Belfast Telegraph

New recruits allowed to take tests online in bid to boost Catholic police

Police in Northern Ireland will allow new recruits to undertake selection tests online rather than in person in a bid to encourage more Catholics to apply.

A new campaign has been launched to recruit 300 constables to the PSNI's ranks by next summer, to offset recent loss of staff through retirement.

Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said: "Following our last campaign in 2015, we commissioned Deloitte, our independent recruitment company, to undertake research to identify and understand barriers affecting our recruitment process."

He said one issue identified included having to take selection tests in person at a centre rather than online "proved a chill factor" particularly for applicants from the Catholic community and the PSNI has now updated the processes as a result.

Mr Harris said: "The PSNI is committed to being representative of the community we serve and welcomes applications from across all sections of the community."

Constables will receive a starting salary of £19,500, rising up to £38,000 after recruits have undergone further experience and training.

The online assessment will test applicants' verbal reasoning as well as situational judgement, followed by further assessment stages.

To be eligible, applicants must have a minimum of 5 GCSE A*-C grades, including maths and English as well as basic computer skills.

Aspiring constables will also be subject to vetting, physical assessments and a substance misuse test.

Further information on how to apply can be found on the website www.JoinPSNI.co.uk. The closing date for applications is Friday 10 November at midday.

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