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Application Process

Got a question?
  1. Are police recruiting people at the moment?
    NZ Police are always recruiting. Police are committed to maintaining constabulary numbers and replacing those who leave. We're looking to recruit at least 400 people between May 2013 and June 2014.
  2. Will size, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious beliefs affect my application?
    None of these factors 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.
  3. How long does the police recruitment process take?
    Like any professional career becoming a police officer doesn't happen overnight. It generally takes a minimum of 4-6 months from the time you apply, through to reaching the candidate pool to be selected for the Royal New Zealand 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.
  4. What are the eligibility criteria for joining NZ Police?
    You need to:
    - Be at least 18 years of age upon entry to the Royal New Zealand Police College.
    - Be a New Zealand citizen or resident and eligible to work in New Zealand.
    - Be available to attend the required recruitment assessments in person.
    - Be physically fit and in excellent health – there aren’t any minimum height requirements.
    - Have good eyesight. This is defined as a minimum visual standard of 6/12 unaided in each eye, correctable to 6/6 with contact lenses or glasses.
    - Notify recruitment staff of any previous criminal or traffic convictions (including warnings, court appearances and diversions).
    - Hold a full Driver's Licence in order to apply to join the NZ Police.
  5. What are the age requirements?
    You can be 17 when you apply, but you must be 18 upon entry to the Royal New Zealand Police College. There is no maximum age restriction.
  6. Which areas are police recruiting from in 2013-14?
    Police recruitment targets are dynamic and depend on operational requirements, local demands for services and the number of people that leave. Our greatest needs are in:

    - Northland
    - Auckland
    - Counties Manukau
    - Waitemata
    - Waikato
    - Bay of Plenty (Tokoroa and Whakatane)
    - Eastern Districts (Gisborne)
    - Tasman (Greymouth)  

    We are now accepting new applications in Canterbury.
  7. Are police recruiting in Canterbury?
  8. How do I win a ride-along with the Women In Blue?
    Simply go to
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Is policing a dangerous job?
    You'll be working beside experienced team mates who will always look out for you. It's our priority to prepare you to be as safe as possible so you can perform your duties in the community with confidence.

    At the Royal New Zealand Police College you'll be trained to diffuse potentially dangerous situations using communication skills. You'll also learn how to use state-of-the-art equipment such as protective vests, pepper spray, tasers and police dog teams.
  12. How do the new recruitment hubs work?
    Two hubs have been set up to ensure potential recruits have a consistent experience regardless of where you apply from. Specialist Recruitment staff in the Upper North Hub will service applicants in Northland, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Waitemata and Waikato. The Lower North/South Hub services applicants from Central North Island, Bay of Plenty, Eastern Districts, Wellington and South Island. As you progress through the recruitment process you will be interacting with Recruitment staff in one of these hubs.
  13. What activities could I take up that will help support my application?
    Activities that exercise the mind and body will help to prepare you for the selection process. 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 activities that improve your communication and interaction skills would be useful. Go to the training advice page for more information.

    Being a Police Officer requires more than just physical fitness. You’ll need to be community minded and display a positive attitude. To become a better candidate, and increase your chances of being accepted into NZ Police training, you might want to think about doing some work in your community. This could include working with a community group, coaching sports, mentoring young people, volunteering or fundraising.
  14. Does speaking a second language help my chances of being selected?
    Demonstrating that you have an understanding of different languages and cultures is a big plus. To ensure police remains responsive to New Zealand’s diverse communities we’re looking for recruits with skill sets in different cultures which includes the ability to speak other languages.

    Your ability to communicate effectively in English (through reading, active listening, writing and speaking) is also essential.
  15. Can I choose which district I get posted to?
  16. If I want to apply for another district, do I need to start the recruitment process again?
  17. Is Police Recruitment on Facebook or Twitter?
    Yes. Go to Here you can ask questions about the recruitment process, share your experiences with other recruits, get training tips and draw inspiration from the hundreds of better work stories from real police officers.

    You can follow police recruitment on twitter @BetterWorkStory
  18. What subjects should I take / what qualifications will help me to become a cop?
    There are no pre-requisite qualifications to join NZ Police; you simply need to be able to pass the various assessments in our selection process.

    If you’re still at school we recommend that you strive to get the best grades you can. Proficiency in Maths and English is essential.

    Demonstrating leadership qualities, and involvement in the community (e.g. working with a community group, coaching sports, mentoring young people, volunteering, or fundraising) will also help your application.  

    All tertiary qualifications will potentially make you a stronger candidate.
  19. What level NCEA do I need to become a Police Officer?
    There are no pre-requisite qualifications to join NZ 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. It is your personal responsibility to ensure you are prepared to study at tertiary level.
  20. Do I need to be able to meet the fitness requirements before I apply? How long after submitting my application before I need to take the test?
    You don't need to be fully fit when you apply. However once you've submitted your application you should be ramping up your training to a level where you could pass the physical appraisal test within 2-4 months. NZ Police regularly hold PAT rehearsals, which give you the chance to gauge your fitness levels against our test requirements. This session is not assessed and our Recruitment staff will be on hand to offer training advice for areas where you need to improve.
  21. Can I still join the NZ 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.

    If you wear or have worn glasses or contact lenses either full-time or part-time, have any form of colour blindness or have had corrective surgery, you must contact recruitment staff to arrange an eye test by a qualified optometrist (at your own expense).
  22. Do you recommend getting LASIK surgery?
    Eye surgery is a big investment. We encourage applicants to pass their PAT and psychometric assessments, and complete an interview 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 the Medical Clearance Coordinator before proceeding with the operation.



  24. Where can I find an application form?
    Go to Once you’ve completed the online seminar, you'll have the opportunity to apply online and submit your CV.  
  25. What is the selection process?
    - Complete an online seminar
    - Complete and submit a Recruit Application and CV
    - Vetting is undertaken
    - Initial telephone conversation
    - Complete a health questionnaire and then a Recruit Additional Information form
    - Take part in an assessment day where you'll complete assessments in abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning, personality questionnaire, computer and typing test and one week later a physical appraisal test (PAT).
    - Physical Competency Test (PCT)
    - Attend a formal interview
    - Reference checks
    - SCOPE (spending time with police staff while they undertake their shifts)
    - Final medical questionnaire
    - Candidate pool letter
    - Call-up to the Royal New Zealand Police College
    - Final Physical Appraisal / Competency Test (PAT / PCT)
  26. Why are there no more seminars at police stations?
    Online seminars have replaced seminars at police stations.
  27. What is a "posting preference"?
    When you submit your additional information you will be able to nominate the districts you would like to work in. These are your posting preferences. We will be inviting the best candidates from around New Zealand to work in the districts where they are needed most. 
  28. What is the Initial Telephone Conversation and will it be assessed?
    Once police have received your Recruit Application and CV we will give you a call. This is a chance for us to ask you some questions and get to know you a little better. There is no need to prepare for this conversation, just be yourself. The conversation will cover issues such as your readiness for the assessment process and your motivation to join.



  30. What assessments are required before entering the Royal NZ Police College?
    You will be required to do assessments in:
    - Psychometric Assessments including Verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning, and personality questionnaire
    - Foundation skills assessment – tests whether you could benefit from further development in the areas of communications skills, numeracy, literacy or digital literacy
    - Typing test (at least 25 words per minute)
    - Physical appraisal test (PAT) (run, press ups, jumps and grip test)
    - Physical competency test (PCT)
    - SCOPE (40 hours on the frontline)
    - Competency Based Interview

    Before applying, you must have:
    - A full New Zealand Drivers License

    Before entering the Royal New Zealand Police College, you must have:
    - Defensive drivers certificate
    - First aid certificate
    - Swimming certificate

    You can learn more about police entry requirements here.
  31. Do I need to be able to swim?
    If you can’t swim or don't feel confident in the water, then don’t let this put you off! Investing in swimming lessons now might be the best investment you ever make.

    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.

    You will need to have a swimming certificate before you attend an assessment day.
  32. Where can I get a swimming certificate?
    Click here for POLICE CERTIFIED ASSESSORS who are qualified to assess you for your Swimming Certificate.
  33. What certificates do I need to supply at the assessment day?
    When you come in for the assessment day, you need to bring a photocopy of the following documents and bring the copies and originals with you:
    - Full Birth Certificate (must show parents’ names)
    - Passport (if you have one)
    - Proof of NZ Residency or NZ Citizenship (if applicable)
    - NZ Driver Licence
    - Your highest Educational Certificates
    - Firearms Licence (if applicable)
    - Swimming Certificate (valid for one year)

    You need to provide the following documents either now or after you have completed SCOPE:
    - Defensive Driving Certificate
    - First Aid Certificate
  34. What does the Physical Appraisal Test (PAT) involve?
    The Physical Appraisal Test consists of a 2.4km run, a vertical jump test, grip strength and press-ups. The assessment is gender and age related. For detailed criteria for males and female, check out the Requirements page. Here you will also find a video, which explains the components of the test.
  35. Are there any special fitness 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.

    Recruitment staff hold regular Physical Appraisal Test (PAT) rehearsal sessions. These will give you the chance to gauge your fitness levels against our test requirements. This session is not assessed. Our Recruitment staff will be on hand to offer training advice for areas where you need to improve. 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.
  36. How do I book into a PAT rehearsal?
    Call 0800 NEWCOPS to find out when the next rehearsal is happening in your area.
  37. Are there any fees to sit the exams?
    No, all you need to do is ensure that you have time off work.
  38. Do I get my marks for my psychometric assessments?
    After the psychometric assessments, recruitment staff can provide you with some feedback, on request.
  39. What is the foundations skills assessment?
    When you sit your psychometric assessments we may also get you to take a ‘foundation skills’ assessment. Unlike the psychometric assessment, this is not a road block to proceeding through the rest of the application process. It allows recruitment staff to test your literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills to see whether you could benefit from any further development prior to going to the Royal New Zealand Police College.

    If you meet the competencies of the skills test then you may not be required to undertake any further development. If you do need up-skilling, we’ll refer you onto a training provider in your area (for example community colleges, polytechnics, or private training establishments).

    Keep in mind that this foundation skill development can happen in parallel with the rest of the application process, so it won’t slow you down. This is a mechanism to help prepare you for success on the frontline.
  40. How can I get my First Aid Certificate?
    You can arrange this through St John, the Red Cross or Triple One Care. The courses must meet NZQA units 6400, 6401 and 6402. Alternatively you need units 26551 and 26552. You will need to pay for this.

  41. When will I take my PCT?
    The timing of your Physical Competency Test (PCT) may vary. Some candidates may be asked to take the PCT on the assessment day, others may wait until later in the selection process. The main requirement is that you must pass the PCT within 7 weeks of going to the Royal NZ Police College. 
  42. 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 competencies being assessed. You can find a range of useful info and tips on how to prepare for the interview by going to the training advice page and downloading the ‘Preparing for police selection’ booklet. You will receive more information when you are invited to an interview.
  43. Can I do work experience with NZ Police?
    All new recruits are required to undertake SCOPE. This is where applicants accompany frontline staff for 40 hours (4 x 10 hour shifts) - this 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. 
  44. What happens after I complete the recruitment assessments?
    Once you have completed all our assessments you’ll be placed into a candidate pool. Being accepted into the candidate pool means you will be considered for selection to train at the Royal New Zealand Police College.

    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 eight weeks before the start date of each wing, police will call up a number of candidates from the candidate pool to go to college.


  46. Once I've passed the assessments/entry requirements, how long would I have to wait before I can go to the Royal New Zealand Police College?
    Depending on your chosen posting or postings, the demand for new recruits, and the number of people who have chosen the same posting, you may be in the Candidate Pool for a few weeks or more than a year. Recruitment staff will stay in contact with you while you are in the candidate pool. 

  47. Will I get to the Royal New Zealand Police College faster if I apply for another district?
    The time it takes to get into the Royal New Zealand Police College depends on your individual strengths as a candidate. (It's not "first-come first-served"). Whatever your posting preference, we will always call up the strongest candidates to the Royal New Zealand Police College first.

    Before nominating your posting preference it's worth considering your support base of family and friends. You can expect your first two years on the job to be challenging and it is invaluable to have local knowledge and a strong support network behind you.

    If you do wish to be considered for another district you can email the Recruitment staff at or to update your details.
  48. Can I return home while I train at the Royal New Zealand Police College?
    Yes, you can return home most weekends. However there will be some weekends where you will be required to stay at the Royal New Zealand Police College.
  49. Are there childcare facilities at the Royal New Zealand 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. 
  50. Do you get to choose which Wing you join?
    We recognise that there are often other commitments that people have. So while we may offer you a place on a Wing, we are very comfortable if you advise us that you wish to delay your entry to the Royal New Zealand Police College. The decision on which Wing to go to will be one that you can discuss with the recruitment staff. 

  51. Are there any costs associated with training at the RNZPC?
    You are paid a fortnightly salary whilst attending training at the RNZPC. Depending on your circumstances you may be expected to pay a small accommodation and/or meal fee for the duration of your training. You will be notified of this before going to the college and these payments would be deducted from your fortnightly salary. 
    Transport to the college in Porirua is paid for by Police and this will be arranged with you just prior to going to the college.


  52. PAY & SHIFTS

  53. How much do police officers get paid? 
    Police officers are paid a competitive salary, at a level befitting the responsibilities of the role. After graduating you'll earn a salary of $52,335, with a total remuneration of around $58,584 for the first year out of the college. On average, constables in their first year also earn around $6,000 in additional payments such as allowances and overtime.

    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 $57,112 with an average remuneration of around $63,848, not including additional payments such as allowances and overtime. (Note: Remuneration includes salary, superannuation, life insurance and allowances).  Your pay is likely to increase along with your experience on the job.
  54. Will I get paid while I train at the Royal New Zealand Police College?
    Yes, you would be paid $35,775 gross per annum (total package $39,626), during the 18 weeks training period. This translates to $1,372.20 gross per fortnight.
  55. Would I have to do shift work, if so what are the rosters?
    All probationary constables (the 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.

  57. I’ve had some speeding tickets, can I still join NZ Police?
    If you have more than 50 demerit points you will not be able to apply to join NZ Police until these have been cleared. At least one year must pass after the demerits points have been cleared from your licence before you can re-apply.
  58. Will my application be rejected if I (or one of my friends or relatives) have a conviction?
    Not necessarily. Applicants with serious convictions relating to dishonesty, drugs, violence, drink driving and anything of a sexual nature are not eligible to join NZ Police. Applicants with less serious convictions are considered on a case by case basis. As part of the application process, thorough background checks are undertaken. In some cases home visits may be undertaken. Every applicant is assessed according to his or her own merit.
  59. What's your policy regarding applicants with drink driving charges?
    Because of NZ Police's commitment to reducing trauma on our roads, we need to set an example and will not recruit people for police officer positions if they have drink driving convictions.

  61. Are there many opportunities for professional development?

    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 a lot of opportunities to step up into leadership roles, from becoming a Sergeant, all the way through to becoming Police Commissioner.
  62. Can I go straight into forensics/dog handling?
    Once you have finished training at the Royal New Zealand Police College, you will be required to work as a probationary constable for two years. Once you have completed this requirement, you are able to apply to work in specialised areas.
  63. How do I become a police prosecutor?
    To become a Prosecutor you need to either (a) be a Police employee holding the office of constable or (b) hold a law degree (LLB) and a current practising certificate.

    Visit for more information.
  64. How do I become a communications centre operator?
    You will need to go to for more information.  

    You do not need to become a police officer to undertake this job.

  66. I'm working as a Police Officer 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. Once you obtain residency you will be required to undergo and pass all aspects of the NZ Police recruiting process and if successful, be accepted for training at the Royal New Zealand Police College when a vacancy becomes available.

    The 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 training, and a certain standard of expertise is required to be achieved.

    After graduation you may be considered for positions within specialist units using recognition of prior learning. 

    We suggest you visit the NZ immigration website if you wish to know more about obtaining New Zealand Residency. 
  67. Do I need any documentation if I have been living overseas?
    If you have been a resident overseas for a period of three months or longer, 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.

    The Department of Immigration website has information on how to obtain these.
  68. I have been a serving member in the Military, is there extra information I need 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 your service records released. 

  70. I used to be able to log in to but now I can't, what should I do?
    We have updated our New Cops recruitment process. These changes require you to view our new online seminar. After watching this, you'll get your new profile and new login details.