Sworn Skills and Competencies

We have recently changed the interview portion of our application process. It is now a Blended Interview, comprising local focus questions, value-based questions, as well as essential competency-based questions.

Candidates will be presented with 10 questions and will have 90 minutes to complete the interview. The candidate will also be given an additional 30 minutes to complete an essay-style question.

Local Focus and Value Based questions: are designed to assess your knowledge base, and your candidate suitability

  1. Know and understand yourself well as an individual, and also be able to demonstrate a general understanding and knowledge about policing.
  2. Have a basic understanding of the police service to which you are applying.
  3. An awareness about the city and community you are applying to work within.

Essential Competency Based questions: are designed to explore the actual behaviours demonstrated by the candidate in various situations.

  1. Candidates are asked to describe their thoughts, feelings and actions.
  2. 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.
  3. The examples must also be verifiable. You may have the greatest example in the world but if no one can verify your story it is just a story.


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 Recruiting Team at 613-236-1222 ext 5505 or RecruitmentTeam@ottawapolice.ca.