GOVERNMENT & DEFENCE

How to be a police officer: state by state

The process is different in every state

All states encourage life experience and work experience before applying to the force. You may want to reconsider applying straight after school and look at other options such as studying one of your other interests first, taking a gap year or doing some work experience.

They also appreciate and recruit a diverse police force, whether it be gender, race or sexuality. They judge candidates based on their high level of professional standards and integrity, not on anything else. They choose the best person for the job.

In all states, you must have your driver’s licence and be an Australian citizen or Permanent Australian Resident. Some states accept New Zealand citizens under certain conditions*. Before applying to any state’s force, read the minimum requirements on their website.

ACT & the Australian Federal Police

The ACT police force is a branch off the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and therefore you will need to apply through them.

Step one –

Submit your application.

Step two –

You will need to complete the AFP fitness assessment gateway which includes a beep test, push-ups and phased sit ups.

Step three –

Next is a supervised testing and awareness session, aimed to raise awareness about the role of police officers.

Step four –

Applicants who were successful in the last stage may be invited to attend an interview in Canberra.

Step five –

You will undergo a series of checks and assessments, including:

  • Medical and psychological assessment
  • Security vetting where you will undergo background checks
  • Complete intelligence, literacy and emotional intelligence testing.

Step six –

If successful in all stages, you will be put into a merit pool which may get you a place in the training program. This takes place in Canberra and you will live at the AFP college for the full 24 weeks.

NSW

Step one – 

You will undertake the NSW Police Entrance exam. This involves literacy skills, summary writing, extended writing, verbal reasoning and abstract reasoning. Your results will be weighted and this will form part of your overall professional suitability ranking.

Step two –

You will also need to complete the University Certificate in Workforce Essentials (UCWE) with Charles Sturt University.

Step three –

Once you have completed your certificate, you may be eligible to submit an application to the NSW Police Force.

Step four –

You will go through a series of background checks as well as a physical and medical assessment.

Step five –

The last step is a formal face to face interview, where you will be assessed on a number of core qualities.

Step six –

Once you have completed all of these you will be put on the eligibility list to be offered a place in the Associate Degree in Policing Practice.

WA*

Step one –

Submit your recruitment application. You will need to provide documents, undergo a criminal check and have your first aid certificate.

Step two –

Stage 1 Assessments, including:

  • Integrity check (assessing whether your values align with the core values of the force)
  • Police entrance evaluation
  • Initial psychological evaluation
  • Physical performance evaluation
  • Vision requirements

Step three –

Stage 2 Assessments, including:

  • Panel interview which includes further psychological assessment
  • Review Panel outcome

Step four –

Stage 3 Assessments, including:

  • Final Health/ Medical Assessment
  • Identifying Particulars – Fingerprints and DNA
  • Bankruptcy Check
  • Full Background and Integrity Check

Step five –

If you are successful in their selection process, you will take part in a 28-week Academy course in Joondalup with 30 other successful candidates.

QLD

Step one –

Submit an application.

Step two –

Complete a series of assessments, including:

  • Integrity Vetting (ensuring you can adhere to their integrity guidelines)
  • Psychological assessment – includes psychological testing and psychological interviewing

Step three –

The next step is a formal panel interview. You will be given the questions 10 minutes in advance to prepare and then you will complete a 30 minute interview.

Step four –

If you have medical issues that may prevent you from performing the duties of a police officer either mentally or physically, they will be assessed at this stage.

Step six –

If you are invited to participate in your Applied Policing Skills Assessment (APSAD), you will undertake a series of physical tests here including the hang test, prone bridge test, push ups, beep test and operational stimulation exercise. Your APSAD results will assess your overall merit for a future recruitment intake.

Step seven –

You will complete your Initial Service Training and First Year Constable program, which takes 18 months. Intakes are dependent on the demand for police officers.

VIC*

Step one –

Submit your online application. This will get reviewed, and they will check things like your Body Mass Index, basic driving and criminal history.

Step two –

Entrance exam. This involves verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning as well as writing and computer skills.

Step three –

If successful, they will do a background check on you.

Step four–

You will then complete a video interview where you have 7 days to record your 2-minute answers to questions.

Step five –

If successful after the video interview, you will now undertake:

  • Fitness Test
  • Psychological Testing
  • Health Checks
  • Comprehensive Checks

Step six –

The final step is a panel interview, which consists of behavioural and scenario-based questions. Following the interview, not all applicants will be deemed suitable for induction into the Victoria Police Academy (VPA).

Step seven –

If you are successful, you will go into the candidate pool awaiting invitation to start your 31 weeks of training at the VPA.

SA*

Step one –

Submit evidence of a successful completion of the SA Police Recruitment Test, conducted by TAFE. If you received an ATAR of 70 within the last three years or a bachelor’s degree or higher from an Australian university, you can skip this step.  

Step two –

If you meet the criteria, you will attend an evaluation and testing session (IQ test and personality profile) at the SA police headquarters.

Step three –

You may be invited to a panel interview after evaluation of your testing. You will be tested on the core qualities of the police force, such as leadership, decisiveness and respect.

Step four –

You will undertake:

  • A medical examination to ensure you are medically fit for the role
  • Computer testing for basic computing skills
  • Physical and agility testing including but not limited to running 80 metres, crossing a slippery balance beam and climbing over a one metre tall fence

Step five –

The board will review your application and provide you with the details on the 52 week training program in Taperoo.

 TAS

 Step one –

Lodge an expression of interest. You will then be invited to sit a Police Entrance Exam if deemed suitable.

Step two –

You will then go through a background check.

Step three –

Recruiting services will conduct a:

  • Fitness Test
  • Suitability Test
  • Ability Test

Step four –

Submit your Application for Appointment

Step five –

You will be invited to an assessment day including group exercise, behavioural questions and police environment scenarios.

Step six –

You will provide a few documents including first aid, swim certificate and police certificate. You will also be assessed medically.

Step eight –

The Commander and Inspector of Recruiting Services will make the final decision regarding an offer of employment.

NT

Specific guidelines and application information can be accessed by calling 1800 005 099.

You might also like to read on the job stories told by a police officer or our listen to our podcast which chats about how to become a police officer.

 

How to be a police officer: state by state
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