VicPol Corporate

Eligibility requirements for protective services officers (PSOs)

Learn about the eligibility requirements Victoria Police is looking for in our protective services officer applicants.

All protective services officer (PSO) candidates must ensure that they meet these entry requirements prior to applying.

Entry requirements

  • Victoria Police as an employer has no tolerance for illicit or illegal drug use by an employee and applicant either in their work or private life.

    All applicants will be subject to random drug testing during the recruitment process.

    Victoria Police conducts extensive background checks on protective services officer applicants throughout the selection process.

    Code of conduct and prior behaviour

    All Victoria Police employees follow a code of conduct regardless of rank, position or title. Victoria Police conducts extensive background checks on applicants during the selection process.

    All applicants need to align with the code of conduct expected of our employees. That means the application process involves a thorough assessment to identify any:

    • prior misconduct
    • corruption
    • or any form of improper conduct.

    The ongoing expectation is that you understand and avoid misconduct, and immediately report it should you become aware of it in others.

    This helps keep Victoria Police an ethical organisation for our employees and the community we serve.

    Prior offences and Voluntary Disclosure Form (VDF)

    Your previous history will be continually checked and assessed. Failure to declare information may result in automatic cancellation of your application.

    If you have any of the following, we recommend that you submit a Voluntary Disclosure Form (VDF) prior to submitting an application:

    • prior convictions
    • cautions
    • diversions
    • good behaviour bonds
    • or excessive driving offences.

    This will allow you 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.

    Instructions for submitting your Voluntary Disclosure Form (VDF)

    Submit your VDF using a desktop computer or laptop.

    To successfully submit this document, please click on the link below. You can then save this form to your computer before completing your responses.

    If you have any contact with police during the selection process, you must inform the Recruiting Services Branch immediately via email:

  • Individuals 18 years of age and over are eligible to apply.

    There are no specific pre-requisite subject requirements and no Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) requirement.

  • The Victoria Police Act stipulates that you must be an Australian citizen or hold Australian permanent residency to join Victoria Police.

    New Zealand citizens are required to have a Special Category visa and be residing in Australia to submit an application.

    On application to Victoria Police, you are obliged to provide proof of citizenship, permanent residency or Special Category visa status.

  • As a protective services officer, you will be required to maintain a healthy level of cardio fitness and physical strength in order to meet the physical requirements of the job.

    As part of the recruitment process, you will be required to undertake a fitness test and once employed with Victoria Police you will be required to undertake regular fitness testing.

    It is important to establish an ongoing schedule of exercise to maintain your fitness whilst undertaking the application process and while you are employed by Victoria Police.

    Prepare for the fitness test with the Victoria Police fitness app. The app contains instructive videos, fitness tips and training programs. Find out more on our POLICE FIT app page.

  • As a protective services officer, you will be required to have a current First Aid certificate whilst undertaking your training and while you are deployed in the field.

    Therefore, prior to induction, applicants must have obtained a Level 1 First Aid Certificate with CPR. Level 1 HLTAID010 or Level 2 HLTAID011.

    This certificate needs to be valid at the time of training and for a further 12 months after the completion of training.

    Renewal of the CPR component of the First Aid Certificate is also required on a cyclical basis.

    All costs associated with obtaining First Aid Certification will be incurred by the applicant.

  • As a protective services officer, you will be required to meet the minimum medical requirements in order to safely and effectively perform the role.

    As part of your application, you will be required to undertake a medical evaluation. This will include a self-assessment, an examination by a GP, a review of your hearing by an audiologist or audiometrist and your vision by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

    You may also be requested to provide specialist reports depending on your medical history.

    If you have any concerns regarding your eligibility based on a medical condition, please consult the Medical Standards.

    If your question is still unanswered, please complete the following form.

    Failure to completely disclose information will result in the cancellation of your application.

  • As a protective services officer, you will be expected to communicate clearly, effectively and professionally and negotiate confidently.

    One of the fundamental skills a protective services officer requires is the ability to communicate effectively. It is critical that our members have the ability to give and receive verbal information in sometimes stressful situations. If an applicant is identified during the process as having a possible issue in this area, they are given the opportunity to participate in a process to assess their level of verbal communication skills in the context of operational suitability and safety.

    Your communication skills, verbal and written, will be assessed at various stages of the recruitment process.

    Applicants who are deemed not competent are advised to expose themselves to as many situations as possible which will develop their communication skills to a level that will see them succeed in any subsequent attempt at the recruiting process.

  • During the selection process you will be asked to declare associations. An inappropriate association is an association with a person or organisation suspected of, or known to be engaged in, or have a history of, unlawful activity.

    These associations will reflect on community perceptions of your integrity and ability to use authority with integrity. They may also put you in a position where associates attempt to ask you to forgo your duty or otherwise compromise your integrity as an employee of Victoria Police.

    It is important that Victoria Police are aware of any association or potential conflict of interest which may compromise you or reflect adversely on the organisation. These could be family, friends, members of recreational clubs or other people you associate with. During the application you will be required to declare these.

    In some cases a management plan may be put in place, in others the association should be terminated. Failure to disclose any information in the applicant process may result in your application not proceeding or subject you to termination of employment.

  • Police work is a unique vocation that places demands on individuals that are not apparent in most other jobs. To make sure we get the right people for the job we have a very stringent assessment process which includes an assessment of work history and the way in which our applicants perform in a professional and contemporary employment setting.

    Whilst each application is unique, we expect applicants to have shown through their employment history, a willingness to work and the initiative and drive to source consistent employment. The assessment of work history is conducted early in the process as it is a very good predictor of ultimate success. A number of assessments later in the process including the video screening interview, 1:1 psych interview and panel all require the applicants to relate lived experiences to answer the behavioural questions that are posed. If the applicants do not have contemporary experience gained mainly from employment, they are unlikely to succeed, hence our recommendation that applicants are in some form of paid employment during the process. The initial employment assessment is a screening point in the process to ensure that the Recruiting Services Branch utilises its resources on the most competitive applications.

    Not holding employment at the specific time of application is not an automatic exclusion if their previous work history satisfies that requirement of work ethic and drive. This certainly applies to applicants who have finished up in one field and are looking for a career change or returning from a break due to parenting responsibilities.

    Applying after a period of full time parenting

    If you are returning to work after a period of full time parenting it is recommended that you secure customer facing work experience before applying so that you can demonstrate your ability to hold professional responsibilities in conjunction with your lifestyle as well as provide recent work examples during the recruitment process. if you have been away from the workforce for a short period of family/parenting leave, your work experience prior to undertaking parenting responsibilities will be assessed.

    Applying straight after high school

    Not every 18 year old will be ready to apply, but those who make great officers are gathering life experience while they are in high school.

    We do not require pre-requisite subject selection, however any subjects that develop communication skills, languages and fitness are very useful.

    The following suggestions will help younger applicants develop the life experience we expect to see in our applicants.

    1. part-time work experience in a customer service environment – provides exposure to people from all walks of life and develops communication, teamwork and conflict resolution skills, eg. working at McDonald's
    2. volunteer experience – develops community mindedness and communication skills, eg. working at the local surf lifesaving club or community centre
    3. sporting club experience – develops teamwork, communication and leadership skills and a healthy level of fitness which is required for the job
    4. overseas travel – exposure to other cultures, religions, languages and fosters independence and assertiveness

    If you are intending on applying once reaching the age of 18 having attained your high school VCE or VCAL, we strongly recommend that you seek to increase your customer service paid work to full time hours while going through the recruitment process.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status

While no longer mandatory, Victoria Police strongly recommends all employees remain up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Reviewed 23 November 2023

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