Vancouver Police Officer

Recruitment FAQs

Have questions regarding VPD Police Officer, Jail Guard and Traffic Authority positions? We've got answers, with some common FAQs listed below.

Can't find the answer to your question below? Remember, you're applying to become an investigator – show us your investigative skill and review the VPD's recruitment web pages for the information you need.

If you're still not able to find the answer to your question, drop us an e-mail at recruiting@vpd.ca.


Q. I want to apply to become a Police Officer. What if I don't have one (or more) of the Basic Qualifications?

If you do not meet the Police Officer Basic Qualifications then you should not apply to the Vancouver Police Department. Your application will be immediately closed. You may wish to consider applying as a Jail Guard or Traffic Authority member where the qualifications are different.

Q. I don't have 30 post secondary credits, but I have training in another area. Can I receive an exemption for the educational requirement?

Educational exemptions for Police Officer positions are granted, but only in very rare circumstances. The Sergeant in charge of the Recruiting Unit will consider requests on a case by case basis.

If you can demonstrate that your training could be transferable to a college or university in British Columbia for academic credits, then we may consider your request. For example, some courses in the building trades might be transferable towards a university level Engineering program.

In the past, we have granted exemptions for areas like military courses and paramedic training. However these candidates also possessed several other desirable traits and life experience.

If you're still working towards obtaining your 30 credits, consider applying to be a Jail Guard or Traffic Authority member. You'll gain experience and have a flexible schedule where you can continue your post secondary studies.

Q. I am colour blind. Can I apply to be a Police Officer?

Unfortunately, no. Colour blindness is an automatic medical disqualifier. You should have your eye doctor administer the Farnsworth D-15 examination, which is the test we use for colour blindness. You may still be able to apply as a Jail Guard if you are colour blind.

Q. What if my education took place in another country?

Education gained at an institution outside of Canada must be comparatively evaluated for Police Officer positions. International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) can evaluate your education and compare it to Canadian standards. You need to submit your original education transcripts, as well as the evaluation by ICES with your application.


Q. How can I get an application?

Applications can only be obtained by attending an Information Session.

Q. Can I apply for more than one position (Police Officer, Jail Guard, Traffic Authority)?

Yes. When you attend the Information Session, just pick up one application form, which covers all three positions. You can also note in your cover letter which process(es) you're interested in – for example, several Jail Guards also work as Traffic Authority members. There is no need to submit more than one application form.

If you're not sure about which position(s) to apply for, just indicate this in your cover letter; a Recruiting Unit Detective will assess your file and place you in the most appropriate competition.

Q. How long does it take to complete the Police Officer recruiting selection process?

There is no set answer, however on average it takes between six and eighteen months to make it through the process.

Q. What is the average age of successful Police Officer candidates?

The average age of successful candidates is approximately 27. The minimum age that candidates can apply is 19. There is no maximum age; however, applicants that are participating in our process at an age that is well above our average must keep in mind the competitiveness of our process, which includes rigorous physical testing and a medical examination.

Q. How do I sign up for a POPAT or COPAT drop-in?

To attend a POPAT or COPAT drop-in session, please contact the VPD's Athletic Therapist, Rebecca Swan.

In order to attend, your blue application form must be on file with the Recruiting Unit. You can also attend if you're a current volunteer or employee with the VPD. Please note there is a fee to attend the drop-in session.

Q. I ran the POPAT (Police Officers Physical Abilities Test) with another police department. Can my score transfer over?

We do not accept any of the testing – written exam, Police Officers Physical Abilities Test (POPAT), etc. – done by other agencies. The only exception to this rule is your score at the Assessment Centre, as this is conducted by the JIBC Police Academy.

Q. What if I have used drugs in the past?

Each candidate's experimentation is evaluated in totality and on an individual basis. Our selection process is very thorough and includes several in-depth interviews, a polygraph examination, and a background investigation. Keep in mind that one of the criteria we evaluate our candidates on is life experience. When a candidate discloses illegal activity, we will discuss the incident or activity with you. A selection committee will evaluate the activity and a disposition will be determined. Complete disclosure throughout our process is crucial to a successful application.


Q. I've heard you have to pay to attend the Police Academy. How much is the tuition?

The current tuition at the JIBC Police Academy is $10,400. Recruits must also have a laptop computer for classes. This pricing is set by the JIBC and the VPD does not control the cost of the tuition. Recruits may qualify for a loan through the Vancouver Police Credit Union.

Q. Should I obtain any specialized training prior to attending the Police Academy?

Generally, no – areas like firearms and advanced driver training are NOT required prior to training. The Police Academy will train you to its standard. You should concentrate on being physically fit and having strong study skills.

Exempt Officers (Current Serving Police Officer in Another Jurisdiction)

Q. Are you hiring exempt officers right now?

We have no set entry dates for exempt officers. However we accept resumes from exempt officers at all times. If you're a current serving police officer with questions about coming to the VPD as an exempt, see Exempt Candidates or contact recruiting@vpd.ca.

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Other FAQs

See the VPD's list of general frequently asked questions (FAQs).