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Recruitment Policy Article

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What to Expect in Police Recruitment

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Joining the police force is unlike any other career move. Police recruitment methods are entirely different to any other type of recruitment – apart, perhaps from the military or government positions. Most recruitment methods are fairly straightforward. Employers advertise for staff either through a recruitment agency or by advertising in newspapers, job centres and shop windows. While initial police recruitment may involve some sort of advertisement the recruitment process is far more complicated. Just because you obtain an initial interview does not necessarily mean that you are a suitable candidate.

Police recruitment often involves evaluating candidates’ psychological responses and their personalities. Different forces will have their own ways of undertaking these tests but most will, nevertheless, involve this type of testing. The police will also want to test whether the candidate will abide by the police ethical code. It is now preferred that prospective candidates for the police force have a college degree. Don’t expect police recruitment procedures to be the same everywhere you go. Some agencies will require different education qualifications to others. In the US candidates with a college degree would get preference because it is believed that this educational qualification means they have a better understanding of the issues facing the country. It is also believed that greater educational qualifications also mean that the candidate will have a better understanding of human rights and equality issues.

Another thing that will vary between departments is the physical requirements. Those involved in police recruitment often prefer candidates over a certain height and below a certain weight. Most departments would also expect candidates to undergo a full medical before they are offered training as a police officer. Physical fitness is generally a requirement for joining the force. There are a number of other factors affecting police recruitment, for example if a person has been convicted of a felony as an adult then this would generally disqualify them. People with a drink or drug habit would also not be considered as suitable candidates. Some departments would also disqualify candidates if they have a poor credit rating.

In the UK police recruitment begins with an application form and this is one way of filtering out people who might not make suitable police officers. Once candidates have successfully completed these forms they are then put through a rigorous testing process to assess their suitability for the job. Candidates who pass these tests successfully will then be put through a probationary training period which is also the final selection process in police recruitment. Research suggests that out of all potential candidates for joining the police only one out of seven will pass all the rigorous testing first time.



 

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