What are the age requirements?
You must be 18 at the time of graduation from the Royal New Zealand Police College. There is no maximum age restriction.
I’ve had some speeding tickets, can I still join the NZ police?
You may be able to enter the Royal New Zealand Police College with some minor convictions (e.g. traffic offences). Backgrounds are considered via our offence clearance process. To begin the offence clearance process you must write a letter of explanation, which is then followed up by an interview with a recruitment staff member.
What activities outside police could I take up that will make me a better NZ police applicant?
Activities that exercise the mind and body will help make you a better applicant. This would include study, using computers and other forms of technology, and taking part in activities that improve your strength and fitness. A lot of police work involves working with others so activity that improves your communication and interaction skills would also be useful.
Can I do work experience with NZ Police?
All new recruits are required to undertake SCOPE. Through SCOPE candidates accompany frontline staff for 40 hours - this acts as a form of work experience and will give you a good opportunity to see the sort of work that is carried out by NZ Police.
What is the selection process?
Attend a recruitment seminar or view it online here. Upon completion you will fill out an application/registration form
Take part in a testing day where you'll complete assessments in abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning, psychological profiling physical appraisal test (PAT)
Attend a formal interview
SCOPE (spending time with police staff while they undertake their shifts)
Select your posting preference
Final medical examination
Conditional acceptance letter
Call-up to the Royal New Zealand Police College
Final Physical Competency Test (PCT)
Will my application be rejected if I, or one of my friends or relatives, has a conviction?
Not necessarily, every applicant is considered on a case by case basis. As part of the application process, thorough background checks and home visits are undertaken, and every applicant is assessed according to his or her own merit.
Do I need to be able to swim?
Applicants need to be able to pass our swimming test which involves:
Swimming 50 metres within 54 seconds
Treading water for 5 minutes
Duck Diving 3 metres to retrieve a rubber brick.
Candidates who are undertaking their testing in Auckland must have obtained their swimming certificate before they attend testing day.
Remember, if you are not confident in the water or can't swim, then don't fret. Get to the pool and take some swimming lessons. It could be the best investment you ever make.
Can I still join the police if I wear contact lenses or glasses?
You may still be able to join the police if you wear eye glasses or contact lenses. Applicants must have good eyesight, defined as a minimum visual standard of 6/12 unaided in each eye, correctable to 6/6 with contact lenses. There are no exceptions to this.
Do you recommend getting LASIK eye surgery?
Eye surgery is a big investment. We encourage applicants to pass their PAT and psychometric assessments, and complete an interview with a our recruitment staff before committing to surgery. You will need to consult your Optometrist first and inform them of police visual standards. Some procedures are treated on a case by case basis, so be sure to consult with our recruitment staff before proceeding with the operation.
What assessments are required before entering the Royal NZ Police College?
You will be required to do assessments in:
English Abstract reasoning
Competency based interview
Physical appraisal test (PAT) (run, press ups, jumps and squeeze test)
Physical competency test (PCT)
SCOPE (40 Hours Frontline)
Before entering the police college, you must have:
At least a restricted drivers license and must have a full New Zealand Drivers License at the time of graduation.
Defensive drivers certificate
First aid certificate
Typing (25 wpm) & computer skills test.
You can learn more about police entry requirements here.
When is the next recruitment seminar?
You can complete a recruitment seminar online now! This is the fastest way to get started on becoming a cop. Alternatively, you can attend a seminar in your local area. For details about the next seminar in your area call 0800 NEWCOPS, or register for the next seminar here.
What's your policy regarding applicants with drink driving charges?
NZ Police will not recruit people for police officer positions if they have any drink driving convictions. People who have been acquitted of drink driving charges will be carefully considered on a case by case basis.
Once I've passed the assessments and entry requirements, how long would I have to wait before I can go to the Royal NZ Police College?
When opportunities do arise, recruitment staff will select the most appropriate candidates from the pool of potential recruits who are available at the time. You will be considered amongst other potential recruits as soon as you have passed the recruitment assessments and completed the recruitment process.
Where can I find an application form?
Once you’ve completed the online seminar you'll have the opportunity to download a recruit registration form and health questionnaire. There are also a bunch of other forms which you may be required to fill out depending on your answers in these two initial forms. To download the forms you need to be logged into the website. Once you're logged in, go to the application forms on the left hand side of the 'My Profile' page. Read the instructions carefully and fill out the forms that are applicable to your situation.
How long does the recruitment process take?
Like any professional career becoming a police officer doesn't happen overnight. It generally takes a minimum of six months from the time you apply, through to reaching the candidate pool to be selected for Police College. Please note that this time is on average and will vary between districts. Your motivation, your preparation and availability can also affect the amount of time in the process.
Will I get paid while I train at Royal NZ Police College?
Yes, you would be paid $35,419.02 gross per annum (total package $39,234.09), during the 19 weeks training period. This translates to $1,358.53 gross per fortnight.
Can I return home while I train at Royal NZ Police College?
Yes, you can return home most weekends, however there will be some weekends where you will be required to stay at the college.
Are there childcare facilities at the Royal NZ Police College?
There are no childcare or accommodation facilities for your family, however, you will be able to go home most weekends to visit your family.
How much would I earn when I start?
After graduating police college you'll earn a salary of $51,815, with an average remuneration of around $64,000 for the first year out of the college. Remuneration includes salary, superannuation, life insurance and allowances. Further pay increases will depend on your role, your shift patterns and promotion. The average salary for an officer working in their fourth year is around $60,000 with an average remuneration of around $74,000. Hence your pay is likely to increase along with your experience on the job.
I've lost my NewCops internet password. How do I reset my password?
Go to the "login" page. You should now see a link on the right hand-side which says "forgot my password". Click on this and enter your email address. The website will now send an email with your new password. If you can't find the email from NEWCOPS in your inbox, try looking in your junk or spam folder. It may take up to 30 minutes for the email to be sent to your account.
Would I have to do shift work, if so what are the rosters?
All probationary constables (Royal NZ Police College graduates) and most police officers work on a rostered basis. There are typically three shifts; 6:30am to 3:30pm, 1:30pm to 11:30pm and 10:30pm to 6:30am. The length of the shifts is balanced somewhat by the fact that officers commonly get 3-4 days off rather than two. Working groups work various shifts within a five week (39 day) period with 26 days at work and 13 days off.
Can I go straight into forensics/dog handling?
Once you have finished training at the Royal New Zealand Police College there is a period of two years where you will be required to work as a probationary constable for two years. Once you have completed this requirement, you are able to branch off into a specialised area.
Can I choose where I get posted?
How long does the recruitment process take?
Like any professional career, becoming a police officer doesn’t happen overnight. On average it takes a minimum of six months to step through the recruitment process to reach the candidate pool.
Are there any fees to sit the exams?
No, all you need to do is ensure that you have time off work.
Are there any special fitness or training groups that I could join while I'm going through the recruitment process?
There are already a number of running groups in various districts - to find out if there is a running group in your area ask our local recruitment staff or look for other like minded people through the NZ Police Recruitment facebook page. There are also regular PAT practice sessions available run by our recruitment staff. We strongly recommend you attend at least one PAT rehearsal to get suggestions on technique and training. You can attend as many of these sessions as you like, check with 0800 NEWCOPS to find out when and where these are held.
What happens after I complete the recruitment assessment process?
Once you have satisfactorily completed all our requirements and have been accepted as suitable to proceed to Royal New Zealand Police College you are placed into our candidate pool. Approximately eight weeks before the start date of each wing we select a number of applicants from the candidate pool as per the needs and priorities of the police district. This may mean some applicants are unsuccessful and they will be placed back into the candidate pool.
Do I get my marks for my psychometric assessment?
After the psychometric assessment our recruitment staff can provide you with some feedback; however we are unable to give you a formal mark for these tests. Our tests are NOT marked like a school exam. That is, you do not get 50% or 67% etc. Your mark is compared against other Police applicants who have sat the test. You then receive a grade depending on whether your ability is above average, average, below average etc.
Can I wear jewellery?
Police employees need to consider the potential impact that wearing jewellery can have on themselves (e.g. by posing a risk to personal
safety), colleagues and members of the public. Matrimonial rings and other rings may be worn provided the number is not excessive. Culturally approved jewellery may be worn but in general we don’t’ allow items of jewellery through any visible part of the body. If you have body piercings that are not visible when in uniform, then you will need to consider the potential risk of injury before wearing these on duty. Bracelets (except medic-alert type), chains, necklaces or chord are not permitted when in uniform.
Can I have tattoos?
Employees having regular contact with the public should consider the potential impact that visible tattoos could have on the public. Employees should not have tattoos in prominent places such as the hands or face. Where employees have tattoos on the lower arm they will need to cover these up if they are considered offensive or inappropriate. Tattoos that are rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, or homophobic are considered inappropriate.
Do I need any documentation if I have been living overseas?
If you have been a resident overseas at any time, whether you have New Zealand residency/ citizenship or not, you will be required to provide an overseas Police Certificate for each country you have resided in. These certificates will not be required until after you have passed testing day, due to the cost you will incur. The Department of Immigration website has information on how to obtain these.
I have been a serving member in the Military, is there extra I have to provide?
If you have served in the armed forces, whether in New Zealand or overseas, or have been a member of an overseas Police jurisdiction, you will be asked to complete a release so that we may have you service records released.
Will size, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious beliefs affect my application?
None of these things will affect your application. New Zealand Police values what you bring to the job as an individual. We want people to bring their culture, their background and their values to the job.
Are there many opportunities for professional development in a police career?
There is huge potential for professional development, with over 30 career pathways you can choose from. Once you've completed two years as a probationary constable you can apply to work in other roles such as youth education, neighbourhood policing, the dive squad, search and rescue or the criminal investigation branch to name a few. If you prove yourself there are heaps of opportunities to step up into leadership roles, from becoming a Sergeant, all the way through to becoming Police Commissioner.
What qualifications do I need to become a cop?
There are no pre-requisite qualifications to join police; you simply need to be able to pass the various assessments in our selection process. Our psychometric assessments are roughly equivalent to NCEA level 2 English and Maths. Note however that the training course at Royal New Zealand Police College is a tertiary level course, which ranges in difficulty from NCEA level 3 to level 6. The course is intense, with a year's worth of course content compressed into 18 weeks. As part of the recruitment selection process it is your personal responsibility to ensure you are prepared to study at tertiary level.
Where can I get a swimming certificate?
Click here for POLICE CERTIFIED ASSESSORS who are qualified to assess you for your Swimming Certificate.
I'm a police officer working overseas, how do I join NZ Police?
You need to attain New Zealand Residency prior to applying. NZ Police are unable to assist with the immigration process. You would be required to undergo and pass all aspects of the NZ Police recruiting process. If successful, you would be accepted for training at the Royal New Zealand Police College when a vacancy becomes available.
The basic training at the Royal New Zealand Police College is for a period of five months. The training is very intensive and deals with law, how to deal with practical incidents, the understanding of cultural differences and social problems. A rigorous physical training programme is also part of the basic training, and a certain standard of expertise is required to be achieved.
Once you become permanently appointed then you are able to be considered for such duties as the Criminal Investigations Branch, Youth Aid, Armed Offenders, Search and Rescue and perhaps become a dog handler, if such work is of interest to you.
We suggest you visit the NZ immigration website if you wish to know more about obtaining New Zealand Residency.