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Frequently asked questions from people interested in becoming a Police officer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start the application process?

After you’ve checked you meet our entry requirements, and where we need cops, click on the 'Apply now' button at the top of the page. Make sure you have your passport handy.

Can I choose which district I get posted to?

You’ll need to check out where we need cops to see whether your preferred district is accepting applications.

When you apply you’ll need to nominate which district you wish to be posted to, should you be successful in the recruitment process.

How can I change my district preference?

If you’d like to be considered for another district, you’ll need to email your recruitment team to see if this is possible. This will be dependent on the need for new recruits in your preferred district - check out where we need cops for further information.

What is the initial telephone conversation and will it be assessed?

Once you have cleared initial background checks, we will give you a call. This is a chance for us to learn more about you and for you to learn more about us. This isn’t a formal interview so there is no need to prepare but the conversation will cover questions such as your readiness for the assessment process and your motivation behind applying. We suggest you familiarise yourself with the recruitment process.

I have been living overseas, is there anything I need to do as part of my application?

If you’ve been a resident overseas for three months or longer, whether or not you have NZ residency or citizenship, we’ll need to ask you to provide an overseas Police certificate for each country you have resided in.

We’ll give you further instructions when this is required. 

Do I need to be able to swim?

While not assessed as part of the recruitment process, it’s important that you are confident in and around water before attending Police College. If you are not, we encourage you to start building up your water competency now. Check out the swimming requirements here

I have been a serving member in the military, is there extra information I need to provide?

If you have served in our defence forces, in NZ or overseas, or you’ve been a member of an overseas police jurisdiction, you’ll be asked to complete a consent form so that your service records can be released.

We’ll give you further instructions when this is required.

Can I choose which wing I join and when?

The decision on which wing to go into can be talked over with the constabulary recruitment staff as you approach the end of the recruitment process. We recognise that people often have other commitments. You can advise us if you wish to delay your entry to the RNZPC.

Once I've met all the selection requirements, how long will I have to wait before I can go to the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC)?

You could be in the Candidate Pool for a few weeks or up to one year, depending on demand. Our recruitment team will stay in contact with you while you are in the Candidate Pool and keep you updated.

What assessments are required before entering the RNZPC?

Take a look at our Recruitment Process for a good breakdown of all assessments that you will need to complete.

What is involved in the online academic testing?

You’ll be asked to complete your psychometric testing online. All applicants will be required to complete an Ability Assessment and a Personality Profile. 

For further details take a look at the Online Testing section within the recruitment process.

**Some applicants will also need to complete an additional literacy assessment** 


Will I need to sit the additional literacy assessment?

It depends upon your educational background. For further details take a look at the Online Testing section within the recruitment process.

What does the Physical Appraisal Test (PAT) involve?

The PAT consists of a 2.4-kilometre run, push-ups, a vertical jump test, and grip strength. Check out the PAT requirements and training advice here.

When will I take my Physical Competency Test (PCT)?

You will complete your PCT at Police College. All Police Officers must pass the PCT every two years. 

Do you have any tips for preparing for my interview?

Interviews are competency-based. You will be asked to describe a range of opportunities or experiences where you have had to demonstrate each of the assessed competencies.

Take a look at our Formal Interview page. You will also receive more information from your Selection Specialist when you are invited to an interview.

Can I do work experience with NZ Police?

All applicants are required to undertake SCOPE as part of the recruitment process.

This is where applicants accompany frontline staff for four ten-hour shifts. SCOPE acts as a form of work experience and will give you a good opportunity to see the type of work that is carried out by NZ Police.

What happens after I complete the recruitment process?

Once you have successfully met all the selection requirements you'll be placed in the Candidate Pool. Being accepted into the Candidate Pool means you will be considered for selection to train at the RNZPC.

Note that the Candidate Pool is not a waiting list. The strongest candidates are always chosen, according to the needs and priorities of the districts.

Approximately 3-4 months before the start date of each wing police will call up a number of candidates from the Candidate Pool to go to college.

Is there a stand-down period if you don’t pass the online testing?

All candidates who do not meet the required psychometric assessment standards will be declined but will be eligible to re-apply. Your recruitment hub will discuss the stand-down time frame with you and provide advice on the areas in which you need to upskill.