Sworn Hiring Process

The Ottawa Police Service strives to be a progressive and inclusive employer and is continually making investments in advancing equity in our hiring process in order to fulfil the changing needs of our community.

Each year the OPS hires new recruits according to the timelines of the Ontario Police College class schedule. Generally, we hire 3 times per year (April, August and December).

Becoming a Police Officer at the Ottawa Police Service is a competitive process. Candidates should note that successful completion of any stage does not guarantee proceeding to the next stage.

Below are the typical stages of our process.


Stage 1.  Meet and Greet

After reviewing our website, if you still have questions or need to discuss your candidacy, you may request a meeting with a recruiter. Please email RecruitmentTeam@ottawapolice.ca. This is not a requirement to apply.

Stage 2.  Online Application

Applicants are required to create an online profile and submit their completed application electronically. You will need a detailed resume outlining your work, education, volunteer experience and proof of certification (if applicable). Applications will be screened based on the information provided.

Stage 3.  Fitness Assessment

Sworn New Recruits

A valid Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police (PREP) certificate is required to progress in the selection process. Once an applicant is screened in, they will have 90 days to provide proof of a successful PREP test. Information regarding the PREP can be found on PoliceFit.ca.

Police Fit has limited their capacity of participants in their facility due to COVID restrictions, so plan accordingly. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the PREP prior to submitting your application to increase your chance of success.

Applicants that have a valid PREP test certificate may submit it at the time of application.  PREP certificates are only valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

If hired, candidates will have one successful PREP certification reimbursed.

*Please note: Fitness is a very important requirement of being able to perform the duties of a police officer.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their fitness level is at the standard throughout the process and failing to do so may result in delays or disqualification from the process.

Experienced Officers

A valid fitness test is required at the time of application. We will accept the PIN, PREP, PARE, SPAT-ENPQ. If you would like us to consider another fitness test please email RecruitmentTeam@ottawapolice.ca.

Stage 4.  Pre-Background Questionnaire

Candidates are required to answer some brief questions related primarily to character and habits, in such areas as work and school experiences, alcohol, drugs, criminal activity, credit record, social media activity, as well as the ability and willingness to work under the conditions related to policing. These questions should be answered as accurately and as truthfully as possible since deliberate misinformation and/or omission will result in disqualification from the selection process.

Stage 5.  Blended interview

Sworn New Recruits

Comprised of local focus questions, essential competency questions and Indigenous knowledge questions.

Candidates will be presented with 10 questions and will have 90 minutes to complete the interview. The candidate will also be given an additional 30 minutes to complete an essay-style question. See the Sworn Competencies page for more details.

Experienced Officer Interview

Candidates are presented with five questions and have 90 minutes to complete their interview. The interview consists of developmental competency based and local focus questions. Candidates have the first 15 minutes of the interview to read the questions and prepare their answers. After their interview, candidates are given an additional 20 minutes to complete a written essay-style question. See the Sworn Competencies page for more details.

Stage 6.  Psychological Assessment

Candidates will complete a written psychological questionnaire followed by an interview with one of our contracted psychologists.

Stage 7.  Employment screening (background investigation)

Candidates that are successful through the interview process may proceed to the background investigation stage. The background investigation may include, but is not limited to, work reference checks, personal character references, verification of educational documents, verification of employment history and credit checks. Information is collected throughout the selection process to determine whether a candidate possesses the competencies of a police constable for the Ottawa Police Service and meets the Ontario Police Services Act 43(1) requirement of good and moral character and habits.

Stage 8.  Selection process and medical assessment (hearing and vision)

All information collected from the previous stages of the selection process is reviewed and compared to the selection criteria. Candidates who are selected to proceed will be requested to obtain a medical assessment.

Vision: 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 refractive surgery, farsightedness (hyperopia), colour vision, depth perception and peripheral vision.

Hearing standards: Normal hearing at frequencies of 500 to 4000 Hz measured by audiometer.

Stage 9.  Offer of Employment

Upon being selected and signing a job offer the new recruit must attend training at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer Ontario for a period of 13 weeks. Recruits are responsible for paying the college tuition of $15, 450*.

* Content last updated September 15, 2022. Rates are subject to change.

Supplemental training will also be conducted at the Ottawa Police Professional Development Centre in Ottawa.

There is a probationary period and requirement to successfully complete all mandated training.


Accommodations may be provided in all parts of the hiring process as required. Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. Candidates need to make their needs known in advance.