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MoosAndTwos

Worried About Starting Probation

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Hi all, I hope this is okay to post this here.

I have a few questions and queries about the 2 year probation period in the Met. I have just completed street duties and I am due to go on a Response team after my Pass Out Parade. I'm not sure if anyone has felt the same as me but I feel like I am nowhere near ready to be a Response Officer. We had 5 weeks of Street Duties for Coached Patrol and now the next stage is Response and I still feel completely overwhelmed and feel like there is still a million things I do not know and even those things I do have an idea about, I'm not 100% confident in them. 

My main question is how does Probation periods work? Are you assigned to a tutor again and helped out through your 2 year probation? I suppose my main concern is being expected to know how to do everything competently (which I definitely don't yet) and therefore making a bad impression with my superiors and colleagues. Knowing that people expect you to make mistakes and not know everything will put me at ease but I have had no input into what is expected of me or how probation works. I suppose if you are assigned a sort of mentor or tutor during your probation who understands a little more would be great, but for some reason I don't see that happening, and I will be navigating for an old sweat who has no time for probationers... Saying that, I always give 100% and try my best and I had excellent PDR feedback after Street Duties but this just feels like a whole 'nother level of pressure.

Any advice would be kindly appreciated. 

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Everyone is nervous when they start in company so don't worry about feeling nervous. As to your other questions I'm really surprised that no one has explained how the tutor system and SOLAP folder works.

Most forces put students with a tutor for 10 weeks which should be enough to get to a basic level of competency.  You'll be subject to a review at that point and could get extended if you haven't reached the required level.  Assuming you are doing OK  you'll then be on your own working with your shift and working through the SOLAP folder but again with regular reviews.  

From my experience very few people fail the process but its natural to feel nervous about it.

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The Met sounds like it does things slightly differently to what I have experienced. I am coming to the end of my two years probation now.

Following basic training I was assigned a tutor constable on a patrol block, I remained with my tutor for 10 weeks to pick up the basics. Once I was signed off I was deemed "fit for independent patrol", don't get me wrong though I still felt like I knew very little! As I was a non-driver I was double crewed every shift anyway and every cop I worked with was brilliant. Everybody knew that I was a probie and they always gave me advice and guidance whenever I needed it. Following another 15 weeks on response I moved to other departments as part of my probation, those being a tactical team and an investigation team.

I just recently passed my standard response course so I am a driver and now I am fully on my own. It's something I am still getting used to but I am surprised how much I have managed to pick up over the past 18 months or so!

You will feel overwhelmed at times and that is absolutely normal, you will never be judged for it! Your colleagues will know that you are new and they will remember when they stood in your shoes. Try not to get too worked up about it, the best thing you can do is listen and learn at every opportunity you get. If you are not sure or something doesn't feel right then ask somebody, you won't be criticised for seeking guidance unless of course it's something you should have picked up before.

It will take time before your confidence will start to build and there will be jobs that will shatter that confidence sometimes, it's all about how you bounce back and how you reflect on your mistakes.

Have a good time and remember that your colleagues have all been there once, they will support you as long as you show willing to work!

Good luck!

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