Entry level recruit - Policing and Protective Service Officer recruitment

The AFP is interested in attracting individuals who are up for the challenge – both physically and mentally for our entry level recruit – Police Officer and Protective Service Officer roles. If you want to give back to the community, align with our core values of integrity, commitment, accountability, fairness, trust and respect than you are strongly encouraged to apply.

Register your interest here →

Understanding the roles

Police officer

What does a Police Officer do? Police Officer duties are diverse, stimulating and at times challenging. Following completion of recruit training at the AFP College in Canberra you will:

  • Investigate breaches of the law using contemporary police methodologies
  • Assess available information or evidence to determine the appropriate law enforcement response(s)
  • Interview witnesses and suspects during the course of an investigation
  • Collect, prepare and present evidence to assist the judicial process;
  • Liaise with prosecution agencies, attend court and give evidence as required
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system, components of offences and the social impacts of policing.

Roles exist in ACT Policing, the community policing arm of the AFP in Canberra. A Police Officer is the first point of contact for the public requiring police assistance in the ACT. After your initial recruit training, you will generally remain in ACT Policing until you acquire the foundational skills, knowledge and experience to move into other possible career streams such as community safety, criminal investigations, traffic operations and intelligence.

For more information visit the Federal Police Development Program page.

Protective Service Officer

Protective Service Officers (PSOs) deliver high visibility protective security and first response capability for Australian Commonwealth interest at stations or operations across Australia such as Parliament House in Canberra and numerous Defence sites. PSOs also provide protective security to the diplomatic community.

As valued AFP members, PSOs are law enforcement officials who exercise legal powers and are qualified to use force in the course of their protection duties and will:

  • Undertake national protective security and first response operations in accordance with standard operating procedures, policies and other instructions;
  • Assess available information or evidence and determining appropriate law enforcement response(s);
  • Report, input, collate and retrieve data for operational purposes; and
  • Maintain cooperative relationships with internal and external stakeholders and the public.

Roles are available in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne and remote locations such as Alice Springs (NT), Exmouth and Geraldton (WA).

For more information visit the Your job as a Protective Service Officer page. Please note some opportunities for Protective Service Officers also exist in remote locations. To hear from Protective Service Officers currently working in remote locations visit the Protection Operations remote stations podcasts page.

Are you eligible to register?

You don't need to provide much information when you register, but to undertake training/duties for the AFP as a Protective Service Officer or Police Officer, you must:

  • Hold Australian Citizenship (evidence must be provided when applying)
  • Be 18 years of age or older (remember you can still register if you are under 18 but you are unable to commence any assessments until after your 18th birthday)
  • Have a valid drivers licence (provisional and automatic licences are accepted)
  • Provide traffic history statement (available from the local Motor Registry) for each state of territory where a licence has been held. This statement must be no older than 3 months
  • A minimum Year 10 Certificate with a Cert IV / Diploma level qualification or Trade Certificate. University level qualifications are also welcomed.

Check that you meet the AFP minimum requirements before you register your interest.

The recruitment process (please review as our process has changed!)

We have streamlined our recruitment process to make it easier for you. 

We are very interested in applicants who have not previously applied and those interested in pursuing a career in Protective Service Officer roles.  Of course, we always welcome interest from female applicants.

What is involved in the new recruitment process?

Step one: Register your interest

Register your interest in a Protective Service Officer or Police role.  It is really easy! Simply provide us with some background information and answer a few questions.

Don't forget our eligibility requirements – you can still register if you are not yet 18 years of age but you must be an Australian citizen.

Register your interest here →

Commence the Entry Assessments.

At this stage you may be invited to undertake a fitness assessment or the AFP Entrance Exam.  AFP Recruitment will advise you of the order that you can undertake these assessments, as it will vary according to you when you have registered your interest.

Fitness Assessment

Fitness testing will be across the year at difference locations throughout Australia (most capital cities).  You will be sent an invite to book in for a session when they are available, so keep an eye on your nominated email address.

We encourage you to review the minimum fitness requirements before you book into a session.  The AFP Health & Fitness Team have developed a 6 week training program to help you prepare – it can be found on the AFP fitness assessment gateway page.

If you cannot meet these standards at the time of your assessment, you will have one opportunity to re-sit all components of the fitness test but you are unable to have unlimited attempts.

AFP Entrance Exam

The AFP Entrance Exam is conducted four times per year at different locations across Australia.  Typically in March, May, August and October. It is administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and is one component in a series of recruitment gateways that will determine applicant suitability for a policing or protection role.

You will be invited to register through the ACER website on set dates and locations across Australia. Keep an eye on your nominated email address for your invite.

The AFP Entrance Exam is comprised of five online tests (as outlined below) that are designed to assess your level of cognitive ability and emotional intelligence. The majority of questions asked are either multiple choice or short answer format, with the exception being the Online Writing Assessment.

The AFP Entrance Exam is completed in a supervised environment, over a 4-5 hour period.

Test Assessment Type Number of Questions Time Allowed
Literacy Skills Online Text Entry and Multiple Choice 30 35 mins
Numeracy Skills Online Text Entry and Multiple Choice 30 35 mins
Abstract Reasoning Online Multiple Choice 30 35 mins
Written Assessment Online Extended Writing 1 35 mins
Emotional Intelligence Test Online Multiple Choice 141 Untimed

You must successfully complete all test components in the AFP Entrance Exam and meet the minimum score for each assessment in order to be deemed suitable to progress in the recruitment process.  Upon receiving your outcome, a statement of attainment will be accessible to you outlining your entrance exam results.

There is one opportunity for you to re-sit some of the tests components if you do not pass after your first sitting.  Unfortunately this is not the case for the Emotional Intelligence test and if you do not attain the minimum score on your first sitting, you will have to wait 12 months before you can sit the test again.

Testing is expected to be held in the following dates and locations in 2019.

City August 2019 October 2019
Adelaide Friday 30 August Saturday 26 October
Alice Springs Friday 30 August Saturday 26 October
Brisbane Friday 30 August Saturday 26 October
Canberra Friday 30 August
Saturday 31 August
Friday 11 October
Saturday 12 October
Darwin TBC TBC
Melbourne Saturday 31 August Saturday 26 October
Perth Friday 30 August Saturday 26 October
Sydney Saturday 17 August Saturday 12 October
Townsville TBC TBC

Candidate Information Booklets are available from the AFP Entrance Exam. Free sample questions and preparation materials are also available.

Step Two: Upon successful completion of the fitness assessment and Entrance Exam, you will be invited to apply!

Complete a detailed application

After successfully completing the fitness and AFP Entrance Exam, you will be invited by AFP Recruitment to complete a detailed application that will require you to upload mandatory documents and complete the AFP Employment Suitability Questionnaire.  You will also need to upload your traffic history.

AFP Recruitment will be here to help you every step of the way but you will need provide all requested information when requested in order to progress.  A more detailed review will be undertaken of your suitability for an entry level recruit position at this stage and this may include an online video interview.

The Online Video Interview

Following fitness testing and completion of the AFP Entrance Exam, you may be invited to complete a one way video interview.  This is designed to assist us to understand more about you and your motivation and interest in applying for a Police or Protective Service Officer role.

As an interview is conducted at the Recruit Application Validation Centre (RAVC) not all applicants will be required to undertake an interview at this stage but don't worry – this process is all online and you will be able to undertake your video interview at any time in the comfort of your own home.  Your responses to questions will be recorded and reviewed by AFP Recruitment when required.

Advantages of Video Interviews

  • enables applicants to focus on responses to questions not how the interviewer may be responding to them
  • Its more convenient.  Applicants can record their responses in a more relaxed environment – this is great for helping with nerves!
  • It enables applicants to complete the interview at a time that suits them.  In turn, this helps when people are juggling work, family and education commitments
  • all applicants are asked the exact same questions with the same time limitations for responses
Step three

Medical and psychological assessment.

Step four

Security assessment (at the level of Negative Vetting Level 1), drug testing and fingerprinting.

Step five

Entry Recruit Assessment Centre – validation centre

Please note: Entry level recruit roles are highly sought after and as a large number of high calibre applicants apply the provision of detailed individual feedback is unable to be provided – you will receive an outcome only. The recruitment process may take up to nine months or longer to finalise. Once you have registered, you are urged to regularly check your emails for status updates on your progress.

You should be confident in your ability to meet ALL minimum requirements of the recruitment process at the time of application. Applicants who do not undertake a test or who do not satisfy the requirements of these pre-engagement clearance processes cannot be engaged by the AFP.

There are some costs associated with the assessment process that will be responsibility of the applicant such as but not limited to traffic history, medical and psychological assessments additional to the entry level assessments, and first aid certification.

Not sure if a Police Officer role is for you? Attend one of your Information Sessions. More details to be provided soon.

Considered a Protective Service Officer Role? Find out more at our Information Sessions. More details to be provided soon.

Are you interested to see what female careers are available in Policing and Protection? Visit the Women in the AFP page.

Am I fit enough?

Do you have the appropriate level of fitness? Police Officers and Protective Service Officers must have an appropriate level of fitness to satisfactorily undertake required duties. The fitness assessment – if you are fit, active and live a healthy lifestyle – meeting our minimum requirements should not be a problem. A six week pre-course fitness program (PPDF, 590KB) has been developed to help you prepare for the fitness test and to meet the demands of the physical training at the AFP College. Videos are available on the Fitness assessment gateway page to ensure you have the correct technique for sit-ups, push-ups and the beep test.

Hints and tips

We have made the recruitment process simple and possible and you can choose when you undertake some of the required assessment gateways, at a time that suits you.

To help you prepare, here are some hints and tips:

  • Understand the position you want to be considered for (see the cadidate information packs at the top of this page).
  • Read the recruit training programs.
  • Register your interest.
  • Start fitness training now! Down load the 6 week pre-course fitness program and supporting documents found on the website to help prepare you for the fitness assessment. While you will need to meet the entry level standards of the fitness assessment during the recruitment process, you will be expected to meet the standards of a Physical Competency Assessment whilst at the College.
  • Practice for the Entrance Exam or purchase some materials that will assist you. There are free resources online.
  • Preparation is essential! Ensure that you are well rested and avoid alcohol before undertaking any of the gateways
  • Complete your detailed application when invited.  The sooner that you provide the required information the earlier Recruitment will be able to contact you and advise of next steps.
  • Contact the Recruitment Team if you have specific questions – the team are on hand to assist you and provide you with the correct advice! We will also be in regular contact with you over the course of the recruitment process. Email the AFP Recruitment team or call 02 5127 2555, 8.00am – 4.00pm (AEST).

Frequently asked questions

National Security Hotline

Visit the AFP Futures Centre

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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