Preparing to apply

What is the force looking for in applicants?

The force uses role profiles for our vacancies as the basis of the recruitment process. The role profile helps to inform potential applicants the job title, the tasks involved the job, entry qualifications/skills/experience and also the areas of personal qualities’ that we are hoping our staff would have. Please see an example staff role profile (make this a link to the RP – BSA plse), also the basic level personal qualities for a member of staff (link to level 1 PPF)

For probationer police officers the force looks more for the personal qualities in applicants. Currently Cambridgeshire Constabulary is not requiring any qualifications (A levels/GCSE/Certificate in Knowledge of Policing/or equivalent) at application. However we do require a full UK manual driving licence. We will accept applications if you have a provisional licence while you obtain your full licence.

Technology is very much part of a police officer’s day to day role and as such we need applicants who are competent in mobile phones, slates, laptops - the most current and interactive electronic devices, but along with that strong communication skills in English language. The non-verbal (spelling and grammar) and also verbal communication.

The application form

In order to prepare for completing an application either the staff or officer – it is suggested that you start the process early on a Word document – that way you can save your work, revisit easily, check spelling and grammar, as well as ask others to review it for you.

Start by looking at the personal qualities and think about work/personal/social experiences that you have had and write these experiences down.

Do they demonstrate your role? They don’t need to be security based but you do need to make sure that you are focusing on your role and experiences, not a teams, (’I’ not ’we’), and you are looking at what words are used as descriptors for the personal qualities.

For example when thinking about communication – who is the audience that you are giving the message to, how do you make sure that the audience understood the message; did you need to give the message in different formats, verbal, PowerPoint, handouts, demonstration? Will there be questions/answers after? If it was a training session – feedback on your performance? Learning points for you to take forward.

Remember do your examples in a word document – so that you can save it, check it over and spell check it before cutting and pasting into the application form.

Start early on your application form. Don’t leave it till the last few days, if you have a problem at the weekend there may not be anyone to help resolve it before the deadline.

The force is looking for applicants who can potentially deal with challenging situations/people and make quick, sensible, appropriate, safe decisions, and can ensure the safety of the public, colleagues and self at all times.

The application form is different for staff, probationer police applications and Specials, so please remember that if you have completed an application form for a different role some of your information may automatically populate some sections, so you must ensure that information in the application form is relevant to the role that you are applying to this time.

You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime just because you didn’t take an extra few minutes to double check your application form before submitting it.

It is always sensible to save a copy of your completed application form before submitting, to enable you to refer back to it to refresh your memory before attending an interview. You may be asked in your interview about something you had put in your application.

If you are interested in having support please email: BCH Careers@herts.pnn.police.uk with your query and/or requiring support.

Applicants from Diverse communities

Whilst the force wishes its workforce to be reflective of the community that we seek to protect and serve, if you feel that your non-verbal English language skills could be improved, it is strongly suggested that you seek practical advice/support before you apply, as English language skills are tested throughout the selection process.

Seeking opportunities within your local community is always a good place to start. The library, local colleges, church/community groups or even volunteer roles will all offer advice or at least point you in the right direction.

We are keen to recruit applicants with a range of language skills and experience of differing cultures and backgrounds, however we are aware that the selection process can be challenging for those who do not have English as their first language, therefore if English is your second, or third language, we would be interested in offering you advice and guidance on how to demonstrate your skills and experience throughout the whole selection process, but ideally before you decide to apply.

Help with improving English Language skills

A lot of local colleges offer assistance in English language qualifications, the links below may also offer practical advice:

www.talkenglish.com/grammar/grammar.aspx

effortlessenglishclub.com/blog-and-video-podcast

www.cambridgeshire.net/courses

learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en

learnenglish.de/improveenglish/improvespeakingpage.html

www.usingenglish.com/

Cheap ways to improve your English written skills would be to copy write articles from the newspapers/books/magazines, also using simple writing books for those learning to write can also help at a basic level. Puzzles, word games and crosswords are also helpful.

Think about the simple tests you used to have at school, particularly at primary/first school, where you were given a list of words at the beginning of the week and then tested on them at the end of the week.

These are informative websites to help with spelling:

www.grammar-monster.com/

www.spellzone.com/unit02/page1.cfm

www.howtospell.co.uk/index.php

www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/0/

Dyslexia

We are able to take this into account for your selection procedures if you have a report confirming your condition which must be provided to us during your application submission. For police officers this report must be carried out as an adult. Support and any reasonable adjustments are available during recruitment, selection and training in these roles.

Vacancies

All vacancies are advertised on our website under current vacancies .

To see the current vacancies click on vacancies Remember there may be more than one page of vacancies.

If you see a job that interests you, select the ’apply’ link to the electronic application form at the bottom of the advert. You will need to answer the ’killer’ questions before you will be able to progress through to registering. You may have used the system before, if not then you will need to register using a user name (an email address) and a self-generated password.

At this point it is suggested that you read through the application form, taking particular interest in the competency/evidence section. It is the information that you put in this section that will be scored. The stronger the evidence, the higher the score, in which case you are more likely to be invited for interview.

Complete the personal information and then save your application. Take care NOT to submit your application.

You should take your time completing the application, do not leave it till the last day or two, as if you have problems it will be more difficult to resolve them and you may miss the opportunity to apply.

As the application form can throw you out of the system, it is suggested that you copy the competency questions/evidence section into a Word document and work on your responses outside of the application form. That way you can easily have several attempts at presenting your evidence in the best possible format without losing any work that you have done.

Selling yourself and your role in a situation is very important

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