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Passing the police officer selection process is no easy task. Many applicants are either ill-prepared, or they have very little understanding of the qualities, skills and experiences the police assessors are looking for in candidates.

If you want to become a police officer then it is vitally important that you take the time to learn and understand the core competencies that are relevant to the role. If you know and understand these then you will have a far greater chance of succeeding. The key is to always demonstrate the core competencies at every stage of the selection process.

The following sample responses are very good examples of how to complete the police officer application form:


Police officers must be capable of communicating effectively with lots of different people, both verbally and in writing.

Please explain a situation when you had to tell an individual or a group of people something that they may have found difficult or distressing. You will be assessed on how well you delivered the message and also on what you took into account when speaking to them.

PART 1 – Who were the people and what did you have to tell them?

“The people involved were my elderly next door neighbours. They had a cat that they had looked after for years and they were very fond of it. I had to inform them that their cat had just been run over by a car in the road.”

PART 2 – Why do you think they may have found the message difficult or distressing?

“I was fully aware of how much they loved their cat and I could understand that the message I was about to tell them would have been deeply distressing. They had cherished the cat for years and to suddenly lose it would have been a great shock to them.”

PART 3 – How did you deliver the message?

“To begin with I knocked at their door and ask calmly if I could come in to speak to them. Before I broke the news to them I made them a cup of tea and sat them down in a quiet room away from any distractions. I then carefully and sensitively told them that their cat had passed away following an accident in the road. At all times I took into account their feelings and I made sure I delivered the message sensitively and in a caring manner.”

PART 4 – Before you delivered your message, what did you take into account?

“I took into account where and when I was going to deliver the message. It was important to tell them in a quiet room away from any distractions so that they could grieve in peace. I also took into account the tone in which I delivered the message and I also made sure that I was sensitive to their feelings. I also made sure that I would be available to support them after I had broken the news.”

You will see in the above responses that the person has taken great care to be considerate towards the person they are speaking to. They have clearly tried to think of how a police officer would deal with this situation and they have always put the other person first.

Top tips for completing a successful police officer application

– Read the question carefully and make sure you answer every element of it.

– Read the core competency that is relevant to effective communication before providing a response to this question.

You may find on the police application form that some of the questions are based around different core competencies. If this is the case then simply apply the same process of trying to match the core competencies by using keywords and phrases in your responses.


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