Metropolitan Police: Vetting

Home Office written question – answered am ar 8 Chwefror 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green

To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Metropolitan Police Service adopted the Selection Entrance Assessment for Recruiting Candidates Holistically (SEARCH) vetting process; if not, why not; and if so, (1) when the application started, and (2) whether it is still in use; and if it is not still in use, when its use ceased.

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Decisions about police recruitment, including how recruitment and selection processes are run, are a matter for Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, in the case of the Metropolitan Police the Mayor of London, and are therefore managed locally by forces. This is done within a national application, assessment and selection framework, in line with national guidance maintained by the College of Policing.

The SEARCH assessment centre was introduced as the national assessment centre for police officer candidates in 2002. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) used SEARCH as its assessment until April 2018 when a new assessment centre pilot was introduced in the MPS called Day One.

In May 2020 the College of Policing introduced the Online Assessment Process (OAP) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was adopted by all forces who now use the OAP for assessing candidates.

Vetting of police officer candidates is a separate post assessment stage carried out by forces as part of mandatory pre-employment checks.

Police forces carry out their vetting in line with the College of Policing’s statutory code of practice on vetting and vetting authorised professional practice (APP) guidance which were introduced in 2017. The Home Secretary has recently asked the College of Policing to strengthen the statutory code of practice on vetting to make the obligations all forces must legally follow stricter and clearer.

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