In order to become a Police Officer, you will have to go through a really tough process. Along with various interviews, you’ll need to attend a national police assessment centre. At this assessment centre, you’ll be asked to complete a series of assessments. One of these assessments, is the Police Officer Assessment Centre Roleplay exercise. In this blog, we’ll give you all of the details on the preparation phase of this exercise.
What is the Police Assessment Centre Role play?
The police assessment centre role play requires you to role play, with another actor. You will play the part of someone in a position in authority, and the actor will be someone who has come to you to discuss a problem that they have been having.
Examples of the types of exercises that have been used in the past include the following:
- A manager of a store that is inside a fictitious retail centre wants to discuss an issue with you that relates to the lack of security.
- A customer who has been shopping at a fictitious retail centre wants to talk to you about a conversation they have had with another customer.
- A school teacher who has been visiting the retail centre would like to discuss an issue with you regarding his/her pupils.
- A member of staff who works at the fictitious retail centre would like to discuss an issue with you.
The situation that you will have to deal with, is for the most part irrelevant. What really matters, is the way in which you interact with the role play actor, and the things that you say.
How do you pass the role play?
In order to pass the police assessment centre role play, you will need to demonstrate the police officer core competencies. The roleplay actor will make this extremely difficult for you, challenging you at every turn and generally trying to throw you off. You must be able to remain calm and composed, and deal with the actor in a professional manner.
Examples of how you would achieve this include:
- Dealing with the role play actor in a sensitive and supportive manner;
- Having respect for people’s views and feelings;
- Seeing issues from others’ points of view;
- Asking relevant questions to clarify the situation;
- Listening to people’s needs and interests;
- Respecting confidentiality where appropriate;
- Presenting an appropriate image;
- Trying to sort out customers’ problems as soon as possible;
- Make reference to any supporting documentation, policies or procedures;
- Confirming that the customer is happy with your offered solution;
- Keeping customers updated on any progress that you make.
It is crucial that you learn the core competencies and are also able to demonstrate them during each exercise.
The Preparation Phase
The Police Assessment Centre Role Play will be split into two five-minute parts. The first part will consist of the preparation phase, and the second part will be the actual activity phase that you’ll be assessed against.
During the five-minute preparation phase, you will be provided with the actual scenario, either on a card or sheet of paper. You may also be provided with additional documentation that is relevant to the scenario that you’ll be required to deal with. You will be taken to a desk or a separate room, where you will have just five minutes in which to prepare for the activity phase.
During the preparation phase, you will be allowed to take notes and then use them during the activity phase. At the end of the activity phase you will normally be required to hand in your notes to the assessor. You will not be permitted to take any writing utensils into the activity phase. Learning the Welcome Pack prior to the day of the assessment will make life much easier for you.
The preparation phase will be fairly easy if you know your role as a customer services officer inside-out. Make sure you know the code of conduct, the equality policy statement, and all other relevant information that’s applicable to the role. Although the preparation phase is not assessable, you must still use the time wisely. This is how I recommend you use the time:
Quickly read the scenario and any supporting information/ documentation. If you have already studied the Welcome Pack prior to assessment your life will be a lot easier. Once you have studied the scenario and any additional information/ documentation you should then separate relevant information from irrelevant information, just like you did during the written report writing stage.
Write down brief notes as to what you think is relevant. You now need to cross match any relevant information from the scenario with procedures, policies and your responsibilities that are provided in the Welcome Pack. For example, if within the scenario it becomes apparent that somebody from the centre is being bullied or harassed, you will need to know, use and make reference to the equality policy statement during the activity phase of the assessment.
Another example would be where a child has been reported missing. If this was the case then you would possibly wish to make use of the security guards, the tannoy system and also the CCTV cameras that are based around the centre. I recommend that you write down a step-by-step approach, detailing what you intend to do during the activity phase. An example of this could be as follows:
- STEP 1. Introduce yourself to the police assessment centre role play actor and ask him/her how you can help them. Remember to be polite and respectful and treat the role play actor in a sensitive and supportive manner.
- STEP 2. Listen to them carefully and ask relevant questions to establish the facts. Such as How, When, Where, Why and Who.
- STEP 3. Clarify the information received to check you have understood exactly what has happened.
- STEP 4. Provide a suitable solution to the problem or situation and tell the role play actor what you intend to do. (Remember to use keywords and phrases from the core competencies)
- STEP 5. Check to confirm that the role play actor is happy with your solution.
Provide a final summary of what you intend to do and ask them if there is anything else you can help them with. (Tell the role actor that you will take personal responsibility for solving the problem and that you will keep them updated on progress)