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Dorset Police
Police Staff – How to apply

Application and Interview
Support for Police Staff Applicants


Our Aim


We aim to ensure that we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills to meet the needs of the people and communities we serve. Thus, Dorset Police have policies which aim to ensure that the best individuals are selected for posts, whilst also ensuring a fair, transparent and legislatively compliant process.

In the majority of cases, Dorset Police use a structured assessment process to select for vacant posts, which involves completion of an application form and interview. This allows individuals to demonstrate how they meet the qualifications, experience, knowledge, skills, qualities or attributes that are deemed necessary for the role (detailed in the Dorset job description). An interview / selection panel have the opportunity to assess the application forms and interviews in a consistent and fair way that can be scored for each applicant.

This will give you some guidance for applicants in providing evidence for completion of the application form.

What you should DO on your application


  • complete the application form, putting in detailed relevant evidence. Remember the reader was not there so ensure there is enough detail to enable them to identify the importance of the evidence you are seeking to highlight. Did you go that extra mile? If so, tell them!
  • apply even if you feel you don’t have strong evidence for all criteria in the person specification / role profile.
  • consider all aspects of your current role when including evidence on your application form. The tasks you carry out regularly are quite often those you overlook.
  • remember it is perfectly acceptable to include evidence from previous roles and other aspects of your life e.g. from voluntary work, school / college / university or personal achievements.
  • refer back to your employment appraisals / reviews to establish if there are key aspects of work that are relevant that you have forgotten about.
  • try to incorporate the mnemonic S.T.A.R. to help you fully evidence each criteria:

Situation What area of criteria is being evidenced
Task The piece of work you undertook
Action What you did to achieve the outcome
Result What the outcome was


For Example:
Must be able to demonstrate good communication skills:

“In my previous job I was responsible for dealing with customer complaints. This involved…”
Must be able to demonstrate basic numeric skills:

““I am responsible for monitoring various budgets in my current role, which means I have to…”



  • check that the example you are giving is relevant to the criteria area you are talking about.
  • cross reference pieces of evidence if referring to them in different criteria areas - you may find you repeat information, this does not matter as long as it is relevant to the criteria you are evidencing.
  • ‘sell yourself’. Avoid being modest about your achievements. Use ‘I’.
  • attempt to make a link between the work you do now and the post you are applying for.
  • consider typing your application form using Microsoft Word for ease of readability and ensuring you make best use of the space provided.
  • use spell-check facilities available on Word – but read the form through too.
  • submit your form on time.
  • keep a copy for interview preparation or for future applications.

What you should NOT DO on your application


  • Do not exceed or expand the boxes provided when completing Section 3 of the application form.
  • Do not change the font size or style of the form. The style applied must remain Arial 11.
  • Do not leave too many blank spaces within the application form. You could be wasting valuable room to show more evidence.
  • Do not make general or philosophical comments or statements that do not actually give evidence of the way you work.
  • Do not take credit for someone else’s achievements.

Data Security


We will take all reasonable steps to ensure the security of your personal data. However, we must remind you that external email is an insecure medium. If you choose to send the completed form to us electronically you do so at your own risk.

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