Surveillance Operative - Lateral Program Recruitment

AFP Surveillance Operative - Lateral Recruitment

The AFP conducts the Surveillance Operative Lateral Program (SLP) which aims to attract experienced police officers with demonstrated surveillance skills from State and Territory police jurisdictions to undertake duties in our Eastern (Sydney) and Southern (Melbourne) Commands.

Are you an eligible lateral candidate?

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

  • a minimum three years operational policing experience, holding a Diploma of Public Safety (Policing) or equivalent;
  • a minimum of three years operational surveillance experience and formal qualifications to reflect this experience (certified surveillance course completion from respective organisation);
  • are currently or have been employed in a jurisdictional policing role within the past five years; and
  • contemporary surveillance experience (currently or have been undertaking surveillance duties in the last eight years).

Desirable requirements:

  • Formal qualifications in investigations (Detective Designation or equivalent)

You must also:

  • be an Australian Citizen
  • possess as a minimum a Diploma of Public Safety (Policing) or equivalent
  • be self-motivated and willing to deploy to any area of the AFP
  • be physically fit and healthy
  • be able to acquire 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; and
  • indicate your preference for deployment to Sydney or Melbourne in your application.

Candidate information pack

AFP Surveillance Operative - Lateral Program: Candidate Information Pack

What is the Surveillance Operative - Lateral Program (SLP)?

The SLP is a mandatory program for lateral surveillance police recruits who transfer from other jurisdictions and have the relevant level of contemporary policing and surveillance experience. The length of training for lateral recruits may vary depending on your level of contemporary policing and surveillance experience with training provided by experienced AFP learning and development professionals.. 

Course content focuses on assisting lateral surveillance police recruits to adapt their existing knowledge of state legislation to the Commonwealth legislative framework used by the AFP as well understanding AFP surveillance methodologies. 

The Surveillance Operative – Lateral Program application process

The recruitment gateways include:

  • Online Application;
  • Employment Suitability Questionnaire (ESQ);
  • Surveillance Psychometric Testing;
  • Panel Interview;
  • 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.

Important information you need to consider before applying

As a successful applicant you:

  • must undergo a bespoke training course reflective of your previous work experience and  surveillance knowledge and skill level
  • 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 national surveillance roles based in either Sydney or Melbourne.

Our offer

Remuneration and benefits

  • Starting salary range of $59,845 - $96,049 at commencement (Band 2.3 to Band 5.3).  Your salary is dependent on your years of policing service.
  • Superannuation contribution of 15.4%.
  • A working pattern allowance of 22% (after successful training completion).
  • 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 – for ceremonial purposes and when deployed in a uniformed capacity.
  • Future opportunity to multi-skill and access career opportunities in local, national and international law enforcement following initial four year placement in surveillance operations.

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?

Yes. Your commencement salary will be based on your years of experience as an operational police officer. The following table in Q. 5 below 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 Surveillance Lateral Program (SLP) a residential program?

The program will be facilitated in Sydney or a state based location. COVID-19 restrictions will dictate if the program is considered a residential program.

4. What type of job opportunities are available?

On successful completion of the program you will be assigned to the relevant Sydney or Melbourne office. The roles will be surveillance roles. You will be assigned a role and location based on organisational priority.

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

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.

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 SLP which is currently up to 10 weeks in duration. Recognition of your experience will be considered in your commencement salary.

8. What is the duration of the Surveillance Lateral Program (SLP)?

The duration of the bespoke training program is dependent on your policing experience and contemporary surveillance knowledge and skill.  More detailed information will be provided closer to training commencement.

9. Is the SLP 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 SLP may result in you being deemed not suitable for employment in the AFP for the identified role.

10. 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 four years tenure if you are successfully engaged through the SLP.

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

The positions available are located in Sydney and Melbourne. 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.

12. Do I have to be an Australian citizen?

All AFP employees are required to be Australian citizens.

13. 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.

14. 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 SLP.  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. 

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. Is there a fitness program that I can use to assist me with my fitness levels to ensure I am at the 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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