Superintendent (Police Officer)

Job Description

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 the 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. The role is varied and focuses on leadership, decision-making, customer service, risk management and public safety. Some of the things you will be involved with include: domestic dispute issues, motor vehicle accidents, armed robberies, stealing offences, assaults, deceased persons, patrolling and high visibility policing. Police Officers work in varying conditions and diverse locations, assisting with planned operations and supporting ad hoc incidents and natural disasters (floods and bushfires).  They apprehend offenders for various crimes, from minor traffic infringements to serious charges and indictable offences.  Police Officers gather information, make notes, interview victims, witnesses and offenders, take statements and prepare reports and briefs of evidence.  They prepare and give evidence in person in court proceedings when required.  

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.  They undertake senior duties, supervising and directing a team and leading periodical operations.  They report to their seniors about outcomes.   

A Leading Senior Constable supports, mentors and coaches team members in their duties, ensuring the  ongoing development.  They delegate duties, supervise and manage the performance of various sized teams, demonstrating strong leadership in everyday tasks and specific operations.  

A Sergeant and Senior Sergeant is a first-line supervisor who plans, assigns, reviews, and evaluates the work of others. A Sergeant coordinates section activities, participates in police operations, and performs related work as required.  They plan and implement strategies for major events and incidents.

An Inspector investigates serious criminal allegations, corruption, and high-risk matters where police officers may be involved.  They may supervise local investigation of all cases which may comprise of one or more police stations and be responsible for the prevention/ detection of crime within their circle. An Inspector oversees Sergeants and teams of Constables and traditionally performs more administrative work, micromanagement of the team, coordination of policing operations or specialist work.  At Police Area Commands, an Inspector is allocated to each shift as a Duty Officer who oversees the general running of the Police Station.

A Chief Inspector works above the Inspector (Duty Officer) and the Crime Manager.  The Chief Inspector works in Category one Local Area Commands.

The rank of Superintendent is the next senior rank from Chief Inspector and is less senior than a Chief Superintendent.  LAC Commanders are of the rank of Superintendent in Metropolitan stations. 


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 & Leading Senior Constable is only available to a Police Officer (Constable) who has served a certain number of years in the Police Force.  There are specialist training courses conducted by NSW Police for these specific roles.

Officers are eligible for merit-based promotion to the rank of Sergeant and Senior Sergeant after seven years of service.  Promotion to the rank of Sergeant and beyond is achieved by way of a merit-based promotion system, whereby officers undertake a series of pre-qualification assessments and are placed on a ranked list before gaining promotion.  On promotion to Sergeant and Senior Sergeant, members are issued a warrant of appointment under the Commissioner's hand and seal.

An Inspector can be appointed upon completion of at least three years as a Sergeant (but usually more).  They must complete and pass the relevant assessments including an exam and interview and are then elevated to the rank of Inspector and issued a certificate of commission under the Commissioner's hand and seal.  Commissioned Officers may be acknowledged by the rank they hold or, more commonly, as "sir", "ma'am" or "boss" (terms of endearment for Officers that are respected by the subordinate rank).

A Chief Inspector works above the Inspector (Duty Officer) and the Crime Manager.  The Chief Inspector works in Category one Local Area Commands. The role is appointed based on recommendation, qualification, experience and application.

A Superintendent is the next senior rank from Chief Inspector and is less senior than a Chief Superintendent.  The position is appointed based on recommendation, qualification, experience and application.


  • Assertive
  • Calm
  • Civility
  • Common Sense
  • Communicator
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Ethical
  • Honest
  • Interpersonal
  • Initiative
  • Maturity
  • Open-minded
  • Resilient
  • Respect and Knowledge of Laws
  • Responsible
  • Secure

Key Skills

  • Stay calm and act constructively in highly pressured and unpredictable environments
  • Demonstrate effective strategies and show decisiveness in dealing with emotionally charged situations
  • Model the highest standards of ethical behaviour
  • Act on reported breaches of rules, policies and guidelines
  • Act as a professional role model
  • Seek to promote the value of diversity
  • Present with credibility, engage varied audiences and test levels of understanding
  • Ability to translate technical and complex information
  • Take responsibility for delivering high quality customer-focused services
  • Understand customer perspectives and ensure responsiveness to their needs
  • Find opportunities to co-operate with internal and external parties across the community 
  • Negotiate from an informed and credible position
  • Lead and facilitate productive discussions with staff and stakeholders
  • Show sensitivity and understanding in resolving conflicts and differences
  • Pre-empt and minimise conflict
  • Complete work tasks to agreed budgets, timeframes and standards
  • Contribute to allocation of responsibilities and resources to ensure achievement of team goals
  • Anticipate and assess the impact of changes, such as government policy, economic conditions, on team objectives and initiate appropriate responses
  • Ensure current work plans and activities support and are consistent with organisational change initiatives
  • Research and analyse information, identify interrelationships and make recommendations based on relevant evidence
  • Identify and share business process improvements to enhance effectiveness
  • Assess work outcomes and identify and share learnings to inform future actions
  • Exercise delegations responsibly 
  • Understand and apply high standards of financial probity with public monies and other resources
  • Identify and implement safe work practices, taking a systematic risk management approach to ensure health and safety of self and others
  • Identify risks to successful achievement of goals, and take appropriate steps to mitigate those risks
  • Be aware of financial delegation principles and processes
  • Understand project goals, steps to be undertaken and expected outcomes
  • Negotiate clear performance standards and monitor progress
  • Provide regular constructive feedback to build on strengths and achieve results
  • Address and resolve team and individual performance issues, including unsatisfactory performance in a timely and effective way
  • Promote a sense of purpose within the team and enable others to understand the strategic direction of the organisation
  • Plan and monitor resource allocation effectively to achieve team/unit objectives
  • Participate in wider organisational workforce planning to ensure the availability of capable resources
  • Provide guidance, coaching and direction to others managing uncertainty and change

Future Prospects


You may like to think about advancing in this career, moving into senior roles  such as;


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, Crime Prevention Manager, Account Manager, Security Manager, Consultant, Safety Training Facilitator, Aged Care Coordinator, Area Coordinator and Managers in a variety of sectors.