See yourself in the uniform and achieve more

About You

You may have learnt more about SAPOL, the opportunities, the challenges and the rewards available, but now it’s time to find out more about yourself. This page details the skills and personal qualities that we know are essential for becoming a great Police Officer. So it’s time to consider your own values, behaviours, abilities and characteristics and decide whether “you already have what it takes” and can “see yourself in the uniform”.

So what are we looking for?

As a Police Officer you'll need to be able to undertake many different tasks – from basic reporting to handling violent, difficult or distressing situations. Can you act decisively, communicate clearly and problem solve? Are you socially aware and able to demonstrate initiative, sound judgment, assertiveness, empathy and strength of character? Then it sounds like you have got a lot of the qualities we value. However, to apply you also need to meet the following requirements.


You must either be an Australian citizen, hold permanent Australian residency status or hold New Zealand citizenship.

Personal qualities

You must be of excellent character, honest, dependable, self-confident, tolerant, understanding, highly motivated, culturally sensitive and committed to community safety and service. Some current or previous involvement within the community is desirable.

If you have a previous criminal history or serious traffic offences you should discuss these matters with us before you apply.


The ability to deliver accurate information when time is of the essence is critical. Being able to engage and communicate with people of different backgrounds is desirable.


To apply you will need to be at least 18 years old before commencing your cadet training course. If you are a school leaver, there’s never been a better time to apply. Working part-time, volunteering or participating in community activities will make you a competitive applicant. If you have been in the workforce for a while and you are looking for a career change or a new challenge, then we encourage you to apply too.

Driving licence

It's essential that you hold either an unrestricted 'Car' class or a provisional driver's licence and have experience in driving both manual and automatic vehicles. You will need an unrestricted 'Car' class licence before undertaking the 1B Patrol Driving Permit. If you hold a provisional licence you will only be able to undertake the 1A Limited Patrol Driving Permit.

Health and fitness

You must be medically and physically fit and will have to undertake medical and fitness examinations. If you’re over 35, you must undertake an exercise electrocardiogram (ECG) before you participate in the physical agility testing.

Download more information about the Fitness Training (PDF, 24kb).


You must have a minimum of 6/9 vision in each eye, either with or without visual aids.


Completion of Year 12 is highly desirable but equivalent evidence of an ability to cope with the academic aspects of recruit training and the demands of police duties will also be considered.

SAPOL Recruitment Test (TAFE SA)

All applications received after 30 January 2015 will be required to contain evidence of successful completion of the SAPOL Recruitment Test (TAFE SA). This test covers the minimum requirements for reading, numeracy and literacy.

University graduates holding a Bachelor Degree or higher (recognised under the Australian Qualification Framework) are not required to complete the TAFE SA Recruitment Test. Applicants who have achieved an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) of 70 or more within the last three years are not required to complete the SAPOL Recruitment Test (TAFE SA). Current serving SAPOL employees and Police volunteers are not required to attend TAFE SA to complete the Recruitment Test. If you are a current SAPOL employee or active Police Volunteer you will still be required to complete the test, however the testing is conducted by SAPOL Recruiting Section after submission of an application.

Keyboard and computing skills

As part of your computer competency assessment you will be required to use Microsoft Windows 7. You’ll also need to have a typing speed of at least 26 wpm with 96% accuracy.

You can download details about the basic computer skills requirements (PDF, 98kb).

First aid

A nationally recognised current Basic First Aid Certificate is required before Recruits undertake the first out-phase of the Constable Development Program. This can be obtained by completing a one-day course which you may arrange with one of the following organisations or an accredited organisation of your choice:

  • St John Ambulance Australia - (08) 8306 6900
  • Australian Red Cross - (08) 8293 9200 or 1300 36 7428
  • Royal Life Saving Society - (08) 8210 4500

It’s important that the course you sign up for covers bleeding control and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).