OFFICERS preparing for their Sergeants’ exams are worried that they will suffer the same technical issues that affected the Inspectors’ exams, Hampshire Police Federation has said.
Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said it was “shocking” that hundreds of officers were unable to complete their Inspectors’ exams due to connectivity problems with the College of Policing website.
Some officers took hours trying to complete their Inspectors’ exam on 13 October and others couldn’t finish at all. The College of Policing rescheduled the exams to take place between 30 October and 2 November, but Zoë said that was “really not ideal” as it was half-term week and many officers had family commitments.
Zoë said: “It’s a real shame because all these officers, they’ve studied for a long time, they’ve given up a lot of time over the summer with their families to study for this exam, and then they’ve gone to sit and do the exam and they’ve been let down.
“Loads of people were stressed, loads of people had to make additional childcare arrangements or try to complete the exam with young children running around them because it took longer than expected.
“And then the reissuing of the dates was really not ideal because it was half-term week. A lot of people had planned: ‘Right, I’ve been studying all this time, once the exam’s out of the way we’ll go away for half-term week. Oh no, the exam’s rescheduled for half-term week’. People have had to either cancel their holidays or do it while they’re on holiday.”
But Zoë said that, although the half-term dates were unfortunate, giving officers the chance to retake the Inspectors’ exam was the “best and fairest solution [the College of Policing] could have come up with”.
She said officers were concerned about the Sergeants’ exam. She said: “Now there’s the fear that we’re going to have the same issue with the Sergeants’ exam. They’re all now worrying about it, and there are a lot more people doing the Sergeants’ exam. There were 3,000 down to do the Inspectors’ exam, but 8,000 registered to do the Sergeants’ exam.”
In a bid to try to avoid technical issues, the College of Policing have now spread the Sergeants’ exam over three days: 10, 11 and 12 November.
The College said in a statement: “We understand that you have put in an extraordinary amount of work in preparation for this exam, in addition to the work you did earlier this year, before the exam was postponed due to the restrictions in place. We apologise for any disruption or inconvenience caused and want to reassure you that the actions we are taking are to ensure that the Sergeants’ promotion exams can take place smoothly and