Nottinghamshire Police is among the first forces in the country to adopt new recruitment procedures designed to increase diversity within its ranks.
Police forces in England and Wales are changing the way they assess applicants who want to be police officers, using the new National Sift from College of Policing.
Traditionally, applicants who want to be police officers have needed to complete a series of competency questions which would be marked according to a scoring guide.
From now on, anyone wanting to be a police officer will instead complete an online test to judge their suitability for the role. The National Sift is much quicker for applicants to complete and has been shown to be better judge of success in the role.
Nottinghamshire Police adopted the new model on 10th June – ahead of schedule and at a time when its ranks are at their highest levels in a decade, having recently smashed its national Uplift recruitment target.
The College of Policing produced the National Sift after research found that people from underrepresented groups tended to be less successful at the assessment stages. Testing of the National Sift has shown that this disproportionality has been virtually eliminated and that those who pass the Sift are much more likely to go on to pass the National Police Assessment Centre interview.
Superintendent Louise Clarke, Head of Operation Uplift at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Whilst we hit our Uplift targets, we will still continue to recruit over the next year and we want to get the best candidates from the most diverse backgrounds.
“As a progressive force we are always looking to improve, and we saw the opportunity to bring in a fairer, more intuitive process.
“We have introduced the National Sift ahead of time as we recognise not everyone has the same support available for applying, and we want to level the playing field for all, regardless of their background.”
Nottinghamshire Police has introduced National Sift despite already making great strides in becoming more representative of the community it serves. Last year, the Home Office commended Nottinghamshire Police after figures revealed the force had recruited a greater proportion of officers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds than any other force in England and Wales.
The increase was achieved through a campaign of engagement with different parts of the community, not just those of different faiths and ethnicities, but also across the local public sector, to raise awareness of the opportunity to apply.
Furthermore, the force now has more female officers than ever before. A total of 35 per cent of police officers in Nottinghamshire are now women – up from 32 per cent in March 2020 with most new intakes seeing a near 50/50 split.