Garda Recruitment Process Explained

Garda Recruitment Process Explained

You’ve been thinking about it for a long time and you’ve decided that now the time is right to go for it – excellent! When you reach that point it can be an exciting time and you probably want to get started sooner rather than later, because after all, the sooner you get the ball rolling the sooner you’ll “be in”, right? Easy tiger, this is a marathon, not a sprint.  Let me explain.

Firstly, how long is it going to take to complete the application process? The Application process consists of 5 stages. It can typically take between 12-18 months from initial application to being called for training at the Garda College, Templemore. Completing the application process guarantees an applicant of nothing. All it does is get you onto a waiting list. Applying for An Garda Síochána is such a competitive process that success ultimately comes down to how well you prepare and subsequently score as you navigate through each of the stages.

Become a Garda

The first step to applying to An Garda Síochána is to register your interest through the Public Appointments Service on www.publicjobs.ieCandidates should not confuse registering (i.e. creating a Profile on with submitting an application. Once you have created a Profile you must then access the Application Form, complete and submit it. The Public Appointments Service is the centralised recruiter for An Garda Síochána and they will process the candidates on their behalf.

The Stage 1 Online Assessment of the competition is a supervised (proctored) assessment which you will take at home.

This Online Assessment includes:

  1. Assessment Questionnaire
  2. Verbal Reasoning Test
  3. Numerical Reasoning Test
  4. The Written Exercise

Your results in these tests decides your placing (referred to as the Order of Merit i.e. OOM) on the list of candidates.

If you’re thinking about taking this Assessment without preparing properly to….” See how you go”, you’ve missed the point about the need to get your best score and boosting your position on the Order of Merit.

Don’t take the tests for granted. Be prepared.  Purchase our Stage 1 Online Course here

Stage 2 includes the formal Competency Based Interview. The competencies, which are predefined by the 3-person interview board, are key skills deemed necessary to serve effectively as a member of An Garda Síochána.

The Interview typically lasts 45 minutes and takes place online via Zoom

Your interview will largely focus on the content in your Interview Form. It is an examination of five competencies.

The 5 competencies are:

  1. Exercising Authority
  2. Resilience
  3. Conscientiousness
  4. Interpersonal Skills & Service Ethos, and
  5. Using Information & Problem Solving.

During the interview candidates are asked to give examples of instances when they displayed each of the competencies effectively. Most people pick examples from their previous work experience, voluntary experience, educational experience or a hobby that they enjoy.

GardaIP will coach you on how to best match your experience against each competency. We will tailor your examples and match your experience against each competency in a structured and easy to understand format. Undoubtedly the best in the market, GardaIP offers a dedicated one-to-one session on preparing for the Stage 3 Competency Interview.

Choose a Face-to-Face session or a Video Conference via Zoom or Skype.

If you are successful at the Stage 2 Competency Interview, you will called forward to complete the Physical Fitness Test.

The Test is comprised of 2 separate Stages. They are all tailored and evaluated against your age category and gender. The two Stages are:

1. Fitness Test – 3 components
A. Progressive shuttle run,
B. Sit-up test (one minute time limit)
C. Press-up test (no time limit)

2. Physical Competence Test – 2 components
A. Competency-based timed circuit (3 sets / laps)
B. Push/Pull machine assessment (*may not be tested in 2024)

Successful applicants from the Physical Fitness Test will be required to undergo a comprehensive Medical Examination by a Registered Medical Practitioner nominated by the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána.

Part of the medical assessment for applicants is to meet certain Body Mass Index requirements. The Body Mass Index is a calculation/score based on your height and weight. If you are considered overweight for your height it will result in your application being cancelled, unless your ‘excess’ weight is due to additional muscle mass. This might be applicable for an athlete who does a lot of weight training.

Applicants must be of good mental and bodily health and free from any defect or abnormality likely to interfere with the efficient performance of their duties

Well, there you go. So, do you still want to join An Garda Síochána? Of course you do! I hope this information is helpful, please reach out if you’d like to talk about the Garda Trainee Recruitment Process in more detail. If you want a much more detailed guide, why not purchase our book here

Browse all of the GardaIP Courses here