Career Tips

How to join the South African Police Service (SAPS)

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) regularly calls on South African citizens from all walks of life between the ages of 18 and 30 to join the police service. 

The SAPS regularly embarks on a nationwide recruitment drive to seek these young people who are then offered an opportunity to work to ensure that the people of South Africa are safe.

It is often a fantastic opportunity when the youth of this country who are promising, disciplined and have the right attitude get a chance to become members of the South African Police Service.

Career opportunities at SAPS

The SAPS offers career opportunities in various fields. If you join the SAPS you can either become a police official or a civilian employee.

Police officials are employed in terms of the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995). Civilian employees are employed in terms of the Public Service Act, 1994 (Act No 103 of 1994). Most functional Police Officials are directly involved in preventing, combating or investigating crime.

The other Police officials and civilian personnel carry out support functions. Young people who possess leadership skills and regard themselves as honest, focused and highly driven, and are passionate about policing, must apply for such opportunities at every turn. 

Applicants must, however, ensure that they have never been caught on the wrong side of the law. Those who have a criminal record or pending criminal charges, as well as those who have previously served in a government department and were dismissed due to misconduct, should not apply.

SAPS often makes it clear that to ensure they enlist the “cream of the crop” and only the right people into the service, all applicants will be subjected to fitness, psychometric and integrity testing. There may also be medical evaluations during the recruitment, vetting and fingerprint verifications along the recruitment process.

Joining the police force

Fancy joining the SAPS to train as a police officer? Past recruitment adverts flighted by SAPS indicate that successful applicants often report for training in January for a period of 21 months.

Remuneration for the Induction Phase and Basic Training Phase is generally a stipend of R4500.

The programme ideally consists of three phases:

  • Induction Phase: One month at a designated police station;
  • Basic Training Phase: Eight months Basic Training at a designated SAPS Academy;
  • Probation Phase: After successful completion of the Induction and the Basic Training Phase, the police trainee shall be appointed as a member of the SAPS under probation for a period of 12 months.

So, do you possess the following minimum requirements? Here is what SAPS demanded in the past. For this year’s recruitment, this may be adjusted, or not.

  • Between the age of 18 and 30
  • In possession of a Grade 12 certificate
  • Proficient in at least two languages, of which one must be English

  • Prepared to take the oath of office
  • No criminal record / no criminal pending cases

For more information, you are encouraged to seek visit your nearest police station or the careers section of the SAPS website:

If you keep checking their careers page (, you will be the first to know when SAPS is now recruiting.


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