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Applicant Tracking System: Police recruitment and promotion

Categories: ATS, Assessment, Legacy replacement


After Microsoft announced the end of support for Access 2010 there were a number of unique, bespoke-built applications that needed replacing within the next few years. QuickCase is well positioned to support this with its flexible, configurable case management system, allowing for fast replacement of business critical services and then subsequent growth into new IT enablement.


The recruitment and promotion of Police officers is currently managed by legacy Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which have been in use for 20 years.

To date, the following problems have been highlighted:

  • The legacy systems are built on technologies reaching their end of life, support is being withdrawn by providers creating an operational risk and mandating replacement
  • The legacy systems are distributed (60+ installations across the country): data is fragmented and conflicts arise requiring slow, manual resolution
  • Recruitment and promotion of Police officers are handled by distinct systems: data is duplicated and there's no overall visibility of a Police officer's history


The capabilities of the legacy systems must be preserved:

  • Nationwide collaboration with different types of actors: central academic body, Police Forces, assessment teams
  • Integration with legacy OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) scanners for collection of applicant answers during assessments
  • Application processing: receive applications from candidates, perform eligibility checks, allocate to an assessment event, collect answers and score
  • Management of assessment events: collaboration of multiple Police Forces, creation of available spaces for applicants, allocation of supporting staff and resources
  • Generation of feedback reports for applicants, detailing their performance

In the optic of modernising the solution, new requirements have also been identified:

  • Ability for applicants to self-serve via a dedicated portal: apply online, read supporting documentation and directions, reschedule assessments, access results
  • Ability to build in-depth reports and dashboards to monitor performance and diversity of recruitment and promotion over time using anonymised data


All police recruitment and promotions applicants go through the system: 75,000 to 100,000 applicants per year.

Implementation to be completed within a 6-month period, within a constrained budget, for national rollout ahead of legacy system end of life.


Provide a new cloud-based, flexible solution to retain current functionality, deliver required enhancements but also enable future digital approaches.

Leveraging QuickCase's flexibility, ~80% of the requirements can be quickly delivered through configuration and ad-hoc business logic (webhooks). The focus can then be shifted to the remaining areas of uniqueness:

  • OMR integration: provide a bespoke Desktop app acting as the bridge between the legacy OMR scanners and the cloud-based solution via a Rest API
  • Applicant self-service portal: build a bespoke user-interface using QuickCase's API to exactly meet UX, branding and internationalisation requirements



Workflow is based around modelling of states where states are clearly defined milestones in the lifecycle of a case. Events cause changes to take place which can optionally transition a case's state.

All events are recorded and can be looked up by authorised users via a case audit history accessed via the case view or Rest API. QuickCase stores all versions of cases over their workflow: changes and previous versions can be examined when needed.

Modelling of the workflow (states and transitions) is entirely achieved through configuration.

The ATS, designed for the needs of recruiting and promoting Police officers, is built around 2 complementary workflows:

  • Application workflow: Progress an applicant from the receipt of their application to the outcome of their assessment
  • Assessment workflow: Scheduling and running of face-to-face assessments to evaluate applicants

Applicants are allocated to assessments open for allocation; applicants' answers can only be collected while the assessment is running.

Below is a simplified version of the Applicant workflow:

And a simplified version of the Assessment workflow:

Access control

The configurable access control model allows for multi-layered challenges to give the business a high degree of control and flexibility over access to data.

User roles

A user has one or many roles that dictate what they have access to, from case types to individual fields, and which transition they can trigger on a case. For each item, a user's roles can be given some or all of the Create, Read, Update or Delete (CRUD) privileges.

For the Police ATS, this is a crucial aspect of the solution: within the academic body different teams should be given different privileges. For example, the permissions to score and moderate an applicant must be exclusive to the team in charge of scoring, while other actors like Police Forces must instead be given a read-only view of the score.

Access level

In QuickCase, users are assigned one of 3 levels of access:

  • Organisation: Allows visibility of all cases within an organisation
  • Group: Restrict visibility to only cases explicitly granted to the user's group
  • Individual: Restrict visibility to only cases explicitly granted to the user

The visibility granted by the access level is always within the limits set by user roles and data classification.

In the context of the Police ATS, this clearly establishes the boundaries between the 3 main types of actor:

  • Academic body: Organisation access, responsible for managing the ATS as a whole
  • Police Forces: Group access with a dedicated group for each Police Force, restricting visibility to a Force's own applicants and assessments
  • Applicant: Individual access, the applicant only has visibility of their own application and results

Data classification

Each element of data in QuickCase is assigned a classification level which determines how sensitive the data is. There are 3 levels of data classification, from least sensitive to most sensitive:

  1. Public
  2. Private
  3. Restricted

Similarly, each user in QuickCase is given a classification level which prevents them from seeing data more sensitive than their own classification level. For example, a user with classification Private will only have visibility of data that is either Public or Private and not Restricted.

The visibility granted by the data classification is always within the limits set by user roles and access levels.

For Police recruitment and promotion, data classification is used to limit visibility of an applicant's scores until they are officially published. When an applicant is first scored by the academic body, the scores are given a classification of Private so that only the academic body with their own classification of Private can see them. Then, when the academic body publishes the results, the scores' classification is lowered to Public making it visible to Police Forces and applicants which are both classified as Public.


The legacy ATS was replaced in March 2020, 6 months before Access 2010 reached its end of life, allowing the Police recruitment drive and promotion to continue uninterrupted and at pace.

QuickCase's configuration engine allows data model, workflows and access controls to be created and presented quickly and iteratively, resulting in early feedback and fast maturing of the solution. This allows complex solutions like the Police recruitment/promotion ATS to be delivered within s constrained timeline and budget, without compromising on quality, security or performance.


The new Police recruitment and promotion ATS was designed for face-to-face assessment of applicants as was the practice until then. However, upon its completion in March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak hit and all face-to-face assessments were cancelled.

As a consequence, recruitment and promotion had to become fully digital using existing online assessment tools.

Leveraging QuickCase's configuration engine and Rest APIs, the ATS could quickly be integrated with established third-party online assessment tools, acting as a foundation to expand the Police digital estate.