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Force Contact

Be the first point of contact for the public to engage with West Midlands Police as a Contact Officer.

Be the person who sends help to those in need, from our Dispatch Control Rooms.


Can you make sound decisions under pressure and think logically? Are you focused on understanding the circumstances, person and need placed before you? If so, we want to hear from you!

Force Contact is the largest department in West Midlands Police, which includes Contact Officers who answer Emergency and Non-Emergency Calls, Public Contact Officers working across ten Public Contact Offices, Control Rooms that deploy officers across the West Midlands and Crime Service Teams who ensure that all crime is recorded effectively and accurately.


To illustrate the scale and significance of the work of Force Contact teams, we take around 3 million 999 and 101 calls per year, deal with thousands of visitors and control thousands of incidents and policing operations. What we do is therefore fundamental to the service that West Midlands Police delivers to the public, and your role as a member of Force Contact would be at the very heart of this.


You could be selected as a member of our team if you can show and deliver initiative, intelligence, an appetite for hard work and – most crucially – a passion to protect and serve the public of the West Midlands. It is this desire to serve that ties each of the teams in Force Contact together – a common mission to deliver a service that we can all be proud of.

Meet our Staff

Interested in an insight into the role from a current serving member of staff? Click here to read an interview that gives first hand experience into what it’s like to work in Force Contact.

How about a peep inside the world of Force Contact? One of our officers provides a run-down of their career in Force Contact so far. Click here to read the article.

Selection Process


Application Form

The first stage of the process is to complete an online application form to join the Force Contact Team within West Midlands Police as a Contact Officer or Dispatcher.

If you feel that you would like to apply for both Contact Officer and Dispatcher you can do this via the same form – please indicate your preference when you apply. If applying for both roles please ensure you evidence your experience and skills for both roles within your application.

Your application form needs to provide the evidence and specific examples that allow the recruiting team to understand the skills and experience you can offer the role and the organisation.

Short Listing

During the recruitment campaign or following the closing date all applications will be short listed against the essential skills, knowledge and experience for that role. At this stage the decision to invite you to the next stage is based solely upon the content of your application form.

Online Assessment

Our online assessment is designed to test key skills required in Force Contact for the roles of Dispatcher or Contact Officer. The tests will look to assess skills such as accuracy, ability to work in a time pressured situation, problem solving and decision making skills. You will not have to prepare for the online assessment; these will be completed in your home (or convenient place of your choosing such as a library).

Interview

Candidates that reach the required score at the online assessment will then be invited to a structured face-to-face competency interview. During the interview you will need to demonstrate you have the abilities and experience for the role you are applying for. Our interviews are based around the College of Policing ‘Competency and Values Framework’ at level 1; you can find out more about this framework and the competencies within it here.  Each candidate is asked the same set of questions and they are marked using a pre-set marking guide to ensure consistency.

Medical Assessment / Vetting / References

You will be required to complete a medical history questionnaire (signed by your GP) and attend a medical examination which includes a pre-employment drugs screening. Our Occupational Health department will assess your suitability to carry out the role you have applied for. This may include a medical report request from your family GP.

Due to the nature of the role appropriately stringent vetting procedure is in place.

Formal offer of Employment

Upon completion of the above tests, interview and pre-employment checks you will be cleared to start employment with West Midlands Police. At this point we will be looking to agree a date that you can join the next available induction training and commence your employment with West Midlands Police

Do not resign from your current employment until you receive a contract of employment from west Midlands Police and you are happy with the conditions.

Training

The first five weeks of your employment with us are really important as you will have classroom, practical and systems training to guide you through your orientation of West Midlands Police.


Once your classroom input is completed and you have the necessary IT accreditation to access our policing systems you will join one of our training offices and will be supported to deal with ‘live’ incidents and begin to translate all the theory into practice with the help of a great team of learning coaches and supervisors.


Dispatchers 


20 weeks training including 5 of those weeks in classroom.

The first 7 weeks of your training will be primarily at Lloyd House (Central Birmingham) and Tally Ho! (Edgbaston, Birmingham) – on occasion training will be undertaken at West Bromwich.


Contact Officers


12 weeks training including 5 of those weeks in classroom.

The first 5 weeks of your training will be primarily at Lloyd House (Central Birmingham) and Tally Ho! (Edgbaston, Birmingham) – on occasion training will be undertaken at West Bromwich.


Induction Dates


  • 3rd September 2018
  • 1st October 2018
  • 29th October 2018
  • 2nd January 2019
  • 28th January 2019
  • 25th February 2019

Hours of work


Force Contact operate a 24/7, 365 day a year to be able to deliver a great service to the communities that we serve and be there to help those who are in need.


In order to deliver this service our Dispatchers and Contact Handlers work a variety of shift patterns. Your shift pattern will be allocated once you have been successfully selected and offered a role with us.


Dispatchers


Core 24/7 Shift Pattern


  • 2 x 12hr days, 2 x 12hr nights followed by 4 rest days
  • 1 x additional rest day every 8 weeks
  • Allocated training time


Earlies/Late Shift Pattern – 3x3x3


  • 3 Early, 3 Lates shifts followed by 3 Rest Days.
  • Training day every 9 weeks


Contact Officers

Core 24/7 Shift Pattern


  • 24/7 consisting of 2 early shifts, 2 late shifts , 2 nights followed by 4 Rest Days
  • 20 week Pattern
  • 1 x Training Day every 10 weeks


Earlies/Lates Pattern – 3x3x3


  • Early and Late shifts consisting of 3 early shifts, 3 late shifts followed by 3 Rest Days
  • 27 week rotating Pattern
  • 2 x Training Day every 27 weeks


Application Form

 

We appreciate the effort and commitment involved in making a job application and want you to have a positive experience when applying for a role with us. To help you prepare, please consider the following guidance before submitting your application form.

 

What will the recruiting department be looking for?

From the applications received for the role, the recruiting team use a framework based on the person specification to shortlist candidates who have best demonstrated their suitability for the role. Those who have been shortlisted will be invited to complete an online assessment; those successful at this stage will then be invited to a face-to-face competency based interview.

Your application is your opportunity to show the team that they should select you to go through to the next phase of the recruitment journey.

Remember that the selection panel will only be able to base their decisions upon the information provided in your application. We regularly receive high numbers of applications for many of our roles, so invest the time in ensuring that your application stands out.

We recommend that you provide the selection panel with a full picture of your ability to undertake the role by submitting a well-structured, informative and interesting application.

Please ensure that you answer each question within the application form and outline actions undertaken that best demonstrate your suitability for the role.

When completing an effective application for any role: 

DO MAKE SURE:

  • all information provided is honest and accurate
  • all sections of the application are presented clearly and concisely
  • you tailor your application to meet the needs of the role profile which is available with the job advert
  • you provide evidence of how your previous experience, skills and abilities demonstrate that you match the needs of the job.
  • you provide a full and continuous history of your education/training and unemployment/work experience.
  • you have checked all spelling and grammar. Do not rely solely on computer spellcheckers.

DO NOT:

  • simply confirm that you can do the criteria specified in the role profile without further explanation.
  • make it difficult for the team to assess whether you match the criteria specified for the role. By structuring your application around the criteria identified for the job, you will make your application more relevant and easier to assess.

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