Probationary Constable (Police Officer)
Police Officers have a responsibility to protect public life and property. Police officers enforce the law by arresting criminals and detecting and preventing crimes. They undertake extensive on-the-job training and perform a diverse range of duties, including: maintaining public order and safety; being first responder to emergency calls; investigating and prosecuting criminal offences; enforcing traffic law; securing and examining crime scenes; and dealing with violent offenders or people under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Many people ask the question "How do I become a Police Officer?" or "How to become a detective?". If you follow the information on this page it gives a detailed insight into the pathways and key skills, attributes, experience and qualifications required to gain entry to the rewarding and life long career.
As a Probationary Constable, you will be partnered with a Field Training and Assessment Officer (FTAO) for the first couple of months. The FTAO will be your guide and assist you through everyday tasks. An FTAO has undertaken a specific training course and is aware of the study requirements of Probationary Constables. Your ongoing training will be monitored by a local Education Development Officer (EDO) who assists with all aspects of your work and study. Every shift will be a new experience as you respond to emergencies, prevention of crime, anti-social behaviour and contributing to a safer community for all. Officers are rostered according to the operational needs of the command they are attached to. Shift lengths can vary from 8 to 12 hours and are based on a 6 week roster block. Your day is based on a 8-12 hour roster, depending on your Police Area Command (PAC) / Police District (PD) front line demands. You can expect to be exposed to a wide range of jobs and situations in your first year. New recruits are required to complete a three year tenure in general duties prior to applying for a transfer to another location or specialist role.
Some of the things you will be involved with include:
- Domestic dispute issues
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Armed robberies
- Stealing offences
- Deceased persons
- Patrolling and high visibility policing
All Australian Police Officers must hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency and must also pass an extensive application process including background checks, examinations and a series of health, fitness, and psychological tests.
NSW Police applicants are required to attend Charles Sturt University for a period of six months, then after graduation, fulfill one year as a Probationery Constable. Recruits at the academy can nominate five (5) preferred locations for placement. NSW Police endeavor to employ officers at the preferred location, but the NSWPF must first meet operational field requirements, which will influence final placement. Officers should be prepared to work anywhere within NSW.
As a Probationary Constable, you will be partnered with a Field Training and Assessment Officer (FTAO) for the first couple of months. The FTAO will be your guide and assist you through everyday tasks. An FTAO has undertaken a specific training course and is aware of the study requirements of Probationary Constables. Your ongoing training will be monitored by a local Education Development Officer (EDO) who assists with all aspects of your work and study.
Progression into Constable and other senior or specialised roles usually come about through a formal qualification and merit is based on practical experience and appointment to specialist training courses conducted by NSW Police.
The rank of Senior Constable is only available to a Police Officer (Constable) who has served a certain number of years in the Police Force.
- Common Sense
- Emotional Intelligence
- Respect and Knowledge of Laws
- Be flexible, show initiative and respond quickly when situations change
- Keep control of own emotions and stay calm under pressure and in challenging situations
- Model the highest standards of ethical behaviour
- Act on reported breaches of rules, policies and guidelines
- Show commitment to achieving challenging goals
- Adapt well in diverse environments
- Tailor communication to the audience
- Clearly explain complex concepts and arguments to individuals and groups
- Monitor own and others’ non-verbal cues and adapt where necessary
- Write fluently in a range of styles and formats
- Identify and respond quickly to customer needs, working towards mutually satisfactory outcomes
- Complete own work tasks under guidance, within set budgets, timeframes and standards
- Take responsibility and be accountable for own actions
- Identify and follow safe work practices, and be vigilant about their application by self and others
- Be alert to risks that might impact the completion of an activity and escalate these when identified
- Apply practical skills in the use of relevant technology
- Make effective use of records, information and knowledge management functions and systems
After completion of your initial three year tenure, you might be eligible to make a lateral move into a specialty post, such as a Dog Unit, PolAir, or the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit where you can work as a Detective, Training Officer, a member of the Marine Area Command, or many other specialised positions.
Transferable skills can be utilised in specialist roles within NSW Police such as;
- Aviation Command (PolAir)
- Bicycle Unit
- Dog Unit
- Forensic Investigator - Evidence & Technical Services Command (FE&TSC)
- Highway Patrol Officer
- Marine Area Command (MAC)
- Mounted Police Unit
- Police Transport Command (PTC)
- Public Order Riot Squad (PORS)
- Rescue & Bomb Disposal Unit (RBDU)
- Tactical Operations Unit (TOU) and Negotiation Unit
You may like to think about advancing in this career, moving into senior roles such as;
- Deputy Commissioner
- Assistant Commissioner
- Chief Superintendent
- Chief Inspector
- Senior Sergeant
- Leading Senior Constable
- Senior Constable
- Probationary Constable
Transferable skills which can be used in positions following a career in NSW Police.
Former NSW Police officers have transitioned into a range of roles including TAFE facilitator, Client Services Officer, Analyst, Investigator, Compliance Manager, Truck Driver, Fire Fighter, Crime Prevention Manager, Correctional Officer, Account Manager, Security Manager, Consultant, Safety Training Facilitator, Trainer & Assessor, Aged Care Coordinator, Area Coordinator and Managers in a variety of sectors.