Situational Judgement Tests: Tips and Tricks, 4 October 2021 recording

Psychometric testing can feel like a huge unknown. Listen in as Anna, a recruiter on the NGDP team, and Georgia, a current trainee on the programme, discuss how a situational judgement test operates, along with their top tips to succeed.


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Transcript

Moderator: Good morning everyone who's just joining the meeting, we'll start in a couple of minutes at eleven o'clock. But welcome. My name is Anna Buttenshaw. This session is being recorded. We're happy for you to have your camera on or off. But if you're just aware that the session is being recorded, so if you'd be more comfortable having your camera off, then please do switch that off now. Good morning, and welcome to those of you who are just joining the meeting. My name is Anna Buttenshaw, I work at the Local Government Association. Seeing the time, it's just about eleven o'clock, so I see we've still got some people joining us. I'll make a start on my meeting etiquette as people are just joining us, and then we'll aim to start the session proper in a minute or two. So, thank you again for coming to our session-, and-, situational judgment tests, tips and tricks. So, this is a skills session that I've designed. So, my name is Anna Buttenshaw and I work for the Local Government Association. I work on the National Graduate Development Programme for Local Government which, as it's quite a mouthful, we call the NGDP. This session does make specific references to the NGDP as that's, sort of, our example, but I will try to make some general comments as well about situational judgment tests. 
 
So, a little bit of meeting etiquette, I think as you enter the meeting then you'll be on mute and your camera will be off. We would ask that you would keep your microphone on mute, please, and if you'd like to ask a question or comment at any point, if you could please use the chat function. This session is being recorded. You're welcome to have your camera on or off. But please just be aware that the session is being recorded, and by having your camera on then you're, sort of, consenting to have your image possibly included in that recording. And I think that's it. We've got-, just ticking up a couple of more people joining us, but I think we'll make a start. So, in addition to hearing from me today, working on the recruitment side, I'm really delighted to introduce Georgia. Now, Georgia is joining us. She's currently based in a London Counsel working as part of the NGDP. So, Georgia, I don't know if you want to just say a quick hello as we're starting out? 

Georgia: Sure. Hi everyone. I'm excited to be here today and so you can learn more about the application process. So yeah, I hope it's helpful. 

Moderator: Brilliant. Now, so why are we here today? Well, I've been working on the NGDP for the last seven years and I've been working in graduate recruitment for about a decade, which makes me seem quite old. But in that experience, what I've found is that there can be a huge variation in the confidence that people have when they come to a graduate recruitment process, and particularly when it comes to looking at different forms of assessment. What I've found by looking through them as a recruiter over the years and talking to students and graduates about their experiences, is that there can be a lot of misperceptions about these types of assessments. There can be a lot of variation in the information that you are given. And there's a really wide variation in advice on how to prepare and ways to prepare. So, what I'm really passionate about is making sure that you are fully equipped, no matter what your subject of study, no matter where you studied, no matter what your personal background or circumstances are, that you have a fair and equal chance of sitting these types of assessments and really performing at your best. So, that's what I'm really passionate about as a recruiter. Now, when we decided to run this session, I wrote to all of our current trainees and asked if anyone would be happy to take part in the session and to share a bit of their experiences, and Georgia, you volunteered. What made it-, motivated you to say yes? 

Georgia: I guess just looking back at when I was in my final year of uni and applying for graduate schemes, I found situational judgment tests really quite difficult in terms of I didn't know what to expect. So, I thought that this is-, this is a really good idea and I'd like to share my experience to hopefully make it a little bit clearer for other people. 

Moderator: Fab, thanks so much, Georgia. And I think getting Georgia's perspective is so important and it's something that we always look at on the programme. Just talking to people about their personal experience of the process is a really important frame for us as we go along. So, what are we going to cover this morning? We're going to look at what is an SJT? Why would we, as a graduate recruiter or other graduate recruiters that you're looking at, use this test? What are these tests trying to measure? And how can you prepare? So, we'll try and whizz through the first bit and spend a lot more time on that preparation piece. In that preparation piece, I'm gonna walk you through some examples from our situational judgment test, and we'll have a bit of a chance for you to interact if you want to, at that stage. And then we'll try and leave some time for questions at the end. So, that's the roadmap of where we're going. 
 
So, what is an SJT? Like anything, it sounds worse as an acronym. They're sometimes called situational judgment tests or situational judgment questionnaires. They fall generally under the blanket of being a psychometric test. Now, what does that mean? It almost sounds even worse yet. What they're trying to do is evaluate how you think. It might sound a bit creepy, but it is actually trying to strip out that layer of personal experience or advantage that some people might have had, different opportunities, different places of study. It's trying to give you an assessment that you can prepare for equally and is evaluating, sort of, how you would approach a situation rather than, sort of, a set of experiences that you might have already had, if that makes sense. We'll delve into it a little bit more. It's a work-based assessment. So, this is not about your personality, your social life, your background or family structures. It's not about whether you're an introvert or an extrovert or any of those things. There are other types of psychometric testing which look at those. But this is purely looking at how you would think in the workplace. How you would behave in a particular job role. 
 
So, my first tip is beginning to understand the context of the role that you're applying for is the most important thing that you can do to prepare for a situational judgment test. We'll get into some specifics on this later, but I just want you to bear that in mind as we're going through the presentation, that all of this is about how you would behave in a specific job role, and so the test should be written in that way. And the way that you prepare should be focused very much around that job role. So, the first thing that you can do is begin to understand a bit more about the employer who's advertising the position. If it's a graduate scheme, then the specifics around that. If it's a general company, a bit about that. Just you're beginning to build up a layer of understanding of that workplace context that the assessment is going to be describing. 
 
So, what are the advantages of a situational judgment test? Well, from an organisational perspective, the reason that we use one as part of the NGDP recruitment process is we've found it to be the least discriminatory recruitment tool that we have used over the years. We're really passionate about equality and diversity on the programme. And so, every year, when we are seeing those test results start to come in, we are mapping those results against equality and diversity data. So, that's not looking at individuals, it's all anonymous, but what we're doing is making sure that none of the questions in a test or a test as a whole is having an adverse impact against a specific group of people based on the key, I think, it's top eight protected characteristics enshrined in law. Now, I can't promise you that every organisation does this, but they should be doing it. 
 
And for us, what we've found, is that actually without any modification on our side, it is just the fairest type of assessment that we've been able to use over the years, and that's a huge advantage to us. I think a disadvantage of this type of assessment can be that if you're coming to it and you haven't got a lot of prior work experience, then if you don't prepare at all for the test, it can be a little harder to connect to because those workplace situations that it's putting you into might feel quite uncomfortable or unfamiliar. And generic practice tests that you'll find on the internet tend not to be very useful. I sat a few when we were deciding to have a situational judgment test about seven years ago, and one of them was based in a car manufacturer and I kept making the wrong choices because I have no experience or interest in car manufacturing. And so, I felt really out of my comfort zone, and I didn't know-, I didn't feel that that generic test had helped me to prepare. So, hopefully, what we'll do today is give you some tips of, of how you can combat those disadvantages. Georgia, as I've said all of that, does that resonate with you? What was your first impression when you saw that you'd have to do a situational judgment test as part of our application process? 

Georgia: Yeah, it does resonate. I think, thinking back, my first impression was I was quite excited to see what decisions I might be making and to, kind of, get an insight into the workplace in that way, but quite nervous about how to answer and how to go about doing the test well. 

Moderator: Yeah. Fab, thank you. So, given those-, the advantages and disadvantages, why do we use them? So, I've already said, for us, it's a really non-discriminatory tool by protected characteristic, and we have our results. Not only do we examine those internally, but they go to an external equalities expert, which is something that we've found is just an extra way to make sure that our process is fair and equal. And I would say that my point in saying this twice, I'm kind of labouring the point a little bit, is that I think that over the years, talking to different students and graduates, some of them say they see the words Psychometric Testing or they see Situation Judgment Test or things like Verbal and Numerical Assessments and they automatically think, 'That's an unfair test for me based on my background, my experiences, who I am.' 
 
Now, obviously, I can only speak to our own assessments, but I really want to encourage you, if that is your first impression, to speak to someone in the organisation about what they are doing to make sure that those assessments are actually fair and equal. Because if you go into it feeling like it is biassed against you, you're, A, most likely not going to finish the assessment, or you might go into it with a lower amount of preparation, feeling like it's already against you, or you might, sort of, just whizz through it. And what I really want to say is, don't write yourself out. These tests should be fair and equal, and it's right for you to have the space to ask questions of the organisations who are delivering them, because every organisation should have measures in place to make sure that these assessments are fair. So, I've explained, we do have those processes in place. If you still had questions about that, do feel free to get in touch. But I just want to encourage you, don't see the name of an assessment and automatically assume that it's not for you, because these things should be designed to work for everyone, it's just in how you prepare. 
 
They're really accurate in predicting job performance when they're run properly. And so, what we've seen is that we see higher rates of success in our later assessments. Things like an assessment centre and job interviews. When we started using the situational judgment, we saw people actually improving in later parts of the assessment process because I think they give you a bit of that job preview. A bit of that flavour of what it's like. Almost like Georgia was saying she hoped she would find. And I think it's a bit of a self-selection tool, so you, as a candidate, can get a feel of, 'Actually, do I want to do this job? Do I want to be in a workplace where I'm faced with these situations? Is it interesting to me?' And lots of organisations will have similar tools that are either assessment tools or just, kind of, give you a bit of a job preview. I'd really encourage you to see those as an opportunity. Yes, there can be a really competitive job marketplace, but you still want to find a job that's rewarding for yourselves. It's a huge amount of your time and, and your life and you want to be happy at work. So, do see it as a chance for you to explore whether a role is right for you. I'm not sure if you would remember many of the situational judgment questions, Georgia, from when you sat the test? But looking back, do you feel that they generally gave you an idea of, of what the job is like? Has it, kind of, proved true as you've started in your role? 

Georgia: Definitely. I mean, the test might not refer to something that you're definitely gonna face in one of your placements, but it will give you a really good idea of the dynamics and challenges that are going on in local government, and I definitely found that really helpful and relevant. 

Moderator: Fab. And I did not script Georgia's answers, I should say. She's free to say whatever she wants this morning. Now, let's see and get onto the next slide. So, what do these tests measure? And we're starting to get closer to that, how do you prepare? So, my third tip, look for what the employer is marking you on. Now, if you're interested in applying to our graduate programme, this is really transparent. So, on our website, you'll find our key skills and behaviours, and I've listed them up here, you don't have to read them or memorise them. I'm not going to read them out to you, don't worry. They're all on the website, and our entire assessment process is based on these criteria. 
 
So, every assessment that you take, this is what it's measuring. So, we've got a, a key skill label, for example, you've got working with others here. And then we've got a bit of a caption. What does that mean to us? Working with others and the expectations of an employer around that will vary based on the type of organisation that you're looking at. Things like organisational culture come really into play here. I would say you would probably find a lot of similarity between, say, a lot of public sector organisations in how they would expect people to be working together, but you would really start to see some differences, I think, between the public sector and the private sector, for example, on a lot of these expectations. And so, it's really worth questioning, what are you being marked on? And not just as a list, but delve into those criteria. An organisation should give you an idea of what they're looking for. 
 
Right here is the most valuable preparation tool that you have for our situational judgment test because each of the situations, as you'll see when we get into the practice questions, is linked to one of these key skills and behaviours, and the answer, how to answer that situation, the values for it, the hints and tips, are right here. So, this is the best thing that you can look at to prepare for our assessments. And for other organisations, it should be clear on their website, and if it isn't, I would encourage you to get in touch and just question, 'What are your core criteria that you're marking on?' It should be transparent and you should have that as a-, as a preparation tool. So, for us, it's working with others, persuasive communication, planning and organising, drive for results, analysis and problem-solving, motivation for learning and personal resilience, commitment to local government and the wider community, that's very specific for us, but most organisations will have something around their specific sector or organisational value, and leadership potential as we are a leadership scheme. So, those are generic on one hand, but as you delve into the little descriptions below, they're very specific to us and what we're looking for, and you can find those on our website. 
 
So, how can you prepare? I'm coming back to my first tip here that we covered right on one of my first slides, which is around putting the assessment framework into context. So, you've now seen our assessment framework, it's those key skills and behaviours, and we want to take that list and those little descriptions and put them back into context. So, you've read all those key skills and behaviours, you've reviewed them, you've thought about them, and then, from me, I think one of the next things that you can do to prepare is to start to say, 'Okay, well, commitment to local government and the wider community. What does that actually mean? What's happening in local government right now?' There's a little tip in there that, you know, if you are-, if we are measuring your commitment to local government, it might be helpful for you to know a little bit about local government. Now, we don't expect-, it's a generalist scheme, and most graduate recruitment programmes are not expecting you to come with a huge comprehensive knowledge of all the problems in their sector and answers of how to solve them. But it's just looking for your interests and general awareness. So, it might be helpful just in building that context to have a little look through, you know, the news headlines of today. Where is local government popping up? You know, what are some issues that you're seeing? If you really don't know what a local council does, find out what's the name of your local council, have a click around their website. You know, see what services do they provide? Do they have organisational values? Do they have a five-year plan? I'm not saying these are things you have to study in detail, but they can be helpful, especially if you don't have that workplace knowledge or experience, then they can be helpful in just giving you a bit of knowledge and awareness of, sort of, what's going on in the sector, and what kind of values are you picking up as you're looking through those. 
 
Outside of looking at our programme, I would say generally, if there is a named person or contact point on a job description, you know, get in touch with them. If you've got questions, ask them. Don't, don't, sort of, sit on your hands and feel like it's a really-, it's too much to ask of someone else. If you've got a question, then that person is there to answer it. You know, if you look on our website, you'll find NGDP.support@local.gov.uk which is a team of colleagues ready to answer questions you might have about the process. You'll also find some videos on our website where you'll hear from trainees. They'll be talking to you about examples of their work, their values, why they love working in local government, what they found it to be like. All of those things can just help to bring those key skills and behaviours to life and help you to understand how they might emerge in a workplace scenario. Another great resource on our website are, are the case studies of trainees who are working in local government and some of the projects that they've done. And again, it's not, sort of, a direct answer sheet, but it gives you a bit of an awareness of what's happening in the sector. You know, this shouldn't be a shot in the dark. There should be resources available to help build your knowledge of a certain organisation or, you know, piece of the public sector or the private sector, whatever it is you're interested in, then have a little poke around some of these resources and see-, build some confidence in yourself. So, those are quite generic tips. Georgia, I'm not sure if you've got any more specific ideas or things that you did to prepare for the SJT? 

Georgia: I think the only thing I would add is I found it really helpful to look at the local news and see the things that people were talking about that councils-, that their council was doing because that really broadened my knowledge of all the different things that councils are involved in, and then that helped me to know what I might be faced with on the test. So, I found that really helpful. 

Moderator: Fab tip, that's perfect. And then my last main tip, you guessed it, practice. Tedious, I know. And especially for those of you listening who are final year students, that you might also be working, you might be working full-time. If someone tells you to, 'Oh-,' just casually, 'Start looking into this and doing that or doing practice.' I realise it's a big ask and it's a lot of pressure that you're under. I would say that practice, however grim it is, is your absolute best way to improve your results. Even if you have time just to go through the practice questions once and to read the key skills and behaviours once, doing that alone will mark the increase-, the chances of you passing this assessment. And I would say that goes across the board for any graduate assessment. So, we're gonna go through some examples now. I have-, they are on our website. They are questions which were taken out of a previous SJT, so these are real-life questions that we have used in the past as part of this test. And all I've done, is I've added at the top the key skill or behaviour that that question is measuring, so that's not something you would usually see in our practice one or when you're sitting the test itself, but just to, sort of, gently introduce you to the-, to see how, how these criteria are at play, then I thought it might be helpful to see that. 
 
So, I will bring you into the first one here. So, you can see at the top I've just popped the key skill and behaviour that this question here is measuring. It's motivation for learning and personal resilience and our little description of what that means. I'm gonna read the question and the answers. If you want to, if you're comfortable to, do feel free to pop, you know, A, B or C in the chat function, which we might see coming up. If you'd rather just wait and see, that's also completely fine. And then my next slide will give you the correct answer and a few hints as you're going along. This is a good moment for me, also, to say to you that our situational judgment test is not timed. So, it is not a timed assessment. The clock is not going to run out. Your grade on that assessment is not going to be lowered if you've taken a long time to do the test. Obviously, you can't do it over the course of a day. I'm talking about a, sort of, reasonable one sitting type timing. So, when you're sitting these, you know, read the question fully. Read it a couple of times. There is no immediate rush, at least for our assessment. 
 
So, question. Alongside other graduates, you are presenting back a report at the end of a project. This is to a leadership team. They are asking difficult questions, suggesting that you may not have thought about some aspects of the report. You don't have immediate answers. How do you respond? So, our, our suggestions are, A, repeat the key information from the report to reinforce your messages in the face of the feedback. B, state they are making some good points, listen to their feedback and questions. C, be clear that you have thought your report through in-depth and that the criticism is not directly relevant. Now, I can't actually see the chat function in this. My colleague, Poonan, who is on the call, can you see the chat function? 

Poonan: Hi, Anna. Yes, I can. No, we haven't got any responses yet. 

Moderator: No responses yet. Well, no pressure, guys. I'm just say (ph 27.51), if you want to, you can pop something in. But as I say, this question, I'm telling you, so the, the bit that you would not see is this bit right at the start, motivation for learning and personal resilience. But when we come into the answer here, so some of the hints and tips, the correct answer is B. State that they are making some good points and listen to their feedback and questions. Now, why is that the right answer? I've highlighted here in yellow at the top some of my hints. So, you're presenting your report to a leadership team. So, this is to a group of people who are quite senior in the organisation. The feedback they are giving you is not casual, casual feedback or the thoughts of a friend. So, answer C, just kind of ignoring their advice completely isn't really an appropriate thing to do. They're asking these questions and you don't have any immediate answers. 
 
Now, for us, you're not always gonna have the answers. I don't always have the answers in the work that I'm doing. But what we're looking for here is, like you see here, this motivation for learning and resilience. You know, if you get something wrong or you don't know it fully, it's how you respond that matters to us. So, are you saying, 'Well, that is a really good point. Do you know what? I hadn't considered that. I'd like to go away, take your feedback and questions, work on it, and come back with something better.' You know, feedback, especially from senior leaders, can be very constructive. Can help you learn in your role and produce a better outcome. The projects that people work on, on our programme, are usually projects that have a direct impact on local communities. So, what is more important to us? What's most important is that you come to the best answer, you present the best report or design the best policy or the best project because that's going to have an impact on people's lives. It's less important to have a big ego and definitely get things right the first time because, to be honest, no one really gets things right the first time. Especially not every time. So, that's why B is the correct answer here. 
 
Let's go into the next example. So, again, I've put the competency that this is measuring right at the top, which is working with others. The question itself is, you are working with a local museum that you know is about to be restructured. You are visiting the museum one day when several employees approach you to ask about how the restructure will impact them. You do not know for certain, but have a strong idea who will be impacted. How do you respond? So, our options are, A, tell them that you do not know much but you will speak with your manager and try to provide new information. B, avoid talking with them on the subject, there is a real risk of providing false information. Or C, speak to each employee one by one, explain the situation, and how it might impact them. So, if you've got any questions about this, if you could just pop them into the chat function and then, Poonan, because I'm having trouble seeing the chat, then you can interrupt if there's any specific questions, if that's okay? So, that's our question here-, 

M: Sorry to interrupt. I just-, I don't know if there's a chat. I, I can't see a chat function to actually write anything in there, so-, 

Moderator: Oh, there we go. That would be why we're having trouble with the chat. Thank you, Conor. There you go. Do you know what, what we'll do then-, thank you so much, Conor, is when we come to the questions at the end, then I will encourage you, if you're comfortable, to come off mute using the hands up function to share your questions. So, thanks very much for that tip, Conor. Poonan and I will look into the chat function later on. So, the answer to our question here, is A. Tell them that you do not know much, you'll speak with your manager and try to provide new information. The worst possible answer is to speak to each employee one by one, explain the situation and how it will impact them. 
 
Now, why are those the, the best and the worst answers? And we've got the okay one in the middle. The answer I'm gonna give you is, here, highlighted in yellow. You know that this museum is about to be restructured. It does not say in the question that this is your project. You've not been sent to talk to these employees. Basically, you know confidential information, you've picked up in a workplace meeting or maybe a colleague has told you, but it's not your job, and if it's not your job, it's not your job to share that information. It also says you do not know for certain, and the last thing that we would want you to do is to start possibly bringing misinformation into a workplace scenario. Can you imagine being at work and having someone come in one day and finding out from them that your job might be at risk or that things feel really uncertain? It can have a huge impact on people. The change itself will be managed by those who are managing the project. And so, your role is to reassure, as much as you can, by promising to take an action. So, we've got B as an okay answer. It's better to say nothing than to give wrong information. But the best answer is to say, 'I'm listening to your concerns. Let me go and talk to someone about it and see if I can get the relevant person to talk to you.' So, you're taking an action, but it's an appropriate action. 
 
And, again, coming back just-, I've flicked backwards to one slide so you can see that competency working with others again. So, it's about working together, being sensitive, understanding diversity, having emotional intelligence. So, this is about not, kind of, proving yourself in this scenario by, you know, showing how much you know and trying to give a display of power. You're just showing your emotional intelligence. This is a sensitive situation. You have some knowledge, but it's really uncertain, and the best way to manage the situation and to value those people is to look into it further, but not to share confidential information that you're not even certain of in the first place. So, there's the answer to that one. 
 
Coming into persuasive communication here. So, the question is, you're working on some data analysis relating to local population numbers. You have asked the data team for the appropriate information but they say it's not readily available and it's going to be difficult for them to get ahold of. How do you respond? So, A, you could work with what you already have, use some estimates where needed to run your analysis. B, you could involve relevant senior stakeholders immediately and ensure that you can start your analysis quickly. Or C, you could emphasise that you're-, you need the data, you're sorry for the inconvenience it's going to cause. So, coming in here, our correct answer is answer C. Emphasise that you need the data, you're sorry it's going to be inconvenient. Answer B, which is our okay answer, is to go straight up the food chain, as it were, and involve senior stakeholders. The worst possible thing you could do is fudge it, basically. 
 
And I kind of come back to the point I made earlier, and this relates to my tip about understanding the general context, which is the competency you're measuring here is persuasive communication. That's the ultimate thing we're measuring here. How, how can you work with other people to, to get what you need? To get your point across? In-, which in this case is getting the data you need to run this project. But there are other values coming into play here, and this is where that extra prep can be helpful. If you've read a little bit about local government and local government populations and the different services your council would provide, you read this question and start thinking, 'Data analysis on population numbers. That could be relating to populations to do with all different factors. It could be to do with the diversity of your local population. It could be around percentages of older people or younger residents, percentages of people using certain council services like adult social care. It could be data around children's services and social workers. It could be data analysis that you're doing to decide something around business rates or where to build a new project or where is-, some money is going to go to a community group.' You know, all of these options, whatever analysis you're doing, there will be a direct impact on the people in your community. And so, just kind of fudging it and running on estimates, you would immediately think, 'That's not really-, this isn't a hypothetical when it comes to people's lives, so I know that I'm gonna be needing to deliver something certain here.' So, while we're measuring your ability to communicate with this internal data team who are being a bit difficult, sitting behind that is just that awareness of the context. The importance and the value of the work that you'll be doing. 
 
Coming in here, commitment to local government. I think I didn't paste the whole thing because it was too long for this slide. But again, you can see it on our website. The question is, you've been working hard to create some written content for use in a local library. As you approach completion of, of the project, a colleague asks if they could be involved. They raise several ideas that would cause you to rework what you've done so far. How do you respond? It's kind of the worst thing, isn't it? I remember being at university, almost being afraid to ask someone to edit, you know, take a look at a piece of work I'd done when I'd finished it because there's the dread they might come back with a lot of changes and then you've got to make the changes when you feel like you don't have time to do it. It's that kind of scenario that we're looking at here. So, hopefully, this is a situation that might feel a little bit familiar to some of you. 
 
What can you do when that happens to you? Sorry, I'll just have a sip of water. A, you can listen to their ideas. Consider how you could incorporate them and also explain the benefits of your own approaches. B, you could explain you're almost finished, you'll take their ideas on board for future projects but not this one. Send that red pen back, please. Or, C, you can incorporate all of their ideas to help benefit the project, ask them to become more involved with this. So, what's the right thing to do here? So, here, we've got answer A as our correct answer. Listen to their ideas, consider how you could incorporate them, but also explain the benefits of your own approaches. This is a piece of work that I've highlighted in yellow, as you approach completion. 
 
Now, we trust that you've worked hard on this. You've considered a lot of options. You know, a colleague is coming in late in the day, they might not have the same expertise about this project that you do, so have confidence in your own work and your own commitment to local government. You know, you're taking this seriously. But, you know, equally, like that friend coming in with her red pen all over your essay at the last possible minute, if someone has got some valid ideas that could improve the end project, then you probably want to take them into account. You know, you'd at least want to look at the comments or the scratchings out that someone's made on your work to say, 'Ah, that would actually-, I could make that small tweak and it would really improve the outcome, I'm going to get a better grade on my essay, or, you know, in this case, you know, the project that we're designing for the community is going to be a much better project, actually, if I make that change here, or make that connection there.' And so, the thing that you don't want to do is just shut people out, because to us that suggests, you know, you're on interested in the best outcome for the local community, which is what your work will all relate to on our graduate programme, and that's really important to us. And, again, while it's measuring that commitment to local government, this is where everything starts to interrelate a little bit, if you think, again, to the criteria to us, commitment, we've got, yes, commitment to local government here, but that personal resilience one that we did on the first question, again, it's not about expecting perfection from you, it's expecting an openness, a willingness to learn and to improve and to take feedback on. So, that's coming into play here as well. 
 
I realise that we're starting to run shorter on time, Let me see, I've just got one more, if you had keen eyes you've already seen the answer for this one then, we'll see how many of you managed to catch it from the last slide. So, last question I've got here, for us relates to our criteria leadership potential, which, again, you'll find the description of on our website. 'You are leading a team on a tough project theme which is reviewing local social care.' This is a huge area of work for local councils that doesn't always get a lot of press, although a bit more lately. Anyway, that's an aside. 'While the team are working hard, a few of the key objectives are being missed, and you feel this could be avoided. There is still plenty more to do to complete the project. What do you do?' So, unlike that question we had near the start which was around the museum, some secret knowledge that you knew but you weren't in charge of the project, here, you are the one who's in charge. And I think, I'm kind of, doing the next piece first, but, just bare that in mind. So, 'A, meet with the team as a whole to discuss the errors and explain that they need to be improved on. B, meet individually with team members about issues and figure out how you can remedy and prevent reoccurrence. Or C, focus on the positive progress within the team, to ensure they stay happy and focused on the outcome.' So, those are our options here. Correct answer is B, hopefully, that doesn't come as a shock. 'Meet individually with team members about issues, figure out how you can remedy and prevent reoccurrence.' And our okay answer is actually to focus on the positive progress with the team, because you're leading the team, it says in the question they're working hard. Those are really important factors for us and this is where, again, that culture of local government, the values of our organisation, you know, that commitment to personal resilience and learning, we're not interested in doing what option A would do which is basically just shame people to make them feel like they're underperforming or they're not doing a good enough job, that's not going to motivate your team to do their best, that's not going to make them feel proud about their work, it's not going to help them do any better. 
 
I-, a-, I-, a friend of mine was working in a local primary school, and the school had its Ofsted inspection coming up. It had a Ofsted excellent rating which, if you know anything about schools, is the top level of an inspection that you can get, and the headteacher was, was a very determined and quite strict taskmaster with staff. So, the staff had put in an absolutely unbelievable amount of effort for this inspection and when it was finished then the school was once again awarded an excellent Ofsted rating. Now, you would think that the first thing that someone would do is throw a bit of a party and say thank you, but what the headteacher did was call a staff meeting and said the following words. 'This school is on a relentless pursuit of excellence. You are either on the bus or you are off the bus.' And half the staff quit. Because they had just finished the most gruelling period of work and they got absolutely zero recognition or encouragement, there was no celebration of their success, it was just hard and difficult and discouraging, and as a leader those factors are hugely important to us. You know, how you make people feel in the workplace is really important, and so that's the same kind of values that this question is aiming at here. So, meeting with people individually, talking through the issues in a really non-confrontational way, figuring out how you can begin to fix and prevent those, those issues, it could be that your staff need some additional training, it could be they need a bit more support, it could be that they're just a bit overworked, maybe the project is too big, maybe it needs to narrow down a bit. So, there are other things you as a leader can do as a follow-on to this, but this is the starting point for us. 
 
So, I hope, I know it's a bit tedious to go through all those practice questions, as I say, they're all on our website, they won't have my little notes in yellow highlights, but it will give you the question and then the correct answer, just as you've seen on the slides. I think there are a few more of them than I've gone into today, so I'd really encourage you to take a look. local.gov.uk/ngdp is the website, which I think I link to at the end, but if you're looking at a different organisation I hope that going through those slides has shown you that understanding, going through a practice scenario can have an enormous impact on your ability to perform in a real-life test, and I'd really, really encourage you to look into that and to ask for that from organisations that you're interested in applying for. So, I think our chat function is not showing up today, so, if you have a question please feel free to pop your hand up using the hand up function, and then I'll ask you to come off mute, if you're comfortable doing that. Connor? 

M: Hello. I just wanted to say thanks for the presentation, it's been really helpful. I just wanted to know, will, will the recording be available to watch afterwards? Because I think it would be really useful to go back and listen to your, sort of, analysis of the questions again, just sort of, a bit of practice, so, (inaudible 47.26)-, 

Moderator: Yeah, of course, great question, Connor. Yes, we'll have the recording, I'm going to speak to our web team, and it should appear on the NGDP website in the next couple of days is my hope. So, there might be a little time lag, but I'm hoping that when you click on our events page then there will be a part where you can watch all of the recordings through. I'll see-, if you signed up through Eventbrite today I'll see if that-, we are able to send you a notification as well when the recording is online. 

M: Great, thank you. 

Moderator: Thanks, thanks for that question. I've got Marta with a hand up? 

F: Yes, thank you. I actually did already assessment when I applied for this opportunity, and now I'm curious, how can I know how good I made it? Because a result will be known only end of January, and it needs a couple of months, I do not know if I have (inaudible 48.20) for that, thanks. 

Moderator: Yes, thanks, Marta. Marta makes a really good point here, and this is maybe a downside to the way that we run our assessment process, so, because monitoring that equality and diversity information is really important to us, then we don't have automatic pass and fail marks on any of our assessments, so you don't get an immediate response as to how you've done on the test, because what we're doing is we're getting the anonymous data through for everybody who does the assessment when the applications close, I think it's the fifth of January, at twelve noon, then what our team will get is they will get a whole list of everybody's scores, and what we have internally is like a broad pass range, so we know what we're looking for within a few percentage points, but what we want to do is make sure that if we draw the pass mark where we want that there is not going to be any discrimination occurring based on any of the protected characteristics. And so, unfortunately the long-winded answer is, Marta, that the-, that the only way to find out how you've done is to wait it out until about the middle of January when we've got all that information in and we've made sure that the test is fair and equal, that the pass mark is fair and equal without any adverse impact, then the results will go out to everybody at the same time. So, I know it's a long wait, but it's, keeping that fairness is really important to us, and that's why it's a long wait. So, do bear with us. Andreas with a hand up? 

M: Hello. 

Moderator: Hello. 

M: First of all thanks a lot of taking the time for this presentation. I wanted to ask, how should we answer the situation on questions where one answer can mean betraying the trust of a colleague, by informing, for example the supervisor, of his wrongdoing and another answer means possibly showing lack of loyalty and lack of understanding in respect to hierarchy, by talking to your colleague in a private setting and not inform your supervisor. So, what value should we prioritise, when they're in trouble? Both answers? 

Moderator: Yes, I know, and this is where they can be really difficult. I would say that the organisation that you are applying to that the organisational values would start to give you some hints on what to do here. So, questions I would personally be asking of that situation is, if that was a situation happening in local government and you knew that somebody was either not doing their job properly or they were doing something wrong, if the impact of that wrong choice is going to actually cause harm in the community, or the business, then the right response is probably to inform a supervisor that there is something that is happening, so that you-, you might be jeopardising the job security of the person who's making the mistake, but if the impact of that is actually going-, is causing a lot of damage then I would say it's probably worth speaking to a supervisor about. However, if the question is relating to just, you noticed that someone is, sort of, on social media all the time in the office, it might be something more appropriate for you to speak to that colleague about directly, rather than reporting them up the food chain straight away. So, I'll leave you to ponder that, Andreas, it's a really interesting question. I would look at the organisational values and again think about the impact that situation will have on other people and all the players involved would be, would be my tip. Emma, Emma Charlesworth, and I do apologise if I mispronounce anyone's names, do correct me when you come off of mute, please. 

F: Thank you so much, perfect pronunciation, so no worries on that. Thank you very much for the really helpful presentation, I found that the examples were particularly, really, really helpful to go through and I loved the highlighting, so, thank you. Apologies if this was mentioned earlier in the presentation and I missed it, but can I please quickly check whether the key competency for each question is signalled, or whether that's, kind of, for us to, to work out? Thank you. 

Moderator: Yeah, of course. It is for you to work out, so when you sit our test, the key competency will not be listed. For this webinar, I just thought it would be really helpful to you-, for you to be able to see that directly. But I think if you've read the key skills and behaviours a lot, and as we were going through the examples, especially when we're getting near the end, even if sometimes you think, 'Oh, that could fit under, you know, personal resilience, or it could fit under commitment to local government,' but actually, whichever one of those it fits under, your answer would be the same because the values are really interconnected. So, when you sit the test you won't know exactly which criteria it is marking. I would say, that the values, the eight of them, one of those is sitting behind the question and they do tie in together. So, if you study them, if you, sort of, get your head around them as a whole, then hopefully it, it does give you the confidence to sit the assessment. But yes, that is a little-, a little bit of the unknown sitting behind there. Yeah, great question. 

F: Thank you. 

Moderator: I've got-, I've got Sam Ashton? 

M: Hi there, thank you for the lecture, it's been very helpful. I've, I've got a couple of quick questions. 

Moderator: Yes? 

M: The first one I had was related to the time period between September and January that the-, the window runs, does it matter when you complete it, and is capped to a certain amount of people so it close early, or is it up to the fifth of January and you can apply anytime between them? 

Moderator: Yes, so that's correct, it's up to the fifth of January at twelve noon. I would encourage you not to leave it until the last hour, I don't think that we've had a technical blip of the system crashing in a few years, it happened one year when we really weren't expecting the amount of traffic we got in the last hour and in that instance everyone was given a bit of extra time. But yes, there's no advantage to completing it sooner or later, we don't look at the date that you did the test, we don't look at how long it took you to do the test, all that matters is actually the score that comes out at the end for the assessment. But I would say, you know, the advantage in terms of you-, we give it a really broad period of time because we know that people's workload varies widely and so I'd encourage you, take the time that you need to prepare, prepare in a window of time in your schedule between work, study, personal life, all the things that you've got going on, and make sure that you've built in time to prepare when you have it, and to sit the test where you've-, where you're going to be the least stressed as possible over the next couple of months, and that's why we close after Christmas. Not that you want to spend, you know, Boxing Day, really doing this assessment, or New Year's Day, but we know that for some people they've got a little time off of work or study during that period and that's why we have it open in that stretch and so, yes, but just I'd encourage you to choose a time when you're going to have time to prepare and be under the least amount of pressure, just for your own well-being, but it makes no difference to us when you actually sit it. You could sit it at two o'clock in the morning, as well, and we would never know or care. 

M: That's great, thank you. I've just another quick question, relating, I suppose less to the situation or judgment but more to the like application process as a whole, and I can't see anywhere where it says this, and I can't see an event where it'd be relevant, so I figured I'd ask here. 

Moderator: Yes, fire away. 

M: I know obviously there's quite a few, like, stages to the process being the test, the video interview, and the assessment centre, when does your CV become relevant, because I'm quite concerned with Covid over the past couple of years being an issue that I've not really been able to get any work experience which is relevant to the process because of the circumstance and I'm looking to get that over the next year whilst I finish my degree, and I was just wondering when that became relevant so I can, like, work to a timeline and make sure I've got plenty of experience. 

Moderator: Yes, yes. Well, what would I would say, Sam, is we're a generalist scheme, and all that we require of you is to have a 2:2 undergraduate degree by July 2022, let me get the years right, and that you have the right to work in the UK. You do not need any specific work experience. So, we will not ask for a copy of your CV at any point. When you fill in the application it does ask a bit about your educational background and your work background, that is not something that we assess, it's something that when we get to the very last stage of the process where we are linking your up with local councils who are taking part in the programme, it's to give them just a bit of a talking point with you about things you've done, things you might be interested in, it just helps them to get an idea of who you are as a person, but again, they're not assessing you saying, 'Oh my goodness, you know, Sam's not done enough work experience here or there,' they understand that you've passed a competitive assessment process, and that's, that interview is just about what we call best fit, where you're showing an interest in the local area and in things you're interested in. So, if you think it'd be helpful for you to get some experience maybe for this role or other roles then do go ahead but please don't put yourself under any pressure to try and fill up your CV with anything specific, because it's not something that we, on our scheme, assess. And I think you're probably under enough pressure with other parts of life as well, so, people are coming from all different backgrounds, not everybody has the opportunity to gain what we might think of as relevant work experience and that's why we don't measure it at all. Now, Daniel, I see Daniel Alverez, if I'm saying your surname properly? 

M: Yes, that's good, thank you. Thank you again for the presentation and the tips, that was really useful. I have a question about how to approach the situation judgement test, so I've been advised that you should, like, be as honest as possible and have, like, your natural answers come up on the test, but obviously with the tips you've done today it's, like, about researching the values of the key competencies, like, how do you advise how do you do the test, like, do you like, have in our minds what the company is looking for in that particular situation, like, what the key values are, or are we going into it, like, what I would naturally do in that situation? 

Moderator: Yes, that's a great question. And this is where a tips and tricks session maybe runs a little bit alongside-, how to phrase it? I think, basically, the answer is that the tips I've given you will help you to pass the test. Now, I think that it is possible for someone to study really intensely and pass a test and then, actually, to get the job and behave in a totally different way. And the disadvantage to that is I don't think that you would perform very well in your performance assessments and I think you'd probably be a little bit miserable. So, I would say doing the preparation, understanding the context, understanding how these questions work is really important, especially-, just countering that question that Sam had around experience, you know, everyone's had different life experiences and doing some of these test questions will help you to understand what we're looking for. If you find, when you're doing the prep that you actually disagree with, you know, the vast majority of how these situations are resolved, then my suggestion would be, actually we might not be the right role for you, you might not be very happy doing the job. If it's a matter of sometimes you sit these things and you think, 'Oh, I would have chosen-, my gut instinct was Answer C,' but then, when you see the correct answer and you read the key skills again, you think, 'Oh, yes, I understand that.' 
 
So, I think the disadvantage to just going on your gut is that if you haven't done the prep work, you can, kind of-, you're going on your own experiences a little bit and it might be that, actually, when you were in the workplace, when you've got to grips with what the workplace expected of you, you would behave in the way that our test is assessing. But I would say if you-, if you strongly disagree with the correct answers that are coming up, then it just might not be the job for you. You might be interested in something, say, in the private sector, something a bit more competitive with different dynamics. So, yeah, I hope that's helpful. I think it's good to keep in mind whether the test is feeling comfortable for you, whether you actually want to do the job that it's suggesting, as you go along. But to pass the test, then the preparation is what's going to get you there, if that makes sense. Rishona (ph 01.02.21)? I'm really sorry if I've mispronounced your name, do correct me. 

F: Hi, Anna, no, that was exactly how it's pronounced, thank you. Yeah, first thing first, I just want to say thank you for the presentation, it's been super helpful, I just have two small questions. So, my first one is are you able to tell us about the type of activities that we're going to complete at the assessment centre and then my second question is during the video interview questions, would we ever be asked why we want to work for the Local Government Association as a company or will, will it always be specific to why we want to work on the graduate scheme? Those are my two questions, thank you. 

Moderator: Yeah, those are great questions and I will just say, as we're going along, I'm doing a webinar and video interviews, I can't remember the exact date, it is on our website. So, stay tuned for that one and I-, I'm looking at doing something on assessment centres, as well. It's a bit down the tunnel for us, but I'm really happy to take those questions now. So, it was what types of things will you do at an assessment centre? So, traditionally, we've done three exercises at our assessment centre. The first one is a piece of written work in which you are given a chunk of documents and then you're given, like, a report form to fill in, so it gives you an idea of the structure we expect the assignment to be in and then your job is to-, is to, you know, work your way through all the information and complete the written task within a time frame. So, we used to do that in person, in the last two years we've done that virtually and you've been able to complete it within a, sort of, timespan window so you don't have to clock in at a particular day and time. We're still looking at how to function things next year, but it's very likely that there will still be a written component. 
 
The second exercise we've traditionally used has been a group exercise, so we've done that again, both in person and virtually, over the last few years and that would present you-, it's like sitting in a meeting, so at the start of the meeting, you'd be given a brief as to what you're covering in the meeting. Over the years, we've tried it with what's called 'assigned roles' and 'non-assigned roles', so you might have, like, something that's individual to you that you're arguing for, a project or a position, or it might just be a general discussion, we, kinda, change it up as time goes on. And then each person who is in the meeting is assessed based on their contributions to the meeting, how they respond and how they make their arguments and participate, etc., over the course of the meeting. 
 
And then the third exercise we've traditionally done has been a presentation. So, you are given a chunk of information and asked to give a presentation, sort of, half an hour or so later. And, again, we've done that in person and virtually. So, I think they're still in the process, we're a public sector organisation, so we go out to something called 'tender' every year. So, that means it's a, sorta, public bidding process where different test providers will be writing into us and saying what exercises they think we should use and then we have to choose the best ones. So, it's not fully set for what we'll be doing this year, but the structure has not varied very much over the last few years and there'll be more on our website, once we've appointed the suppliers ahead of an assessment centre, people get a full brief of what to expect, but that'll give you a bit of a flavour. And then, for the video interview, then, yes, all-, it's usually been three questions that have been asked, they'll all be on those key skills and behaviours, as well and they'll all be about the national graduate development programme rather than the Local Government Association. So, they'll all be-, there might be questions about, you know, an issue in a-, issues about councils as a general whole or issues within local government or asking you to pick an issue in local government to talk about, but it wouldn't be specific to the Local Government Association as an organisation. 
 
So, hopefully those are helpful, but do keep-, do keep your eyes open for those other webinars coming up. Now, Tahj? T-A-H-J? I'm really sorry if I've mispronounced your name. 

M: Yes, thank you, that's perfect, Anna. Thank you again for the presentation, it's really useful. So, my question was for the SJT, are there going to be any questions on, like, verbal reasoning or, like, non-verbal reasoning. 

Moderator: Great question and I should have said this at the start. In the past, we have done three tests as part of stage one. So, it's been our situational judgement of verbal reasoning and a numerical reasoning test. For us, we felt that the verbal and numerical reasoning tests, they were very difficult to make sure that they were non-discriminatory, based on protected characteristics, so what we were doing is basically having-, not using them very-, to filter out very many people. Now, we tried different test providers, we wrote our own tests, we just weren't happy with them as a type of assessment. So, no one has ever been discriminated against based on us using the tests, but we just felt, for us, they were really off-putting and they weren't very effective mode of assessment, so we've got rid of them. So, all that you do is fill in your background information, which is, kind of, like, a big FYI for us down the line and then you sit that situational judgement test, the situational judgement test is the only thing we assess at stage one. So, yes, there's no verbal or numerical reasoning or logical reasoning or making you look at pictures of shapes because that's not relevant to the job for us. So, that's a great question. Harry? Harry Ward, with a hand up? 

M: Hi there, can you hear me? 

Moderator: Yes, I can, thanks, Harry. 

M: Right, thank you very much for the session, Anna, and thanks for clarifying, also, that the test is untimed. But I wondered whether you could give us an insight into how long the test might take someone. So, I know that's a bit of a hard question, we're-, you know, we're all busy so we're trying to plan our time, so I just wondered how long, on average, maybe, it takes. 

Moderator: Yeah, on average, people usually finish it in 20 or 30 minutes. 

M: Okay. 

Moderator: But if I was, sort of, looking at my diary and trying to choose a time of day, give yourself an hour where you're not going to be under any pressure. 

M: Okay. 

Moderator: Because there's nothing worse than feeling like you're running out of time. 

M: Yeah. 

Moderator: It's just not a nice feeling to put-, to-, a situation to put yourself in. And we find when people feel that intense pressure, it can really affect, you know, the way that they're responding to the situation. So, that's, kinda, comes back to an earlier question where someone was saying, you know, 'Should I do it early in the process? Should I do it late in the process?' I'd say look at-, look at the next couple of months and say, 'Where in those next couple of months is there gonna be an hour where I can just sit down, feeling as chill as I'm gonna feel, you know, without any pressure?' You know, no one's gonna come knocking on your door in that window of time, you can be, you know, uninterrupted with a good Internet connection, with the right tech, just to work through it in your own time. But, yeah, usually 20 or 30 minutes is, is how long people generally tend to take. But, as I say, if you take longer, it's no disadvantage, if you do it faster, you're at no disadvantage, we don't look at or assess the timing, okay? 

M: Thank you. 

Moderator: Great. I've got a hand up from Cara or Cara, maybe? 

F: Hi, it's Cara, thank you. 

Moderator: Cara, yeah. 

F: Thank you very much for today, it's been really useful. I was just gonna ask, I hope this is relevant, basically, but I heard-, I was reading about on the website that they'd introduced also local recruitment drives for the NGDP on specific councils as part of the measures alongside getting rid of the other tests to make it more accessible. I've just really struggled to find any information about what councils are taking part in that, I think I found one or two, but I wasn't sure if you had anything else you could add. 

Moderator: Of course, great question. So, local recruitment is something that came about-, it mostly comes from local councils who are really passionate about offering jobs to local people, that's the main reason it exists. So, as you may know, may not know, councils are politically led, so they're led by elected councillors and sometimes those elected officials, in particular, have a very big passion about making sure that the council is hiring people who are based in the local area or giving special opportunities to those people as a genuine occupational requirement. So they're only allowed to do it under law where there is a real need in terms of local employment and skills and things like that. And so for councils who have that passion and interest, then we have enabled them to hire local people through the NGDP. So, they-, councils have to sign up for local recruitment, but I feel like the deadline is really soon. It's a colleague of mine who runs that side of the programme, but it's definitely within the next month, I think it's probably even sooner than that, maybe the middle of October. And so any councils who are offering local recruitment should appear on our website and you would find the advert on their local website, as well. And there probably are only gonna be less than five, I would say. It's not a hugely popular way for councils to take part because it's a lot of extra work for them and most councils we work with are really happy to see people from across all different local areas and regions, more widely. 
 
So, yeah, keep an eye on the website and if there's a specific local council that you're interested, keep an eye on their website, as well. It should all be firmed up in the next couple of weeks. You can only apply to the scheme through either a local council or the national intake, that's because the assessment process is the same, so whichever route you come into, the assessment process is exactly the same, the only difference is if you go through a local recruitment process, you're, sort of, dedicated to that local council. So, if you pass the whole assessment process, you would only be interviewing for that local council and none of the other partner councils on the scheme, whereas if you've come through the national intake, then you go through the whole assessment process and then you network and get a chance to meet and chat with all the councils who are taking part and then you give our team an idea of where you're interested in working, we arrange job interviews, you meet with a couple of councils for that best fit interview I was talking about earlier and then job offers are given out by councils, sort of, as a result. So, that's, sort of, how the process works. If you've got anymore specific questions on that, just drop a note to-, ngdp@local.gov.uk is our general email, if you want specific application support, then I'd pop it along to-, ngdp.support is the best one for most of you, but for local recruitment, drop it to the general inbox, Cara, and we can give you a bit more information there. 
 
Katie? Katie who's next with a hand up. 

F: Yeah, hi, everyone, I just wanted to say is there any need for any references at any point in the process? 

Moderator: Yeah, so references are usually checked by local councils after you've been for an interview with them, that's down in June, July 2022. So, way down the line and, and that is just, sort of, start-, part of a standard procedure check for the local council, to have someone to talk to about you before you would start. So, they make a job offer based on the fact that you've passed an assessment centre and meeting you in person and then, usually, they check references just before they send the employment contracts through. I've never had anyone miss out on a placement on the programme because of a reference check and I've worked on this scheme for seven and a half years. So, I wouldn't worry about it at all and I wouldn't worry about who you put, either, it's a fairly flexible brief. I've got Tan (ph 01.15.02), Tan with a hand up? 

F: Hello? 

Moderator: Hi. 

F: Hi, I'm not sure if this question's been asked or not, I can't find the chat function for some reason, but I was just wondering, will you be sharing the PowerPoint and the recording with us, by any chance? 

Moderator: Yes. Yeah, we are recording this session and, and everything technologically working, I'm hoping to have it up on the NGDP website in a couple of days. So, I'll speak to colleagues on-, in our web team about doing that and as soon as they've got time, then they should be able to get that up online. And you'll see the slides and hear my dulcet tones, for better or for worse, through, through the whole thing, so you can watch it back at your convenience. Yeah, not a problem. Now, I think-, is that all of our hands up? Has anyone else got a question that they would like to have answered, just pop your hand up. As I, I think I said earlier, we're having trouble finding the chat function, so I'm afraid it's a, kind of, coming off 'mute' job, but if you're not comfortable asking a question, then-, in this environment, please do get in touch. Probably most of your questions are suitable for ngdp.support@local.gov.uk, which is our dedicated email address for application support. And so please do feel free to get in touch with us. If you've got any questions or concerns, then there are a couple of colleagues who are waiting there ready to-, ready to help. Cara, you've still got your hand up, did you have another question or is just that, kinda, awkward thing where you can't get the hand down? I do it all the time. 

F: I, I just remembered I had another one, if that's okay. 

Moderator: Yeah, of course, fire away. 

F: So, yeah, basically I've, I've, I've signed up for the other webinar about disclose-, disability on the scheme, and I was just-, I was just wondering if-, I haven't started the situational judgement test yet or started the application yet because I wanted to do these webinars first. But I was just wondering, in terms-, I-, it'll probably go into that, but whether you, kind of, you, you fill in the application and it, it-, you can put in there that you have a disability or whether I should contact someone before I do that. 

Moderator: Yeah, definitely. So, it's great that you're signed up to that webinar and I know we're, kind of, losing people as we tail on, but we are running a special webinar on declaring reasonable adjustments, which you'll see advertised on the website. What we do with the application process, Cara, when you fill in the initial application form, it will ask you if you require any reasonable adjustments. I can't remember the exact wording. But just, just say 'Yes' and then what we do is we don't have a, kinda, bog-standard procedure, we have a chat with each individual person who-, about what adjustments are suitable for them, what their needs and situation is. So, we take a really tailored approach and we find that's the best way to make sure that people get the adjustments that they need, because people can need really very different things. So, when you're filling in that application, please do tick the box and wait to hear back from a member of the team before you start any of the assessments, is my general rule of thumb. The biggest adjustment that people request is extra time, especially with online tests and, as I've said, the SJT for us is untimed, so we find we need-, people need the lowest number of adjustments for that test, but we'd still rather have the conversation first, just to make sure you've got a fair and equal chance of performing at your best. 
 
So, please just tick the box, wait to hear from a member of our team and then, of course, do tune into the webinar that we've got coming up. I'll be taking through some basics, but then you'll also be hearing from a couple of our trainees on their own experience of declaring an adjustment and tips and advice from them and you'll be able to ask them questions, as well. So, hopefully, that'll a, a really helpful webinar, as well. 

F: Great, thank you. 

Moderator: No, my pleasure. Katie, I still see a hand up for you, did you have another question? 

F: Yes, I was wondering if, if I could start the application and then save it partway through and then come back to it later? 

Moderator: Yes, I believe that you should be able to do so. It's, it's all in one place, so the application should take you through and then you have the ability to go directly into the SJT, but you can do it in parts. Once you've started the SJT, you can't then come out and go back into the assessment, just because it wouldn't make it fair for everyone else, but the initial stage, you can, kinda, log in, put your contact details, fill in the EDI form and the work experience, the educational background, all that, kinda, tedious bit, you can do it bit by bit when you have time. And then when you're ready, start the SJT, because once you start it, then you have to do that in one piece. But otherwise, you can do it, whittle away at it over the next couple of months, yeah. 

F: Thanks. 

Moderator: Any-, I don't think I've got any more hands up, let me just look down my screen. I'll just leave that moment of awkward silence to see whether anyone does have a question. I'm not very good with awkward silence, but I think-, I think those are all your questions, so thank you so much again for coming. Please do get in touch with us and I really do hope that we'll see some of you as part of Cohort 24 of the NGDP. So, that's it from me, take care and have a great day. Bye bye. 

M: And you. 

F: Thank you.