Police Assessment & What’s Involved?

If you’re applying to become a police officer in the United Kingdom, then you’ll face a complex and difficult process. There are many hurdles the prospective police officer will have to face and there are a lot of written and physical exercises required before you can even be sure of entry on to the Police Assessment courses. Here at Talking Blues, our aim is to ensure that you get the best start and we’ll breakdown whats involved in getting entry to the Police Force in the UK.


When applying for the police you’ll be looking at one of two UK police assessment centres, there are regular and the new Police Assessment centres. We have a number of online assessment courses available to help you in numerous cities around the UK, you can view our one day assessment courses here.

So, with the new assessment courses replacing the SEARCH courses, what can you expect from the Regular UK Police Assessment Centres?

The Regular UK Police Assessment Centre

This is the most common assessment centre course which is now mostly competency based having dispensed with numeracy and verbal competency testing from the old SEARCH courses. However, these are what the Police Force are looking for in recruits, so do please read on and make notes as and where you need to. This will form the fundamental skills of what is required by a UK Police Officer.

1. Situational Judgement Test

What is a Situational Judgement Test (SJT) used in police applications? In summary, a SJT is an assessment of your ability to make decisions in situations similar to that you will face as a police officer.

In this test you will be given a number of written scenarios on a screen, your job is to choose which you think would be the best response to each situation from the available multiple choice answers. So, take your time on this one and think what will be the best response to each situation as your judgement here will play an important role in whether you would be suitable as a police officer.

Below is a link to a mock test online, you can go through these questions at your leisure and we highly recommend you take the time out to do this as much as possible to get your brain trained into how the Police will do things in the line of duty.

Mock Test Link – Click here

2. Competency Based Interview Techniques

This will cover everything around the following:

  • We are emotionally aware
  • We take ownership
  • We are collaborative
  • We deliver, support and inspire
  • We analyse critically
  • We are innovative and open minded
  • The four values are Impartiality, Integrity, Public Service, and Transparency

Its so important to understand these values and keep them in mind when your’e going through the Police Assessment.

3. Written Exercises

Contrary to popular belief that being a police officer is chasing suspects and action 24/7 there is actually a lot of written briefs required, statements and writing ability needs to be good to gain entry to the Police Force. You will need to give descriptions of a policing or community problem that you will need resolve and you’ll need time to prepare and think about this process when you provide your answers.

Written exercises are very important when it comes to the overall police assessment so be sure to make sure you spend time learning these processes, you can however spend some time learning online and get yourself familiarised with the CVF here 

written exercises for joining the police

When it comes to Police Assessments in the UK Police, you’ll find that more and more will be online, this will be more about the pre-assessment to get you through to the final recruitment courses and is a way of the Police filtering out recruits that won’t be suitable for the Police Force. So, going forward you can expect that there will be a humanistic approach and that after COVID lockdown we will see more of these assessments being held in a face to face environment like many of our police recruitment courses were before the COVID lockdown.

It is much more cost effective for the the police assessment companies to do this online and maybe in the future this will be the new norm with future face to face courses being held for successful applicants. Virtual Assessment centres will be a thing of the future now, so once you have passed the virtual stage, you’ll be able and more equipped mentally to tackle the face to face assessments in the real world of day to day policing in the UK.






New Format

From September 1st 2015, the format of the assessment has changed noticeably. The role play format remains the same. However, the interviews and report writing sections have changed.

The report section now consists of two different kinds of exercise. In the first, the candidate is shown a DVD of an incident or interview of some kind. They are then required to complete and “Incident report Form” detailing what has gone on, utilising the information they gained by watching the video. In the second report writing exercise, candidates are given some written information, and then have to extract information from that document to complete another “Incident report Form”.

The interview tests a number of competencies from the six defined as being required for the role of a [police constable. Candidates are asked four main questions. Two questions seek evidence from their past life experience of them having done certain things, such as working as part of a team, or challenging inappropriate behaviour. The remaining two questions explore their motivations and values with regards to the police service.

Lancashire Police

Our sources tell us that lancs police are issuing 500 forms to the first 500 applicants starting today. They have though reserved 100 forms for ethnic minority candidates. we believe that there are about 25 places, which means its safe to say will also have twenty per cent aimed at minorities. This means that for non ethnic groups you are chasing maybe 18 places. Time to get really stuck in on the process. Being good will not be enough here. You need to be exceptional.

We have put on a course on June 14th specifically for this campaign, which will be held at the Holiday Inn in Preston town center.

CKP Training

Talking Blues is the UK’s largest provider of assessment centre training courses for the police service. We are currently preparing to offer CKP training on a national basis. We therefore need someone to assist us with the college of policing approval process. This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to contribute to a growing business, offering a complete end to end service for those looking to join the service.

You may either wish to work for us on a contract basis gaining COP certification, or alternatively we are open to the right person or people perhaps taking a partnership in the business. If you just want to do the odd course to make a little extra money though, this is not for you. We want someone who is dedicated to creating a growing national business, through offering the highest quality courses on the market.

If you join us, you will be working harder than ever. the difference will be the rewards will be directly linked to your efforts. You will have as much of an interest in the service we offer our clients as we do.

If you just think you are interested, we are probably not for each other. If you can see the national potential, let’s talk.

Email our Training Director John McTaggart at john.mctaggart@talkingblues.co.uk for an informal chat.