Here you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions, covering:
Is there any age restriction for police applicants?
The minimum age to apply is 18 years. There is no upper age limit. 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.
How many intakes does South Australia Police have per year?
South Australia Police recruits for growth and to replace police officers who resign or retire. We are actively recruiting and fast tracking applications now for 2017 so there’s never been a better time to apply.
I have not completed Year 12. Can I still apply?
Although Year 12 is preferable, we can accept Year 11 if you also have some further studies such as Certificate III in Police Studies. If you do not have Year 12 you need to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and ability to undertake the entrance examination and Academy training. Please contact the Police Recruiting Section to discuss other suitable studies.
Does South Australia Police have different pre-entry requirements for mature-aged entrants?
The entry requirements are the same regardless of age. All applicants undergo the same application, testing and selection process.
What are the physical requirements I'll need to meet?
South Australia Police is currently trialling a 'fit for duty' assessment test. The test is the minimum fitness level needed to carry out policing duties. To be competitive you will need to complete the test in under 2 minutes and 40 seconds. On the day you'll need to bring your driver's licence or other identification to the Academy. The assessment is a trial only and once applicants are accepted into the Academy, Police Cadets will be required to pass SAPOL’s two existing physical tests (PDF, 123KB) prior to completing the 12-month Constable Development Program. The physical tests are challenging, so it’s best to start a gradual cardiovascular exercise program in preparation.
We’re not seeking Olympians, we’re seeking you. Do you already have what it takes? Check out the fit for duty test to see how you measure up!
I have a few speeding fines. Will that prevent me from applying?
This depends on how many and the circumstances surrounding them. Discuss any concerns you have with the Police Recruiting Section.
If I fail the Evaluation and Testing Phase, when can I apply again?
If you are unsuccessful in the Evaluation and Testing Phase you will have the opportunity to re-apply after a period of 12 months. This is to give you time to prepare to a satisfactory standard before undertaking the testing again.
Can I practice the physical assessment test at the Academy?
Practice tests are not available, however SAPOL are exploring ‘come and try days’ where you could undertake the physical assessment test in a supervised environment. Keep an eye on our website for future information.
At the Police Academy you'll:
- have lessons on law, investigations and procedure
- undertake operational safety training, for example: searching and handcuffing, restraint and control techniques, self-defence techniques, incident management and physical conditioning
- undertake basic police driver training
- train in the use of firearms
- participate in practical role play scenarios to simulate the operational environment
- maintain police paperwork to simulate operational requirements
- generate, access and maintain computer based records and reports.
What you learn on the course will be assessed in both theory and practical exams.
How long is the training at the Academy?
You'll spend twelve months training at the Police Academy as a cadet.
Do I get paid during the training period?
Yes, you'll be paid as soon as you start training at the Academy. The current salary can be seen here.
If accepted into the Academy, do I have to live on grounds?
There are currently no accommodation facilities available for trainees at the Police Academy.
Do I have to pay for my own uniform?
If accepted into the Police Academy, your uniform will be supplied to you.
Where is the Police Academy?
It is located on Strathfield Terrace, Taperoo, approximately 30 minutes drive north-west from the Adelaide city centre.
Will I get posted to a police station near to where I live?
Not necessarily. When you graduate from the cadet training course you'll be posted as a Probationary Constable to one of the six metropolitan Local Service Areas or to one of a number of locations across the state.
How do I get into a specialist area of police work?
There is no direct entry into any specialist area. After the probationary period and when you are considered proficient in the area of general police work you can apply for a transfer to a specialised branch or section. You might also have to undertake some further studies and training.
How many weeks annual leave do I get?
As a police officer you are entitled to six weeks paid annual leave per year.
Are there further studies after I graduate?
Following graduation you may continue study towards qualifications for promotion and transfer to specialist areas/sections. Upon permanent appointment you can work towards progression of your career. SAPOL offers a supportive and structured framework to assist you to qualify to the ranks of Senior Constable through to Superintendent. The Centre for Leader Development located at the Police Academy provides an integrated training program for leadership, supervision and management through the Promotional Qualification Framework and fosters continuous learning throughout SAPOL.
I am a police officer interstate. Do I need to go through the usual application process?
Whilst previous policing experience would be taken into account, it is necessary to go through the full application process, as there is no transfer option available.
Does SAPOL support gender equality in policing?
Yes. In December 2015, SAPOL announced that recruit courses would consist of equal numbers of women and men. SAPOL is actively seeking women to apply, and with equal pay and equal opportunity for promotion, there’s never been a better time for women to consider a career in policing. Check out our Women in Policing page.
English is my second language. What level of proficiency is required?
It would be in your best interest to be proficient in English in order to be successful in the entrance examination and other selection tests.
Does SAPOL recruit a particular cultural group?
South Australia Police is an equal opportunity employer. We recruit to reflect the cultural diversity of the population and the South Australian community.