The B-PAD (Behavioral Personnel Assessment Device) is a practice assessment utilized by several police agencies during the process of hiring candidates. Otherwise known as a Video Simulation Exercise, the test instructs you to view a video scenario typical to what police officers experience every day on the job, and then respond to the events as though you are the officer in question.
The B-PAD is used as an evaluation of an individual’s communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills concerning a diverse set of people and circumstances that police officers may encounter.
Value of the B-PAD
The B-PAD remains a favored test amongst many law enforcement agencies since it stands as an authentic approach for evaluating behavior and proficiency. It moves beyond hypothetical responses. Rather, it places you in a role-playing situation in order to fully demonstrate your skills.
Fundamentals of taking the B-PAD
- Review written, oral, and video instructions
- Observe real-life scenarios of common police interpersonal encounters
- React and verbally respond to the people on the screen as if you stand in the officer’s shoes
- Responses are videotaped and scored based on a standard criteria
Each scenario varies in length, which are generally from one to two minutes. The incidents all range from livid motorists, disgruntled employees, inconsolable citizens, and more. As the individual scenario concludes, the people often stand still as the screen indicates that it is time to respond. You are then given a minute or less to reply.
Tips to Pass the Assessment
To be a member of law enforcement, it requires adequate people skills and the use of common sense when making a judgment call. Below are listed several useful tips in order to approach and pass the B-PAD in an effective way:
- Always maintain a respectful and professional attitude
- Remain calm and polite, yet still firm to showcase authority
- Fully analyze and address the entire situation
- Alleviate tension in order to compose irritated citizens
- Explain procedure in a non-apologetic, but civilized, tone
- Propose solutions to determine the proper way to solve the citizen’s case
- Keep an eye on the time limit so that you resolve the situation before the limit runs over
Remember that you stand as a representation of law enforcement. As such, you need to uphold a competent and well-mannered demeanor. The key here is to defuse the situation, not escalate it. Also, keep in mind to address the people on screen as though they are real. The overall objective of the B-PAD is to gauge your adequacy in responding to the scenarios you will come across as a police officer.