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Southwest One - Working as one for the South West
AECUS innovation award

About Southwest One

Big enough to contribute, small enough to care

The Southwest One partnership started in December 2007. It was a unique and collaborative Joint Venture Company, the first of its kind including 4 partners – a county council, a district council a police force and a private sector partner (IBM). Over the 9 years things since Southwest One started the world has changed significantly – economy, politics and funding. In December 2016 Southwest One became a smaller leaner organisation which will continued to deliver services to Avon and Somerset Constabulary and internal services to colleagues in Southwest One itself. In July 2017, Southwest One services will purely focus on Technology Services to Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

The Future

In June 2018 the Southwest One contract with Avon and Somerset Police is due to end, Southwest One continues to work in liason with the Police to look at future opportunities past this date. Our staff are very much involved in this work and we hope we will be helping the Police to make their vision a reality in any new collaborations or contracts moving forwards.

Organisational Values

  • Delivering Excellence – consistently delivering service excellence through committed professionals
  • Connecting with our customers – understanding our customers and striving to exceed their expectations
  • Working Together - working within and across teams to promote high performance
  • Accountability – empowering people at all levels to take ownership and responsibility for their actions
  • Continuous Improvement – a work environment that encourage creativity and forward thinking

Our Services

The variety and opportunities within the Southwest One Technology Services function are varied. We think a job should be rewarding and fulfilling, giving our colleagues the opportunity to make a contribution to something bigger. Do you think you have the appropriate skills and / or experience, attitude and behaviour to join us, please view our current vacancies by clicking here.

Technology Services

Based at Police Headquarters at Portishead with a small team based at County Hall, Taunton, the department covers both Application Services & Infrastructure Services. These services provide many varied services including solutions, support, and along with developing business applications for our customers.

Recruitment - Working as part of a team.

Bring questions, Build Solutions, Processes and Answers

With so many ways to contribute, chances are you’ll find a way to do what you love, see our Latest Vacancies

Learning and Development

Investing in our staff with Learning and Development

What we do...
We do all things that contribute to Southwest One's People Strategy.
Here are some of the opportunities we offer...

  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Employee Engagement
  • Engaged employees are key within Southwest One and we encourage openness. We promise to listen to the feedback given by staff and make improvements where we can. We also have Staff Forums and a Staff Council to consult with on relevant employment issues. Each representative is a direct employee of Southwest One and has volunteered or been co-opted by their colleagues to represent staff views to senior managers.

Rewards and benefits

Wellbeing - Southwest One is committed to maintaining the work-life balance of its employees. Flexibility in working arrangements is an important tool in enabling employees to maintain or improve their balance between home and work.

Southwest One Group Stakeholder Pension Plan - Southwest One offers you membership of a group stakeholder pension plan with Scottish Life to help you save for your future. The plan will belong to you and when you save into it so will Southwest One and the taxman (unless you choose to opt out). This will boost your savings and help you to reach your retirement goals.

Life Assurance Scheme - Subject to eligibility, employees have the opportunity to join the Southwest One Group Life Assurance Plan. The benefit provided by the scheme is a lump sum benefit of four times your basic salary upon your death whilst in service.

Income Protection Plan - Subject to eligibility, employees have the opportunity to join the Income Protection Plan. This is an insured ill-health benefit, which becomes available after 5 ½ years’ continuous service.

Eye Vouchers - Southwest One will pay eyesight tests for employees who are regular computer users.

Employee Support Groups - Employees in Southwest One can now access Employee Support Groups available from Avon and Somerset Constabulary and include:-

  • Ability - Disability Support Group
  • Women’s Network Group
  • BPA - Black Police Association
  • GPA - Gay Police Association
  • CPA - Christian Police Association

Employee Support - professional counselling; information and advice, and can help with a range of problems from practical everyday matters to sensitive, traumatic or emotional issues. Leave - annual leave entitlement is determined by length of continuous service, grade and on a pro-rata basis for employees working part-time. In addition to the normal 8 public holidays annual leave starts at 22 days per year. Company Sick Pay - Entitlement to paid sick leave is related to length of service.

Cycle Saver Scheme - The Cycle to Work scheme is a government initiative that allows you to get a brand new bike and safety equipment for your commute to work as a salary sacrifice – with tax benefits!

Childcare Voucher Scheme - The childcare voucher scheme operates on the basis of salary sacrifice whereby employees with child caring responsibilities can choose to receive part of their salary in vouchers. The vouchers are exempt from National Insurance and tax deductions, enabling savings to be made in respect of childcare costs.

Perfect your technique

Guidance on completing your application

  • To apply in writing, please complete the application and recruitment monitoring forms and post them back to the name and address shown on the enclosed job details. If you have problems completing the form or require it in a different format, please contact the Recruitment Team on 01275 816142.
  • Your application form is our only basis for selecting you for interview, so it's important that you complete it in a way that does you full justice and enables us to make a fair assessment of your suitability for the job. The following suggestions should help you to do this.
  • If you are submitting a written application, please make sure your application is clearly legible and written in BLACK ink or type. Attach any additional sheets to the back of the application - please do not stick or pin anything in between pages. CVs are not normally accepted, unless specifically requested as part of the process
  • Part C: Previous Employment
  • Give your full employment history from when you left school/college until now, including brief reasons for any gaps in between employment. When applying for care posts or posts working directly with children or vulnerable adults it is important that you include dates.
  • Part F: Personal Statement
  • Refer to the enclosed job description and person specification and think carefully about how you meet the key competencies for the post. Include relevant examples from your involvement in paid and/or voluntary work, outside interests and any other relevant activities. If you are a school or college leaver with little work experience, tell us about your time at school or college and some of the activities you were involved in.
  • Part H: References
  • We require two references, who may be contacted once you have been shortlisted for interview. To ensure that we can obtain references as quickly as possible, please provide a telephone number and, if possible, an e-mail address for both your referees. Referees should not be friends, or colleagues who have not managed you.
  • Your first reference must be your manager or a senior manager representing your current or most recent employer. References will not be accepted from colleagues, relations or people who know you solely as a friend.

Why are Application Forms important?

Creating the right first impression can go a long way, so it’s essential that you put time and effort into your application form. Employers often receive large volumes of applications per vacancy so tailoring your application to each role that you apply for is key. Application forms enable companies to standardise shortlisting and often the reason why applicants are not shortlisted isn’t just down to minimum academic achievement criteria – instead, it’s because applicants don’t evidence enough in the shortlisting criteria section.. We have outlined below some simple rules to follow to help you stand out from the crowd – so sell yourself well.

Top Tips

  • Tailor your application
  • Recruiters are not naive – most realise that you will be applying to a number of different companies. However it is very easy, when completing a number of very similar application forms, to ‘copy and paste’ answers across. However it is essential that you tailor your application to each company and show that you want to work for them, in that industry and in that particular role.
  • The employer also wants to see how you will fit into their company – and this means that you need to think carefully about the types of attributes, interests and qualities they want to see and then make sure that these are demonstrated in your own application For example, an employer looking for future managers will be looking for leadership qualities on application forms. Changing a sentence from ‘key member of the hockey team’ to ‘I personally led the senior hockey team to their first cup victory in five years’ (as long as this is true!) will make sure that you are bringing these skills to an employer’s attention.
  • You should always make sure to include as much relevant information as possible in your application. This should include your education history (if requested), your previous work experience, your address and other contact details. Make sure that you don’t overload the reviewer, the information presented should be concise and relevant to the particular position you are applying however with sufficient evidence to substantiate each area.
  • Be clear and concise
  • Taking two or three sentences to answer a question that could have been answered in one risks an employer glossing over your answer completely. Your sentences need to have purpose and to be as concise as possible to keep the reader interested – make sure every sentence ticks a box in the reviewer’s mind. For example if you have been working in your spare time for a supermarket, please do put that down on your application form, but the employer does not need a two page description of what that role entails as that won’t make you stand out from other people who have done similar part-time jobs. However, if you were given any extra responsibility or received some excellent feedback from a customer or from a manager, then that is worth noting
  • Accuracy is key. Spelling and other grammatical errors do not have a good impact. When employers are receiving so many quality applications, you don’t want to be shooting yourself in the foot by showing a lack of attention to detail. We recommend that you prepare your answers in a word document first so that you can utilise spell check (as this isn’t often available in application forms). However, it’s important to make sure that you proof read your answers and take your time to make sure they’re perfect.
  • Show off your transferable skills
  • Be sure to demonstrate situations when you have had to use skills which are directly transferable into the job that you are applying for and which will show reviewers why you would be good at that job. Demonstrate your problem solving, teamwork, workload management and analytical skills, as well as your ability to cope with high pressure situations. These will give employers confidence that you can adapt these skills to their work environment.

Contact us

For enquiries regarding our vacancies please email recruitment@avonandsomerset.police.uk

Southwest One is a joint-venture partnership between Avon & Somerset Police & IBM