What does the online assessment process involve?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the assessment process is currently being run online. The online assessment process will continue until at least March 2023 and we'll review this as the situation changes.

What does the online assessment involve?

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

Competency-Based Interview (CBI)

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: up to 40 mins

Find out more about the Competency-Based Interview

Written Exercise

The written exercise assesses you against some key competencies and values.

What happens:

In the written exercise, you will be asked to assume the role of a police constable and will need to complete an urgent written task for your line manager. You’ll be given four pieces of information to help you with this task.

How long: approx. 40 mins

Find out more about the Written Exercise

Briefing Exercise

In the briefing exercise, you’ll be given time to consider a specific issue and asked to give your response to a series of 12 questions.

How long: approx. 60 mins

Find out more about the Briefing Exercise.

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, desktop computer, tablet or mobile device with access to speakers, a microphone and a webcam or inbuilt camera. If you are using a mobile
    device or tablet, please download the ‘Outmatch Interview’ app from your device’s app store. Allow the Outmatch Interview app to access your device’s camera and audio.
  • 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.
  • On the date your online assessment process opens, you will receive one invitation email with three separate links, which will take you to each of the exercises. Please allow for the full day to receive your email invitation.

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?

You can find more information in the College of Policing's Online assessments process: Candidate FAQs.

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