Careers at Met Police
The Metropolitan Police force of London is the UK's largest force, with over 43,000 officers. It takes up a quarter of the nation's entire policing budget, enforcing the law in one of the most diverse and busy cities in the world.
The Met Police is made up of departments including police officers and staff on the ground as well as support and office staff. Specifically, the four staffing groups are Frontline POlicing, Specialist Operations, Met Operations and Professionalism.
As expected with an organisation of this size, there is plenty of scope for career progression in interesting and exciting roles for employees with different backgrounds, skills and experience.
Types of Metropolitan Police roles
There are various roles within the Metropolitan police force. The three types of role that involve active policing are Police Officers, Police Community Service Officers (PCSOs) and Special Constables.
Police Officers are responsible for enforcing all laws, starting off in the rank of constable, before progressing upwards if they wish. Police Officers are assisted by Police Community Service Officers, who focus on increasing the safety of the public by undertaking tasks such as recording crime data and enforcing traffic rules.
Special Constables work alongside regular Police Officers and wear the same uniform, but they are volunteers who are required to commit at least 16 hours per month to their duties.
Metropolitan Police Application Process Stages
The Met police application process takes between four months and one year for all types of police roles. The process itself is made up of a number of stages, including initial assessments, psychometric and aptitude tests, written exercises and interviews.
Initial assessments are a vital part of applying for a role within the Met Police, as the careful selection of appropriate employees is of paramount importance in a job that relies on honesty and integrity to be done well. For this reason, the initial assessment stage involves an online eligibility check and a job preview questionnaire to assess your suitability for the type of work that inner-city policing entails.
Finally, candidates are required to complete a behavioural assessment to determine their ability to adjust their behaviour in response to changing situations on the ground.
Met Police Numerical Reasoning Tests
As part of the application process, candidates must complete a numerical reasoning test to check their basic numeracy and mathematical ability. The test lasts for around 25 minutes and is usually presented in multiple-choice format. Numerical reasoning involves using numerical data and understanding of mathematical concepts to read and interpret data and draw accurate conclusions.
Numerical reasoning skills are vital for a role in the Met Police, as employees are expected to analyse crime rates, record numerical readings themselves, and be able to understand and interpret various numerical data.
Met Police Verbal Reasoning Tests
A verbal reasoning test is administered to assess the candidate's aptitude for reading and understanding written information and using it to reach conclusions or make assumptions. Basic English skills, like reading and comprehension, are important for success in the verbal reasoning test. A typical question might present a passage of text, followed by four statements.
The applicant must then decide whether each statement is true, false, or it is impossible to say (meaning that there is not sufficient information to know). Verbal reasoning is an important skill for Police Officers as they will be expected to read witness statements, accounts of events, legal documents and internal communications and understand and action them as necessary.
Met Police Situational Judgement Tests
The situational judgement tests allow recruiters to see how candidates react and respond to certain workplace situations. As applicants may not have prior experience in law enforcement, they are not expected to know what to do in every situation.
However, situational judgement tests allow them to demonstrate how their personality and instincts might influence their behaviours. Recruiters are looking for assertive and confident actions made in a calm and measured way. Signs of temper or heavy-handedness may suggest unsuitability for the role in the Met Police, where these kinds of traits can cause problems.
They might also use diagrammatic reasoning tests.
Met Police Competency-based Interviews
The interview stage of any job application process can be intense, and this is no different for the Met Police interview stages. Candidates have around 40 minutes to answer questions about how they have dealt with certain situations in the past, explaining the qualities and approach that helped them perform well.
They might also face questions about what they might have done differently, or how they could have improved the outcome of a situation. Interviewers are highly experienced, and use the interview stage to weigh up the candidate, assessing whether they are a suitable candidate for a policing role.
All applicants receive the same questions for reasons of fairness and equal opportunities. The interview can be held in person or remotely, via video call.
Met Police Written Exercises
The next stage of the Met Police application process involves a 30-minute written exercise. Candidates are asked to imagine that they are in the position of Police Officer tasked with completing a written task issued by their manager. Additional sources of information, all in written form, will be provided alongside the question. The candidate uses these written documents to compile their submission, demonstrating their ability to understand and interpret the information and communicate clearly in written form themselves.
London Factor Assessment
Policing in a busy city like London brings its own challenges. The London factor assessment gives a taste of what it's like to police in the city, providing a series of statements to which the candidate must respond.
The tests and assessments that make up the Met Police application process are held in an assessment centre. The process involves bringing together applicants in order to meet them in person and get an idea of their personality and behaviour in real-life social situations.
Senior staff and recruiters will be present and carefully watch the way candidates conduct themselves, both during assessments and also during downtime and breaks.
The assessments outlined above take place at these assessment centres, as do initial interviews and group exercises, such as role play and teamwork tasks.
Tips To Get Hired At Met Police
1. Take Practice Tests
As well as practising interview answers, candidates can also take online practise psychometric tests to practice for the numerical and verbal reasoning, and situational judgement tests. Taking a practice test gives applicants an idea of the time allowance and the format of the questions, so they can better prepare for the day and avoid any surprises.
Where results are provided, practice tests are also an opportunity to spot any weaknesses and brush up on skills.
2. Do Your Research
Before going into any stage of the recruitment process, we'd advise candidates to do their research about what is expected of them and how they can improve their chances of success. It's also beneficial to research about the Met Police force, the areas it covers, its main responsibilities and challenges, and any political or legal factors that affect day to day working life in the force.
3. Know The Competency And Values Framework
The Competency and Values Framework is an official document that sets out the expectations of anyone working in policing in the UK. It references the Code of Ethics that guides policing and maintains integrity within the force and improves relationships with the general public.
Many of the tasks that make up the application process are designed to assess the candidate's adherence to the necessary traits to uphold the Competency and Values Framework, such as honesty and candour.
4. Review Your Experience
Even if you have no prior experience of policing, you may have past experiences or jobs that have resulted in transferable skills that you can bring to a role in the Met Police. Take the time to review your past experiences so they are fresh in your mind ready for the interview stages.
5. Plan For Success
A commitment to excellent preparation can stand you in good stead for the application process. It is possible to take measures to familiarise yourself with the format and types of tests, the skills and knowledge you are expected to demonstrate, and the questions you might be asked.
Check that you know the location of your interview, or that you have a good internet connection if it is to be held online. Good preparation is key to success.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
Is It Easy To Join The Met Police?
A job in the Met Police can be demanding, so the application process is rigorous. However, the police force is committed to giving everyone a fair chance, so the better prepared you are, the easier you will find the process.
How long Is The Met Police Recruitment Process?
The application process takes around four months but can take up to a year.
What Is A CBQ Check?
The CBQ check is Competency Based Question Scoring, a method of scoring your interview answers against the Competency and Values Framework to assess your suitability for a role in the Met Police.
How Can I Practice Police Tests?
If you are successful at applying, you will move on to taking a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing. You can practice this test online beforehand to improve your chances of success.
What Disqualifies You From Becoming A Police Officer?
A previous conviction or caution can disqualify you from being accepted into the Met Police. However this isn't always the case, so you can still apply to be considered and will be assessed on an individual basis.
Membership to an extremist group, such as the BNP, will also disqualify you from becoming a police officer. You must also have lived in the UK for three consecutive years before applying.