Psychological surveillance

Officers and police staff in high risk roles are assessed using a reliable and validated online questionnaire in order to protect those at high risk of psychological injury and distress. It also allows for the creation of a benchmark against which it is possible to identify changes in psychological wellbeing.

Psychological surveillance comes in the form of a risk assessment. The key features of the psychological surveillance are:

  • re-visits of assessments for police officers and police staff
  • assessments for police officers and police staff in high risk roles 

Watch our short animation below that explains what psychological surveillance entails.

Our psychological surveillance is a way of identifying where someone may be in need of support.

The National Police Wellbeing Service has secured funding to deliver assessments for up to 6,000 officers and staff in roles that have been assessed as holding the highest risk of psychological impact.

The roles below are currently the focus, however in the future, we may also be able to extended to cover other roles:

  • hostage and crisis negotiators
  • paedophile online investigation teams (POLIT) and internet child abuse teams (ICAT)
  • serious collision investigation (SCIU) and force collision investigation units (FCIU)
  • family liaison officers – traffic
  • family liaison officers – crime
  • violent and sex offender register (VISOR) teams
  • offender management teams
  • digital forensics teams (DFT)
  • counter-terrorism units
  • firearms officers
  • disaster victim identification teams

More recently we have also added:

  • COVID-19 related duties
  • crime scene investigators


The assessments

The assessments are made available via occupational health services in each force and those identified locally will be invited by their occupational health service to take part.

The assessment is in the form of an online questionnaire which has been developed to understand a person’s resilience and ability to deal with the emotional demands of their role.

When someone completes an assessment, it is analysed by a clinician who will then be able to determine what further support, if any, is required for that person.

It will then be determined whether that person either needs no further intervention or if they would benefit from a ‘structured interview’ or further psychological interventions or support.

It is recommended that assessments are carried out annually to identify clinical conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD and burnout.

We also provide training for occupational health professionals in how to effectively use the assessment and carry out structured interviews. Guidance is also provided to assist with the identification of need for further assessment and/or treatment and support.

For more information about the assessment process, use the button below to take you to our frequently asked questions to learn more about it.