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If the cap fits...

(Photograph) - Admission to the police Standard Entrance Test (SET) preparation course is on a first-come-first-served basis, with an intake of 15 students at a time. It takes two nights a week for six weeks; in the final week, the group sits the SET under exam conditions.

At the moment, you will only be eligible to apply if you live in the local authority area where the course is being run, although the force is looking to change that.

Classes are run in community locations such as libraries, community halls and culture centres, in a bid to make learning more accessible to people, particularly those returning to education or turned off by learning in the past.

Lessons focus on the three parts of the test - literacy, numeracy and information handling - and utilise the expertise of the local authority literacy and numeracy lecturers who are specially trained to deliver the course.

The first cohort began in February and, of the three groups which have been through the course, only two students failed - nearly a 96 per cent pass rate compared to the average 60 per cent for those without the additional support. None of the 45 who began the course dropped out.

Anyone who fails can sit the test again at a later date, but there are only three versions, so once an applicant has exhausted those they won't get another chance.

Another partner in the project is on hand for those who fail the test.

Careers Scotland will offer guidance and advice for all those taking part, but with a particular interest in offering alternative employment opportunities to the unsuccessful. Among those options could be relevant jobs associated with the police such as support staff.

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