There are many Police services across Canada that are looking to hire. If you are ready to become one of Canada’s Police officers, decide which organization is right for you and then get your application package by linking to their website.
Requirements – Basic
These are the basic requirements for most police services:
• Canadian citizen, landed immigrant or legally able to work in Canada
• Age 18 – 65
• Canadian secondary school diploma or equivalent
• Proficient in English or French
• Valid Canadian driver’s license – no restrictions
• No criminal record
• Excellent health and physical fitness
• Meet visual acuity tests
Requirements – Preferred
These are the preferred requirements for most police services:
• 2 years post secondary education
• computer skills (working knowledge of Word, Windows)
• good typing skills
• first aid certificate including CPR for infant, child, and adult
• community involvement, volunteer experience
• strong credit rating
These are the documents typically required by most Police services across Canada:
• proof of citizenship (Birth certificate or passport)
• valid Canadian driver’s license – no restrictions
• school certificates and transcripts
Visual Acuity and Hearing Standards
• uncorrected visual acuity should be at least 6/12 (20/40) binocularly (both eyes open).
• corrected visual acuity should at least be 6/6 (20/20) binocularly.
• there are typically additional minimum requirements regarding refractive surgery, farsightedness
(hyperopia), colour vision, depth perception and peripheral vision.
• hearing standards: normal hearing at frequencies of 500 to 4000 Hz measured by audiometer.
The Selection Process typically includes the following steps, order may vary:
• information session and registration
• written exams
• physical test
• video simulation
• vision tests
• application submission
• polygraph test
• background investigation
• psychological testing
• medical test
• selection decision
Information Session and Registration
You can attend an information session or register for the selection process on line. Check the Police services’ website of your choice to find out details about the information sessions, including where and when – this information is updated often. You can also use most websites to register.
The registration begins the selection process and may cost up to $300.00. Once you are registered, you will be informed of the dates and times for your written, physical, and vision tests. For those in Ontario, once you have completed Pre-Interview Assessment Testing (written, physical, video simulation, and vision testing) you will be given a Certificate of Results which will allow you to proceed to Application Submission.
Typically applicants are required to write “suitability” tests. The written tests include cognitive tests, written communication tests, and/or personality questionnaires. The cognitive tests are designed to assess a candidate’s ability to reason, recall information, and perform simple math calculations.
These are skills necessary to performing as a police officer. The written communication tests assess your communication skills. The personality questionnaires assess your attitudes related to competencies required for policing. There is not any preparation work that can be done to help you perform on these tests.
You must prove that you are physically fit. This is done through a standardized fitness test designed specifically for police related activities. Each police service requires this test to be conducted close to the application process. The name of test may differ for each organization (POPAT, PARE, PREP), but the tests are similar.
PARE: Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation
POPAT: Police Officer Physical Ability Test
PREP: Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police
They involve a timed run with obstacles, a push/pull exercise, and carrying a weighted torso bag a certain distance. These tasks are done to simulate an officer’s duties in a critical incident: chase, control, and apprehend a suspect. The test results are valid for 6 months and there may be a fee for taking the test (approx $60).
You may also be required to perform a Video Simulation Test – view a scene on a TV screen and be required to interact with the people in the scene. No prior knowledge of policing is necessary to perform this test.
A vision test is required to indicate you have the ability to see well enough to perform the duties of a police officer. Standards for visual acuity are used.
Once you have completed the written testing and demonstrated your physical fitness capabilities you will be given an application package with various forms. Complete and submit all forms – be thorough and ensure you have included all documents.
You will be interviewed – maybe a number of interviews conducted by one interviewer or a panel of several interviewers. Interviews are usually structured – meaning that all candidates are asked the same questions and their responses are evaluated using the same criteria.
You may undergo a polygraph test. This test will explore the background information you provided about yourself in the application forms. Instructions will be given to you prior to taking the test but honesty is the key.
Thorough background investigations are conducted for all police candidates – typically centered on: character, friends and associations, education, past employment, finances, drug and alcohol use, and criminal activities.
You will undergo psychological testing – administered by a professional psychologist and the results will not likely be shared with you. If considered suitable, you will move to the next stage of the selection process.
You must show that you are healthy enough for Policing duties. This will require a medical exam.
A panel will review all stages of the selection process and decide whether you will be selected for hire. If you are successful you will be given instructions about your training.
Once you have advanced through the selection process you become a cadet and for most police services receive a salary at the cadet or lowest constable level. Cadets enter the training process – typically including recruit training and field work training.
• cadet or recruit training (17 weeks to 24 weeks)
• field training work with field coach/field training officer
Recruit training refers to the basic and advanced training given to recruits to prepare for work as a police officer. This type of training involves academic instruction and physical skills training – conducted at an academy or learning center. For 17-24 weeks recruits are physically and mentally challenged. They are given instruction in such things as:
• legal studies
• driving skills
• firearms safety and use
• communication skills and conflict management
• investigative techniques
• public and police safety
• community policing
• tactical training
• physical training
All aspects of this training are evaluated and recruits are expected to meet or exceed standards to continue in the program and graduate successfully.
Field training refers to the on-the-job coaching for recruits – once recruits have successfully completed the basic training they begin work as a police officer and work with a field coach or field training officer who guides and supports their work on the job. All aspects of this phase involve supervision and evaluation.
Are You Ready?
This checklist is designed to help you decide whether a policing career is right for you. It is a questionnaire that you fill out. You do not submit it with your application, it is just for you.
I am an emotionally stable and responsible person.
I am respectful of the law.
My lifestyle is one that exhibits high moral character.
I always act respectfully and sensitively with others.
I am able to work with all kinds of people in a variety of situations.
I am sincerely interested in helping people.
I am comfortable working with people from other backgrounds.
I have self-confidence to be assertive when the situation demands it.
In the face of uncertainty, I can make necessary decisions.
I have demonstrated leadership qualities.
I am committed to achieving goals.
I am able to work with others to identify their needs.
I am able to take the initiative and enthusiastically strive to do an outstanding job.
I enjoy working as part of a team.
I can adjust my behaviour through periods of ambiguity, stress and uncertainty.
I am the type of person who seeks out challenge.
I am physically fit.
I am prepared to work in all types of weather conditions.
I have considered the impact that shift work will have on my family and me.
I am just as comfortable working alone as in a team environment.
My moral or religious beliefs would not prevent me from using deadly force if required.
I am willing to work shifts, including evenings, nights and weekends at any time of the year.
I have no medical conditions that will limit my ability to do police work.
I am able to use my own initiative and work with a minimum amount of supervision.
My experience reflects an ongoing interest in serving my community.
Is a career in policing right for you
If you answered yes to the above statements then you are ready for the exciting world of policing.
Apply Now – Join the Team
The choices are many – where to apply? Different Police services offer different opportunities regarding the places you want to work and travel, and specialized service options.
Review the sites of various Police services and decide which is right for you. Then download an application, fill in the forms and submit it. Different organizations will offer information sessions to answer any questions you might have. The dates and times of these sessions will be posted on their sites. Apply now, Join the team.