Queen Margaret’s School – Prestigious Police Apprenticeship for Lucy

16 May 2019

Our warmest congratulations to Lucy Ibbetson, UVI, who has been successful in obtaining a very prestigious Higher Level Apprenticeship with Northamptonshire Police. Lucy is the first QM girl to have secured the Apprenticeship and was also offered no less than five university degree course places.

Lucy tells us;

“I first heard about the course when looking online about paths into the police and found that many police forces were starting to offer apprenticeships. Northamptonshire was the only one offering one this year, but many others will be in the future. I was very sceptical about it at first since it was hard to find much information; I wasn’t certain I would be able to do it. I decided I wanted to give it a go because I felt that an apprenticeship would be much more fulfilling for me than university, as I would be able to gain experience as well as a degree without any debt. I decided to sign up via an in-depth form online. I was required to give details about my family members, previous employers, my criminal history and even whether I had any tattoos. I then had to answer some competency questions, such as ‘describe a time you have taken control of a situation’.

The core competencies of the police are at the forefront of almost every stage of the selection process: Serving the public, Openness to change, Service delivery, Professionalism, Decision making and Working with others. I spent a lot of time talking with my family and teachers about how I could address each of these competencies in my application. After my online application was accepted, I had to attend the assessment centre at the College of Policing. I sat a set of standard tests that took five hours and included numerical and verbal reasoning, role play, a written exercise and a short interview where I was asked about the core competencies. Before I went to the assessment centre I was given a booklet of information about a fictional shopping centre where I had to pretend I worked as a member of the security team; I had to learn the rules, values and procedures of this business for the role play scenario. During the role play we had four situations; we were given five minutes to read a summary of each situation and we were then taken to a room where an actor played the part of a customer who required assistance and I was required to solve the situation as a member of the security team within five minutes, making regular reference to the shopping centre’s values and rules.

The next stage of the process was another interview, this time at Northamptonshire Police Station. This interview was much more like a regular job interview with two examiners. It has been a difficult process so far and I still have a bit to go, including a fitness test and a drug test. I believe the course will be structured in the same way as any other policing course, but I will get to work much more closely with Northamptonshire Police in order to gain experience.”

We look forward to following Lucy’s progress when she leaves QM at the end of Sixth Form later this year.