Sample of a KSA Worksheet for Sergeant

KSA Ltd. Assessment Centers for Leadership Development
KSA Ltd. ©2015 Rick Michelson, Director 619-203-3073

Note: should you wish samples of similar worksheets from a variety of departments, or would like to have your own job description reviewed, just email us.

Sample KSA Worksheet for POLICE SERGEANT

This is a worksheet you may use to help you focus on the skills you are going to be asked to demonstrate in your upcoming assessment center. More importantly, they are the very skills you’ll need on the job once you are promoted. Our role is to help you to focus on recognizing those skills (also called KSA’s or Dimensions) so that you can prepare for not only any test or interview, but the job itself. If you are honest with yourself, you may find that you really are not ready for this position and may need some more time to learn and assimilate these skills into your current position. There are always opportunities to practice and “hone” these skills. You just have to realize how important they are to not only your success but your departments’ decision to promote you. These are all skills that can be learned and practiced. There is probably nothing in here that you haven’t already done but you are not used to “talking” about them in this manner. Consider this like a mini-report card that you have time to refocus your attention on the core skills and abilities you need as a good, no, a great Sergeant! RM
Instruction: the scores are from a low of 1 to a high of 5. Where you do you think you “are” realistically in each of these different boxes or dimensions? Dimensions are really behaviors that you will have to demonstrate during an assessment center, but in reality you do them all the time and probably don’t think about them as such. Just consider that raters only have but one chance to see you and “rate” you during an assessment center. It would make sense then to make sure you are on the “same page” as they are with the types of skills or behaviors, they are looking for in your performance.

You may want to review these and come up with your own “experiences” that may be relevant from a Sergeants perspective. If possible, talk to a Lt. and or Captain, since they would have the perspective of oversight of Captains role and how they would assess/rate/evaluate/describe good Sergeant vs. mediocre or poor Sergeants.
Remember: in Any Interview or Scenario:
 Know your Audience (Remember who you are talking to! They are usually two ranks above you so they are assessing you based on their skills in not only having been in that position and evaluating others in that rank. There may also be HR personnel and community members on the panel or as raters)
 Make it Believable – Let them see your personality, and “stay in the role” of that rank
 Demonstrate your Character: “As a Sergeant, effective deployment is a critical component of the job. Let me tell you how I demonstrated this skill recently… “It was a dark and stormy night..! ” (Always “stay” in the role!”)

To supervise sworn and civilian personnel involved in a variety of law enforcement and related tasks and to perform specialized work as assigned.

General supervision is provided by a command level officer. Responsibilities include supervision of Detectives, Police Officers and civilian personnel.

  1. KSA Dimension for Sergeant 1=Low; 5 =High
    1. You do not feel you are ready for this skill set or have not had an opportunity to develop this skill
    2. You have some initial experience in this KSA
    3. You are moderately competent in this KSA and would “meet expectations” in an evaluation
    4. You are above average in this skill and can initiate and assess performance of your abilities
    5. You felt you exemplify that particular KSA/Dimension and can manage quite well since you have confidence in your abilities
  2. Your Experiences – Readiness Level (Giving an example)
    1= Needs more experience
    5 = Most Qualified
  3. Total the figures at the end of the document.

1. Supervises personnel in unit: Cite specifics; like who, how, why and what were the results? Note: this can also include non-departmental experiences: volunteer work, military, business, etc.
1 2 3 4 5
Circle one only

2. Trains personnel: What have you trained them in? What steps did you do to research, write, present, evaluate?
1 2 3 4 5

3. Planning and scheduling work assignments; Special events, VIP, contingency plans, COP, Tactical plans, etc.
1 2 3 4 5

4. Counsels subordinates. As an FTO? Discipline, counseling, directing, evaluating performance, coaching, mentoring, developing others?
1 2 3 4 5

5. Prepares job performance ratings on subordinates. More importantly, had you had to correct another’s behaviors through your ability to counsel/coach? Did you turn anyone “around,” and get them back on track? Any success stories here, even with Trainees?
1 2 3 4 5

6. Provides functional supervision of employees not directly supervised.
Any experience here? On patrol you may have had traffic, reserves, volunteers, explorers, cadets, etc. This may also include experience outside LE, including military, business, sports, volunteer work, etc. Think “Transferrable” skills.
1 2 3 4 5

7. Prepares exhibits to be used as evidence and gives testimony in court: This is more of a patrol officer’s role – however, as a sergeant you could extend this to “I ensure my officers are prepared to present evidence and testimony in court and have monitored their demeanor and skills while on the stand. I have also reviewed their arrest data/court data and maintained an overview of their success rates; i.e., The squad average is 5. 7 felonies a month and of those, our conviction rate is 76%. Only 10% were dropped for insufficient evidence or for cause by the DA’s office. No reports had been rejected or returned to the unit for corrections. Of our traffic citations, we maintain an 85% conviction rate. We have received two citizen complaints of falsifying evidence or testimony by defendants, but both were not sustained by IA and the DA’s Office.” (When is the last time or first time for that matter, that you thought of this as a way to demonstrate your supervisory skills?)
1 2 3 4 5

8. Reads, classifies and approves reports and receives citizen complaints:
As a Sergeant, what would you “do” with these reports or complaints? What recommendation or training resulted? Also… just reading them isn’t the purpose is it…? Why are you reading them, and what actions could result? Did you see trends, spot anomalies, problems, disciplinary issues, or did you just sign them and pass them on? With complaints, there is generally an investigation and resolution. What’s your experience been with similar skills?
1 2 3 4 5

9. Issue orders for corrective actions and makes special investigations: Related to #6: After you saw the need for some corrections or training, investigation, etc., what were the results? The truth is that they are looking for those who spot problems and can at least recommend if not initiate action and follow-up and evaluate.
1 2 3 4 5
Depending upon assignment, duties may include but are not limited to the following:

10. Attends meetings; But what did you use with the information when you went back to the unit? Or what actions did you take, or initiate as a result? Did you bring information to the meeting that was critical or important to the managers making their decisions? Did you share that with your unit?
1 2 3 4 5

11. Act as command officer as assigned. Watch commander, incident commander, and anything especially challenging and what was the result? How long were you in this position? Was it ever mentioned in your last evaluation?
1 2 3 4 5

12. Knowledge of supervisory techniques. How did you apply them? In what circumstances did you actually “lead,” supervise, direct, etc. others and what were the results?
1 2 3 4 5

13. Knowledge of methods of crime scene search/preservation and handling of evidence.
How about an example where you were the lead investigator and ensured a successful resolution of a case?
1 2 3 4 5

14. Knowledge of criminal investigation, interviewing and interrogation and apprehension and arrest techniques. These could include: Supervising a team, a task force, setting up a stakeout, COP project, fugitives, gang task force, etc? And what were the results?
1 2 3 4 5

15. Ability to effectively supervise subordinates. How have you been able to measure this? What techniques, what style of supervision, and what were the results?
1 2 3 4 5

16. Ability to organize work, set priorities and write clear concise reports and recommendations.
Personal examples as well as unit or team examples? Were any actions taken from your reports, such as initiating recommendations, proposals, contingency plans, training/policy or procedures? May also include volunteer work, military, college or business experiences.
1 2 3 4 5

17. Ability to interpret written laws, policies and/or procedures and analyzes and interprets crime data.
Any related to tactical or operational plans, how did you utilize or initiate action based on this information and what were the results?
1 2 3 4 5

18. Ability to communicate and deal effectively with the public, control and coordinate operations.     This could include dealing with the public (Community leaders, politicians, allied agencies, community organizations, youth groups, religious groups, etc.) with either cooperating with, initiating dialogue, COP/POP projects, special events, grants, recruiting, public service events,  task force, etc., all which you can hopefully have a means to measure success. 

19. Possession of personal characteristics of truthfulness, tact and patience, dependability and responsibility, decisiveness and integrity. The more personal experience you can use to demonstrate these skills the better. The story itself should imply, infer, these abilities. These are a very broad scope of abilities and are included in an actual job description, so your challenge is to see how you can best demonstrate them to an audience either in an interview or though an assessment center. 
Total Possible is 95 based on 19 dimension or KSA’s.
Totals: 1’s: ____ 2’s: ____3’s:____4:____5:____ = Total: _____/95 = ____% (Similar to a rating or “report card”… )

For example, if you had 3 1’s, (3) 6 2’s, (12) 5 3’s, (15) 6 4’s, (24) and 5 5’s, (25)  the total would be 79 then divided by 95 = 83%, which is like a “B” or “B-“.  When you are in an interview and have 3 raters, the scores are divided by 3 then, which gives you more of a numbered grade, such as: Rater #1: 4.2, Rater #2, 3.7, and Rater #3, 4.6, for a total of 12.6 divided by 3 = a rating of 4.1666. Assuming one of your competitors came out with a total score of 4.2 for example, you can see how you can “win” or “lose” a promotion based on 1/100th of a percentage point.

Consider this only a personal guide as to your own readiness. After reviewing these dimensions, are you:

  1. Not quite ready for the job and need some practice/skill building?
  2. You are comfortable that you can do the job, but need some more practice/skill building/training?
  3. You are comfortable that you are as ready as you can be and are ready to step into the new role because you’ve already demonstrated your skills in each of these areas?

This is only a rough figure to assess your own current level of readiness using the examples given the various job tasks/abilities. It is not by any means an accurate assessment but only a sketch of showing you those areas where you may need to work on certain skills. This is a very basic job description and is not as comprehensive as the job actually is.


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