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Pre-application Questions for Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme

PART 1

Introduction

Being a police officer is not for everyone and joining as an operational manager will bring further challenges on top of this. Policing can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding but it is also a very rewarding career. Not only are we looking for adaptive and collective leaders from outside of policing, we are also looking for those able to meet the challenges of day-to-day policing. Because of this you need to ensure that you are right for this role.

Before applying you will need to be sure that you have the skills and abilities that the programme is looking for, the motivation and commitment to undertake the demanding programme and the necessary skills and resilience to take on the operationally critical role of inspector.

This tool helps you to identify whether this programme is for you. It explores your eligibility to join the police and assists you in deciding whether you are suitable for the Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme.

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PART 1

Introduction

This tool helps you to explore your suitability for the Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme and to make a reasonably informed decision about whether or not to submit an application.

It serves as a guide rather than a definitive statement about your suitability.

Before completing this tool you should read the overview of the role and typical tasks that inspectors perform to determine whether this is something you would be suited to.

There are two further parts to this questionnaire:

  • Part 2 covers the eligibility criteria for joining the Police Service and the Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme in particular. The eligibility criteria are an important aspect of the recruitment process so please consider them fully.
  • Part 3 is a questionnaire designed to give you a more in-depth feel for what it will be like to enter the Police Service as an operational inspector and to gauge your suitability for the programme.

It should take about 30 minutes of your time and you should do it in one sitting.

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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

There are specific eligibility criteria that you must comply with to join the police. However, please note that some forces may have additional eligibility requirements.

Please make sure you meet these criteria before submitting an application form. Answering the questions and from the information in this section will guide you with this.

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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Note that all questions relate to the time that you submit your application to join the police.

You will be informed, and sometimes presented with extra information, if your answer indicates that you do not or may not meet a requirement.

 Police Service application form
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Criminal convictions

Police forces need to be careful about recruiting people with cautions or convictions because:

  • The public is entitled to expect the police to recruit police officers with proven integrity
  • Convictions and cautions for certain offences can undermine a police constable's position as a witness in court
  • Officers with criminal associations may be vulnerable to disclosing information

Have you ever been convicted for any offence or had any formal cautions by police for any offence or any bind-overs imposed by any court?

  • No
  • Yes
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Nationality (1)

Are you a British citizen, a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein?

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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Nationality (2)

Are you a citizen of a country outside of the EEA and can prove that you have legal right of residence in the UK free of any restrictions (i.e. indefinite leave to remain without restriction)?

  • No
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Residency

The police need to ensure that adequate and satisfactory vetting is undertaken for all applicants. Police forces require a three year checkable history. This is due to difficulties often faced with gaining vetting checks from overseas, to the extent required for those who have been resident in the UK. This could mean candidates may need to have resided in the UK for a three year period prior to application.

Will you have resided continuously in the UK for the three year period immediately prior to your application to join the police service, with any absence from the UK being no more than six months during this time?

  • No
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Tattoos and facial piercings

Do you have any prominent and visible tattoos or facial piercings?

  • Yes
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Financial position

Police officers are in a privileged position with regard to access of information and could be considered potentially vulnerable to corruption.

Applicants to the Police Service should not, therefore, be under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly.

Have you been subject to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), had County Court judgments against you or been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts?

  • Yes
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Membership of BNP or similar organisations

Police officers should abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of their duties or which is likely to give rise to this impression amongst members of the public.

Are you a member of the British National Party (BNP), Combat 18, the National Front or any similar organisation?

  • Yes
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Politics

Do you take an active part in politics AND intend to continue these activities if successful with your application to become a police officer?

  • Yes
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Business interests

You must declare any other employment for hire or gain or any other business interests that you intend to maintain, when you apply to become a police officer.

A decision on whether you meet the eligibility criteria will be made on the basis of the full information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

Eyesight

Applicants must meet the police recruitment criteria for entry to their host force.

NB Work is under way to remove the current eyesight requirement for those entering directly at inspector rank. As such, it is anticipated that the required eyesight standards will be as summarised in the table below.

You may wish to seek advice on this from an eye specialist before submitting an application.

Distance vision with or without spectacles or contact lenses 6/12 or better with either eye

6/6 with both eyes together
Near vision with or without spectacles or contact lenses 6/9 with both eyes together
Colour vision The use of colour correcting lenses is not acceptable.

Monocromats are not accepted.
Eye surgery Radial keratotomy, arcuate keratotomy or corneal grafts are not accepted. Other forms of refractive surgery such as LASIK, LASEK, PRK, ICRS and epiflap are all acceptable provided that six weeks have elapsed since surgery, there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met.
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PART 2

Eligibility criteria

That concludes the section on eligibility criteria.

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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

This questionnaire is designed to give you an indication of your suitability for the demands of the role of an inspector and the Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme itself to help you decide whether to submit an application.

Your responses or results will not be seen by anyone other than yourself.

You should be open and honest in your responses to get the most out of the questionnaire.

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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Motivation and commitment

The Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme will require candidates to undertake a demanding development programme in order to allow you to be working effectively as an operational inspector upon programme completion. This will require a significant time commitment to undertake the study required for this and the motivation to develop your knowledge of policing. You will need to ensure you have the time and willingness to commit to such an intense programme before applying.

Do you have the motivation and commitment needed to be able to succeed in the programme?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Transferable leadership skills

The Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme is looking for exceptional individuals with proven leadership skills from outside of policing to lead operational teams and manage resources effectively in a policing environmentTherefore you do not need to have prior experience or knowledge around law enforcement to join the programme and you will be provided with extensive operational training and on-the-job support.

Will you be able to transfer your existing leadership skills to the policing context?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Success at middle manager level

Inspectors fulfil a critical operational role in the police service and ordinarily manage large teams of response and neighbourhood officers, as well as members of police staff. Inspectors often work as the senior officer on duty, required to autonomously manage significant resources, consistently delivering success. Therefore those entering policing through this programme will need to have the skills, abilities and experience to perform effectively in such a role.

Do you have a proven track record of delivering success as a manager?

No
Not sure
Yes
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Leading large departments

Do you have the skills, abilities and experience to autonomously lead large departments?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

New ways of thinking and diverse backgrounds

A key aspect of the Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme is to open up entry to the Police Service to individuals who will bring new perspectives and diverse backgrounds to support the continuous development of policing. This will require you to be a creative and innovative thinker able to bring learning from outside organisations of how things can work differently. Programme members will also be expected to challenge the existing culture and practices within policing to help bring about improvements.

Are you a creative and innovative thinker?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

New ways of thinking and diverse backgrounds

Are you able to take learning from other organisations and apply it to policing?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

New ways of thinking and diverse backgrounds

Are you prepared to think independently and ask why things are ‘done this way’?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

High pressure decision making

Inspectors in the Police Service are often required to make sense of ambiguous and complex intelligence and information before having to make difficult, time-pressured decisions that carry a very high risk to people’s safety. This requires resilience and an ability to stay calm under pressure.

Are you comfortable making high risk decisions, despite ambiguity and intense pressure?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Financial awareness

To enable the Police Service to continue to manage the impact of the on-going austerity measures, leaders within policing will need to be able to deal with the challenge of on-going budget reductions and apply this within their operational planning.

Are you confident in your business and financial skills and able to apply these in managerial decisions?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Leading organisational change and changing culture

The Police Service has been through unprecedented change over the last four years and further change is both required and in progress. As an operational leader within policing you will need to be able to identify and implement effective changes and to help lead staff through the challenges that this brings.

Those joining policing through the Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme will be expected to overcome internal resistance to help deliver transformational change and to demonstrate personal resilience in influencing others to be supportive of change.

Do you have the skills and abilities to help deliver significant organisational change initiatives?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Leading organisational change and changing culture

Do you have the self-confidence and personal resilience to overcome any cultural and personal resistance to change?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Working hours and travel

Working shifts will be a requirement of most inspector roles. You may also be required to work across your force area and attend residential training as part of the programme. Therefore, you will need to consider the impact that this will have on your family life and social activities.

Are you able and willing to work flexibly, to commit to working shifts associated with operational policing, working regular evenings/nights and weekends as part of a regular policing pattern?

No
Not sure
Yes
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Integrity and ethical practice

Police officers are required to act with the utmost integrity at all times and, as operational managers, inspectors will be responsible for setting standards across their command and dealing with misconduct or discipline issues when they arise.

Do you act with integrity in all circumstances?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Integrity and ethical practice

Are you comfortable setting high standards of behaviour and challenging the practices of others when these are not met?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Dealing with distressing and challenging situations

Inspectors often lead those that are first to respond to distressing incidents on a day-to-day basis and you can expect to be regularly exposed to such incidents. Not only will you be exposed to events that can be particularly distressing and shocking, you will also be expected to lead colleagues, manage resources and interact with the public during such times. You will therefore need to consider if you would be able to cope with exposure to such distressing situations whilst still acting rationally and compassionately.

For example, could you deal with a fatal road traffic incident and inform the family of the deceased in a sensitive and considerate manner? Or support your staff who are placing themselves in danger?

Do you have the emotional resilience and stability to deal with traumatic and distressing situations with compassion and a level head?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Acting with impartiality at all times

Police officers need to act with impartiality at all times. As an inspector you cannot take an active part in politics as all police officers need to ensure they can carry out their duties with impartiality and in such a way as not to bring any discredit to the police.

Are you able to act with impartiality in all circumstances?

Never
Sometimes
Always
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PART 3

Self-selection questionnaire

Feedback

Score

If you scored 75+
You may wish to consider whether you have the skills and qualities required to succeed at the Superintendents’ Programme. This is a much more senior role and will require candidates to have extensive senior management experience. If you feel the Superintendents’ role is not for you, you would very much be encouraged to continue with your application for the Inspectors’ programme.

If you scored 60-74
Thank you for completing the questionnaire. We hope you found it useful. You sound like you have the skills and abilities that the Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme is looking for and that you would enjoy the challenge of the programme and being an inspector. You would be encouraged to continue your application for the programme.

If you scored 33-59
Thank you for completing the questionnaire. We hope you found it useful. Not all of your preferences or answers match with what we are looking for in the Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme. We recommend you take some time to think carefully about whether this role is suited to you before deciding to apply. You may wish to do some further research on this website or go back and review the description of what a inspector does. If the Police Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme is not for you, you may still wish to consider a career in the Police Service and should refer to the application processes for alternative roles for more information.

If you scored 32 and below
Thank you for completing the questionnaire. We hope you found it useful. A number of your preferences and answers did not match what we are looking for the Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme. Therefore we would encourage you to reconsider whether this is the right role and programme for you at this time. Please take the time to familiarise yourself further with the role of an inspector and the demands of the Direct Entry (Inspector) Programme and think carefully about whether you are suited to this role and have the time and commitment required for the programme.

To find out more information about the programme visit the College of Policing.

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