Summary Guidance Notes for Civil Service Competency Statements

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1 Summary Guidance Notes for Civil Service Competency Statements Introduction This summary document is designed to provide you with a quick and easy guide to completing the Competency Statements required during the Sift and Interview process for the role of Border Force Officer. This is a redacted version of the full guidance for your quick reference. Please ensure that you read the full guidance documents if you are unclear in any way. These notes have been designed to help you with the completion of your competency examples with a focus on how to select and write your evidence to demonstrate the required competencies/skills. There are ten competencies within the Civil Service Framework you are being asked to provide Competency Supporting Statements within your Application Form for two of these; Making Effective Decisions (Lead Competency) Leading and Communicating You are required for provide examples which demonstrate these competencies at Grade Level 2 (EO). What are the 1 st and 2 nd Lead Competencies? The 1st and 2nd Lead Competencies form part of the core competencies every successful Civil Servant is expected and required to demonstrate. 1st Lead Competency: Setting Direction > Making Effective Decisions Effective Behaviour Ineffective Behaviour Demonstrate accountability and make unbiased decisions Avoid making decisions that lie within own remit; continually push decisions up Examine complex information and obtain further information to make accurate decisions Miss important evidence or make hasty judgements Speak with the relevant people in order to obtain the most accurate information and get Encounter problems by failing to check issues and relevance of information before 1

2 advice when unsure of how to proceed using it Explain clearly, verbally and in writing, how a decision has been reached Share decisions in a way that leads to frustration or additional work Provide advice and feedback to support others to make accurate decisions Provide limited or no assurance that the right decisions are being made in team/work area Monitor the storage of critical data and customer information to support decision making and conduct regular reviews to ensure it is stored accurately, confidentially and responsibly Take little care with data and information storage; allow inaccuracies and mishandling to occur 2nd Lead Competency: Engaging People > Leading and Communicating Effective Behaviour Ineffective Behaviour Display enthusiasm around goals and activities adopting a positive approach when interacting with others Listen to, understand, respect and accept the value of different views, ideas and ways of working Express ideas effectively, both orally and in writing, and with sensitivity and respect for others Confidently handle challenging conversations or interviews Confront and deal promptly with inappropriate language or behaviours, including bullying, harassment or discrimination Express limited interest in goals and activities Adopt a biased, exclusive or disrespectful manner in their dealings with others Demonstrate no awareness of the impact of their behaviour on others nor consider the potential reactions of others to the ideas put forward Unable to deal objectively with conflicts and disputes when they arise Avoid challenging inappropriate language or behaviours WRITING THE SUPPORTING STATEMENTS Statements need to be short and succinct as they are limited to 250 words and you need to use this space as effectively as possible. The word count may seem small but drafting statements that are comprehensive yet succinct is part of the skill being assessed. To prepare good strong statements to include in your application, you need to: 2

3 Base your examples on a previous experience which has broad enough scope to enable you to demonstrate you have completed the actions that make up the competency Tell the truth - don t make things up. You may well be asked about the examples at the interview so will get tripped up if you have written about something that you are not familiar with Do a first draft then refine, refine, refine Check everything is there that is needed Think about presentation would bullet points work as opposed to paragraphs of text Be succinct make sure you cover the key points Draft in clear language that is grammatically correct, including the spelling Do not use jargon, abbreviations or specialist terms Use your own words, preferably those that enhance the impact of your application Top Tips for getting started Write down all the things that you have done well in your job over the past 2 years Your previous performance reports may help here For each of these things note down how you achieved what you did, what skills and behaviours did you use For each bit of work, note which competencies it might cover It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with your own competencies and indicators before you start. 3

4 How to choose your examples They should be tailored to the behavioural indicators that you feel are most relevant to the Border Force Officer role. When deciding which examples to use, keep referring back to the Key Tasks and Person Requirements that are described these are clearly detailed in the candidate pack and on the website. THE WHO MODEL Competency based selection requires more than just information about what you did, it requires you to explain. The method below is known as the WHO model. This is a useful technique to apply when writing your evidence. What your personal role How you did it and Outcome - placing an emphasis on the successful outcome THE STAR APPROACH TO PRESENTING YOUR EXAMPLES The STAR approach may also help you to present your evidence more successfully, providing structure and focus to your answers to questions about what you have done in the period the review covers. Situation briefly describe the context and your role. 4

5 Task the specific challenge, task or job that you faced. Action what you did, how and why you did it. Result what you achieved through your actions. Keep the situation and task parts brief. Concentrate on the action and the result. If the result was not entirely successful describe what you learned from this and what you would do differently next time. STAR may help you to cover all the points you need to make. It may help you approach drafting your application in a positive way and ensure that you cover what you personally have done. Make sure you focus on your strengths. More Hints and Tips Allow yourself plenty of time for writing your examples avoid leaving them until the last minute Writing it down is the safest way to ensure all your examples are fully considered Don t assume the person reading your statement has any knowledge of the situation. They may not know everything you have done It s all down to you. The sift panel cannot infer what is not included in the example and can only assess what you have actually written Make sure you include how you overcome problems / obstacles Keep looking back at the competency bullet points and cover the key points Describe your thoughts, actions and feelings rather than just describing what happened Don t get caught up telling a story in your example. Just give enough to show - how you went about the task 5

6 why you did it the way you did and describe any obstacles you encountered. Don t forget to include results and show why your actions were effective and/or how you could have improved on what you did Use I not we. This is about your role in the task and how you affected the outcome Use short statements that show the value you added Use your own words Choose your most powerful examples demanding/challenging situations that have lots of substance 6

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