VicPol Corporate

Police Custody Officers – about the role

Learn about the roles and responsibilities of a Police Custody Officer working for Victoria Police.

The role responsibilities of a PCO are to:

  • perform all duties relating to the management of persons in the custody of Victoria Police
  • ensure the health, wellbeing, safety and supervision of persons in custody, staff and visitors
  • liaise with internal and external stakeholders regarding the management, transport, offsite attendance or video links for persons in custody
  • carry out all prisoner management functions in accordance with legislation, and established policies and procedures, including preparing routine correspondence, attendance registers, creation of reports and other administrative tasks while ensuring appropriate follow-up action is taken when required

PCOs must be available to be rostered on rotating shifts to perform day, afternoon and night shifts. Shifts last for 8.06 hours and include a half hour meal break. The start and finish times may vary depending on location:

  • day shift: commencing between 6am and 10am
  • afternoon shift: commencing between 2pm and 6pm
  • night shift: commencing between 10pm and 12 midnight

The PCO role is suited to people who are attracted to a career that is stable and who are able to undertake shift work. A healthy level of cardio fitness and physical strength is required for this role.

PCOs will mostly be working with persons in custody, and this will require maturity and knowing how to communicate and react to situations. This role is stimulating so you need to know how to multi-task and manage your time well.

PCOs need to adhere to standard procedures and rules. They also need to possess good computer, communication and interpersonal skills. Further, they need to demonstrate that they are of good character and reputation and that they are able to put their personal beliefs aside to deal with anyone in their custody.

PCO about the role

  • The Supervising PCO role provides an opportunity to work in a leadership capacity in the custody area. You will be a valued member of the local Police team and play a crucial role in the management and welfare of persons in custody.

    Supervising PCOs coordinate the day-to-day operations of a PCO team. The Supervising PCO role offers a stimulating, challenging and rewarding career.

    The role accountabilities include to:

    • supervise and coordinate the day-to-day operations of a team of PCOs, including monitoring quality-of- service delivery to ensure that events/processing occur in a timely manner
    • oversee the health, well-being, safety and supervision of persons in custody, Victoria Police staff and visitors
    • carry out prisoner management functions for more complex prisoners, in accordance with legislation, and established policies and procedures
    • monitor, supervise and undertake administrative and personnel functions, providing leadership, motivation, mentoring, performance management and coordination of training activities to team members
    • give evidence in court when required

    PCOs work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The shifts that a Supervising PCO works will depend on local requirements.

    Supervising PCOs are stationed at 15 locations around Victoria:

    • Ballarat
    • Bendigo
    • Broadmeadows
    • Dandenong
    • Frankston
    • Geelong
    • Heidelberg
    • Mildura
    • Mill Park
    • Morwell
    • Moorabbin
    • Ringwood
    • Shepparton
    • Sunshine
    • Wangaratta

    The application process is the same as for the PCO role. However, potential Supervising PCOs will be further assessed on their leadership capabilities and experience.

  • Successful applicants that have no prior experience in managing persons in custody are required to complete a foundation course. However, people who do have prior experience in managing persons in custody may be eligible to undergo a recognised current competency course.

    Foundation course

    The Foundation Course is eight weeks in duration.

    Custody administration

    Weeks 1 to 3: Custody administration – first week observational shift on Friday

    Week 4: Workplace placement – no direct contact with detainees

    Persons in custody well-being

    Weeks 5 to 6: Persons in custody well-being issues and assessment

    Week 7: Workplace placement – direct contact with detainees

    Week 8: Incident management, self-awareness training, offender well-being simulation

    Weeks 9 to 20: On-the-job training following operational learning framework

    Training at the Victoria Police Academy requires dedication and a commitment to success. The training is rigorous, disciplined and thorough, it is also physically, academically and mentally demanding.

    The Victoria Police Academy is on View Mount Road, Glen Waverley.

    Academy training hours are usually 7.30am to 4.10pm Monday to Friday, but these hours may vary to include evening and weekend work.

    We encourage employees to have a healthy work-life balance during their time at the Academy. Study at the Academy is challenging and you'll need the support of your friends and family and will want to see them after a long week.

    It is not compulsory to live-in while undertaking training. You may travel each day to the Victoria Police Academy in Glen Waverley to complete your training. However recruits who live further than 30km from the Academy may elect to live in.

    If you are required to live away from home during the training that takes place at the Police Academy, you will be offered accommodation in the Academy grounds. While living at the Academy, you will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner and be eligible to receive payment for incidentals.

    Victoria Police has made a strong commitment to supporting students from diverse backgrounds while studying at the Academy. Download the flyer for information on:

    The Academy Smoking Policing provides for a smoke-free environment for all employees at Victoria Police Academy, except for two designated smoking points. This applies to all employees, visitors and contractors while on the Academy premises. Smoking is only be permitted during designated breaks at the nominated smoking points.

  • Victoria Police offers a challenging and rewarding career serving the Victorian community. As an employee of Victoria Police you will be entrusted with considerable authority and responsibility. To ensure all employees use this authority professionally, fairly, with accountability and with the highest level of integrity, you will be subject to legislation and policy requirements that prescribe expected standards of behaviour. It is important that you understand how this will impact on your personal and professional life prior to committing to the application process.

    The Victoria Police Act 2013 imposes a duty on all employees to be of good behaviour, not only while on duty, but at all other times. Actions committed during your personal time may affect your ongoing employment and see you face internal discipline or criminal proceedings.

    Your conduct, both on and off duty, reflects on yourself and on Victoria Police. This behaviour must be of a high standard and demonstrate the values of Victoria Police. The following Organisational Values underpin Victoria Police's policies, procedures and practices, and provide guidance on how employees are to interact with the community and each other.


    • focused on the health, safety and wellbeing of our people


    • act with honesty, respecting the right of fair process for all
    • maintain confidentiality and respect those we deal with
    • demonstrate moral strength and courage and behave with honour and impartiality


    • are approachable and consistent when dealing with colleagues, partners and the community – and apply fair process
    • strongly commit to the values of the organisation and make timely decisions guided by values and evidence
    • guide, trust, develop and empower colleagues and inspire participation and commitment through a shared vision


    • be open minded and adaptive to change
    • adopt an attitude of continuous improvement
    • encourage creativity and welcome differences
    • build partnerships with our community and practice tolerance


    • accept diversity with tolerance and understanding
    • listen with patience, value opinions and provide feedback and appreciative of and acknowledge the efforts of others
    • inspire confidence through ethical and fair treatment of others ensuring that our actions are not unlawfully discriminatory


    • recognise and reward service and care for the wellbeing of employees
    • provide empathy in a timely and genuine manner
    • promote professional and career development


    • accept responsibility, show commitment and lead by example
    • achieve and contribute to the professional knowledge pool
    • are accountable to both our internal and external customers
    • maintain high personal standards, taking pride in our appearance and conduct
    • communicate openly, honestly and consistently
    • are transparent in our delivery and strive for service excellence

    You should familiarise yourself with the Victoria Police Code of Conduct – Professional & Ethical Standards, and other integrity related polices to ensure you understand the required standard of behaviour. See the download:

    The Code of Conduct will give potential employees an understanding of how to identify situations and associations which may lead to inappropriate perceptions or conflicts of interest.

    During the application process and your period of employment with Victoria Police, you will be tested for drugs and alcohol. You must be completely sober while on duty, or required to be available for duty.

    You also must be free of illegal drugs at all times, both on and off duty. If you are taking any prescribed medications, you must ensure that these are disclosed in your application's medical report.

    As a Police Custody Officer of Victoria Police you will be required to adhere to a uniform and appearance policy which encompasses maintaining a neat and tidy appearance. These standards apply for health and safety reasons and because members, particularly in uniform, are contributing to Victoria Police's image and reputation as a professional and disciplined organisation. Hair is to be clean, tidy and neatly trimmed.

    Members may seek an exemption to the authorised uniform and appearance policy based on genuine medical, cultural or religious grounds, which will need to be applied for prior to being inducted into the Victoria Police Academy.

    Victoria Police employees are unable to obtain secondary employment without approval from the Chief Commissioner. Approval will not be granted where the employment conflicts with your role as a Victoria Police employee.

    • Police Custody Officers will be subject to a probation period of six months
    • Police Custody Officers will be required to undertake training and fitness testing as determined by Victoria Police
    • applicants will be required to undergo drug and alcohol testing
    • Police Custody Officers will be required to complete the OHS requirements of the organisation, which may include local level training relating to equipment usage and hazardous chemicals
  • Employees working within Victoria Police are bound by the Victorian Public Service Workplace Determination 2020. All Salary levels and increment levels are listed from page 154 of the Victorian Public Service Enterprise Agreement 2020.

    During the eight weeks of foundation training or five weeks of recognised current competency training, PCOs will be paid $51,616 + 9.5% superannuation per annum.

    Following on from the training, PCOs will receive $53,280 + 9.5% superannuation annually.

    In addition to their normal salary, PCOs will also receive penalty shifts allowances if they work the following shifts:

    Monday to Friday

    • afternoon shift – 15% x hourly rate
    • night shift – 20% x hourly rate


    • day/afternoon/night shift – 50% x hourly rate


    • day/afternoon/night shift – 100% x hourly rate

    Public holidays

    • day/afternoon/night shift – 150% x hourly rate or 50% x hourly rate + 1 day in lieu accrued

    Working for Victoria Police provides access to many social and sporting clubs. See Police Sports Social Associations

    Spotlight on

Reviewed 30 July 2021

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