Becoming a Police Officer

Before you apply

Please ensure you are aware of and meet ALL requirements involved in becoming a police officer. If you have any questions regarding the Police Services Act requirements or the medical/physical standards, be sure to contact the police service you intend on applying to.

For clarification, please see our Frequently Asked Questions in the footer tab.

Policing in Ontario

Policing in Ontario

As a police officer, you play a key role in ensuring public safety, crime prevention, and community well-being. How you perform your daily duties impacts society and is critical to achieving a safer community. Much of your career will be based on relationship building with the members of your communities and working together to improve safety. As a police officer, you will have many opportunities beyond general patrol duties that are critical to public safety and well-being. These opportunities include specialized investigative and enforcement functions such as protective policing, detective services, drug enforcement, homicide investigation, tactical and canine support, organized crime enforcement, and many more!

Police officers are bound and governed by federal and provincial legislation and regulation. In Ontario, police officers are subject to a declaration of principles which governs them. It is imperative that all new police officers are aware of their responsibilities and authorities that are derived from the current Police Services Act (and the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019, which will come into effect on January 1, 2021), including the authority it permits for municipalities to possess and provide police services in Ontario.

Click here for the link to visit the current Police Services Act 1990

Click here for the link to visit the upcoming Comprehensive Police Services Act. (In effect January 2021)

Constable Selection System

The hiring process for police officers is both extensive and exhaustive for very good reasons. In Ontario, community safety and well-being is a priority which requires us to select the most suitable applicants for the role of police officer. Therefore, police services have chosen to adopt an intensive hiring process focused on attaining the best applicants. The average police constable selection process can range from 5 to 10 stages. Be sure to check with the police service you intend to apply to in order to ensure you are familiar with and prepared for their process. The new standard OACP Constable Selection System is outlined in the diagram below.

Appointment of Police Officer

Before you start your OACP Certificate Process, please ensure you read all requirements below.

The Police Services Act requirements are found below.

Appointment of police officer shall consist of:

Criteria for hiring

43 (1) No person shall be appointed as a police officer unless he or she,

(a)  is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;

(b)  is at least eighteen years of age;

(c)  is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position, having regard to his or her own safety and the safety of members of the public;

(d)  is of good moral character and habits; and

(e)  has successfully completed at least four years of secondary school education or its equivalent.  R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15, s. 43 (1).

In addition, you must:

  • possess a valid driver’s license with no more than six accumulated demerit points permitting you to drive an automobile in Ontario with full driving privileges;
  • have current certification in CPR and first aid by the time the offer of employment is issued; and
  • be able to pass a security clearance as well as background investigation, credit, and reference checks.

Note: If you have any criminal convictions under a federal statute, you must obtain a pardon. If you have ‘Findings of Guilt,’ which have resulted in absolute or conditional discharges, the records must be ‘sealed’ by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Local Needs of Police Services

Apart from the competencies, individual police services may also require certain special skills and abilities in order to address issues pertaining to the service or the community. A local need may be a second language, a special type or level of computer skills or prior experience in working with victims and/or members of a vulnerable community. 

Medical Standards

Vision and Hearing Standards

Vision Minimum Standards

Uncorrected visual acuity should be at least 6/12 (20/40) binocularly (both eyes open). Corrected visual acuity should at least be 6/6 (20/20) binocularly. There are additional minimum requirements regarding farsightedness (hyperopia), color vision, peripheral vision, refractive surgeries, ocular diseases, and other vision-related conditions. 

Hearing Minimum Standards

For each ear, pure-tone thresholds measured under audiometric earphones shall not exceed a four-frequency average (500, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 Hz) of 25 dB HL, thresholds at none of these single frequencies shall exceed 35 dB HL and thresholds at 4000 Hz shall not exceed 45 dB HL. Candidates may also be required to undergo a speech recognition test as part of their hearing assessment.

This is a quick overview of the minimum hearing and vision standards for the Province. Please note that these standards may differ between police services. For a full and in-depth explanation of all medical standards, please see the medical examination package by clicking the  button below.

Click here for our Medical Examination Package

Physical Standards

As part of the OACP Certificate, you will be provided a fitness log that must be completed prior to your application to your prospective police service. This fitness log is to draw attention to the importance of fitness in the realm of policing. This fitness log is strictly part of the pre-employment stage.

Please note that all police services reserve the right to test you with their own independent fitness assessment. Please ensure you check with the police service you will be applying to regarding their physical assessment requirements.

Ontario Police College Physical Component

As of September 2019, all applicants that have been offered a pre-employment letter by a police service will be required to successfully pass the PREP (Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police) during their Basic Constable Training course at the Ontario Police College. The Ontario Police College is located in Aylmer, Ontario, which is the official training facility for all police constables across the Province.