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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School

In 1997 the Cabinet Office asked us to review the scoring used in their OSPRE system for the promotion of police officers.

A decade earlier, a national project team had been established by the Police Promotions Examinations Board with a view to making Police Promotion Examinations more relevant to contemporary policing needs. 

The team recognised that the police service needed an assessment process that assessed both knowledge of the law and specific skills and behaviours needed by police managers. Having conducted considerable research and gathered all the information, the project team designed a national promotions examinations system known as Objective Structured Performance Related Examination - OSPRE.

OSPRE was introduced nationally in 1991. It was designed in two inter-related parts:

  • Part 1 – two hour multiple-choice paper test, on law and procedural knowledge.
  • Part 2 - an assessment centre comprising seven, five minute role-acted work sample exercises.

Since then it has been under constant revision in line with the new Policing Competencies. We were asked to carry out a review of the scoring procedure used to combine and weight the various elements that made up the programme. On the basis of the data provided were were able to make several recommendations for revision to the scoring.

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