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Virtual Coach Proves Popular With Police Recruits

“Virtual Coach” Proves Popular With Police Recruits


By Amberleigh Jack

This year’s candidates for the New Zealand Police have been using a new support system to help them through the process this year - an online “virtual coach”, a networking site designed for police recruitment.

The site has been live for about four weeks and a press release issued by the police says more than 500 candidates are already actively using the site.

Recruitment manager, James Whitaker, says the site has had a great response so far.

He says the site was set up because the police are aware people “discuss things on forums anyway and they often encourage each other through that”.

“We thought we’d apply that to the recruitment process.”

He says rather than simply having a networking site the police went further “by putting in a calendar and live news feeds”, allowing the recruits to track their own progress and to have access to any police related content that reaches the media.

Whitaker says the recruiting process with police can be difficult and the support from other candidates is very important.

He says to get through the recruitment process there are steps the candidates must take, including meeting physical requirements and passing an academic test.

“For some people that’s a big thing, but for some, who are in their [physical] prime and are used to academic assessments it’s not as difficult.”

Whitaker says he has been watching what recruits are talking about on the site and recruits are offering advice and support to others who may be struggling.

According to Whitaker, the creators of the site are unaware of any other organisations using a similar tool to support new recruits.

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Amberleigh Jack is a Journalism Student at AUT

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