Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Behavioural Personnel Assessment Device

When you receive a successful grade on all your stage one testing you will be invited back to complete your stage two testing which includes the Behavioural Personnel Assessment Device for Police (B-PAD). The BPAD is an oral exam, you do it alone in a room, completely by yourself. There are no actors or judicators in the room with you. There is however a video camera which records your responses to the pre-recorded video’s shown on a television monitor. Behavioural Assessment tests like the B-PAD you will experience during your stage two testing are vastly under supplied for preparation material, even the Applicant Testing website has no preparation material for the test so lets first go over the basics. The camera is filmed from a first person perspective so, imagine you are there, the actors on screen look directly into the camera and address you. It is important that you don’t crack up, laugh or choke on this exam, treat it like real life. Although, you will be playing the part of a Police Constable you’re not expected to know laws or Police protocol. You are supposed to react “naturally”. I don’t believe that everyone acts naturally the way judicators are looking for when they look back at your test tapes so I’m going to touch on a program that is often recommended. It is “Crisis Prevention” or “Crisis Prevention Intervention” (CPI). My employment before my interest in joining the Police and even during my testing to become a Police Constable provided “Crisis Prevention Intervention” as a mandatory certification for all employees. I do believe that CPI training is of value as preparation material for the B-PAD however, you can not walk into the B-PAD and expect to pass on your first try without appropriate practice. Here’s why, the situations that you are faced with are many, I believe eight in total and they are very much “in your face” you need to be relaxed, maintain composure and be on your toes with quick answers. I felt anxious going in even after preparing with my mentor, John Belisle. My method was after the situation played out I would take a deep breath that allowed myself a moment to collect my thoughts and then began speaking. I didn’t say anything without thinking about it first, this meant I said some short sentences, took a breath and then followed up. This is fine and allows you to not just think about what you’re saying but also the tone you want to say it in. If someone is in despair you should act appropriately, the look on your face and the tone of your voice should reflect it. Are you being consoling, comforting? Also, if the situation calls for you to be stern, can you hear it in your voice? Do you have a look of confidence and control?

I stand behind the material offered on because it’s what I used to pass the B-PAD, the self-assessment marking sheet is a great tool and I recommend you try it with your friends in stead of practicing alone in the mirror, the more you practice to the video scenarios and mark yourself based on your response, the better you will be at coming up with appropriate answers to the scenarios on your actual B-PAD. Also, I find many people ask me about how long their answers should be. Obviously you should identify yourself and ask some probing questions, with those points down all you need to do is respond to what you’re seeing and any questions you’ve been asked. By now you’ve said all you need to say. On average you should for a minimum of 10 seconds. Remember, the preparation material is there so that you don’t find yourself stuck, with nothing to say, instead you have experience which is practical to your B-PAD and to your future career in policing.

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