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.

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 apply?

To work for the AFP as a Police Officer or Protective Service Officer, you must:

  • Hold Australian Citizenship (evidence must be provided when applying
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • 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 apply.

The recruitment process

Our selection process is comprehensive and ensures our entry level recruit applicants meet our minimum requirements and have the capability to overcome the potential challenges and demands of a role with the AFP.

  1. Submit an online application. All required supporting documents must be uploaded when applying.
    This includes completing the Employment Suitability Questionnaire and providing copies of your Australian Citizenship, Drivers Licence, Education certificates and traffic history.
    You will also need to upload your resume/CV and two page pitch which addresses the following question: How your life/work experience and personal attributes would prepare you for a Community Police Officer/Protective Service Officer position?
    Please include relevant examples that support your response. For more information, refer to the next section: What to do before you apply?
  2. Preliminary suitability assessment. This includes checking each of your uploaded documents and ensuring you meet the minimum requirements of the role.
  3. Ability and psychometric testing.
  4. Fitness test.
  5. Preliminary interview.
  6. Medical and psychological assessment.
  7. Security assessment (at the level of Negative Vetting Level 1), drug testing and fingerprinting.
  8. Entry Recruit Assessment Centre – validation centre

These 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. You are urged to commence your application now and 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 assessments, testing administration and first aid certification. Information is available from the webpage or you will be advised by AFP Recruitment as your progress through the recruitment process.

What to do before you apply?

For you to be considered you must provide all required documentation when submitting your online application:

Upload a copy of your two page pitch which addresses the following question:

How your life/work experience and personal attributes would prepare you for a Community Police Officer/Protective Service Officer position? Please include relevant examples that support your response.

Complete the Employment Suitability Questionnaire

This is available from the online recruitment system when commencing your application. Right click on the form > Save target as (on your PC) as SURNAME/Initial ESQ and then complete details and save again.

DO NOT attempt to complete this form on your mobile phone/device.

Proof of Australian Citizenship

Proof can be an; Australian passport, Australian birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate.

Drivers Licence

Your licence must be current (has not expired). You must provide the front and back of your driver's licence.

Education Certificates

You must upload evidence of one of the following completed educational attainment with your application:

  • university degree of transcript – this should include the completed/conferred date
  • diploma qualification with either a Year 10 or Year 12 certificate
  • Year 12 certificate
  • Year 10 certificate plus trade certificate OR Certificate IV or diploma

If you have not yet completed your degree, you will need to provide evidence of your highest completed education. You will be able to provide details of your other education in the application form.

If you completed your education outside of Australia, you are required to provide evidence that your education/certificate meets the Australian equivalent.

Traffic history

It is recommended that you contact the relevant authority to discuss the traffic history you need to provide. Traffic history forms part of this recruitment process and failure to provide the requested traffic history documents at the time of application will result in your application being withdrawn from the process.

Your traffic history must:

  • Cover the last 10 years and must be obtained from all states, territories and countries you have held a licence.
  • Have been obtained within the last 3 months to be eligible.

NOTE: If you have lived overseas, have travelled extensively and held a licence and/or driven and received an infringement of any kind, you are required to provide a Statutory Declaration stating the period you held a licence and list any traffic offences you are aware of. Statutory Declarations can be found on the Attorney-General's Department website.

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

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

  • Read about the selection process and the recruit training programs!
  • Start preparing early; get all your documents together to ensure you haven't forgotten anything important.
  • 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 aptitude and psychometric testing. More general information on aptitude and psychometric testing is readily available on the internet.
  • Preparation is essential! Ensure that you are well rested and avoid alcohol before undertaking any of the gateways
  • The interview is your opportunity to show why you are the best person for the job. As with any job interview, applicants are encouraged to understand the role they are applying for and that of the broader AFP in Australia and internationally.
  • Contact the Recruitment Team if you have specific questions – the team are on hand to assist you and provide you with the correct advice!

Frequently asked questions

Visit the FAQ: Entry level (sworn) recruit roles page. The answer to your question isn't there? Email the AFP Recruitment team at [email protected] or call 02 6131 5555, 8.00am– 4.00pm (AEST).

National Security Hotline

Visit the AFP Futures Centre

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.