Protective Service Officer or Police Officer


If you’re applying for a ‘regular’ Police Officer position with Victoria Police prepare yourself for a 12-month process. On the other hand, you could commence your Protective Service Officer training at the Victoria Police Academy in 3 months from now if you were prepared to travel down that road.

In this video:

0:11 – Email from RSB
0:25 – PSO application on turbocharging
0:56 – PSO option?
1:10 – My concern
1:55 – My prediction
2:40 – Food for thought
3:00 – Current PSOs enjoying it?

Can I Offer You a PSO Position?

If you’re undergoing the application process to join Victoria Police at the moment you’ve probably received an email from the Victoria Police Recruiting Services Branch informing you that the process could take up to 12 months. At the same time, you’ve probably been offered the opportunity or at least made aware of it, to apply for a PSO position which takes just 3 to 4 months to complete.

The role of Protective Service Officer might not be for everyone, but, if you’re very motivated to get out of what you’re currently doing, and the thought of waiting over a year to – maybe – be successful with your police application makes you feel ill, then getting some experience under your belt as a PSO may help your ‘regular’ police application in the long run.

Now at this stage, there is no mechanism for direct transfer from Protective Service Officer to Police Officer, in other words, should you become a PSO then wish to become a regular Police Officer later down the track you would need to lodge a new application from the start of the process like anyone else.

Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if the option to transfer from PSO to Police does become available in the future. This may assist the recruiting drive and help fill the current PSO positions still sitting vacant.

I can see a situation where applicants are offered a guaranteed transfer after a certain time in position (as a Protective Service Officer). Twelve weeks of training as a PSO at the police academy would be credited as prior learning and transferees would continue on with the rest of the police recruit training course to complete the transfer.

Now, this is only my prediction so don’t take that to the bank!

Getting some experience working as a PSO would certainly give Victoria Police the opportunity to ‘try you before they buy you’ for a regular Police Officer position. Some positive feedback from a supervisor about your work performance, professionalism, ability to work under pressure etc would go a long way to boosting your Police Officer application should you decide to apply for a regular position down the track.

If you’re determined to become a Victoria Police Officer, and the PSO role is not for you, you will need to exercise A LOT of patience and it helps if you still enjoy what you’re doing in the meantime!

Whatever you decide, PLEASE speak with Recruiting Services Branch to get all of the relevant and current information before making any important decisions.

About the Author

Russell Kempster

Russell Kempster

Russ spent 12 years as a police officer with Victoria Police. The last four years of that time was spent at the Victoria Police Academy as an instructor, where he taught everything from fitness to firearms. He has trained police applicants, as well as recruits undergoing their initial training, experienced serving police officers and was even called on by Victoria Police to help train other would-be police academy instructors.

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