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Police Officers : The Job | Qualifications | The Process | Training | Exempt Candidates | Information Sessions | Recruitment FAQs

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The Process

It may be daunting to look at our eleven step selection process. It is lengthy and thorough, and designed to select only the best applicants. From start to finish, it will take you, on average, between six and eighteen months.

We will be asking a lot of you as an applicant, but in the end the reward is significant.

1. Attend an Information Session

Attending one of our monthly Information Sessions at the JIBC Police Academy is your first step.

Information sessions are held monthly on the second Saturday of the month. Here you can find out more about a career in policing and have the chance to speak one on one with a Recruiting Unit member.

Attending the Information Session is the only way to pick up an application to join the VPD.

2. Entrance Exam

Once you submit your application and it is reviewed, you'll be invited to write the VPD's entrance exam.

The exam sits on Saturday mornings and is three hours long. It is written at a Grade 12 level and will test you on grammar, spelling, composition, comprehension and mathematics. It also includes a section on memory and short essay responses.

Remember, it is a handwritten exam with no spell check or calculators. Errors in spelling and grammar will result in marks being deducted from your score. Even applicants with university degrees find this exam challenging. A pass mark of 60% is required for Police Officer applicants.

See Sample Written Exam (PDF) for some sample questions.

3. Integrity and Lifestyle Questionnaire

Following the exam you'll be given two sets of forms to fill out at home. Our Personal Disclosure Form and Applicant Questionnaire will ask a series of questions about who you are as a person and your background.

Please take the time to fill these forms out properly (and legibly) and read the directions carefully. You should provide detailed answers where applicable. Some applicants make the mistake of withholding information they feel isn't important. This could be construed as deceit, which will result in your removal from the process. It is important you be completely forthright throughout the application process.

Once a Recruiting Unit Detective reviews your forms, and presuming there are no issues, you will be invited to take part in the physical testing.

4. Physical Testing

The Physical Testing consists of a 1.5 mile (2.4km) run in Stanley Park and completion of the Police Officers Physical Abilities Test (POPAT), a job specific obstacle course.

The run must be completed in under 12 minutes and the POPAT in under 4:15. A grip strength test and a weight carry test are also conducted.

The POPAT can be a challenge, particularly if you haven't trained properly or done the test before. We encourage our applicants to attend drop in sessions to prepare for both the run and the POPAT. A nominal fee applies to the POPAT drop in sessions.

 

5. Intake Interview

The Intake Interview is a pivotal stage of the process, where a Recruiting Unit Detective will interview you and review your disclosure forms and personal history.

The interview will assess your integrity, problem-solving abilities, respect for diversity, community service orientation, self-initiative and acceptance of responsibility. It includes questions on your understanding of policing and why you have chosen policing as a career.

While it's always important to make a good impression, this interview is where it can count most.

The interview can be lengthy. Expect to spend several hours and plan your day accordingly. 

6. Psychological Testing

Immediately following the intake interview, you'll do a written psychological exam.

The written psychological exam isn't a test you can study or prepare for, and the Recruiting Unit Detective will explain how the exam works.

7. Assessment Centre

The Assessment Centre is full day at the Police Academy where applicants go through a variety of role playing exercises designed to examine a variety of personal dimensions essential in policing.

Using coaches or businesses familiar with the JIBC Assessment Centre is not recommended, as it will impact the validity of your score and possibly decrease your chances of a successful application.

The assessors are experienced police officers who have been specially trained to conduct the Assessment Centre.

The Assessment Centre is designed to examine your personal behaviour and skills. It is not an event that you can study or prepare for and the most important thing you can do is be yourself.

8. Polygraph Examination

A specially trained VPD Sergeant will conduct the polygraph exam.

It is important to note we conduct a pre-employment polygraph, not a criminal interrogation. If you have been honest and up front throughout the application process, you should have no concerns about the polygraph stage. In fact, many applicants find it an interesting experience.

9. Medical Examination

A physician contracted by the City of Vancouver conducts the VPD's recruitment medical exam.

You will need to have a medical questionnaire completed by your own physician prior to the exam. A visual acuity test is also performed.

This is the only stage of the application process where you will need to pay. The medical exam costs around $400.

10. Sergeant's Interview 

The Sergeant in charge of the Recruiting Unit will conduct a complete review of your file to determine suitability.

At this stage of the process, you will need to provide a personal autobiography and a list of 30 references. Specific instructions will be given in advance so you know what exactly to provide.

11. Background Investigation

A Recruiting Unit Detective will be assigned to conduct a thorough investigation into your background.

The Detective will interview a variety of people from your life, including family, long-time friends, present and past employers and colleagues, neighbours, and landlords.

At the end of the background investigation, the Detective will prepare a detailed report which will be sent to the Deputy Chief Constable for final approval.

If approved, you'll get the phone call you've been waiting for since you began the process; that you're about to become a member of the Vancouver Police Department.

Swearing In Ceremony

After successfully completing the VPD's selection process, you'll be sworn in as a police officer with the VPD in a unique ceremony in front of your family and friends.

Watch Chief Constable Jim Chu as he talks about the process new recruits have just been through and the new challenges they're about to face.

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Exempt Candidates

See Exempt Candidates for information for police officers currently serving with another Canadian police agency who are interested in a career with the VPD.

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