING
– VERBAL REASONING
– ROLE PLAY EXERCISES
– REPORT WRITING
STAGE 3 INTERVIEW TRAINING
Preparation is key!
Know what you are going to say!
Relate back to the police competencies throughout!
STAGE 4 MEDICAL / FITNESS TESTS
WHY DO YOU NEED TO SIT A FITNESS TEST?
Police officers are required to have a good level of fitness in order to maintain their role competently.
WHAT DOES THE TEST CONSIST OF?
There are two tests to pass in regards to the fitness assessment – the dynamic strength test and the endurance test (also known as the bleep test).
PREPARING FOR THE FITNESS TEST
Although the test does not require fitness levels of an Olympian, you still need to show a moderate level of fitness. The more you practice beforehand, the more likely you are to pass this stage of the application process.
For preparation resources for the police officer fitness test: GET POLICE FIT!
Do you have what it takes to become a UK police officer? Joining the police force is extremely tough, and that is why you need to fully prepare yourself for a vigorous selection process.
Hopefully this infographic has helped you to understand the police officer selection process. We have loads of police officer resources to help prepare you for each stage of the process including the police officer application form, the police officer assessment centre, and the police officer interview! Take a look at our entire list of careers guidance.
Download the PNG infographic image here: Become a UK Police Officer: Selection Process [Infographic] PNG (10mb)