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If you are thinking of applying to become a police officer, you are probably aware how challenging the recruitment system can be. For 19 years, Talking Blues has been  the largest specialist training provider of preparation courses to get you through your assessment, with a unique money back on the day quality guarantee. We run between 40 and 60 courses a year. We have been specifically commissioned to provide assessment preparation courses by five police forces, where they have sponsored BME candidates.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are currently two recruitment systems in use. Your first step in preparation is to identify which one you will take.

How to identify which assessment process you will face

Our courses are custom designed for each system, so you need to find out which system your force is using. The two systems are very different, and although there are commonalities, the courses we run are also different, and specific to the assessment centre type. Below we describe the two types. When you have identified which system you face, click on the assessment type box that you are interested in.

System One (Known as SEARCH)

This is the older system, currently used by most forces (with the exception of the Metropolitan Police. However, a few other forces are gradually switching to it). It can be identified by the following characteristics in the assessment itself.

  • You perform exercises in the role of a Customer Service Officer in the fictional  Westshire centre.
  • There are four five-minute role plays where you meet a single role actor in each one.
  • There is a twenty-minute structured interview.
  • There are two written exercises, one which involves watching a  video clip.
  • There are two IQ tests.

System Two (Known imaginatively as the “New Day One assessment”)

This is the new system, only used at present by a limited, but slowly growing number of forces. All forces will eventually switch onto this. It can be identified by the following characteristics:

  • You perform the exercises in the role of a police constable.
  • The exercises are guided and/or involve the use of tablets instead of paper.
  • You do two role plays, each lasting ten minutes, one where you meet one role actor, the other where you meet two role actors.
  • There is a twenty minute structured interview.
  • You will watch three video clips, and after doing so answer multiple choice questions based on what you have seen.
  • You will watch a video clip recording a situation involving a civilian and two police officers. You will then be asked questions about what happened and your views on courses of action.
  • You will be asked to complete a thirty-minute written exercise replying to a complaint by a member of the public, using different sources of written information supplied to you.
  • You will do a ten-minute exercise with a fellow candidate. In this exercise, one of you will be wearing a virtual reality headset whilst the other passes information to and from the other person.


Just wanted to say thanks to you and Graeme for a great day yesterday. I had just done a half day preparation session in force. Which anyone could attend, and was bit sceptical about paying to come on your course. I can honestly say though that whilst the half day just told me stuff I already knew, your techniques and methods of tackling the exercises were excellent.

I now feel much better about attending the assessment centre, all I have to do is put what you say into action!

Thanks again for a hugely informative day, and you and Graham are two funny guys!



Dear John,

I attended your Talking Blues course at the start of last month in addition to purchasing your book. I’m thrilled to say I passed the Assessment Centre shortly afterwards and got confirmation that I passed my force interview with Sussex Police yesterday! I cannot tell you how much of difference your course and book made and it was worth every penny of the fee plus the long trek to Hatfield.

To give you a bit of perspective, I am a Special Constable and of the four of us from my class that applied to become regulars, only I made it through I was the only one of us who attended your course. I have no doubt that the combination of your course and book provided me with the confidence and capability needed to pass both of these assessments.

Needless to say I have no hesitation in recommending your course to anyone looking to follow my path and, indeed, I have strongly recommended that one of my colleagues attends your course next time the window for officers opens down here.

So thank you again for your services – both attending your seminar and reading your book were an absolute pleasure.

Kind regards,


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