The Recruitment into Policing Career

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Recruitment to the police department is a process that leaves only the most competitive candidates in employment. It is a process that entails the assessment of the honesty and ethics of particular individuals. The competitive process requires persistence from the candidates as it involves a large amount of time depending on the recruitment schedule, number of positions available as well as the candidates’ competitiveness.

Recruitment Process

It begins with the candidates sending a copy of their resume and cover letter to the recruitment department head. A form is filled by each that serves to determine whether the candidates meet the basic requirements such as being a citizen of the specific country from where the candidates apply. As a result, the candidate may receive an application package or a letter confirming that the candidate is not viable for recruitment.

Upon receipt of the application package, the candidate is required to fill it in and send it to the recruiting officer together with a filled integrity and lifestyle questionnaire. Several documents are required to be attached during the mailing process. They include a not more than a six-month-old letter from a professional stating that the candidate has met the visual and hearing requirements. A copy of the candidate’s birth certificate or any document that provides proof of his permanent residence status, two colored passports, a copy of a valid first-aid certificate. In addition, the candidate must attach a photocopy of his driving license, a driver’s abstract, and that of social insurance card (Hutchison, 2007).

The recruitment officer reviews the application packages as well as the integrity and lifestyle questionnaires. After which, he sends letters to the applicants either to invite them to participate in a recruitment exam or to confirm that they cannot proceed. The intake examination serves to evaluate the individual’s practical skills that are necessary for the daily performance of their duties. The candidates require scoring an average of 60% to get a pass.

The skills assessed include; writing skills, summarizing skills, observation skills, and critical thinking skills among others. Candidates who successfully score the pass mark are put into a physical abilities test. The test that runs in about 4 minutes requires that the individual be physically and mentally prepared and fit to take it. The test is designed to simulate an incidence where an officer runs after a suspect and apprehends him. The test is composed of obstacles; jumps among other elements that help evaluate the candidate’s skills.

A suitability interview follows the physical abilities test. A review of the personal account of the candidates is done. It focuses on issues such as integrity, work ethic, individual’s ability to solve problems, as well as the voluntary services offered in their communities. In retrospect, the individuals express their interests in the policing career and their understanding of the duties and responsibilities of an officer (McMunn, 2011).

Selection of Candidates

The applicants then participate in a chain of job-related exercises. These serve as tools to monitor the applicant’s reaction to actual job situations. They extract behavior that relates to skills and personal qualities critical to the policing career. An unsuccessful candidate has to wait for a minimum of two years before reapplication to participate. A management interview follows for successful candidates (Hutchison, 2007).

A panel of three senior police officers reviews the candidate’s file and puts across behavioral-based questions upon him. The candidate is required to present examples of past behavior. A 60% score guarantees a pass on the candidate. Thereafter, a certified polygraphist conducts a polygraph examination on the applicant. An examination is a pre-employment tool that serves to certify the applicant’s truthfulness based on his level of integrity, personal history, and qualifications.

A background investigation on every aspect of the candidate is performed. It is designed to evaluate the overall suitability of the applicant to be enrolled in the police department. A medical examination is conducted. It is a broad physical examination that includes; strength testing, stress test, hearing testing, visual acuity test among other health tests. The results file is presented to the recruiting section where it is reviewed (McMunn, 2011).

Training of Recruits

Upon identification of several suitable applicants, the recruiting department does a review of the files of each of them. Successful candidates are admitted as probationary recruit constables. While in training, they receive a base salary and benefits. The training program involves three stages. The first stage is emphatic on legal studies, physical fitness, introduction to social sciences, and general police skills. The training aims at inculcating basic knowledge relevant to the second training stage (McTaggart, 2010).

In the second stage, the recruits work under the assistance of a trained constable. The trainer ensures that the recruits are exposed to police work. The trainees thus employ knowledge obtained in stage one in the operational setting. Thereafter, the trainee returns to the academy and builds on the knowledge and practical skills obtained in stages one and two of the training. In the successful completion of stage three, the applicant graduates.


Finally, the recruits return to the police division and execute patrol duties under direction. A supervisor’s evaluation report is submitted after a 12 to 18 months period is submitted for certification (McTaggart, 2010).


Hutchison, I. (2007). Police Recruit Selection Process. London: ISP Consultancy Ltd.

McMunn, R. (2011). Police Tests: How to Pass the Initial Police Recruitment Test. London: How2Become.

McTaggart, J. (2010). The Definitive Guide To Passing the Police Recruitment Process: A Handbook for Prospective Police Officers, Special Constables And Police Community Support Officers. London: How To Books.

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