Tips for Applying

Before beginning your application, please take time to read and understand the guidance notes provided in the Guidance for Applicants booklet. You will also find some information below that will prepare you before commencing your application.

You must complete the form within one sitting - Due to the sensitive nature of your application, there will be no facility to register, login or save a partially completed application. Your application must be completed in one sitting. During the process, if you close your browser or lose internet connectivity, your information will not be saved and you will have to restart the application process.

You have a maximum of 90 minutes to complete the form - The application form must be completed within 90 minutes. After 90 minutes your session will close and you will lose your partially completed application. In addition, you should note that the application period closes at 12 noon 23rd October 2015. Applications must be fully completed in advance of the 12pm deadline. Partially completed applications will not be saved and cannot be submitted.

You will need your National Insurance number to complete the form - If you cannot remember or locate your National Insurance number, please visit https://www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number for assistance, before beginning the application form. If you are an applicant from the Republic of Ireland, please use your Personal Public Service (PPS) number.

You will be required to complete two short personal statements - As part of the application, we will ask you to complete two short personal statements, outlining your motivation and suitability for the role. There is a strict word limit of 150 words for each of the statements:

  • Why are you interested in becoming a constable (150 words max)?
  • Outline the skills you have and how they meet the requirements of the role of a constable (150 words max).

It is recommended that you draft these responses in advance of completing the form, so that you can simply copy and paste in your answer, without worrying about time. However, please be aware that any formatting (e.g. bullet points) applied in word processing packages, will not copy into the application form. Please use plain text when drafting your responses. You should also note that word count settings may differ across some word processing packages.

Equality Monitoring Form – As part of the application process, you are required to complete an Equality Monitoring Form.

This enables you to provide information on your community background and gender as well as other issues that are important in ensuring that the recruitment process is fair. None of the information on the Equality Monitoring Form will be used to assess your eligibility to be appointed as a Student Officer. This information will be held completely separate to your application form and will not be made available to administration staff or assessors involved in assessing your application.

How to complete the Online Application Form

Completing the Online Application Form is a very straightforward process. The application form has seven stages:

Section 1 – Application Preliminaries

Stage 1 requires you to consider the Eligibility Requirements to apply for the role. Please ensure you have read the Age, Nationality, Education and Computer Literacy requirements on pages 11-12 in the Guidance for Applicants booklet before you proceed to Stage 2. 

Stage 2 requires you to consider the Conditions of Application. This relates to any previous convictions, offences or cautions which could make you ineligible to apply for the role. Please ensure you have read the Policies on pages 12-19 of the Guidance for Applicants booklet before you proceed to Stage 3.

Stage 3 requires you to confirm you understand the Application guidance notes before commencing your application. You need to confirm that you must:

  • Complete the form within one sitting;
  • Complete the form within a maximum of 90 minutes;
  • Have your National Insurance number at hand;
  • Complete two short personal statements on your motivation and suitability for the role. You may wish to prepare your statements in advance and copy and paste them into the application form, and;
  • Complete the Equality Monitoring Form. 

Stage 4 requires you to confirm you meet the eligibility criteria for the role. Please only check each box after understanding the criteria you are confirming.

Please note that Stage 4 must be fully completed, otherwise your application will not progress.

Stage 5 requires you to confirm that you have read and understand the role profile of a constable. This outlines the types of job that a constable may be asked to perform. Please ensure you read and understand the information contained within The Role section on the website before confirming.

Stage 6 requires you to confirm you can commit to the requirements of the role. Please read the guidance on page 6 of the Guidance for Applicants booklet before completing this stage. 

Section 2 – Application 

Stage 7 of the application requires you to complete 4 areas:

  1. Personal Details requires you to complete your personal details such as: name, address, telephone number (inc. mobile phone number), date of birth, National Insurance number or Personal Public Service Number (ROI), email address and nationality. N.B. You must provide a valid, working email address, to which you have ongoing access. Failure to provide an accurate, working email address may lead to your application being rejected. 
  2. Selection Test requires you to choose your preferred time for the Initial Selection Test, and indicate if you have any communication or access requirements. Please refer to page 24 of the Guidance for Applicants booklet for further information on how the Initial Selection Test scheduling process works. 
  3. Personal Statements requires you to complete two personal statements outlining your motivation and suitability for the role. There is a strict word limit of 150 words for each of the statements.
  4. Equality Monitoring requires you to complete the Equality Monitoring Form. Please ensure that you complete all required areas (marked with *). 

Once you have completed all sections of the form, you will be able to select submit. Please ensure that you complete ALL sections of the Application Form – if the form is incomplete, you will not be able to submit your application.

Processing your Application Form

Upon receiving your Application it will take us up to 10 working days to process your form.  Please do not contact us before this time has lapsed.  

You will receive an email from us indicating whether you will be proceeding to Initial Selection Testing stage. Please note the Unique Identifier (UID) on this email. You will need your UID if you are contacting us about your application, and throughout the rest of the selection process.

Details on the Initial Selection Test

When we receive your fully completed application we will review it thoroughly, and provided that you meet the eligibility requirements and have fully completed the form, we will send you an email with a date, time and location for your first test, the Initial Selection Test. 

You will be assigned a Unique Identifier (UID) for the purposes of the Recruitment Process. Please ensure that you bring your UID with you to each stage of the testing and assessment you are attending.

The Initial Selection Test consists of timed sub-tests addressing the following skills:

  • Understanding and accurately interpreting written material
  • Interpreting and utilising verbal and numerical data
  • Exercising judgement and making decisions in work-based scenarios

You can find a practice test for the IST here. Please make sure you familiarise yourself with this so you have an idea of what to expect on the day. There is a wide range of similar tests available on the internet which you should use should you need additional practice. 

Initial Selection Test Scheduling

We will try to schedule your attendance for the Initial Selection Test at a location and time to suit you which is based on the preferences you have expressed on the Application Form. Our scheduling policy incorporates a limited number of ‘first come first served’ evening and weekend appointments, however, these may not be in a location near you, so please bear this in mind when you make this selection.

Details on the Assessment Centre 

If you pass the Initial Selection Test, you will be given an appointment to attend an Assessment Centre.  

The Assessment Centre requires you to assume the role of a constable and consists of a number of different exercises (including written exercises, role plays and computer analysis).  The Assessment Centre is designed to assess you against the personal behaviours for a constable which are: 

Accountability

  • Serving the public
  • Openness to change
  • Service delivery

Courtesy, Fairness & Respect

  • Professionalism

Collaborative Decision Making

  • Decision making
  • Working with others

At the Assessment Centre, professional assessors and lay assessors will assess you for defined behaviours during exercises. They will independently mark and then agree your rating for the exercise being examined. Their decision is final. 

How to prepare for the Assessment Centre

Before the session

  • Do not share information about Assessment Centre dates or venues via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or any other online forum. Sharing such information is prohibited.
  • It is important that you familiarise yourself with your Unique Identity Number (UID) which is noted at the top of your invite email, beginning with the digits 15090… (followed by several digits specific to you).
  • Be prepared and know what you are required to bring along to your Assessment Centre e.g. copy of invite email, original and copies of qualification certificates etc.
  • The Assessment Centre is based within a police setting, and you will be asked to assume the role of a constable. Therefore read the information provided on the joinpsni website about the role and about PSNI. In addition, you may want to carry out research on your own regarding the objectives and priorities for the PSNI over the next couple of years.
  • Familiarise yourself with the personal behaviours you will be assessed against, and think about how you will demonstrate these behaviours to assessors. 
  • Plan your outfit the night before and get plenty of sleep.
  • Bring your own wrist watch or stop watch as elements of the Assessment Centre are timed and it is your responsibility to manage your own time. You may not use a mobile phone for timekeeping purposes – mobile phones are not permitted in the Assessment Centres.
  • If you wear glasses, be sure to take them with you.
  • Plan your journey and give yourself plenty of time to get to the session - you must arrive for the session 30 minutes before the scheduled time for registration purposes.
  • Take directions and contact details with you to avoid delays and last minute panic.
  • You may wish to bring some refreshments with you as the Assessment Centre may last up to 5 hours with some periods of waiting time between exercises.

At the session

  • Listen carefully to instructions.
  • Do exactly as you are told.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you find the exercises difficult.
  • Focus on your own performance and not those around you.
  • Try as hard as you can.
  • Relax, be yourself and let your personality shine through.

Assessment Centre Scheduling

The Assessment Centres are held in locations in and around Belfast. These sessions are held during weekdays and consist of morning and afternoon sessions.

Rescheduling Initial Selection Tests and Assessment Centres

Given the large number of candidates it will not be possible to reschedule allocated appointments, except in very extenuating circumstances (e.g. a close family bereavement). You may be asked to provide documentary evidence supporting your request to have an appointment rescheduled. Please note that at the outset of the recruitment campaign we have outlined the dates for testing and assessment and therefore anticipate that you will make yourself available for all appointments.

If you are invited to attend an Assessment Centre you will be required to produce evidence of the qualifications that form a part of your application. It is important that you come to the Assessment Centre with these documents as failure to do so may result in your application being delayed or you may not be able to progress to the Assessment Centre stage.

Please bring original and photocopies of the following certificates to your Assessment Centre:

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at A*-C grade, including Maths and English Language.

Detailed guidance can be found here.