How our assessment day Course works

So, what can you expect when you come on a Talking Blues course? Our course lasts from 9.15 in the morning to 7pm in the evening. It is a long day – but think of it as your first police shift – and here is what you will get out of it.

The Overview

This section explains what exercises you will face on the assessment day and the importance of the welcome pack

The Role Plays

This is a hugely important section of the process. It is designed to test your ability to take responsibility, ask relevant questions and make decisions in a fair and impartial manner. Because of the number of role-plays this section represents a large chunk of the available marks on the day. It is also one of the most common areas that people fail on.

We spend a full half day firstly showing you how to utilise your five-minute preparation time effectively. By the end of the session, you will understand how to plan your meeting with the role actor in a concise manner, setting yourself up to score the maximum number of marks. Consequently, when doing the real thing, as your competition enter their scenarios floundering, you will have a prepared plan, split into the sections you need to address with the role actor, highlighting what issues and questions you need to raise and outlining what actions you may need to take.

The second part of the session covers the principles of dealing with the actual role-play itself. You will discover how to take control of the scenario, ask appropriate questions, offer solutions and make a suitable decision. Most importantly of all, you will understand how to evidence all of this to the assessor. You will also learn to avoid coming across as weak, indecisive, or lacking in basic policing skills.

Perhaps the most valuable part of the day is that every student prepares and acts as the candidate in two role-plays, with the role actor being an instructor, NOT a fellow student. You will also leave with a total of eighteen role-plays with full marking guides and role actor instructions, for you to practice at home. The course is structured so you will not see the same role play twice, and can use the role actor instructions for example, for later practice.

Writing a Proposal

The written proposal exercises tests your ability to absorb, collate and transfer information. It is designed to check many skills, of which spelling and grammar form only a small (but important) part. There are two types of written exercise involved in the assessment. The first involves the candidate watching a video clip of an interview with someone about an incident they have witnessed. On our course you will learn the basic principles involved in dealing with observing an interview (on electronic media), making notes of that interview, and then using those notes to complete an incident report. The second written exercise involves collating a number of pieces of information in order to complete an incident report form. Our course explains what these tests are looking for, techniques to use, gives practice exercises, and explains common errors.

Structured Interview

On your assessment day interview you will be given four questions and allowed five minutes to speak on them. In this section we will explain a technique to utilise your five minutes to the full. We will provide you with a logical way to give an evidenced answer, utilising good examples, showing the skills required. In this way, you will avoid becoming tongue tied or running out of things to say. We will examine what is effectively the marking guide and show you how to shape your answers in advance to meet the required competency areas. We will also discuss examples of students’ interview questions and answers, together with feedback. This session lasts approximately three hours. It also includes an input on diversity, ethics and integrity, which underpin the entire process. By the end of this, you will have a thorough understanding of the kinds of questions likely to come up, know how to be able to prepare a five-minute answer and be aware of how to tailor it to make sure you gain maximum marks.

Verbal And Numerical Reasoning Tests

Good as we are, we obviously cannot improve your IQ in one day. In fact, anyone who says they can is making false promises. In any event, we would struggle to fit it into our ten hour day! So whilst we do not provide tuition on the verbal and numerical reasoning tests, we do provide brief advice on how to practice and provide a few other handy hints. We will recommend books to practice with. We have too much important stuff to tell you to waste your time with something you can practice at home with a book!