As a control room operative, you are the first point of contact for those needing police assistance.
Answering emergency 999 calls and non-emergency 101 calls, you will be the one sending police officers to incidents.
One minute you could be taking the details of a stolen vehicle, the next you may be sending officers to a report of an armed robbery.
When that first call comes in, you are effectively the person ‘in the room’ with the caller. Not all calls need an officer. There are many times when you are the one to help resolve the call, giving the appropriate advice, without the need to dispatch an officer.
The Control Room operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.
It can be a challenging and pressured environment, but it is also a hugely rewarding place to work. Knowing you have helped someone at one of the worst times in their life is incredibly satisfying.
We provide training to equip you with the skills to understand how to answer calls and send the appropriate recourses.
1,200 calls a day to The Control Room – no two are the same.
We want people who are calm under pressure, have attention to detail and the determination to deal with those in need with empathy and professionalism.
As part of the initial application, you will be required to answer four questions. The information and examples provided in your supporting statement will be how you are marked/scored as to how your examples meet the essential and desirable criteria required for the role.
Q1) In the Force Control Room excellent written and verbal communication skills are key. Explain what effective communication means to you and tell us about a time where you have used excellent communication skills.
Q2) As a Force Control Room operative you could be answering 999 calls or deploying officers to incidents where the decisions you make need to be accurate despite working within a time critical environment. Demonstrate an example of how you have had to work effectively under pressure in the past.
Q3) Operatives within our Force Control Room are expected to be able to access and interrogate multiple computer systems across multiple screens to progress the reports we receive. Full training is given but the ability to multi-task is a key skill you will need. Please tell us about a time when you have had to do multiple tasks simultaneously.
Q4) Force Control Room operatives regularly conduct risk assessments on the reports we receive. Many of us make multiple risk assessments unknowingly within our daily lives. Please give us an example of where you have had to make a decision based on a risk assessment, including how you assessed the situation and identified your options before taking action.
Once we receive your completed application form, two independent moderators will check it against our standard recruitment criteria, giving each question a score out of four. If your application is unsuccessful at this stage, you will be contacted by email to let you know.
Our assessment centre is held at Northamptonshire Police HQ, Wootton Hall, Northampton, NN4 0JQ. Please allow up to one hour for the assessments. The assessment centre is made up of three parts:
Typing Test 1
For this test you will listen to a recording and type up as much of the information you hear as possible. To pass the test you will need to achieve an average typing speed of 19 words per minute and less than five errors. You don't need to type word for word but you must cover all of the relevant and important information, and everything you type must make sense - this includes the correct use of spelling and grammar. Abbreviations and text typing will count as errors (e.g. tbh, u). Spellcheck is not allowed.
Typing Test 2
During this test a tape will be played out loud to the room to everyone at the same time. You will be required to capture the correct information in the correct places on the form in front of you. You should try to be as accurate as possible as you will be assessed on the amount of information you record and which section it is recorded in.
When the recording ends, you have 20 seconds to make any changes.
Problem Solving Exercise
For this exercise you will be required to assign Water Engineers to both emergency and non-emergency calls as per the rules provided. You will need to ensure you have read the description, rules, call information and the details, and the engineer matrix.
If you are successful at the assessment centre stage you will be invited to attend a formal interview.
The interview will be held at Northamptonshire Police HQ, Wootton Hall, Northampton, NN4 0JQ. Please allow up to an hour and 30 minutes.
Please ensure you bring two pieces of ID as per the requirements sent to you via your interview invite.
You will be asked six questions that link to the essential criteria for the role on the job description. Some questions will require an example and other are more scenario based. To prepare - think about your transferrable skills: what do you do now either for work, home or hobbies that will help when you are answering the questions. Do your homework on Northamptonshire Police, what we do, what services we offer in the Control Room in particular, for example.
If successful, you will be invited to attend a drugs test and medical which will take place at either Northamptonshire Police HQ or Leicester Police Occupational Health Department.
Before anyone joins Northamptonshire Police, we need to undertake a series of vetting checks to help identify and assess any identified risks. To help us do this, we ask you to complete a detailed vetting form which asks for details of your family members and any criminal associates. You must let anyone whose details you have provided know that they will be looked into as part of your pre-employment checks. Legislative constraints mean that we’re unable to disclose the results of enquiries on third parties.
If you have convictions or cautions this doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t be able to appoint you. It depends on the role you’ve applied for and the nature of the offence. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 all police staff applicants have to declare previous convictions and cautions which would ordinarily be considered ‘spent’.
However, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exemptions) Order 1975, provides that if you’re applying for a police staff role you do NOT have to declare any information in relation to a PROTECTED caution or a PROTECTED conviction.
A protected conviction is one where ALL the following applies:
It is not for a ‘listed offence’* under Article 2A(5) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975
No custodial sentence was imposed
The individual has not been convicted of any other offence at any time
11 years or more have passed since the conviction, if the individual was aged 18 or over at the time of conviction, or five and a half years or more have passed since the conviction if the individual was under 18 at the time of the conviction.
A protected caution is one where ALL the following applies:
It is not for a ‘listed offence’* under Article 2A(5) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975;
Six years or more have passed since the caution, if the individual was aged 18 years or over at the time the caution was given, or two years or more have passed since the caution if the individual was under 18 at the time the caution was given.
As an applicant, you are responsible for understanding if you have a protected caution or conviction and to complete the vetting form correctly. If in doubt, contact our vetting unit for advice.
Northamptonshire Police apply the criminal convictions guidance contained in the College of Policing Vetting Code of Practice and associated Authorised Professional Practice (APP) to all police staff applications and will reject applications in all cases where:
offences were committed as an adult or juvenile that resulted in a prison sentence (including custodial, suspended or deferred sentence and sentences served at a young offenders’ institution or community home);
the applicant is, or has been, a registered sex offender or is subject to a registration requirement in respect of any other conviction.
For all other convictions or cautions we will reject applications where any of the following apply:
offences where vulnerable people were targeted
offences motivated by hate or discrimination
offences of domestic abuse
We take particular care where an applicant has been convicted of (or cautioned for) offences of dishonesty, corrupt practice or violence, which will also likely result in rejection.
We consider each case on its own merits and, whilst you should presume convictions, cautions or other sanctions will lead to your application being rejected, there may be occasions where this will not be the case.
There may also be circumstances where your suspected involvement in crime, or criminal associations make an offer of employment inappropriate.
We run a credit reference check on all applicants. Police staff have access to privileged and highly sensitive information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption, so it’s important for us to understand applicants’ financial situation. Applicants to the police service should normally be free from serious debt or liability and be able to manage existing loans. We place our emphasis on managing debt sensibly.
If you have existing County Court Judgement’s outstanding or have been registered as bankrupt and have not discharged your bankruptcy we’ll be unable to consider your application. If you have been registered as bankrupt and have discharged their bankruptcy debts, you won’t be considered until three years after your discharge of the debt. Debt Relief Orders (DRO) are treated in the same way as bankruptcy.
We will consider your application carefully if a credit reference check reveals you have a current individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). We don’t make clearance decisions until we’ve seen evidence that you’ve maintained regular IVA repayments over a number of months and taking into consideration also the size of the debt. The same principle applies where you have defaulted on accounts.
If you can show you have and are adhering to debt management arrangements you may be considered. We’ll need to see documentary evidence to demonstrate your commitment and adherence to any debt management arrangements and will consider each case on its own merits.
Open Source Checks
We will check content on publicly available social media sites.
If your vetting is successful, our vetting unit will let the recruiting department know. If your clearance is declined our vetting unit will notify you personally and provide as much information as we can as to the reason. There may be occasions where we are unable to provide a detailed explanation. There is an appeal process available.
* Listed offences include serious, violent and sexual offences and offences that are of specific relevance to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, and will never be filtered or protected. There is a a list of offences which will never be filtered or protected.
After you have successfully completed all of the above, you will be given a formal offer of employment.
If you have any questions about a career with Northamptonshire Police, or to express an interest outside of an application window you can do so by emailing [email protected] or calling 101, extension 342401.