16 March 2020

Sergeants Exam Postponed - Latest Updates

We are closely monitoring the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on all of our operations. All scheduled events, courses and exams are being kept under review and may be subject to changes at short notice.

You can find information on all other College exams and events on our dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

In line with the Government's advice on Monday, 16 March the Sergeants Exam was postponed in the interests of public health.

We wanted to give officers every opportunity to take the exam and understand the time you have invested in studying.

We will provide officers with further information, including future opportunities to sit the exam, as soon as it is possible to do so in what is a fast-moving situation.

We will continue to update this page with questions you may have.

When will exams be rescheduled?
No exam will take place between now and the end of June.
We understand the time and commitment that officers put into preparing for exams and we will give you a minimum of three months’ notice before any exam is due to take place.   

The College will work with forces and within Government and Public Health England advice, to reschedule the exam as soon as is feasible.

If candidates cancelled their exam participation before it was postponed would they still be able to sit the exam when it is rearranged?
We are liaising with police forces across England and Wales and we will consider cases where candidates cancelled their place on the exam before it was postponed once we have a confirmed date to run the exam in the future.

Will the Blackstone's 2020 syllabus be examined?
We intend to deliver the postponed 2020 exam later this year and as part of our efforts to rearrange the exam we will examine the 2020 syllabus.

What will happen to my Blackstone's subscription?
Oxford University Press have agreed with the College of Policing to offer a free extension to subscriptions for Blackstone's Policing online manuals until the end of July 2020. All subscribers, including anyone whose subscription expired after 1st March 2020 will receive tokens in April to extend their subscriptions from Oxford University Press via their registered e-mail address. Please be patient whilst this is being arranged during this busy time. If you have any queries, please contact Oxford University Press directly: onlinepersonalsubs@oup.com

Can anyone attend the rescheduled exam?
Only candidates who were registered for the Sergeants' NPPF Step Two Legal Examination scheduled to be held on Tuesday the 17 March 2020 will be eligible to attend the rescheduled exam.

Can I get a refund for travel arrangements?
We understand that candidates had not only invested considerable time and effort to study and prepare for the exam but in many cases had incurred expenses around travel and accommodation.

This is a fast-moving and unprecedented situation so, while we sympathise with those individuals who have lost out financially as a result of the exam postponement, unfortunately the College is not able to reimburse candidates for expenses they incurred as part of their preparations for the exam.

What if candidates can't attend the exam on the new date? (Holiday, court, illness etc)?
At present no decisions have been taken about when the exam will be rescheduled for but we will give candidates as much notice as possible once an alternative date has been confirmed. We will provide officers with further information, including future opportunities to sit the exam, as soon as it is possible to do so in what is a fast moving situation.

How are officers on night shift at any less risk of getting or passing on the virus than people taking an exam?
The decision to postpone the exam was not taken lightly and was reached in light of the Government and Public Health England advice to avoid mass gatherings in the interests of public health.

My exam validity ran out in March 2020, can this be extended?

Due to these exceptional circumstances, we will allow an extension of the NPPF Step Two Legal Examination validity period for candidates who registered for the Sergeants' Examination 2020 and did not withdraw from the examination before the official withdrawal deadline of 31st January 2020, and whose validity period expired in March 2020.  The validity period would be extended until the date of the rescheduled NPPF Sergeants' Examination.  At the point of the rescheduled examination, the validity period would then cease for all affected candidates regardless of whether they choose to take the examination or not.  The validity period will not be extended for candidates who did not register for the examination or withdrew from the examination prior to 31st January for any reason, or whose five year validity period did not expire in March 2020.

Can my Police Pass subscription be extended?

Police Pass would make the decision about extending subscriptions you can contact them by emailing info@policepass.co.uk

Why was the decision to cancel the exam taken the day before?

We wanted to give officers every opportunity to take the exam and understand the time they had invested in studying.

The decision to postpone the exam was taken in the interests of public health, in line with the Government and Public Health England's advice, which was published late in the afternoon on Monday, 16 March.
We will provide officers with further information, including future opportunities to sit the exam, as soon as it is possible to do so in what is a fast-moving situation.

How were candidates for the exam contacted other than on social media and the College of Policing website?
As soon as the decision was taken to postpone the exam we contacted Force Examinations Officers who are responsible for then communicating with and updating candidates in their force. In addition, force communications teams were updated through channels dedicated to responding to COVID-19.

We understand the timing of the postponement may have led to difficulties for forces in contacting candidates and we apologise if this information was late in coming to you.

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