Competition to join the police is fierce. To illustrate this, a police force recently advertised for 24 constable posts. Within the first few days, the force received over 3000 requests for police application forms. A total of 1,000 police application forms were sent out with a tight deadline for completion and submission.
Our of the 1000 people who sent in applications, only 150 were invited to the next stage of the police recruitment process meaning that 85% of the applicants failed to get an invite for the next stage of recruitment. The main reason why applicants fail at the application stage is because this stage is the point at which most applicants have to be sifted out of the police recruitment process.
If you’re serious about becoming a police officer, you must start preparing long before you receive your application form. A specific section on the police application asks you to give personal examples to four competency-based questions. This is the section of the application where most of the applicants are weeded out.
Passing the Police Application
To help you prepare for passing your police application, here are some useful tips. First of all, you should know that there are six core competencies you will be assessed against. However, the application normally assesses you against the following four:
- Service Delivery
- Decision Making
- Working with Others
The other two are:
- Serving the Public
- Openness to Change
To see the full definitions of each of these competencies, follow the link below. You will be assessed against the practitioner/constable set of competencies which are referred to as personal qualities.
You will also be assessed against written communication. This means it’s important to double-check your spelling and grammar for mistakes. If your application is not to an acceptable standard regarding legibility, grammar and spelling, the assessor will reject it without even marking the competency based questions.
Write down some personal examples of when you’ve displayed the character traits that each competency is looking for. These examples are usually work-related but do not have to be. They can also be examples from when you were getting your education or from a sport, hobby or a charity event you’ve been involved in.
It is important that your examples are specific and that you make it clear the role YOU played and why you contributed to the task, event or project.
The Police Application Workbook
For further practical help with your application, follow the guidance and exercises in the Pass Police Tests Application Workbook. This downloadable workbook provides you with instant access to useful online tutorials, tips and advice on how to maximise your chance of success. There is also a practice police application form you can complete and submit to Pass Police Tests wherein you will receive individual feedback.
The police application workbook is available here.