Sworn Skills and Competencies


Contact a member of our Outreach Recruitment Team today!

Sgt. Maria Keen

Cst. Brad Peak

Cst. Stephanie McConnell

Cst. Hak Hor Taing

Kyla Hyppolite

The Essential Competency Interview is conducted, as per ongoing staffing requirements. 

Essential Competency Interview (ECI)

What is the ECI?

The ECI is a behavioural type interview, it is designed to explore the actual behaviours demonstrated by the candidate in various situations. Candidates are asked to describe their thoughts, feeling and actions. Candidates choose the situations or experiences, which best respond to the questions. These situations must be relevant- work related, school related, community or volunteer related. 

How do I prepare?

Know yourself and have all the relevant information beforehand. Prepare at least two examples for each competency and make sure that each example is current and that it is verifiable. Examples should be within the two-year timeline, however, if the Diversity competency is identified, it can cover their lifetime. You may have the greatest example in the world but if no one can verify your story it is just a story.

There is plenty of literature and techniques used to answer competency based questions in an organized and systematic way. Do your homework.

The technique we use is the ISTAR method
I - What was my involvement. Make sure to sell yourself in each situation. "I did this," "I acted this way," etc.
S - Situation: What was the situation that you were faced with.
T - Task: What did you need to do in this particular situation and did you accomplish your goal/task?
A - Action: What did you do? How did you accomplish your task?
R - Result: What was the outcome? What did you learn from the situation and how could you apply that new knowledge to any future incidents.


These are knowledge, skills and abilities which are being assessed during the entire selection process, which must be demonstrated to be considered for the position of police officer with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). They are:

  1. Analytical Thinking: The ability to analyze situations and events in a logical way, and to organize the parts of a problem in a systematic way.
  2. Self Confidence: A belief in your own abilities and judgements, and a recognition of personal limitations and developmental needs.
  3. Communication: The ability to demonstrate effective listening, verbal and written communication skills.
  4. Flexibility/Valuing Diversity: The ability to adapt your approach in a variety of situations, and to work effectively with a wide cross-section of the community representing diverse backgrounds, cultures and socio-economic circumstances.
  5. Self-Control: The ability to keep your own emotions under control and to restrain negative actions when provoked or when working under stressful conditions.
  6. Relationship Building: The ability to develop and maintain a network of contacts, both inside and outside the police service.
  7. Achievement Orientation: The desire for continuous improvement in service or accomplishments.
  8. Medical/Physical Skills and Abilities: Job-related medical/physical skills and abilities, including vision, hearing, motor skills, cardiovascular endurance and upper-body strength.

Developmental Competencies

As the name implies, these competencies can be acquired through training after a person has been hired as a police officer. However, some police services may have immediate need for specific skills and abilities which are developmental and may choose to include these in the hiring process. The following eleven competencies have been identified as developmental:

  1. Information Seeking: The ability to seek out information from various sources before making decisions.
  2. Concern for Safety: The ability to exercise caution in hazardous situations in order to ensure safety to self and others.
  3. Assertiveness: The ability to use authority confidently and to set and enforce rules appropriately.
  4. Initiative: Demonstrated ability to be self-motivated and self-directed in identifying and addressing important issues.
  5. Cooperation: The ability to collaborate with others by seeking their input, encouraging their participation and sharing information.
  6. Negotiation/Facilitation: The ability to influence or persuade others by anticipating and addressing their interests and perspectives.
  7. Work Organization: The ability to develop and maintain systems for organizing information and activities.
  8. Community-service Orientation: Proven commitment to helping or serving others.
  9. Commitment to Learning: Demonstrated pattern of activities which contribute to personal and professional growth.
  10. Organizational Awareness: Understanding the dynamics of organizations, including the formal and informal cultures and decision making processes.
  11. Developing Others: Commitment to helping others improve their skills.

If you have any questions please contact the OPS Recruiting Office at 613-236-1222 ext 5505 or by clicking any of the recruitment team emails listed above.


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