Online assessment

What does the Police Now online assessment involve?

Police Now refuses to accept that where you’re born or where you live should affect your life chances.

We are committed to transforming communities and we are looking for a diverse range of exceptional graduates to join us to become leaders on the frontline of policing.

The right people for the job will come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They will also have the right attributes to be successful in a challenging and constantly changing environment. The online assessment has been designed to measure some of these key attributes that are important for success in the Police Now’s National Detective Programme.

It is split into two components:

1. A week on the Police Now National Detective Programme

Based around situations that you might experience in the role of a detective; you will be asked to provide responses in relation to several scenario-based questions. For some questions you will be presented with multiple choice answers and be asked to choose the most effective and least effective option. Other questions will require a typed response, and some require you to video your responses. We include both written and video responses in our online assessment so that applicants get an understanding of the various communication methods you’ll need to utilise on the programme and to immerse you in the role of a detective constable.

2. Personality assessment

The personality assessment contains a series of questions to help understand your preferred style at work.  The online assessment will take you, on average, between 60-90 minutes to complete. However, please take as long as you need, but you should complete the online assessment in one sitting.

Do you have any further questions or need some guidance and support? See below.

Online assessment format

What will the week on the Police Now National Detective Programme component involve?

Throughout this part of the assessment we will be asking questions that are designed to assess how well you are likely to perform as a detective on the Police Now National Detective Programme. 

The assessment has been developed by drawing upon real experiences and situations you are likely to face and takes you through events in a five-shift week of work in a busy station.

It will therefore give you a good insight into the hugely varied situations you might encounter in the role, and how these scenarios might link and unfold over time. 

While completing the questions you should imagine that you are on the National Detective Programme and have been in role for 12 weeks.

You will have the opportunity to complete a practice question.

Tary Kufa - National Detective Programme
Tary Kufa | Trainee Detective Constable

You will be asked to respond to questions in three different ways:

Scenario questions: you will be presented with a scenario and four possible courses of action. You must choose a “Most Effective” and “Least Effective” option relating to the scenario from the four statements provided. There is no time limit for responding to these questions.

Written responses: you will be presented with a scenario and asked to type your responses to the question in a text box, within a recommended word limit. There is no time limit for responding to these questions. Make sure to complete your responses before selecting “Next” as you will be unable to return to this page again.

Video responses: you will be presented with a scenario and asked to record yourself answering the question. You will have up to three minutes of preparation time and up to three minutes to record your answer.

You will have the opportunity to complete a practice question. This is designed to help you familiarise yourself with how to respond to the scenario questions and allows you to familiarise yourself with using the technology to video your response. The practice question is not scored.

What will the personality assessment involve?

The personality assessment is designed to explore your behavioural preferences, focusing on those aspects that we think are vital to being successful in the role.

You will be asked to work through a number of statements and to rate them in order of what is ‘Most Like Me’ to ‘Least Like Me’. You will have the opportunity to complete a practice question.

There is no perfect personality profile for these roles, but we are interested in the ways that you like to work and how that might fit with the demands of the programme and the role. Your preferences will be considered alongside the other information we are gathering about your skills and outlook.

Jacob Reeves
Jacob Reeves | Detective Constable

Tips for completing the personality assessment

Hints and tips for completing the online assessment

Tips for completing the week on the Police Now National Detective Programme component

Tips for completing a video response

How should I prepare for the video responses?

Part of the ‘week in the life’ will include recording responses to questions via a video. The content of the questions will relate to the scenarios presented and there is no preparation required beforehand. 

You will have up to three minutes to review the question and prepare your response, after which time the video will start recording automatically. Your recording can be up to three minutes, but if you would like to end your answer before the three minutes, you can click to submit your response. You will only be able to record your answer once. 

Before the assessment begins, you will have the opportunity to answer a practice question to ensure that your system is set up correctly and to familiarise yourself with the format.

Why is there a mixture of written and video responses in the online assessment?

We include both written and video responses in our online assessment so that applicants get an understanding of the various communication methods you’ll need to utilise on the programme and to immerse you in the role of a Trainee Detective Constable.

Online assessment FAQs

Why do we use the online assessment as part of the recruitment and selection process? 

We want you to experience what it is like to be as a Trainee Detective Constable. You should prepare to face situations like the ones presented to you in the online assessment as part of the role. This will also help you decide if the role is the right fit for you.

How long will the online assessment take?
The online assessment is likely to take between 60-90 minutes. We encourage people to go at their own pace but for the best results, we advise you to do it in one sitting.

How should I prepare for the online assessment?
When sitting down to start your online assessment, ensure you are in a quiet environment. Allow enough time to complete the online assessment in one sitting. Make sure you have completed comprehensive research into Police Now, the National Detective Programme and the role of a detective before you start. You can have your notes near you but try not to read from them completely.

Am I able to review my video responses before I submit?
You are able to review your video responses in the online assessment, however you are not able to re-record your video response. Therefore we advise you to ensure you have reviewed our technical guidance page before starting the assessment, to ensure your audio and video is functioning correctly.

Who should I contact if I have a technical issue?
We advise candidates to look at our technical guidance page before contacting us and try to resolve the issue. If you have tried these solutions and the issue is not fixed, we recommend getting in touch with a member of the team via our online assessment chatbot, which can be accessed on our website.

How long, on average, can I expect from application to offer?
Overall, the time can take between two to three months. This is highly dependent on how soon you fill out an application (which takes five working days to process), when you complete your online assessment (which takes ten working days to process), and the earliest date you can attend an assessment centre. It is also dependent on the volume of applications we receive which is typically very high for the National Detective Programme so delays may occur.

Technical guidance for the online assessment

Are you having technical issues completing the online assessment? Please see below for our technical guidance.

What browser should I use for the online assessment?

The online assessment is supported by all web browsers except Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11. Some candidates also experience problems with Safari and therefore we suggest using Google Chrome where possible.

I have reached a video response, but the video screen stays black and will not allow me to record and/or is displaying an error message of ‘waiting for hardware.’ What do I do? 

Please try the following options:

Technical issue checklist

Here are our quick fixes, which we find work in most instances, when facing technical difficulties:

Top tips for mobile or tablet users

Here are the top tips if you are using your mobile phone or tablet to complete the online assessment:

Further information and assistance

Do you need to chat to someone about the online assessment?

Our team will be happy to support you with any technical queries or guidance on completing the online assessment. You can contact us here.

What if I require any reasonable adjustments?
We do also have an alternative assessment, if your circumstances mean you are unable to complete the online assessment in the format currently provided. If you would like to discuss this alternative assessment provision, or if you have not made us aware of adjustments needed on the application form, please contact the team. We would be very happy to discuss this further with you and we will ensure we have the right measures in place to ensure you have a fair chance at doing well on a case-by-case basis.

What will happen afterwards?

We’ll be in touch again within two weeks to let you know the outcome and you will also receive feedback on your performance in the assessment at this time.


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Devon & Cornwall Police

Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary
cc-shaun-sawyer

Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

Cohorts: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled: 8

National Detective Programme

Cohorts: —— —— —— —— 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled:

Case studies: