My Recruitment so far

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addi564
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My Recruitment so far

Post by addi564 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:13 pm

So for the first time since 2011 Wiltshire police opened the recruitment process for PCSO and I decided to apply.

My first hurdle was filling out the application form and to be as thorough as possible, I didn't want to fall down at the first obstacle. The application form had to be done electronically and the recruitment was open for two weeks, to ensure my application was the best it could be I kept tweaking and only submitted about four hours before the deadline.

Now began the long wait to find out if I was good enough to go through to assessment day. Reading the local press there was large demand for the post on offer and over 200 people had applied. A week passed after when the results should of been announced so I took the initiative and emailed the resourcing team to ask how I had got on. A few more days passed before the all important email arrived saying I was through to assessment and I was to do a group physical exercise and a group discussion exercise at Devizes HQ.

This was attended and I was surprised to find that the group physical exercise was what we call in the army a command task. I did quickly realise that those assessing where not after a leader to take charge but wanted more everybody to contribute an opinion. From my given feedback for this I was apparently a natural and did very well both directing and listening.

The next task was a group discussion where basically we had to decided a batting order for eight people trapped down a mine, with one person getting out an hour and no guarantees nobody would drown. Feedback was I again did well at this task however I needed to be careful not to be too forceful with my opinions.

Next was the worst bit of the whole day which surprised me somewhat, everybody on assessment was placed in one room (16 of us) and in X factor style some names where read out and taken to another room. My name was not read out and I found myself looking round the room and comparing how I thought I had done compared to them. It was then announced that those remaining had passed the assessment and would be going straight to interview that day. We was all given a time slot of an hour and I had to wait three hours before it was my turn. At this point I did witness a few people start to flap, take out notes and start reading up on random stuff. I at this stage just decided to take things in my stride and if I didn't know it now I would never know.

When my time came I was surprised at how informal the interview was, with most of the questions based around life experiences. There was a few cheeky ones thrown in like was I institutionalised because of my forces background, what I though about all the mosque in the UK and the equality and diversity question. Upon asking what equality and diversity meant, I duly gave my answer to be met with the response "that's a great text book answer but what does it mean to you"

Straight after the interview I was told I would be told that night if I was through to the next stage or not. Guess what I was not told and was left stewing for another three days. Then came the email saying congratulations a provisional job offer was being offered pending passing a few other things.

Last night I received an email inviting me to the medical and fitness test, which is the next stage in the recruitment process. For those that are interested I will post how I do after attendance.

Rob (potential PCSO)

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powdermonkey
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Re: My Recruitment so far

Post by powdermonkey » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:28 pm

addi564,

The recruitment process you've experienced is a lot more intense than the one I went through. Mine was application form (asking for you to give of examples of various things, such as problem solving), an interview (more "give us an example of" and "how do you see the role in the community"). After the interview it was a medical check up, not a fitness test, just as I described before. After that, you're waiting for background checks; your references and financial checks are amongst that part. The process takes about 6 - 8 weeks in total.
The training lasts 7 weeks and after the introduction bit about professional conduct & appearance, there's input on the law, your powers (or lack thereof), practical exercises (designed to highlight weak areas that you need to brush up on), statement writing,(community issues (such as domestic violence, child abuse), forensic preservation, computer systems, and your self defence skills (Empty Hands we call it). Your self defence training has to be refreshed every year and mine's due next month. I'm told the bleep test will be offered but it isn't compulsory so only the macho types will probably do it. There's group activities on the training course as well as individual efforts. For one of the practical exercises the trainers got a bunch of teenagers from a local school to role play. It was good but they all came from nice families so weren't anywhere near as obnoxious as some of the local idiots I've dealt with since. It's quite intense, but that makes it thorough and I really enjoyed it (partly because I loathed my previous job in an Intelligence Unit and every minute I spent there). We bonded pretty quickly and everybody helped each other
Finally, there's a passing out parade (for which we were taught some very very basic drill - you'd probably know more that the instructor!) to which you can invite a few family members. There were speeches, a presentation where you get a little card showing your designated powers (which you have to carry at all times), a "grip 'n' grin" photo with the most senior officer who couldn't get out of it, a buffet that even Iceland wouldn't sell and off you go. A brand new shiny fresh out of the box plastic* policeman. Off to your station where you'll learn how to actually do the job.

*the use of this word is the same as the use of the "N" word by black people. They can use it about themselves but nobody else can. You can call yourself "plastic" but woe betide anyone else who calls you plastic.

Keep us posted.
I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.

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falkor
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Re: My Recruitment so far

Post by falkor » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:51 am

Nice post PM, I particularly liked :
a "grip 'n' grin" photo with the most senior officer who couldn't get out of it, a buffet that even Iceland wouldn't sell and off you go. A brand new shiny fresh out of the box plastic* policeman. Off to your station where you'll learn how to actually do the job
very good

addi564 thanks for the heads up on the latest PCSO recruitment process, great reading and now we can appreciate what current PCSO recruits go through
where basically we had to decided a batting order for eight people trapped down a mine, with one person getting out an hour and no guarantees nobody would drown.
Intriguing task - I suppose they are looking out for candidates who have nothing to suggest - yes as PM says do keep us posted, excellent posts

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addi564
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Re: My Recruitment so far

Post by addi564 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:29 pm

Not sure how basic training has changed from the early days of PCSO however from what I am being told I will do 16 weeks. 12 of them weeks are done at HQ so I am guessing classroom and role play exercises. The final four weeks are on a shift pattern at a station being mentored.

I believe that the intake I will join will be a class of 15 or more people, is there a drop out rate even during this phase?

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powdermonkey
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Re: My Recruitment so far

Post by powdermonkey » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:13 pm

My initial reaction was 16 weeks!!!!!???? Then I realised that my training was 7 weeks and the mentoring was essentially open ended, with most people needing about 6 weeks, so not a great difference after all. I know of one lad who needed about 12 weeks mainly due to a lack of confidence in his abilities. He's still in the job, still shows a lack of confidence now and again, and was weak on certain bits of knowledge, but in other areas he is extremely effective.

I have absolutely no idea of the drop out rate; I've never heard of anyone dropping out and no-one on my intake ever mentioned it, even though we each struggled with one aspect or another. Mine was statements. Even though I'd done plenty of statements whilst in SOCO the ones I do as a PCSO are a different animal. SOCO ones are very much cut & paste with obvious changes such as time/date & location. PCSO ones are more a step by detailed step of what I did, saw, heard etc.
I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.

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