VicPol Corporate

Police Custody Officers – recruitment process

The following information takes you step by step through the PCO recruitment process so that you are informed and prepared for what’s ahead.

Recruitment process

  • In the first stage of the recruitment process, you will be required to submit an application online. The application form will consist of:

    • personal details
    • education history
    • history of prior offences and dealings with police
    • key selection criteria
    • location preferences
    • resume

    Victoria Police conducts extensive background checks on Police Custody Officer applicants during the selection process. Your previous history will be continually checked and assessed and failure to declare information may result in automatic cancellation of your application.

    If you have any prior convictions, cautions, diversions, good behaviour bonds or driving offences and are unsure, then it is advisable that you contact the PCO Employment Team prior to submitting an application to find out whether your prior history is likely to disqualify you from being considered for the role. All offences, including those that were committed as a juvenile must be disclosed in your application.

    All costs associated with travel to and from assessment venues/stages will be the responsibility of the applicant, including costs to conduct a sum of skin folds test (if required), medical appointments, a working with children check and first aid certification.

    In addition, if you have any contact with police during the selection process, you must inform the PCO Employment Team immediately via email: pcoemployment@police.vic.gov.au

    For further information regarding the recruitment process, you may be interested in attending an information session.

    Uniform and appearance standards

    Victoria Police employees are required to project an image that is consistent with a professional and disciplined law enforcement agency. Therefore employees’ clothing, grooming and personal accessories: must project a favourable image of Victoria Police as a professional and disciplined organisation; and must not be extreme or detract from the need to present as employees of a professional and disciplined organisation.

    Applicants with tattoos/body art on the head, face, neck or hands should contact pcoemployment@police.vic.gov.au

    Members are permitted to wear the following items of jewellery: wrist watches, minimal rings of conservative style and emergency medical alert bracelets or pendants. Wearing of other jewellery, ornaments, adornments or accessories is not permitted. This includes, earrings, spacers, any facial/body piercing, plugs, tunnels, bars, chains, dental grills, etc.

  • Once your application is received, Victoria Police will perform background checks on your prior offences and dealings with police. Any other official background checks completed previously will not be accepted.

  • Once your application is assessed, you may be shortlisted to attend an assessment day. The assessment day will comprise of:

    1. fitness testing
    2. cognitive and job skills testing
    3. psychological screening

    See the:

    PCO assessment booklet

    Prior to attending the Assessment Day, applicants will need to visit their General Practitioner and get them to sign a form that confirms that the applicant is physically able to undertake the fitness testing. 

    You could be invited to attend the fitness testing of the recruitment process soon after applying. Therefore, it's important to ensure that you have watched the fitness test video and are ready to pass the fitness test on submitting your application.

    FITNESS TESTING

    • beep test (5.01)
    • Illinois agility run (20 seconds)
    • grip test (30kg in each hand)
    • push ups (five successive push ups on toes)
    • prone bridge (hold for 60 seconds)

    Play the beep test audio.

    Cognitive and job skills testing

    Cognitive skills assessment

    The Verbal and Numeracy Skills tests are designed to measure verbal and numerical abilities as demonstrated by the capacity to see relationships and solve problems.

    The tests are primarily intended as a measure of general ability for selection into occupations that involve a moderate to high level of demand on reasoning ability, and for other purposes where the ability to think clearly with words and numbers is involved. While the questions involve the use of words and numbers, the level of knowledge required is within that of most people who have completed Year 10.

    The Abstract Reasoning test is included in order to give a balanced measure of general cognitive ability.

    Literacy skills test

    The literacy skills test assesses reading comprehension and ability to recognise correct use of grammar and spelling. For this assessment, applicants are required to answer 50 multiple choice questions.

    Numeracy Skills test

    The Numeracy assessment measures your ability to understand, use, apply and interpret problems where mathematics is embedded in a context.

    We are an organisation that supports reasonable adjustments to assist candidates through the recruitment process. Should you require any reasonable adjustments to sit the cognitive and job skills testing components, please apply for special testing conditions via email as soon as possible. All requests need to be submitted no later than 14 business days before the date of the assessment. For conditions that occurred after the application deadline, please contact the ACER office for advice on 03 9277 5555.

    Psychological screening

    Applicants will be required to undertake a psychological test battery comprising of two separate tests:

    First test: 60 questions
    Second test: 344 questions

    The psychometric tests are online computerised assessments and will take applicants approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete both tests. Should you require any reasonable adjustments for these assessments, please  contact  the PCO Employment Team on (03) 8335 6204 or via email pcoemployment@police.vic.gov.au.

  • As the role of a Police Custody Officer can be psychologically demanding, all applicants must complete psychological testing.

    Victoria Police utilise a suite of tests to assess candidates' psychological suitability. The results of the tests are interpreted the Victoria Police Psychology Unit, who provide recommendations to the Police Custody Officer Employment Team. 

    Following the test, all applicants will be required to attend a one-on-one interview with a psychologist to further assess their suitability for the Police Custody Officer role. This is a normal part of the process and its purpose is to obtain further information to assist in the interpretation of the test results.

  • After applicants have been deemed suitable / competitive following on from the Assessment Day, they will be issued with a medical booklet.

    Applicants will be given two weeks from receiving the medical booklet to return it and therefore we advise that any applicant being invited to the Assessment Day pre-empts this by setting up their medical appointments 1 week after. All costs associated with this stage will be incurred by the applicant.

    If you have any concerns regarding your eligibility based on a medical condition, please consult the medical guidelines in the first instance and if your question is still unanswered, please complete the

  • The comprehensive checks are completed to create a more in-depth analysis of each applicant’s prior history and associations. We will also perform employment checks at this point in time which will include some referees from past employers.

    A final referee check with your current employer won’t be completed until after the interview stage of the selection process.

  • The interview will be the final part of the recruitment process for the Police Custody Officer position. The interview will be conducted at the location where you are being considered for the role. There will be 2 to 3 people who will sit on the panel and the interview questions will comprise of:

    1. motivational questions
    2. behavioural questions (based on the VPS capability framework)
    3. scenario based questions

    For tips on how to prepare for your interview, please see:

  • If you are successful in the recruitment process and pass your panel interview, you will go into the PCO Talent Pool.

    Once a position becomes available at your preferred station, you will be invited into a squad to commence your 8 weeks training at Victoria Police Academy.

    We will endeavour to provide you with 4 weeks’ notice before beginning your training.

    Final offers will be made after checks have been conducted to confirm that applicants are still deemed of good character and reputation.

Reviewed 19 November 2020