jorkinn
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Hi everyone!

So I'm basically looking for any insight into whether I'll realistically be accepted into training/work as a probation officer :confused:

I am in level 6 of my Ancient History bachelor's and recently applied for PQiP. I have been successful in my application so far and I've been invited to the assessment centre in April 2020. I've read that they're truly assessing us on the abilities they see, rather than going entirely off of our experience, etc. Without having a degree in criminal justice and without any true probation work experience, do I realistically have a chance here? Can anyone offer any advice?

Thank you for any help you can give me!!
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Thepop
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Hello, you have totally got a chance. The level 5 qualification is a must, I’m assuming you have done the online situational decision making test.
The assessment centre isn’t about what you know it’s about determining if you have the skills to be able to write a report with the given information, answer the questions in a 1-1 interview to prove your competence with previous examples of past experiences. ( doesn’t have to be probation based experience) and show you can work with others when presented with scenarios to work out the best plan for the 3-4 cases you are given.
I have been successful in my application and am happy to help you should you need any support/ have any questions.
Kindest Regards
Lizzy
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jorkinn
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(Original post by Thepop)
Hello, you have totally got a chance. The level 5 qualification is a must, I’m assuming you have done the online situational decision making test.
The assessment centre isn’t about what you know it’s about determining if you have the skills to be able to write a report with the given information, answer the questions in a 1-1 interview to prove your competence with previous examples of past experiences. ( doesn’t have to be probation based experience) and show you can work with others when presented with scenarios to work out the best plan for the 3-4 cases you are given.
I have been successful in my application and am happy to help you should you need any support/ have any questions.
Kindest Regards
Lizzy
Hi Lizzy,

That's wonderful, thank you!
Do you have any tips as to specific things I should be looking into to better prepare myself? I've looked at a few probation reports and read into experiences people have had in the assessment centres, is there more I can be doing? The 1-1 interview is making me the most nervous I think. What specific competencies do you think they'll value the most?
How soon after the assessment centre did you find out that you were successful? Do you have an idea of when you'll start? (Assuming you haven't yet)

Thanks again!
Jordan
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Thepop
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Hi Jordan,
Study the competencies, make sure you understand what competency is relevant to each stage of the interview and focus on that. The assessment centre you will be called In different groups for different things. I had, report, 1/1 then group.
1. Report writing- make sure you read all pages. In my paper there was an extra page hidden. Read from front to back, no page left unturned. Brief summery of the person and issues and make sure you have sound recommendations that will be doable for the client and public health. You only have a short amount of time so take a highlighter pen with you. Do not focus on the person only the best suggested outcome for them and society.
2. One-2-one interview- the interviewer hasn’t seen your application form so use the examples you used there. Make sure you use whatever competency they are asking for but I used my application questions mostly to demonstrate how and what I did.
Group task- you will be sat with 3 peers. 15 minutes to read over the 3/4 cases ( use your highlighter) then you will be observed. (2 examiners) to the 4 of you. Try to look for something that the others might not spot in the cases. Be outspoken but making sure you recognise what someone else has contributed. Use their name. I knew I shined in this aspect as I managed to persuade the group to my way of thinking as it was better for client success.
Be yourself, be confident, go get it. It really is a great experience and I wouldn’t be afraid to do it again.
Lizzy
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jademichaela
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Hi! I don’t really have anything to add to this thread but I also have been successful in the initial part of my application and have been invited to the assessment centre! Mine is on the 18th March! I have a masters degree in crime, justice and psychology and wrote a few reports during my studies so I’m not overly nervous about that aspect. For me it’s the group exercise and 1-1! It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in this situation and hopefully we can all support each other! 😌
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jorkinn
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Oh man you definitely sound like you have a leg up on me! My assessment centre is 2 April, so I'll be so eager to hear your experiences! I'm with ya, I'm definitely glad there are others in the same situation haha. It really seems to be about being yourself and doing your best. That makes me feel a lot better because if it doesn't end up working out, at least I'll know it's because I wouldn't be suited well to the job anyway 😅
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jademichaela
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(Original post by jorkinn)
Oh man you definitely sound like you have a leg up on me! My assessment centre is 2 April, so I'll be so eager to hear your experiences! I'm with ya, I'm definitely glad there are others in the same situation haha. It really seems to be about being yourself and doing your best. That makes me feel a lot better because if it doesn't end up working out, at least I'll know it's because I wouldn't be suited well to the job anyway 😅
I will definitely let you know how it goes and give you some tips if I can! 😌
I’ve heard it’s not a group scenario/presentation anymore and that it’s two 10 minute individual role plays! Which makes me more anxious than I was before!😂 but hopefully we both do well! 😌
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MPQZ
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(Original post by jademichaela)
I will definitely let you know how it goes and give you some tips if I can! 😌
I’ve heard it’s not a group scenario/presentation anymore and that it’s two 10 minute individual role plays! Which makes me more anxious than I was before!😂 but hopefully we both do well! 😌
How did your assessment centre go? Mine was 17th
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jademichaela
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(Original post by MPQZ)
How did your assessment centre go? Mine was 17th
I actually felt like mine was ok! What about yours?! Mine was yesterday!
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MPQZ
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(Original post by jademichaela)
I actually felt like mine was ok! What about yours?! Mine was yesterday!
I'm unsure, I think I did well on the written as I actually finished it and the others on the day said they ran out of time. Not sure with the role plays or interview to be honest. Hope we hear soon, Im no good at waiting!
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jademichaela
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(Original post by MPQZ)
I'm unsure, I think I did well on the written as I actually finished it and the others on the day said they ran out of time. Not sure with the role plays or interview to be honest. Hope we hear soon, Im no good at waiting!
Yeah I finished mine too! I actually really enjoyed the role play and I thought I wouldn’t!😅 oh god yeah I hope so too!
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SarahCMTS
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I attended the Birmingham Assessment Centre too, had an email this evening. Successful 😊

Have either of you heard back yet?
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jademichaela
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(Original post by SarahCMTS)
I attended the Birmingham Assessment Centre too, had an email this evening. Successful 😊

Have either of you heard back yet?
Congratulations!! 😌 I haven’t heard back yet, but mine was only on the 18th x
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SarahCMTS
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(Original post by jademichaela)
Congratulations!! 😌 I haven’t heard back yet, but mine was only on the 18th x
Mine was on the 16th, hopefully you hear on Monday x
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jademichaela
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(Original post by SarahCMTS)
Mine was on the 16th, hopefully you hear on Monday x
Oh you’ve heard back that quickly?! That gives me hope to hear soon! I seen on another thread that people had there assessment centre on the 4th and not long heard back so I expected to wait the full 15 days! X
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jorkinn
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(Original post by SarahCMTS)
I attended the Birmingham Assessment Centre too, had an email this evening. Successful 😊

Have either of you heard back yet?
Ah congrats!! I don't have my assessment centre until 2nd April (fingers crossed it's going ahead as planned with all the craziness going on right now).
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LouiseR85
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Hi, I had my assesment on the 17th March at birmingham and found out the next week that I had a provisional offer. I submitted pre employment checks same day and then recieved OH form a few days after;contersignatory has informed me they already recieved reference form a few days after I submitted pre employment checks, process seems to be quicker than normal for civil service! Good luck everyone
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jorkinn
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(Original post by LouiseR85)
Hi, I had my assesment on the 17th March at birmingham and found out the next week that I had a provisional offer. I submitted pre employment checks same day and then recieved OH form a few days after;contersignatory has informed me they already recieved reference form a few days after I submitted pre employment checks, process seems to be quicker than normal for civil service! Good luck everyone
Congratulations!! That definitely seems quick, I'm glad they aren't keeping anyone waiting for too long.
My assessment centre has been postponed with covid-19 so who knows when I'll be able to get in there.
What aspects of the centre did you find most challenging? Any tips?
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LouiseR85
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(Original post by jorkinn)
Congratulations!! That definitely seems quick, I'm glad they aren't keeping anyone waiting for too long.
My assessment centre has been postponed with covid-19 so who knows when I'll be able to get in there.
What aspects of the centre did you find
I'm so sorry to hear that, but hopefully they wont offer any contracts to people until everyone has completed assesment stage.
To be honest with you the best advice I can give is to not be nervous as the interview was pretty relaxed and allows you to be yourself,dont answer questions on what you think they want to hear as they want to know you as a person. The role plays were the best part for me and they were the thing I was most nervous about; you will have time to gather information on the situation but just remember the competencies and that you need to show all elements when reacting to the situation, but also be yourself. Both scenarios will have difficulties that you have to try and overcome, once your in there you forget your being recorded and the time goes so quickly. Dont be worried if you end up exiting the role play before the time is up, this does not mean you didn't do well, along as you feel the issue was resolved and the offender feels at ease about the situation. Additionally, I finished the written tests before the time allocated but feel that it isn't the amount you write but the quality and information you input that is essential. All I would suggest for preparation for the assesment centre is practise the following: extracting information from several sources and make a summarised evaluation of the information you gained from them. Ensure to brush up on grammar and spelling and write as clearly as possible. Try and plan your time and spend more time on exercises which may have more information to draw from. Use the scrap paper as your tool to make bullet point notes to draw from when you write up; be sure to only include relevant information and be mindful of not repeating information that has already been stated too much.
All I can say about the whole process is that by the end you will wonder why you were so nervous but trust your instincts and be yourself. I passed with 82% and did not think I would have been anywhere near that! Good luck!
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jademichaela
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(Original post by LouiseR85)
Hi, I had my assesment on the 17th March at birmingham and found out the next week that I had a provisional offer. I submitted pre employment checks same day and then recieved OH form a few days after;contersignatory has informed me they already recieved reference form a few days after I submitted pre employment checks, process seems to be quicker than normal for civil service! Good luck everyone
I had my assessment centre on the 18th but in Buckingham. I haven’t heard back yet but hopefully I’m not waiting too much longer 😌 congratulations too!!
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