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 4 times per year.

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 applications electronically.  To create the online profile please return to the Home page, enter your personal email and click “Create an account” and complete all fields.  Once the profile has been created you may apply to any open positions. 

When submitting your New Recruit application you must include a cover letter, detailed resume and a valid Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police (PREP) certificate. Applications will be screened based on the information provided.

Information regarding the PREP can be found on policefit.ca.  Police Fit has limited capacity, so plan accordingly.  It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the PREP prior to submitting your 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 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 disqualifications from the process.

Experienced Officer

A valid Emergency First Aid with level C CPR and 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 3.  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 4.  Blended interview

Sworn New Recruits

The interview is conducted by a panel and includes a blend of competency-based behavioural and knowledge-based questions.

Candidates are presented with seven questions and have 90 minutes to complete their interview. The first 15 minutes is reserved to read the questions and prepare answers. Candidates should be able to provide the name of a reference who can verify any example that is provided in the interview.

After their interview, candidates are given an additional 30 minutes to complete a written essay-style question.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare for the interview. More details are listed on the Sworn Competencies page.

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 5.  Psychological Assessment

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

Stage 6.  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 7.  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 8.  Offer of Employment

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.