New Cops | Do you care enough?

Crime in the 21st century is increasingly sophisticated and the environments in which police operate are increasingly diverse. To ensure you are ready for training at police college we require you to do some distance learning beforehand.

What is pre-police college distance learning?

We will invite you to enrol in a pre-police college distance learning course after completing your formal interview. The course is a pre-requisite before you can start at the Royal NZ Police College (RNZPC).

The 12-week course is provided by Unitec and runs alongside (in parallel with) the remainder of the selection process – so it will not delay you from getting into the candidate pool.

The Distance Learning course will require you to study part-time for approximately 12-15 hours per week. The purpose is to provide a base level of knowledge and understanding about policing. The benefit of this course is that it allows police to give you more applied real-world training once you get to the RNZPC.


CFIT - What is it?
Career Foundation Initial Training (CFIT) spans before, during and after attendance at police college. Once completed you will be a fully qualified constable.
Introduction to CFIT

The distance learning course is actually the first stage of the wider programme that trains you to become a fully-fledged police officer. This training programme is known as Career Foundation Initial Training. CFIT carries on through the RNZPC and then two years beyond police college, while you are still a probationary constable. CFIT occurs in four stages and will prepare you for the modern policing environment and frontline processes.

Stage 1 - Pre-police College Distance Learning

This training will provide you with a base level of knowledge and understanding before you get to RNZPC. The 12-week part-time course will be delivered by Unitec. Successful completion is a pre-requisite for all applicants who will start at RNZPC.

Stage 2 - Police College

This 16-week training course will take place at the Royal NZ Police College (RNZPC) in Porirua. You will build on your pre-police college distance learning to develop an in-depth and applied understanding of the course material. The course covers staff safety, defensive tactics, and real-world operational training.

Police College is designed to provide realistic learning contexts and experiences to help you to better match theory with practice. The course will increase your “situational awareness”, which will be immensely valuable after attestation when you are deployed to a police station as a probationary constable.

Stage 3 - Post-police College Workplace Training

In your first two years on the job, you will undertake workplace assessments and qualifications. These enhance the application of what you've learned at police college to the “situational realities” of policing in your new district. There will also be a programme of workplace standards and assessments to demonstrate your competencies in core policing tasks.

Stage 4 - Qualifying

At the end of your first two years on the frontline, you will undertake a two-week qualifying course. This will extend your knowledge in key areas of investigation as well as “command and controls”. You will receive advice on career development pathways and how you can specialise in your areas of interest.

The course is an opportunity for us to assess core policing knowledge and skills to ensure you have mastered what is required of every General Duties Constable. Once completed, you will graduate as a fully-fledged constable.

More Info
Here are some common questions about distance learning and CFIT.
What is the Process for Enroling on the Distance Learning Course?

Our recruitment staff will get in touch to provide all the details and invite you to enrol after successfully completing your formal interview.

What are the Entry Requirements to the Distance Learning Course?

You need to successfully complete the police assessment day and the formal interview. There are no specific minimum educational requirements for entry. However, students need to show a certain level of language, numeracy, and digital competency.

Students who satisfactorily complete assessment day should have no difficulty coping with the demands of the course.

What are the 2018 Dates for Distance Learning

2018 Cohort 


Course Start 

Course End 


2-6 March

12 March

3 June


23-27 March 

2 April

24 June


13-17 April

23 April

15 July


4-8 May

14 May

5 August


1-5 June

11 June

2 September


15-19 June

25 June

16 September 


6-10 July

16 July

7 October


27-31 July

6 August

28 October


17-21 August

27 August

18 November


14-18 September  

24 September  

16 December


5-9 October

15 October

20 January


26-30 October  

5 November 

10 February


16-20 November

26 November

3 March

*Cohorts 33, 34 & 35 are 16 weeks as they run over Christmas and New Year.

What Happens After I Complete the Distance Learning?

Once you have completed all of the other application assessments and requirements, you will be placed in the candidate pool for a potential call up to the RNZPC.

What's Involved with the Distance Learning Course?

The course will be 12-weeks long and will require students to study part-time for approximately 12-15 hours per week. There will be four modules. These begin with an orientation, followed by coursework which broadly covers:

  1. Orientation/introduction
  2. Why we’re here - police's purpose, vision and mission
  3. What we do - key operational strategies
  4. How we do it - our values, code of conduct and the future of policing excellence.

The course will include a number of delivery styles including online, face-to-face (virtual classroom), distance and self-directed learning.  Teaching materials are provided in a variety of formats to support varied ways of learning. 

How Much does the Distance Learning Course Cost?

The cost of the distance learning course from 2018 is $715.

If this cost is a hurdle then please do not feel discouraged. You may need to take a little more time and save up to be able to enrol in a later course, or alternatively consider getting a personal loan. The main thing is that you maintain your motivation to join. After all, this is a worthwhile investment in an exciting future career.

If this cost is a real barrier for you please talk to your Selection Specialist.

‘User-pays’ fees for vocational qualifications leading to employment is common to many professions, such as nursing, para-medicine, social work, and teaching. Requiring an academic qualification for the role of a recruit at New Zealand Police is no different, and would be a worthwhile investment in your future career. Also bear in mind that police, unlike most professions, pay a salary while you are training at police college. Recruits will be paid $38,358 gross per annum (total package $42,472), which translates to $1,471 gross per fortnight during the 16 week training period.

Can I Pay for the Course by Way of Instalments?

Unitec does not accept instalments as their processes only allow them to accept full payment by credit card, debit card or cheque. Alternatively, if you can attend one of their campuses payment can be completed by way of EFTPOS transaction or cash. 

What Happens if my NZ Police Application is Declined After I have Started the Course?

You may complete the course or withdraw, it is up to you. You will not be entitled to a refund from either NZ Police or Unitec.