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College extends online promotion exams to end of year

The next round of promotion exams will be online, the College of Policing has confirmed.
Published - 01/06/2020 By - Chris Smith

Candidates for the written sergeants’ and Inspectors’ exams will use the online portals rushed through due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The College of Policing had already hinted that the current arrangements would carry over into the autumn.

Dates for the assessments have yet to be announced but is likely to be around the time of the traditional autumn sessions. The Inspectors’ exams are still scheduled for 13 October.

Metropolitan Police candidates from the first online exams received their results last week. Feedback from candidates for the inspectors’ exam was that some experienced difficulty with referring to the seven-page report while writing their answers.

The main challenge will be face-to-face assessments which have been carried out by video link.

The College is also looking at whether the online exams could be continued after the crisis is over. Forces could gain significant cost savings from not having officers travelling to assessment centres.

But significant changes would require new legislation to alter Acts of Parliament covering professional standards.

The Police Federation has also signalled support for reforms to the exams system.

In an interview with Police Oracle, the Fed’s lead for learning and development Dave Bamber said the move would be welcomed by the digital generation that have grown up in the internet age.

He said: “Out of this there has been more of an impetus to explore and develop the online option of Part II, the legal examination. Over the past few years there’s been a lot of issues raised about if it’s the right time or is there enough interest.

“It makes it more 21st Century, more compliant with those who are more used to that as a process. It suits the people who are joining the organisation now.”

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