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Application Process

New Cops - New Zealand Police

Application Process

Policing is rewarding, but it's also quite demanding, so we're selective about who we employ. Throughout the recruitment process, you'll need to be able to demonstrate you have the right skills and personal attributes to become a police officer.

Like any professional career, becoming a police officer will not happen overnight. In general it takes a minimum of 4-6 months to reach the candidate pool from your initial expression of interest, through to the point you are accepted into the candidate pool. The time it takes will depend on you motivation and readiness for the various assessments.


The recruitment process has a number of stages, which you'll need to complete. Once you become a cop, you'll also have access to further training and development opportunities, to help you move forward in your career.

Stage 1: Watch an online recruitment seminar

To get started, watch an online seminar where you'll hear more about becoming a police officer. After watching the online seminar you'll be able to apply straight away.

Stage 2: Pass the assessments

You'll need to be fit enough and bright enough to pass a range of assessments. The assessments will look at your character and personality, your physical health and fitness, plus your psychometric and computer skills. You will also need to successfully complete a 12 week part-time Pre Police College Distance Learning course.

Stage 3: Accepted into the Candidate Pool

Being accepted into the Candidate Pool is a big step. It means you have the necessary potential to become a police officer. If you reach the candidate pool you'll be considered for selection to upcoming Royal NZ Police College wings. We will look to place you into your preferred district but you may also be given the option to work in another district where recruits are needed most. The time it takes to get called up to college depends on your individual strengths and the recruitment requirements in your preferred districts.

Stage 4: Study at the Royal NZ Police College

Once you've been accepted as a recruit, you'll study for 18 weeks at the Royal NZ Police College. You'll learn practical, hands-on policing skills during your training that will prepare you for life as a cop.

Stage 5: Complete a probationary period

After you graduate from the Royal NZ Police College, you'll spend two years working as a probationary constable. You'll need to meet a number of requirements during this time, and when you finish you'll be a fully-fledged police officer. At this point you will be eligible to apply for over thirty specialist positions within police including criminal investigations, E-crime, youth education, forensics and neighbourhood policing.


Learn more about who can be a cop, then watch the seminar online.