Frequently Asked Questions

Application Form Questions


Question - How do I contact West Midlands Police about my application?

Answer - The entire process will be done on-line. You’ll find all the information about the recruitment process on our website and you will be contacted by e-mail with any updates. If you do need to contact us please email us at: ss_CustomerServices@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk



 Question - If I have ‘registered my interest’ via the West Midlands Police website, do I need to do anything else to complete my application?


Answer - Yes. If you have registered you will receive an automatic notification of when the application period will start. You will then need to apply in the normal way. Please see the ‘application’ tab for more details.



Question - I have undergone and ‘passed’ a  SEARCH® assessment centre in an application for another police force recently. Can these results be used in an application to West Midlands Police?


Answer - You will still need to apply to our force and be successful in the first two selection exercises. Please also see the ‘application/previous and other applications’ page.



Question - I was unsuccessful when I applied to another force recently. Can I still apply?


Answer - If you have previously attended a SEARCH® assessment centre, you will not be able to sit another centre within a 6 month period.



Question - I am 50, so am I too old to apply?


Answer - The upper age limit is, typically, 57. This is three years less than the compulsory retirement age of 60 and allows for the two year probationary period and the expectation of a minimum of one year of service following probation.



Question - Is there a height restriction?

Answer - There is no minimum or maximum height restriction.



Question - I am nearly 18, can I still apply?


Answer - To be eligible to apply, you must be aged 18 or over on the day you make your application.



Question - Is it essential to hold a full driving licence?

Answer - It is desirable but not essential that applicants hold a full UK driving licence.

However all successful candidates will be expected to pass the Driving Test and hold a full UK driving licence, before the end of their probationary period.



Question - I am dyslexic – what reasonable adjustments will be made?

Answer - If you are dyslexic you will be required to provide us with a report (to be obtained at your own cost). This is so we can arrange the consideration for reasonable adjustments to be made.


Online Testing and Interview



Question - What exercises do I do?


Answer - We are asking candidates to complete 2 exercises, values based assessment which is 26 online questions, The 2nd exercise is a video based interview.



Question - How long will it take?


Answer - We recommend 2 hours. Once you start you will have to complete the online assessment.


The online assessment is in 2 parts. There is a natural break between the values based questionnaire which the candidate then presses the continue button, which takes them onto the video based assessment the responses the questions are timed, the video plays with the question then the candidate has timed 30 seconds thinking time and then 3 minutes to answer the question. There is a timer showing how much time they have left.



Question - What is the values based assessment?


Answer - In this test you will be presented with a number of scenarios. You will be presented with both Police and non-Police scenarios, and four possible actions one could take in response to each scenario. Please review each scenario and then identify what is most important to you and what is least important to you in each scenario.


Please note that you do not need to know any polices or processes, and you are asked to take the presented scenario at face value. All the information you need to answer the question will be presented in the scenario.


Once you have answered the scenario you then click on to continue to the next question there are 26 questions in all and an example question. There is no time limit to the online values assessment.



Question - What is video interviewing?


Answer - A video interview is a job interview that takes place remotely and uses video technology as the communication medium. There are 2 types of video interviews. The video interview we use is an asynchronous video interviews. These are recorded by the candidate at a time convenient to them.


Typically, the applicant responds to questions displayed by the video interview platform. The hiring manager is not present for the interview.



Question - What does video interviewing measure?


Answer - It includes 6 questions, 1 practice question and 5 competency based questions based on the Competency Values Framework (CVF) https://skillsforjustice-ppf.com/competency-values level 1 (for Specials, Police constable roles)



Question - What equipment do I need?


Answer - To complete your video interview you will need a computer, tablet or mobile phone connected to the internet. We recommend using wired or private WiFi connection wherever possible. Public Wi-fi, 3G and 4G tend to be less stable.


Please ensure that you computer/tablet/mobile is charged before you start the interview.

If you wish to complete your assessment on an iPad or iPhone, search the app store for 'Tazio' and download the App. Once installed, launch the Tazio App and enter the assessment code you are given


If you're on an Android mobile or tablet, you can do your interview using an up to date version of Chrome.


You will need a webcam (internal or external) and a microphone or headset. The browser version you will also need is Adobe Flash Player (11.0 version or above). Go to https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ to download or update.



Getting started


If it's your first Tazio interview with West Midlands Police, you will need to create a Tazio account by entering your name, email address and setting a password. If you've applied to the employer before, log in with your email address and password. Don't worry if you've forgotten your password, you can easily request a reset.


What to expect


Once you've logged in, if you're doing a video interview on your tablet or laptop/computer you'll need to set up your camera and microphone. If you are using ipad or iphone app it is built in so you will not be asked to do this set up. You'll then be asked to take a photo. You're now ready to take your interview or assessment.


Now, there are loads of different ways an interview or assessment can be set up, so they do vary quite a bit. However, before you start you'll see an introduction screen telling you more about the interview and what to expect.


Once you start your interview the first question will appear on the screen. If it's a video question, you'll usually be given some time to think 30 seconds about your answer before you start recording. Make sure you use this time to read the question carefully, so you know exactly what the employer is asking for.


You can skip the thinking time once you're ready, or simply wait for the recording to start automatically.


When you've finished answering the question, click the "Save my answer" button. The answer time is 3 minutes to record your answer so keep your eye on the timer in the top right-hand corner of the screen.


Each new question will appear automatically on the screen until you've answered them all. You may also have the option to pause between questions. Once you've finished answering all the questions, you will see a thank you page displayed. The employer will usually tell you what's going to happen next. You can now click the 'Save and Close' button and that's your interview finished.



Question - What if I have a technical problem? 


Answer - Don't worry, we've got you covered. The quickest way to find a solution is to search the Tazio Help Centre. We've got articles covering all the known technical problems with simple step by step solutions. 


If in the unlikely event you can't find a solution here, click on the orange speech bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen to send us an instant message. We aim to respond to message within 30 minutes between 6am and 10pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 8pm weekend and bank holidays.


Video Quality


The video quality is set by Tazio automatically based on your upload speed, the faster your internet connection the higher the video quality will be. We recommend that you complete your video interview using a private broadband connection, either wired or WiFi. 


The iPad and iPhone app will optimise video quality so this will be the same for everyone.

Note: The slower your internet connection, the longer it will take to upload your interview.


Sound Quality


Sound quality is equally, if not more important. So in the hardware setup, make sure your audio levels are set correctly. You want to be able to hear yourself clearly but not be so loud that your voice is distorting.

If possible, we recommend you complete your interview in a small quiet room to avoid distracting background noise.



Question - The assessment keeps moving me on?


Answer - This usually happens if you are using an Iphone and it is running out of memory. Make sure you have enough memory or use laptop/tablet.




About the role


Question - Will I be expected to work night shifts?


Answer - Police officers work on a rota system which includes both day and night shifts, including weekends and public/bank holidays.



 Question - Will I be able to arrest from day one?


Answer - You will get your warrant card on day one but you will not be sworn in and gain powers of arrest until you have successfully completed your initial training.



Question - When can I take holidays and time off work?


Answer - You will not be able to book any time off during the initial training course (first 15 weeks), except public and bank holidays. Some courses will have holidays programmed into their timetable and you may be required to take certain days off as holiday. You will be advised of this at the start of your appointment.



Question - Can I work part time?

Answer - You will have to work full time during the initial training course however, you may apply for part time working once this is completed. It should be noted there is no guarantee of part time working being granted. Requests are considered based on operational need.

Should you move to part time working during your probation, you probationary period will be extended on a pro rata basis.



Question - How are different religions accommodated within the force?

Answer - We welcome applicants from all religions and alterations can be made to the uniform to accommodate some religious requirements – for example it is possible to wear a hijab; or the helmet may be replaced with a Sikh turban. We also take into account the needs of individuals with regards to time off and bank/public holidays.


  

Question - Why is the salary lower than it used to be?

Answer - The salary is set nationally based on the average pay levels for apprenticeships which are still to be confirmed, however, West Midlands Police will be funding your degree meaning that you will not have to pay back a student loan.



Question - Can I claim expenses for attending the fitness test and medical?

Answer - We are not able to reimburse you for any expenses incurred as part of the recruitment process.



Question - If successful, can I join a specialist unit?


Answer - Not at first. All newly recruited police officers must undergo a two year probationary period. However we would be very interested to hear of any specialist skills and interests you have. You should make these clear in your application.



Police Education Qualification Framework


Question - Why change the process? Why do police officers need a degree?

Answer - The degree has been introduced nationally to recognise the enormously high level of skills, learning and professionalism required to become a Police Officer and to carry out the role.


Question - I don't want to study towards a degree, can I join the old scheme? 


Answer - The old scheme will close down after our January courses, and will be replaced by the PC Degree Apprenticeship and the Graduate diploma in policing (if you already hold a degree).



Question  - I applied before and am waiting to start training. Can I transition across so that I get a degree?


Answer - If you are waiting to start the chances are that you have already been allocated a start date on the existing course, unfortunately you will not be able to transition across

without re-applying.



Question - Do I need to pay back tuition fees if I leave after the three years training?

Answer - You may be required to pay back tuition fees if you choose to leave within your first five years.



Question - Do I have to attend a university for lectures?


Answer - We are currently working with universities to develop the course, our plan is to deliver as much training as we can within force but you may be required to attend university on occasions.



Question - How often will I have to study? Do I have to go to uni once a week?

Answer - Your study will be on-going however you will be required to use approximately 20% of your work time for off the job learning


Question - Is the degree free or do I have to pay part of it?

Answer - Your degree will be funded by West Midlands Police and by using funding from the newly introduced Apprenticeship Levy



Question - Will I have to study for exams?

Answer - No, you will not be required to take exams, you will achieve your degree either by completing assignment work or by demonstrating your skills on the job.


Question - Will I still need to complete the usual in-house training?

Answer - Yes, you will still need to be taught all the skills of a police officer, in particular points of law, powers of arrest community engagement, diversity and inclusion, fairness in policing and personal safety.


Question - I haven’t yet got my A Level results. Can I apply based on predicted results?

Answer - You can apply but you will need to evidence achievement of your results prior to joining the force.



Question - Can I still do part time work while I am studying?

Answer - No, you will be working as a full time police officer while you are studying towards your degree



Question - How will I be expected to learn policing / the law on the job?

Answer - You will do this in the same way that police officers have done for many years, we will provide as much support as you need to achieve the required outcomes.


Question - Do I have to apply for a university place separately to the police application?


Answer - No, we will be working with universities and will secure your enrolment


Question - What is the timeline? Why won’t I start training until April?

Answer - We have a number of courses running through 2018, these have been filled by applicants from our 2017 campaign. This campaign will focus on entry between April 2019 and December 2019.



Question - Can I choose which Uni I go to?


Answer - No, we will be working closely with a specific university to deliver and award your degree.



Question - Does your force require applicants to have the CKP?


Answer - No, having the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing is not essential, though as it is a Level 3 qualification. It is one way of achieving the minimum educational attainment level required.



Vetting and Security



Question - Would spending a significant period of time abroad within the past few years, that wasn’t with the UK armed forces, bar me from applying?


Answer - No, but we would require details in order to make an assessment. If it was part of an organised educational or work activity, then this is unlikely to be problematic, but each case would be judged individually.


 

Question - I have a student visa. Is this sufficient to apply?


Answer - International students cannot apply.



Question - Will you apply for a working visa for me?

Answer - As a foreign national, you would need to already be resident in the UK and free of restrictions.

 


Questions - Can I work for the police if I have a criminal conviction or caution?


Answer - This will depend on the nature of the conviction or caution. You will need to provide full details to assist our vetting department in making a decision, via the application process.

PLEASE NOTE: applicants must declare all convictions and cautions. Failure to declare certain details will seriously undermine an individual’s integrity and credibility and is likely to bar them from appointment, regardless of the nature / seriousness of the details.



Question - Do I have to declare if I was arrested but not charged?

Answer - Yes, you must declare if you have ever been subject of a criminal investigation whether or not this led to a prosecution. Failure to make such declarations will lead to your application being rejected.



Question - Do I need to declare traffic offences in my application?

Answer - Yes, you must declare all offences including penalty notices. Your application will not be automatically rejected for minor offences; consideration will be given to repeat offending, behaviour, age, the actual offence committed and length of time since the offence.



Question - What if I have a relative who has convictions?

Answer - If your friends or family members are criminals, this must be disclosed. Your application will not be automatically rejected; consideration will be given as to how close the association is and the level of criminality involved etc.



Question - Can I apply if I’ve been bankrupt?


Answer - Yes, you can apply but only if it is three years after the bankruptcy debts have been discharged.



Question - Can I apply if I have a County Court Judgment?


Answer - Yes – if the judgement has been discharged, you can be considered. If you have an existing judgment, your application cannot be considered.



Question - Can I apply if I have an Independent Voluntary Agreement?

Answer - Applicants with a current Independent Voluntary Agreement (IVA) will not be considered. However, if it has been discharged, you may be considered.



Question - Can I continue with my other business interest?

Answer - 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 constable. 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 and whether it is considered that your business interests are compatible with performing the role of a police officer.



Question - What is biometric vetting and what happens to the samples I give?

Answer - Biometric vetting checks will be undertaken on those candidates who have reached the stage of being considered suitable and are undergoing pre-employment checks. A fingerprint and DNA sample will be taken and checks made against the appropriate databases. The purpose of the searches is to determine whether:


  • The individual has come to police attention;
  • If so, whether that was under the identity being used for the application; and
  • If the individual is linked to any outstanding crime scene marks or stains
  • Only one set of fingerprints and DNA sample will be required. If subsequently appointed, these samples will be retained on the respective police database for elimination purposes. For those not appointed, their fingerprints, DNA sample and DNA profile and all copies and records will be destroyed.



Question - What does the drugs test involve?


Answer - A hair/fingernail, saliva and urine sample will be used for alcohol, drug and or substance abuse. For those unable to provide a hair sample, finger-nail clippings are used.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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