The Public Service Centre (PSC) is responsible for dealing with all incoming emergency and non-emergency contacts from the public. Responsive round the clock, the PSC is at the very heart of our work and operations. The PSC takes more than 2,000 contacts a day, including serious crime, sudden deaths, traffic collisions and missing vulnerable persons. No two calls are ever quite the same.
Being a Public Service Centre Operator is both rewarding and essential to safeguarding the communities of South Wales. The idea candidate would demonstrate the following attributes:
An understanding of the importance of providing a good quality and prompt service to customers.
Good listening skills: You will need to be able to listen to needs and concerns of others and respond accordingly.
Effective decision making: You will need to make decisions quickly and under pressure.
Within the PSC we operate collaboratively, sharing a control room with colleagues from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. Ambulance control is also situated within the room, which is staffed with ambulance personnel who provide advice and guidance to our staff. We also have nurses within the room who can assess and triage any concerns relating to emotional and psychological wellbeing to offer advice to staff.
A team of police officers who are also based in the PSC assess all calls we receive which are reporting missing persons, allowing for an expeditious response.
On each team there are staff working on the Digital Desk, responding to all our digital contacts including via email, Twitter and Facebook, and a web chat service.
Our 999 / 101 Call Handler opportunities are:
Contact Resolution Officers (CRO)
Incident Risk and Resolution Officers (IRRO)
When staff start their shift they book on at an available desk and log on to the force and national computer systems – one of these systems allows the operator who has been available for the longest wait time to be automatically fed a 999 emergency or 101 non-emergency call.
All newly appointed call handlers are provided with a robust training package. This includes classroom and allocation of a tutor to provide on-site training in responding to calls as they come in. Part of the training includes the finalising of calls, which is identified as the “the wrap-up call function”. This ensures that call-handlers will not be presented with another call until they have successfully completed all checks and collated relevant information for recording on the incident. This process has been put in place to ensure that call handlers have sufficient time for calls to be correctly dealt with, once this is complete operators then show themselves as available for the next call.
The calls you will be dealing with can vary greatly and your training will ensure you are able to identify calls which are for other agencies and advise the caller and redirect to the most appropriate agency. Calls can include reports of Road Traffic Accidents, domestic incidents which may involve violence, thefts, burglaries and robberies, fights and disturbances and members of the public suffering with mental health episodes including callers who are suicidal. This is a snapshot of the calls we deal with. Staff are trained to remain calm, de-escalate distressed callers and obtain accurate information off them quickly whilst ensuring the call handler assesses the Threat, Risk and Harm given the particular set of circumstances. This will result in calls being graded correctly and allocated the applicable appropriate and timely response.
Once the call has been graded, if it needs a response within between 15 minutes and eight hours it will then be transferred to dispatch, from where it will be allocated to officers to attend.
If it requires a police response but in slower time it will then be sent to our Incident Resolution Team (IRT) who also work within the PSC.
Once fully consolidated on CRO role you will be required to attend a further weeklong dispatch course and then spend a further six blocks with tutor’s upskilling on dispatch before they will become competent in this area of the role.
The role of the IRRO is to allocate officers to incidents that have been created and graded by our colleagues on call handling. The IRRO role requires a dynamic way of thinking. We utilise multiple skills to undertake an array of duties.
As an IRRO we assess risk of the incidents created by CROs and, if so required, upgrade to a more appropriate faster response. Or as can be the case, request the dispatch supervisor to review for the grading of the call to be downgrade. Doing this we can assist the sergeants to manage incidents in their BCU more effectively.
We are trained to cover all areas of SWP force area on six different channels. On these channels we focus on the incidents that have been created for that specific area. It requires the ability to manage several incidents at once and focus of prioritising incidents by the risk involved to allocate in a timely appropriate manner. We work with sector sergeants to assign officers to incidents and provide support if the officers require so in the form of finding intelligence through our NICHE (Record Management System) and PNC (Police National Computer) which allows us to interrogate the systems for details of previous incidents or anything of note that will aid the officers in their task.
If an officer requires emergency assistance, they will activate their alarm which comes back to PSC. We can then call for further units to attend and support the officer who has activated their emergency alarm. It requires a fast response and understanding of where your nearest resources are and what they are skilled in doing so.
We are trained through a pursuit course to handle vehicle pursuits when they arise. This is often non-planned and spontaneous that requires clear focus. We can assign the units and take all relevant details such as vehicle details, location, and circumstances involved. Once we are advised of a vehicle failing to stop, we immediately inform the dispatch supervisor who is pursuit management trained to take over the radio handling.
We are trained to keep calm in tense, highly critical situations and ensure we provide the support to both our police colleagues in the Basic Command Units and also dispatch colleagues within the room, we always work as a team, never alone.
Cautions and Convictions You may still be eligible to join the police service if you have minor convictions/cautions, but there are certain offences and conditions that will make you ineligible. Please check against the role eligibility criteria before applying.
Citizenship/Residency You must be a British Citizen, citizen from the European Economic Area (EEA), Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.
There are also residency requirements depending on the vetting level associated with the role you have applied for. For ‘RV’ level roles you must have been continually resident in the UK for the three year period immediately before an application is made. For ‘MV’ level roles you must have been continually resident in the UK for the five year period immediately before an application is made.
This is to satisfy the requirement to vet all applicants in an equitable manner and the UK Police service does not currently have any means of facilitating vetting checks overseas, to the extent required of those who have been resident in the UK. Applicants who cannot be vetted, cannot be appointed.
Political Affiliation South Wales Police has a policy of prohibiting any of our officers or staff from being members of the BNP, or a similar organisation whose aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote race equality. If you are, or have previously been a member of the BNP or a similar organisation, your application will be rejected.
Qualifications For certain police staff roles you will be required to have obtained a specific level of qualification or have sufficient experience of working in the required field. This will be clearly stipulated on the role profile. If you do not provide evidence of your qualification and/or level of experience with your application then it will be withdrawn from the application process.
Tattoos Candidates with visible tattoos may be eligible for appointment. Each case will be considered on its own merits, considering the number, nature, size, prominence, appearance and location of the tattoos. Tattoos must not be offensive to colleagues or members of the public or undermine the dignity of your role within the Force. Tattoos on the neck, face or hands are still deemed to be unacceptable but consideration may be given in some circumstances considering the size, nature and prominence of the tattoo. If candidates choose to have any additional tattoos during the recruitment process, after passing eligibility checks, the onus is on them to advise HR and provide appropriate photographs which will need to be checked.
Vetting The importance of honesty and integrity is made clear throughout our application process. Police staff are subject to the Standards of Professional Behaviour, which clearly set out what is expected from police staff.
You MUST declare all convictions for past offences, formal cautions (including as a juvenile) and any bind-over imposed by the courts. You should also include all traffic convictions.
Eligibility disclaimer Honesty is always the best policy in all aspects of our recruitment process. It is essential that you declare all relevant information to us during both the application and vetting stages of the process. We will ask you questions but you should also tell us anything else that you think may impact on your suitability to do the role. You must also inform the recruitment team overseeing your role of any change in circumstance during your application process. Click here for their contact information.
It is important to know that many personal circumstances do not necessarily stop you from being eligible to join. However, if you don’t disclose relevant information, we have to consider this as a deliberate omission and attempt to hide that information from us. If you do this it will be treated as a lack of honesty and integrity which will affect you going forward in future applications. If you would like to discuss your circumstances prior to application please email [email protected]
The first stage of the application process is an eligibility form.
This is looking at:
Your eligibility for the role, eg, qualifications
Your eligibility for vetting, eg, the South Wales Police standard eligibility criteria
Once you have submitted your application and an initial eligibility check has been completed you will be invited to complete an online sift exercise.
This is a multiple choice exercise that is looking at your patterns of behaviour and choices in a situation.
As part of this sift there will be audio recordings and you will be presented with multiple text based scenarios/results/options. You must choose the best response to what you hear in the audio recording.
If you are successful at the online sift you will be invited to complete the PSC assessment; this assessment is an audio and type test. About the audio and type test:
Those successful in the assessment will be invited to interview. If successful in the interview they will be offered the role pending successful completion of the pre-appointment processes.
For the Public Service Centre roles these are:
Full security vetting
Invited for hearing/medical test
What checks will I need to complete if I am successful at assessment stage?
Applicants will be invited to complete a medical questionnaire which may be discussed to identify any issues which may prevent appointment because of a risk to the applicant or anyone using the service of South Wales Police.
In addition, a hearing test will be completed for the purpose of health surveillance. The nature of work necessitates security-vetting checks. Appointment is conditional to all these checks being completed satisfactory.
Employment references will also be sought from current and previous employers from the last three years.
What Training will I receive?
All new staff undertake a 14-week training programme, which is a mixture of classroom-based learning and on-the-job learning with a tutor from your team. This covers training on all the computer systems you will be using and call handling training in how to deal with many different types of callers along with how to assess and grade incidents. This detailed training ensures staff are fully trained before they will be taking calls on their own.
When will I receive an offer of appointment?
This will only be provided once all the background checks are satisfactory. We will try to give you as much notice as we can but will give you a minimum of four weeks so that you can talk to your current employer about when they can release you to commence duty with us. At this point you will also have a contract of employment.
Please ensure you do not hand in your notice with your current employer until we have provided you with your contract.
What kind of shift pattern will I be on?
You will be required to work a shift pattern, which consists of working a combination of eight, nine and ten-hour shifts over a 24/7 period for six days which will include morning, afternoon and night shifts, followed by four rest days.
Can I work part time?
Yes, if you are successful you can apply to work part time. Your salary, and other entitlements such as holidays will be adjusted pro rata.
My question is not answered in these FAQs – how do I get in touch?
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