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Police Online Assessment Centre (How to Pass)

How is the Police Online Assessment Structured?

The police online assessment process comprises of four exercises:

  • Situational judgement test (SJT)
  • Competency-based video interview
  • Written exercise
  • Briefing exercise

What Competencies are Assessed?

The Competencies and Values Framework (CVF) includes the following six competencies:

  • Emotionally aware
  • Innovative and open-minded
  • Analyse critically
  • Deliver, support, and inspire
  • Collaborative
  • Take ownership

And the following four values:

  • Transparency
  • Integrity
  • Public service
  • Impartiality

Police constables are assessed against Level 1 of the CVF.

Overview of the Police Selection Process

  1. Register interest with a police force
  2. Submit Application Form and Undertake Eligibility Checks
    Some forces may include sifting exercises such as a behavioural styles questionnaire or situational judgement test at this stage.
  3. Stage 1: Situational Judgement Test
    If the police force you have applied to used their own SJT sifting test candidates will be not be required to complete stage 1 and will go straight to stage 2.
  1. Stage 2: Competency-Based Video Interview
  2. Stage 3: Written Exercise & Briefing Exercise
    The stage 3 exercises will not be carried out at the same time. You must first complete the written exercise, you will then receive an invitation to complete the briefing exercise.
  1. Force Interview (Final Interview)
    Not all police forces require candidates to sit a final interview.
  2. Job fitness test, biometric vetting, & drugs testing

The Online Assessment Process Breakdown

Stage 1 – Situational Judgement Test


The police situational judgement test consists of twelve scenarios, each with four potential answers. 

You must select one answer for each scenario which best reflects how you would respond.

All of the questions will be based on scenarios you can expect to face as a police constable but you will not need any prior technical knowledge to complete the test.

Test Length:

12 questions to answer within 120 minutes.

Sample Police SJT Question

This question is for demonstration purposes and is not representative of the real test, instead it is intended to give you an idea of what to expect with SJT questions.

It’s Friday afternoon and you are attending the scene of a road traffic accident. A young man on a motorcycle has collided with a car and is being airlifted to a specialist hospital. The man’s mother is at the scene and she tells you that her son is a promising young footballer and has a trial with a national team next week.

The paramedics on scene have advised you that the man has suffered serious ligament damage in his knee and have asked you to relay this information to the mother.

What do you do:

  1. Ask the paramedics to tell the mother, they have more medical knowledge than you and are better equipped to explain the injury and consequences.
  2. Tell the man’s mother he may not be able to attend his trial but ensure her that the medical personnel will keep her up-to-date with any developments.
  3. Explain to the mother that there is ligament damage to her son’s knee which will likely result in the end of his football career.
  4. Gently disclose the type of injury to the mother but do not mention any impact this may have on his life or career.

Sample SJT Suggested Answer

4. Gently disclose the type of injury to the mother but do not mention any impact this may have on his life or career.

This is the most suitable course of action because you do not have the medical training to discuss the man’s prognosis beyond the details provided by the paramedics.

Stage 2 – Video Interview (Competency-Based)


You will be presented with 5 competency-based questions which you must answer verbally using a webcam and microphone.

Each question is posed one at a time, you will have 1 minute to read/listen to the question and prepare your answer. You will then have 5 minute per question to present your answer.

You cannot rerecord any of your answers once the 5-minute window has begun.

Interview Length:

The interview will last up to 30-minutes.

You will have 1 minute to view the question followed by 5 minutes to provide your answer.

Competencies and Values Assessed:

  • Innovative and Open-mindedness 
  • Taking Ownership
  • Public Service
  • Transparency
  • Integrity

Sample Police Interview Question

Tell us about a time when you have taken responsibility for resolving a difficult problem.

How To Answer:

This question relates to the competency ‘taking ownership’. Specifically, the assessor wants to know of a time when you’ve taken ownership for resolving a problem or situation.

Sample Police Interview Question Suggested Answer

“Whilst working in my previous role as part of the culinary team at a restaurant, we encountered a very difficult situation. The team were in the middle of a busy lunchtime shift, when the head chef suddenly slipped over and badly damaged his leg. It was immediately apparent to everyone that he would not be able to continue, and he was quickly escorted to the nearest hospital.

Once the head chef had gone, the rest of the team began to panic. We had never been in a situation like this before, and for a brief moment the team was completely leaderless. Nobody knew what to do. Recognising that if we did not get a hold of ourselves, the situation would get much worse (since we had several orders already outstanding!) I quickly took control of the situation. As the most experienced member of the team remaining, I informed the team that I would take over as the head chef for this evening’s shift, and that we could then reassess the situation in the morning.

I quickly set up, assigning people to appropriate stations, and selecting an adequate replacement for my previous position. Then, we got to work! I will admit that at first it was very difficult for me. Having never worked as head chef, I initially felt a little overwhelmed, but quickly got to grips with the task at hand and started issuing instructions. Not only did I want to achieve a good result for the team, but I also wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of succeeding in this role. Every chef dreams of becoming a head chef, and at that time I was no exception.

Ultimately, we passed this difficult test with flying colours, and even received a number of compliments from customers about the quality of the food. The next morning, we reconvened to discuss the situation. It was determined that the head chef would be out for another three or four days at least, and therefore the role was offered to me on a temporary basis – which I of course accepted.

I feel that my actions prevented the restaurant from going into meltdown. Without my quick thinking, and taking responsibility, things could have been much worse. Instead, they turned out really well, and everyone was pleased with the outcome.”

Stage 3a – Written Exercise


You will undertake the role of a police constable who is required to complete an urgent written task for your direct manager.

This task will focus on an issue in the local community.

You will be provided four sets of information (such as a letter or email from a member of the public) that you can use to help form your written report.

Exercise Length:

The total test time will last approximately 40 minutes.

Within this time, you will need to read all of the provided supporting information and complete the exercise.  

How to Take the Test:

You will need a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet with a good internet connection.

At the end of the exercise, you are required to use your webcam and microphone to record your name to verify your identity.

Competencies and Values Assessed:

  • Analyse critically
  • Deliver, support, & inspire
  • Collaborative
  • Taking ownership
  • Impartiality

Stage 3b – Briefing Exercise


You will undertake the role of a police constable who is presented with a scenario in which you are required to handle a series of issues.

You will be asked a set of questions relating to the issues raised in the scenario.

Exercise Length:

The briefing exercise will last for a maximum of 46 minutes.

  • 10 minutes to read the initial information provided and consider how you will answer the first 4 questions.
  • 12 minutes to answer the 4 questions relating to the information provided.
  • 12 minutes to read new information and answer 4 more questions.
  • 12 minutes to read new information and answer 4 more questions.

How to Take the Test:

You will need a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet with a good internet connection.

Candidates are recorded during the 10-minute preparation stage at the beginning of this exercise to ensure exam integrity, but you will not be assessed in these 10 minutes. Do not provide your answers until the next stage of this exercise.

Competencies and Values Assessed:

  • Emotionally aware
  • Innovative & open-minded
  • Taking ownership
  • Public service

Force Specific Guidance:

What Next?

Is Policing For Me?

Can I Join the Police?

How to Apply?

Recruitment Process

Police Competencies

Force-Specific Guides

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