Police - Lateral Recruits

The AFP is looking for the brightest minds to protect Australians by outsmarting serious, complex, international and organised crime. 

You will play a critical role in protecting Australia and Australians from serious crime. Applications are now open for the AFP Federal Police Lateral Program (FPLP) aimed at experienced police officers with demonstrated investigative and surveillance skills from State and Territory police jurisdictions.

Are you an eligible lateral candidate?

To be considered as an eligible lateral candidate, you must have:

  • a minimum of three years operational policing experience; and
  • not been separated from a jurisdictional policing role for a period of more than five years
  • strong criminal investigation experience OR police technical/surveillance skills supported by relevant training/certification OR demonstrated community policing experience. Applicants with a Detective designation are certainly encouraged to apply.

Ideally you will be driven by an intelligent, problem-solving approach to tackling serious crime.  We are looking for Lateral recruits who are willing to constantly adapt and learn to overcome problems put in their way.

Desirable requirements – National Operations:

  • Formal qualifications such a Diploma of Public Safety (Policing) or equivalent;
  • Demonstrated experience in criminal investigations – Detective designation is highly desirable;
  • Demonstrated experience in a specialised field such as serious or organised crime, counter terrorism, surveillance/technical, people smuggling or technology-enabled crime;
  • Experienced officers with: Close Personal Protection/Dignitary Protection experience, Cyber crime/Intelligence and those with multi-lingual abilities will be considered favourably;
  • Demonstrated experience in community policing.

You must also:

  • be an Australian Citizen
  • possess as a minimum a Diploma of Public Safety (Policing)
  • be self-motivated and willing to deploy to any area of the AFP.  This includes ACT Policing, Canberra and National Operations (various offices with the exception of QLD).   
  • be physically fit and healthy
  • obtain and maintain a Negative Vetting 1/Negative Vetting 2 security clearance
  • hold a Senior First Aid Certificate (valid for entire training period)
  • provide evidence of your ability to swim 100 metres freestyle non-stop and unaided.

What is the Federal Police Lateral Program (FPLP)?

The FPLP is a mandatory program for lateral police recruits who transfer from other jurisdictions and have the relevant level of contemporary policing experience.  The length of training for lateral recruits may vary depending on your level of contemporary policing experience and skill and may involve up to ten (10) weeks of training provided by the AFP College. 

Course content focuses on assisting lateral police recruits to adapt their existing knowledge of state legislation to the legislative framework used by the AFP.  Additionally you will receive instruction in relevant Commonwealth Legislation, local practices, procedures and issue management and local criminal justice partners such as the courts and the Director of Public Prosecutions.  

The FPLP application process

The recruitment gateways for the FPLP include:

  • Employment Suitability Questionnaire (ESQ)
  • One way video interview;
  • Face to face interview and written assessment; 
  • Medical and Psychological assessments:
  • Security Vetting Process and integrity check; and
  • Drug testing.

This recruitment process is being used to create a pool for future vacancies that may arise over the next 12 months with training to commence from as early as March 2021

Important information you need to consider before applying

As a successful applicant you:

  • must undergo an intensive minimum ten week training program (FPLP);
  • will commence with the AFP rank of up to Leading Senior Constable with recognition of previous police service where appropriate;
  • will be immediately deployed to roles based on AFP organisational requirements.

Our offer

Remuneration and benefits

  • Starting salary range of $59,845 - $96,049 at commencement at commencement.  Your salary is dependent on your years of policing service.
  • Superannuation contribution of 15.4%.
  • A potential working pattern allowance of 22%.
  • Generous conditions of six weeks annual leave plus additional rest days, personal leave, paid maternity and adoption leave and access to compassionate leave. Refer to the AFP Enterprise Agreement.
  • Supplied uniforms.
  • Future opportunity to multi-skill and access career opportunities in local, national and international law enforcement.

More information

Position contact:

For specific questions contact the AFP Recruitment Team on:

Frequently asked questions

  1. Will my years of policing service be considered when determining the classification and increment point I will be engaged at in the AFP?
  2. Will I keep my current rank?
  3. Is the Federal Police Lateral Program (FPLP) a residential program?
  4. What type of job opportunities are available?
  5. Can I negotiate my starting salary?
  6. Can I transfer over my leave balances including Long Service Leave from my current jurisdiction?
  7. Is there any recognition of prior training for the purposes of Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)?
  8. What is the duration of the Federal Police Lateral Program (FPLP)?
  9. Is the FPLP assessable? What happens if I fail components of the program?
  10. Can I carry over my Detective Designation?
  11. Once engaged with the AFP can I apply for any promotional opportunities?
  12. If I am required to relocate geographically, will be AFP pay for the relocation?
  13. Do I have to be an Australian citizen?
  14. I was medically discharged from a policing agency, will this prevent me from applying?
  15. I work in Australian Border Force/Defence, does this qualify me to apply for the Lateral Program?
  16. I have worked for an international Police force, am I eligible to apply?
  17. Does the 3 year minimum period include my time at the academy/probationary period?
  18. Is there a fitness program that I can use to assist me to increase my fitness level to the AFP required standard?

1. Will my years of policing service be considered when determining the classification and increment point I will be engaged at in the AFP?

Yes. Your commencement salary will be based on your years of experience as an operational police officer. The following table in Q5 outlines tenure in a policing role and the corresponding pay point.

2. Will I keep my current rank?

Once you commence with the AFP, you will be declared in at a rank that aligns with the AFP rank structure. 

3. Is the Federal Police Lateral Program (FPLP) a residential program?

The program will be facilitated in Canberra or a state based location and is not considered a residential program. There may be a requirement to spend a portion of the program in another location.

4. What type of job opportunities are available?

Successful applicants will be offered roles based on the experience and skills they will be bring to the AFP this may include criminal investigations, serious or organised crime, counter terrorism, surveillance/technical, people smuggling, Cyber crime/Intelligence and Close Personal Protection/Dignitary Protection.  On successful completion of the program you will be assigned to a role based on AFP organisational needs.

5. Can I negotiate my starting salary?

Your commencement salary will be based on your years of experience in a policing role. There is no ability to negotiate outside of the table below. 

Refer to the AFP Enterprise Agreement 2017-2020 for details of Classification Structure Base Salary Rates 

AFP Band and Pay Point Years of relevant Policing experience
Band 3.1  
Band 3.2 2 years
Band 3.3 3 years
Band 3.4 4 years
Band 3.5 5 years
Band 4.1 6 years
Band 4.2 7 years
Band 4.3 8 years
Band 4.4 9 years
Band 4.5 10 years
Band 5.1 15+ years
Band 5.2 15 + years
Band 5.3 15 + years

Note: to be eligible to commence at an AFP Band 5, the applicant will need to have worked in an operational policing role for a minimum of 15 years. This does not include any time worked in a non-policing role.

AFP Band and Pay Point Years of relevant Policing experience
Band 6.1  
Band 6.2  
Band 6.3  
Band 7.1 Minimum 3 years at rank of Sergeant.
Band 7.2  
Band 7.3  

Note: to be eligible to commence at an AFP Band 6/7, the applicant must have been awarded the rank of Sergeant through a merit selection process.

6. Can I transfer over my leave balances including Long Service Leave from my current jurisdiction?

The AFP will recognise your prior service in relation to Long Service Leave (LSL), noting that there should not be a break in service of longer than 12 months as per Commonwealth legislation. The AFP is unable to accept a transfer of unused annual/recreational/personal leave.

7. Is there any recognition of prior training for the purposes of Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)?

No. You will be required to complete the complete FPLP which is currently 11 weeks in duration. Recognition of your experience will be considered in your commencement salary.

8. What is the duration of the Federal Police Lateral Program (FPLP)?

The current duration of the program is 10 weeks.

9. Is the FPLP assessable? What happens if I fail components of the program?

Depending on areas that you are yet to be deemed competent, there may be options to re-sit certain modules. Non successful completion of the FPLP may result in you being deemed not suitable for employment in the AFP for the identified role.

10. Can I carry over my Detective Designation?

The AFP has a guideline relating to the Detective Designation and you will be required to submit an application to the National Designation Panel which outlines your claims against the requirements for a Detective designation.  The panel will grant the designation should these requirements be met.    

11. Once engaged with the AFP can I apply for any promotional opportunities?

There is nothing to stop you from applying for promotional opportunities understanding that the AFP would expect a minimum of two years tenure if you are successfully engaged through the FPLP.

12. If I am required to relocate geographically, will be AFP pay for the relocation?

The positions available are located in ACT Policing Canberra and National (various offices across Australia excluding Brisbane QLD). Should you accept a role in one of these locations and you do not reside in that geographical location, the AFP will pay reasonable relocation costs.

13. Do I have to be an Australian citizen?

All AFP employees are required to be Australian citizens.

14. I was medically discharged from a policing agency, will this prevent me from applying?

Your medical history will be considered in determining your suitability for appointment to the AFP and you should take this into consideration when determining whether to apply.

15. I work in Australian Border Force/Defence, does this qualify me to apply for the Lateral Program?

You are required to meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be considered for the FPLP.  This includes completion of minimum educational requirements, operational policing experience and have not been separated from your jurisdictional policing role for a period in excess of five years.  If you do not meet these requirements, your application will not proceed for consideration. 

16. I have worked for an international Police force, am I eligible to apply?

You should take into consideration the minimum eligibility requirements.  If these can still be met then there is no reason why you would not be able to be considered for the program.

17. Does the 3 year minimum period include my time at the academy/probationary period?

The 3 year period is deemed to commence following completion of all training and probation.

18. Is there a fitness program that I can use to assist me to increase my fitness level to the AFP required standard?

Yes the AFP has a pre-course fitness program.  Details of this program, warm-ups, strength and stretch details and videos on correct form are available.

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