Hearing Tests - 744/20

Date Responded 11 June 2020

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. I would like to know whether Northumbria Police provide a practical test of hearing (not PTA) to assess functional abilities as stated in the HO standard?

2. Is this test provided internally?

3. What type of practical test is used? For example, a Speech in Noise test (HINT, SPRINT).

4. If external, who does this test and what test are they using?

5. Do you record how many of these practical tests have been completed in the last 5 years, split into 12m periods? If yes, how many?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Peoples Services Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. Candidates’ hearing is assessed as part of their medical examination by our Occupational Health Unit. If a candidate doesn’t meet the HO standards without the support of a hearing aid (either bone anchored or in ear) then we will conduct an in house functional hearing assessment to aim to support their appointment. The assessment results are sent back to our force medical advisor for review to support a final decision on appointment.

2. Yes.

3. This is a functional hearing test, that involves recording a candidates ability to hear certain instructions in the following job related scenarios:
• Public order scenario– candidate wore ear piece with helmet/shield, to simulate a public order disturbance, trainer detailed various commands which candidate repeated to assessor, information recorded for accuracy and reporting to OHU
• Grade 1 incident – candidate travelling in police car with lights and sirens – communicating with resource controller via airwaves and recording details of incident, information recorded for accuracy and reporting to OHU
• Road side check – candidate communicated to Comms department via airwaves to complete a road side check, information recorded for accuracy and reporting to OHU
• Custody Suite – candidate communicated details of detainee to custody sergeant, information recorded for accuracy and reporting to OHU

4. Test not conducted externally.

5. According to our records, 3 in the last 5 years (all in 2019).

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