ERIC Number: ED415249
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Examining the Test: An Evaluation of the Police Standard Entrance Test.
Wilson, Valerie; Glissov, Peter; Somekh, Bridget
In June 1995, the Scottish Council for Research in Education began a 5-month study of the Standard Entrance Examination (SET) to the police in Scotland. The first phase was an analysis of existing recruitment and selection statistics from the eight Scottish police forces. Phase Two was a study of two police forces using a case study methodology. Identified issues were then circulated using the Delphi approach to all eight forces. There was a consensus that both society and the police are changing, and that disparate functional maps of a police officer's job have been developed. It was generally recognized that recruitment and selection are important, but time-consuming, aspects of police activity. Wide variations were found in practices across the eight forces, including the use of differential pass marks for the SET. Independent assessors have identified anomalies in the test indicating that it is both ambiguous and outdated in part, with differences in the readability of different versions that compromises comparability. Proportionately more women and ethnic minority candidates experience difficulty with the SET, and proportionately more white male candidates are eliminated following background inquiry or for "other reasons" than other groups. Both the insufficient number of applicants from ethnic minority backgrounds and their disproportionately higher failure rate on the SET need to be addressed. Recommendations for improving the construction and use of the SET are offered. Seventeen appendixes present supplemental information about the SET and the study. (Contains five figures and nine tables.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Employment Qualifications, Foreign Countries, Job Skills, Minority Groups, Occupational Tests, Police, Test Bias, Test Interpretation, Test Use, Testing Problems
HMSO Bookshop, 71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9AZ; Scotland, United Kingdom (5 British pounds).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Scottish Office Education and Industry Dept., Edinburgh.
Authoring Institution: Scottish Council for Research in Education.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)