Police Communications Ofﬁcer tests
Police Communication Ofﬁcers and 999 emergency call handlers have to deal with a wide range of callers, some of whom may be frightened, angry and distressed. If your application is successful, you’ll be asked to attend one of our assessment day tests where we will assess your ability to handle these types of calls and obtain the information our police ofﬁcers need.
The test that forms part of the assessment day is broken up into two parts as follows:
Test 1: Audio typing
For this test you will listen to a recorded 999 call and type up as much of the information you hear as possible. To pass the live test you will need to achieve an average typing speed of around 30 words per minute. You don’t need to type word for word but you must cover all the relevant and important information and everything you type must make sense – this includes correct use of spelling and grammar.
Test 2: Call handling role play
The next test on your assessment day is a role-play to determine how well you deal with a live-call situation. You will ﬁeld calls from assessment centre staff and be marked on how well you manage the call. This will include:
• Calming the caller if they are distressed;
• Questioning the caller about the incident to obtain and record important information;
• Ensuring you obtain and note the caller’s name, address and phone number.
These assessments are only designed to test if you have the potential to be a Communications Ofﬁcer. This is a highly skilled role and, if you’re successful, you’ll be given all the training you need to begin this challenging and rewarding career.
FOUR TIPS FOR HANDLING ROLE PLAY
To reduce anxiety about role play the following tips may help:
Focus on the scenario – What would you do if you were a Store Manager trying to calm down a distressed parent, for example? How would you deal with the parent by taking rapid steps to ﬁnd the lost child?
Be prepared to be ‘dropped in at the deep end’ – You may quite literally walk into a room and have the role thrust upon you with only a few minutes to prepare.
Be yourself – Respond as you would in any stressful situation. You will be constantly dealing with distressed members of the public in your new role so try and imagine you have actually been appointed to the job of Police Communications Ofﬁcer during your role play, particularly during the telephone tests.
Try and relax – Role play can give you more of an opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the position than other types of assessment such as competency interviews and psychometric tests. Make the most of it. Remember that every other candidate will be equally as nervous as you.