The College of Policing suspended Tuesday’s online inspectors’ exam due to technical difficulties.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, John Apter, the national chair of the Police Federation, said the college’s decision was ‘simply unacceptable’ and stressed that officers had a right to expect appropriate testing and evaluation to have been done before they came to sit the exam.
DCC Bernie O’Reilly from the College of Policing said he understood candidates had put in an extraordinary amount of work preparing for the exam, sacrificing their time during an already challenging and demanding time for policing.
“We apologise for the stress and anxiety caused by this delay and we will work hard to make sure that those who have been unable to sit the exam without disruption are able to do so fairly as soon as possible,” he said.
“We will ensure all candidates are provided with further information specific to their experience today and we will be exploring other support in respect of the wider impact on candidates’ personal circumstances.”
The national Federation chair said news that a technical problem prevented many of the sergeants involved completing the examination was deeply concerning. He has contacted Mike Cunningham, chief executive officer at the college.
“He is under no illusion as to how much anger and damage this has caused. I know the immense frustration and anger our members will be feeling. Exams are by their nature stressful and involve a lot of preparation, so to see that go to waste is simply unacceptable,” he explained.
He continued: “I want to reassure members I have heard directly from the officers affected and their frustration, disappointment and anger is loud and clear. I can assure you the Federation will be raising questions at the highest levels and holding the College of Policing to account.
“Some teething trouble is inevitable when new systems are introduced, but our members have a right to expect that all of the appropriate testing and evaluation would have been done before they came to sit their exams. Quite simply this is not good enough.”
Federation National Board members Gemma Fox and Dave Bamber lead on work with the College of Policing and will be seeking to ensure no officers are disadvantaged or treated unfairly as a result of the incident.