The New Police Officer (Police Special) Core Competencies

The New Police Officer (Police Special) Core Competencies

The National Police Improvement Agency has taken the step to update and improve the Police Officer core competencies so they are more in line with the work of the modern day police force. These same competencies also apply to the role of police special constable. 

Are you looking for the very latest POLICE OFFICER COMPETENCIES? If so, take a look at our New Police Officer Interview Questions, based on the new competencies.

2018 UPDATE: British Transport Police and the MET Police are now using these new core competencies.

The core competencies will replace the old ones with immediate effect and will be used during that national police selection process including the different elements of the assessment centre including:

–          Application form completion

–          Role play and interactive exercises

–          Written tests and written report writing

–          Numerical and verbal reasoning tests

–          Competency based interview

In this article we will explore the new competencies and how you can match them during the different stages of selection.

The new Police Competencies

The new core competencies for a police officer are as follows:

Serving the public

One of the fundamental roles of the police is to serve the public and respond to their needs. You will be required to build confidence in the public as communities are now far more diverse than ever. You will need to gather intelligence and work with different agencies such as the Local Authority, the Fire Service and other stakeholders to provide a great public service. During the selection process you must provide a really good service during the role plays and the written report writing. You may also get asked an interview questions that goes along the lines of:

“Can you give an example of when you have delivery excellent customer service to a member of the public?”

Openness to change

The police force has been changing for many years now and they want to recruit new officers who are open to change. You will have to find better and more cost-effective ways of working in the police force and be open to the changes that are implemented by senior officers. During the selection process you will have to answer questions based around your understanding of change and how it affects the force. This might be done during a police officer final interview if your chosen force decides to have one as part of the police selection process.

Service delivery

Effective service delivery is crucial to the police force. You will have to plan and organise your tasks to fit in with the police force’s main objectives and goals. During the assessment centre you will have to organise your actions in the role play and interactive scenarios in order to demonstrate that you have this key quality. An interview questions for the assessment centre might be:

“Can you give an example of when you have planned or organised an event to meet someone else’s requirements?”


Without doubt, this is one of the most important core competencies. The public expects its police officers to be professional at all times and uphold the principles of great service delivery. You will need to act with integrity and take ownership for resolving problems. In particular, during the police assessment centre role play scenarios you will have to act in a resilient manner and take action to solve any problems. You can demonstrate this by saying to the role play actor: “I can assure you that I will take personal responsibility for making things happen and I will act now in order to resolve this issue.”

Decision making

As a police officer you will have to gather information from a range of sources in order to allow you to make effective decisions. Before making a decision you will need to consider all of the facts of the case. During the report writing stage of the selection process you will have to read a summary of events in relation to the Westshire Centre and then come up with a written report solving the problem. Most candidates fail at this stage due to poor spelling and grammar. Make sure you practice these in the build-up to the assessment centre.

Working with others

Finally, as a police officer you will have to work with others as part of a team in order to solve problems. You will also have to offer support to your work colleagues and be flexible in your approach to tasks. Furthermore, you should be willing to work with anyone regardless of their age, sex, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. The police force needs to be diverse in nature if it is to provide an excellent service to the public.

To learn how to become a police officer you will need to demonstrate the core competencies at every stage.