Take a look through our advice below to help you with your online application form.

Make sure you;

  • read the notes on every page of the application form, to make sure you’re providing everything you’re being asked for
  • always give yourself enough time to complete your application
  • Re-read it and check for spelling, grammar, sentence structure and formatting.

A competency is a quality used to measure how well you can do something. An example is 'taking ownership' or ‘innovative and open minded'.

We use competency based interviews as they’re a good way to make sure you can show you have the skills needed to perform the job well.

Every job we advertise comes with a list of competencies, and those that are really important for the role are highlighted on the job description.

Each competency is described in detail so you understand exactly what it means.

You should think of examples from your own background – whether from a previous job, a voluntary role or school – that show you can demonstrate each competency.

An advert for a museum curator might say: 
The successful applicant will possess the ability to analyse critically and be emotionally aware and collaborative.

The department is going through a period of significant change and therefore the ability to be innovative and open minded is essential.

The competencies mentioned here are:

  • Analyse critically
  • Collaborative and emotionally aware
  • Innovative and open minded

The job description for this role might say the following about the ability to analyse critically:

Gathers, verifies and assesses all appropriate and valuable information to gain an accurate understanding of situations. 

Considers a range of possible options before making clear, timely, justifiable decisions.

Reviews decisions in the light of new information and changing circumstances. 

Balances risks, costs and benefits, thinking about the wider impact of decisions. 

Exercises discretion and applies professional judgement, ensuring actions and decisions are proportionate and in the public interest.

Here’s an example of how you might show 'analyse critically' competency based in this scenario:

My current role is as a museum curator at the Natural History Museum.

I often need to make decisions on the layout of exhibitions to make sure the exhibits flow correctly.

Each year I decide what the forthcoming year’s exhibits will be in the mammals section. To make this decision I review the range of options available to me in terms of my budget and existing exhibits stored in the archives.  I will also gather information from the media, science journals and other sources to see what is currently in the public interest to see if it is possible to produce an exhibit that relates to current affairs. 

I develop a provisional schedule and then review the decisions I have made. 

I look at any changes that might impact on what I have proposed, I re-check the budget, highlight any risks to my proposal (for example not being able to access an exhibit) and submit the proposal to the museum manager.

This shows the recruiter you have: 

  • identified that analysing critically is an important skill for this role
  • read the competency definition and think you meet the criteria 
  • provided evidence to show where you have used your analysis skills in your current role, commenting on all elements of the competency eg gathers information, reviews the risk, considers the public interest

To prepare for the College of Policing's (CoP) online assessment process, please take a look at the following links: