Online Police Application Process: What To Expect

The online police application process is pretty tough

Naturally, as the world around us becomes more and more technology dependent, the police are also turning to technology, as a means of delivering upon public expectation. This is why, over the past year or so, more and more forces have begun to use an online police application process. In this blog, we’ll explore the ramifications of this, the reasons for why the police are using this system, and the type of tests that you will face in the online police application process

Online Police Application Process: Why?

There are two main reasons for why the police service are turning to online recruitment. The first of these is that ultimately, it saves the police time and effort. By introducing an online recruitment system, they can filter out bad candidates even before the application form stage, making the assessors’ lives easier in the long run. As you can imagine, assessing application forms is a long and often tedious process. For the police, they quicker and more efficiently they can complete this, the better. The online police application process means fewer, but better quality, candidates make it through to the application form stage.

Secondly, with the requirements of police officers becoming more and more strenuous, it makes sense for the police service to introduce extra tests for potential candidates. The police can only gain by subjecting candidates to extra screening procedures, and this is a great way to guarantee that a strong field of hopefuls move forward to the next stages.

What type of questions will you need to take?

The type of test that you will need to take, could differ depending on the constabulary that you are applying to. That being said, there are a number of assessments which are used by many constabularies, following the same trend/type of questions. The tests that we’ve used below are indicative of the type used by the majority of constabularies. Please be aware however that not all constabularies will use these assessments, and some constabularies may have their own specially designed system.

the online police application process tests candidates very early

Job Preview Assessment

The first test that you might have to take in the online police application process, is the job preview assessment. This is a questionnaire, which requires you to give open and honest answers to a variety of situational type questions. The idea of this type of test is to give you a better idea of what it’s like to work as a police officer, and how well you respond to the situations which you are likely to encounter on the job. At the end of the assessment, you’ll be given a rating based on your suitability for working in the police. Following this, it will then be your decision to decide whether you continue with the application form. The police generally don’t score you on this test, as it is done more to give you an indication of whether this is the right job for you.

A typical question in this test might be something like:

Police officers are generally required to work in shifts. In conjunction with the training and extra work that you will need to do, this could have an impact on your social and family life. For this reason, police officers must be able to work flexibly, sometimes carrying out night and weekends shifts, in order to fulfil the obligations of a regular policing pattern.

If you believe that all of the above is something that you can deal with whilst on the job, answer yes. If not, answer no.

Yes / No

If you answered yes to the above question, then that will contribute towards a higher rating, where you are more likely to be told that you are suitable for the role; at the end of the test. On the other hand, if you answer no, you’ll be more likely to receive a lower score; and told that you aren’t suitable for the role.

Behavioural Assessment

The next type of test in the online police application process that you could be asked to take, is the behavioural questionnaire. In this assessment, you will be provided with a number of statements. In order to answer, you will need to move a pointer along a sliding scale, with the furthest end saying ‘completely agree’ and the other end saying ‘completely disagree’. Again, these questions will be line with the police expectations. Unlike the previous test, you will be scored on this, and will receive a pass/fail mark at the end. A typical question might look something like this:


Police Officers must operate without discrimination at all times. They must treat everyone fairly, and with equal levels of respect and politeness. Every member of the public deserves the same level of treatment, and to be dealt with without bias or discrimination.

Completely Agree – Somewhat Agree – Somewhat Disagree – Completely Disagree

The best answer here is ‘completely agree’, as this is in line with the core police expectations.

the online police application process is being used by more and more constabularies

Situational Judgement Test

The final test in the online police application process will be a situational judgement assessment, where you be required to answer various questions, testing you on your choices in police related situations. You will be asked to identify whether each action is effective or counterproductive. Once again, this is a pass or fail stage, and you will need to pass to progress.
Here’s a sample of a typical question that you might find in this assessment:

You are out on patrol in the local neighbourhood, when a woman approaches you and your colleague. She is extremely angry, and using vulgar language.

Woman: ‘Police scum. You can’t trust Old Bill, all they do is cover up. When my house was burgled, the police did nothing! You two are good for nothing, waste of space.’

1. ‘Madam, your comments are totally unacceptable. Unless you have a real complaint, go away.’
Efficient / Fairly Efficient / Inefficient / Counterproductive

2. Ignore her. She’ll go away eventually.
Efficient / Fairly Efficient / Inefficient / Counterproductive

3. ‘Excuse me, Madam, I will ask you to retract your comments. Language like that is not acceptable, and if you continue, we will have to detain you.’
Efficient / Fairly Efficient / Inefficient / Counterproductive

4. ‘I’m sorry for the trouble that we have caused you. We’ll do better next time to deal with your problems.’
Efficient / Fairly Efficient / Inefficient / Counterproductive

Answers

1. ‘Madam, your comments are totally unacceptable. Unless you have a real complaint, go away.’
Answer: Fairly Efficient
Explanation: This is a fairly efficient response. You are dismissing the woman’s comments, and making it clear that they are unacceptable.

2. Ignore her. She’ll go away eventually.
Answer: Inefficient
Explanation: This is an inefficient response. The woman is verbally abusing officers of the law, and making unfounded accusations. At the very least, she needs to be made clear that what she is saying is wrong.

3. ‘Excuse me, Madam, I will ask you to retract your comments. Language like that is not acceptable, and if you continue, we will have to detain you.’
Answer: Efficient
Explanation: This is an efficient response, as you are clearly telling the woman that her behaviour is unacceptable, and providing her with a serious warning.

4. ‘I’m sorry for the trouble that we have caused you. We’ll do better next time to deal with your problems.’
Answer: Counterproductive.
Explanation: This is counterproductive, as you are simply accepting the unfounded

to pass the online police application process, you'll need to demonstrate the competencies

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