Tips for taking the online assessment

Due to ongoing social distancing measures, we’ve replaced our usual face-to-face assessment centres with a new online assessment process. This will be in place until the end of March 2022.

What does the online assessment involve?

The online assessment follows a three-stage process.  Find out what’s involved at each stage here.

Stage 1: Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

This assesses your judgement and decision-making abilities in situations you’re likely to face as a police officer.

How it works: You’ll be shown 12 scenarios, each with several potential responses. You click what you consider to be the most appropriate response before moving to the next question. Your answers are scored automatically.

How long: 30 mins – 2 hours

Find out more about the SJT.

Stage 2: Competency-based interview

This assesses how you’ve dealt with specific situations in the past. It’s designed to check you have the competencies and values that a police officer needs.

What happens: This is a video interview. Each question will appear on screen. You’ll have about a minute to prepare, then you’ll record and upload your answer.

How long: approx. 35 mins

Find out more about the competency interview

Stage 3: Written assessment and briefing exercises

The written exercise assesses you against some key competencies and values. In the briefing exercise, you’ll be given time to consider a specific issue and asked to give your response to a series of questions.

How long: approx. 1 – 1.5 hours

Find out more about the written and briefing exercises.

How does the online assessment work?

The College of Policing has developed a short video to explain how the online assessment platform works and what happens at each stage. Watch the video tutorial so you know what to expect.

Top tips to help you prepare

  • Read all the documentation your recruiting force sends you thoroughly.
  • Make sure you've got the technology you need set up – you’ll need a laptop or desktop computer with sound, microphone, webcam and Adobe Flash Player. If you’re using a tablet or mobile, you’ll need to download the ‘Launchpad video interview’ app from your device’s app store.
  • Make sure you’ve got a good wi-fi connection or use an Ethernet cable.
  • Familiarise yourself with the competencies and values every police officer needs – then think about experiences from your past that demonstrate you’ve got those competencies and values too.

Making reasonable adjustments

If you have a condition that you think should be taken into consideration in the online assessment process (for example, a disability such as dyslexia or an injury), contact the force you’re applying to. They may be able to make reasonable adjustments, such as giving you more time to complete the assessments.

Still have questions?

The College of Policing have produced a Candidate FAQs document for you to download. Go to their Online Assessment Process Overview page and look in the list of resources. 

Haven't applied yet?

If you’re still to fill in your application form, take a look at our top tips for a good application to help you stand out from the crowd. 

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