Tactical Operations Unit (TOU) (NSW Police)

Job Description

Police Officers have a responsibility to protect public life and property. 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.

You can specialise in other roles while working for NSW Police, such as working in specialist commands.  These specialist roles operate within a Specific Command or Unit.  Specialist commands are exciting avenues you can take in progressing your career within the NSW Police Force.  One such Specialist Command role is within the Tactical Operations Unit.  Once you reach the rank of Senior Constable you are eligible to apply for a role in the Tactical Operations Unit, providing you can meet the eligibility requirements, pass relevant examinations and undergo specialised further training.   The TOU and Negotiations Unit work together, with the primary objective being the safe resolution of high risk situations, without loss of life, injury to persons or damage to property.  TOU variety of situations include:

  • Suicide intervention
  • Sieges
  • Kidnap and extortion
  • Protests
  • Counter terrorism incidents

Read about all other Specialist Command Roles here


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.  

Once you reach the rank of Senior Constable you are eligible to apply for a role in the Tactical Operations Unit providing you can meet the eligibility requirements, pass relevant examinations and undergo specialised further training.  To become a Tactical Operations Operative, an Officer must first meet a set medical and fitness standards. They must then undergo intensive training at the NSW Police Academy, Goulburn. 


  • Assertive
  • Calm
  • Communicator
  • Ethical
  • Honest
  • Interpersonal
  • Initiative
  • Open-minded
  • Resilient
  • Responsible
  • Secure

Key Skills

  • 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
  • Research and analyse information and make recommendations based on relevant evidence
  • Be willing to seek out input from others and share own ideas to achieve best outcomes
  • Take responsibility and be accountable for own actions
  • Understand delegations and act within authority levels
  • 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
  • Use financial and other resources responsibly, showing awareness of financial delegation principles and processes
  • Understand compliance obligations related to using resources and recording financial transactions
  • Apply practical skills in the use of relevant technology
  • Make effective use of records, information and knowledge management functions and systems
  • Contribute to developing team capability and recognise potential in people
  • Recognise performance issues that need to be addressed and seek appropriate advice
  • Assist team to understand organisational direction and explain the reasons behind decisions

Future Prospects

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;


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, Fire FighterCrime Prevention Manager, Correctional OfficerAccount Manager, Security Manager, Consultant, Safety Training Facilitator, Trainer & AssessorAged Care Coordinator, Area Coordinator and Managers in a variety of sectors.