The Crown Prosecution Service

Prepare for The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Aptitude Tests

Careers In The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the main independent prosecutor of crime in England and Wales. Careers offered by the CPS are focused on delivering justice for those accused of a crime and, in turn, making a difference to the society we live in.

Roles advertised by the CPS are location-specific and vary in the level of seniority in the CPS.

Types Of Jobs

The CPS offers a variety of roles such as

  • Roles in business management such as private secretary roles
  • Prosecution management roles such as an advocacy clerk
  • Equality and diversity roles such as community engagement roles
  • IT/software roles

These roles don't require candidates to have attained a formal legal qualification.

Other roles within prosecution management such as Crown Prosecutor roles are qualified roles, open to those who have attained a legal degree and are able to practice law.

How To Get Hired At The Crown Prosecution Service

The CPS has a rigorous application process. All roles are advertised with strict closing dates along with a full candidate pack that details:

  • An introduction to the role
  • Role purpose
  • Responsibilities of the role
  • Assessment information
  • Contact details

Details of when the interviews will be conducted for those shortlisted to the interview stage are also noted. Guidance on how to complete a personal statement as well as interview tips are also provided.

To get hired, it is essential to take note of all of the information provided. Also, to ensure that you meet the requirements for the role and are available on the designated interview day should you be shortlisted for an interview.

The Crown Prosecution Application Process

The application process for roles at the CPS varies according to the position.

All roles require candidates to complete an application form. Depending on the role, candidates will also be asked to undertake an assessment. All positions require candidates to attend an interview.

All candidates for all roles are assessed against the Civil Service success profiles framework. This framework assesses a candidate's strengths and behaviours as well as their potential in the role.

The types of strengths and behaviours assessed through the application process differ according to the role.

To apply for roles, candidates must also meet the CPS Nationality requirements as outlined in each job description.

Application Stage

The application form for roles at the CPS is taken online. To apply, candidates need to select the specific job advert they wish to make an application to. Then, a Civil Service jobs account needs to be created, and from there, the application can be made.

The application form itself is short, asking for basic information, including academic and career history and employment details.

It is worth noting that candidates should not include any personal details on their application form as all Civil Service job applications are anonymized.

Some roles at the CPS require you to complete a personal statement that outlines how the skills and competencies apply to the position you are applying for.

Candidates are evaluated against the Civil Service success profiles, which detail the values, behaviours, and abilities of all employees that work at the civil service, including the CPS.

When completing your personal statement, it is essential to consider how you show these behaviours and values.

Some roles, such as those at the senior level, require candidates to submit a CV of no more than two pages. The CV should outline career achievements and employment history.

Online Legal Assessment

The online legal assessment typically comprises a written evaluation. Questions are then asked following the written assessment. This part of the recruitment process is the opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their existing legal knowledge and understanding.

The online assessment takes around one hour. This assessment is not included in the recruitment process for all roles at the CPS. Given the topics being assessed, the legal assessment is often used for qualified legal roles.

For senior legal positions, an additional legal assessment is also included as part of the recruitment process. For these roles, candidates need to succeed in both legal assessments to progress to the interview stage.

Interview

The interview is generally the last stage of the recruitment process for all roles at the CPS. Candidates are assessed against the civil service success profiles framework. This framework details the abilities, behaviours, technical knowledge, strengths, and skills that candidates need to demonstrate on the job at the civil service.

The specific criteria for the interview will vary depending on the role applied for. Candidates can find out what behaviours, skills, and abilities are being assessed at the interview by referring back to the candidate application pack.

Verbal Reasoning

Some roles at the CPS, such as qualified roles, require candidates to sit an online verbal reasoning test.

Verbal reasoning tests assess a candidate's ability to read and understand a passage of information and then answer questions on this. Answers are usually given as statements; candidates then state whether the answer given is false, true, or can not say based on the information presented.

The tests typically take up to 45 minutes to complete and are adaptive. Meaning that the questions get more challenging the more questions a candidate gets correct.

Logical Reasoning

Some roles at the CPS may require candidates to take a logical reasoning test.

These tests are non-verbal tests, assessing a candidate's ability to understand patterns or shapes and determine the relationship between sequences of these.

Candidates are then required to select what would come next from the list of multiple choice answers, based on the relationship identified.

It is worth noting that different roles at the CPS have various online tests as part of the recruitment process. Some candidates may need to complete a situational judgment test that determines their preference for the way they behave at work. Other roles may require candidates to complete a numerical reasoning test.

Details of what tests are included as part of the recruitment process are sent to candidates once they are successful at the previous recruitment stage.

Tips To Get Hired

The CPS has a comprehensive recruitment process. Here are some tips to ensure that you perform at your best at each stage of the selection process.

Understand The Behaviours Framework [CP/SEO OR LEVEL 3]

All candidates are assessed against the Civil Service success profile behaviours framework. There are different levels to this framework depending upon what grade the role is at.

There are six levels to the framework. Each level details the behaviours and some examples of how the behaviours can be demonstrated.

Before attending any stage of the process, it is important to read the behaviours framework for the role level. Also to think about how you demonstrate these behaviours.

Legal Intellect

For qualified roles practicing legal knowledge and understanding is required; in some cases, this is specific to a certain area.

Legal intellect is assessed as part of the recruitment process in the online legal assessment. Job applications often state the legal intellect required for roles. It is worthwhile checking that you are familiar with the legal working knowledge and relevant legal acts needed for the position applied.

Advocacy

The basis of the CPS is to deliver justice and make a difference to local communities and society. As such, roles at the CPS required candidates to have a sense of duty and be committed to delivering exceptional public service.

Meet The Requirements

Roles at the CPS often have specific application requirements. Check that you meet the exact candidate requirements, especially for qualified positions where specific legal qualifications are often stipulated.

Exact candidate requirements are detailed in the candidate application pack.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does The CPS Take To Make A Decision?

The timeline for each stage of the process varies depending on the role. For candidates invited to online legal assessment, invitations are sent out weekly.

The full timescale for each step of the process post-application stage is detailed in the candidate application pack.

What Are The Values Of The CPS?

The CPS has four values that employees work by to carry out their roles effectively and to the standards required by the CPS and public society:

  • We will be independent and fair
  • We will behave professionally and strive for excellence
  • We will be honest and open
  • We will treat everyone with respect

Is It Difficult To Work At The Crown Prosecution Service?

The CPS works to deliver justice and make a difference to our society.

This can mean that the work at the CPS is fast-paced, with diverse work that can be demanding. The CPS looks for candidates who want to work in public service and have a strong sense of duty.

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