Advice and guidance

We recommend you explore the information below and our competencies thoroughly before starting the different stages in our selection process. You may also find this article on our competencies useful.



The application form is a mixture of data capture and competency based questions. We will be assessing your answers to the competency based questions, so we recommend reading through our competencies carefully to understand what we are looking for. We also recommend that you:

  • Take your time with the competency questions on the application form, you don’t have to do the whole form in one go. We would recommend you write the competency questions elsewhere and copy them in. This makes it easier to check spelling and grammar and make sure you are fully happy with your answers before submitting. You could even get a family member or friend to read through your answers to make sure you are clearly displaying your skills to the assessors.
  • Think carefully about why social work and the Frontline programme is right for you. What experience (work, personal or voluntary) or values do you hold that evidence this?
  • Consider a range of experiences which demonstrate your ability to work with people.
  • Use ‘I’ and not ‘we’ – we want to know about the part you played in a situation or task.
  • Ensure you answer the questions, don’t copy and paste an answer from another application form. Tailor your answer for Frontline.
  • Make the most of the word count.
  • Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach. This will help you to give a well-structured and detailed response to fully answer the question. Describe the specific situation or task you needed to accomplish, the action you took and what happened, what you learnt and the results you achieved.
  • Situational judgment tests are bespoke and related to a specific sector and role. This test has been designed specifically for the Frontline programme. Practice tests may not be relevant for social work but will give you an idea of the structure of these tests.
  • Make sure you set aside the correct amount of time for the test where you will not be distracted (around 20 – 30 minutes).
  • Make sure you have everything to hand before you start the test.
  • Pay clear attention to the instructions for the online test.
  • Spend some time researching social work and Frontline as this test assesses your suitability for child protection social work.
  • Finally, please remember that we are looking for your ability to demonstrate our core competencies, we do not expect you to have detailed knowledge on social work policy and procedures.


  • Ensure that you have a strong internet connection and a webcam. You can complete this test on your phone, tablet or laptop. If you are using a phone or tablet make sure you do not receive any texts, phone calls or notifications during the interview.
  • If anything does go wrong with technology during the interview, do not worry. Online support will be available.
  • Be prepared and make sure that you are in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted.
  • Be presentable and look professional – your video will be seen by our assessors.
  • Be natural – it may be the first time you have completed a video interview but treat it as a real life conversation and give as much eye contact as possible to the camera (not the screen).
  • Be aware of the time limits and structure your answers with that in mind.
  • Practise beforehand. There are websites that allow you to sit practice video interviews, e.g.
  • Our video interview provider also shares some useful advice here. 


  • Remember to watch our pre-assessment centre webinar. The link to access this is in the email we sent you inviting you to attend the assessment centre.
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep beforehand.
  • We recommend you wear business dress.
  • It’s important to prepare well for the assessment centre. Have you done your research? Do you know why the profession and programme are right for you? How does Frontline fit with your experiences, work, values, etc?
  • Explore the role of a social worker. Think about the activities you’d be expected to do on a daily basis and how they relate to the Frontline programme competencies.
  • Think about how our competencies might also relate to the different activities in the assessment centre.
  • Take the opportunity to ask questions – this is a chance to make sure the programme is right for you.
  • Remember to relax, be yourself and enjoy the experience.