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Officers who completed and passed ICT-glitch exam will not have to re-sit

Any candidate who failed the Inspector's exam is able to resit, the College of Policing has said after a technical glitch meant the online exam was abandoned yesterday.

If a candidate completed and passed, no resit is necessary. For those who completed it but were unsuccessful, they are able to resit. Anyone who stopped midway through or was unable to start also has the option to resit.  

A resit date is yet to be scheduled. The College has posted answers to FAQs regarding the exam on their website.

Repeated buffering between the exam website and officers’ computers meant many were unable to finish the test before the College halted it.

A statement from the College issued shortly after the test was abandoned confirmed that it will be rescheduled. But some officers, after months of preparation and the reorganisation of personal arrangements such as childcare will need convincing to take part again.

The Police Federation's two officials leading on exams and training and development are part of the talks with the College.

Dave Bamber, the Fed’s training expert, is also on the College and will be demanding answers.

After the COVID-19 lockdown forced the cancellation of exams in March, the College moved quickly to develop the online alternative. The system worked for those that sat sergeants’ exams last month.

But the Federation said it wanted a detailed explanation and a result that did not disadvantage those affected.

National Chair John Apter said the incident was “deeply concerning”.

“I have had several conversations with the CEO of the College, Mike Cunningham. He is under no illusion as to how much anger and damage this has caused,” he said.

“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 added: “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 be done before they came to sit their exams. Quite simply this is not good enough."

Deputy Chief Constable Bernie O'Reilly, from the College of Policing said: "We understand that candidates have put in an extraordinary amount of work in preparation for today's exam, sacrificing their time during what is 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.

"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.”

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