As you can imagine, not everyone gets through the training that is required in order to become a police officer with the South African Police Service (SAPS). If you apply to join the police and you are accepted onto the police officer training course, you can expect to undergo a rigorous training program. This is designed to ensure you will have all the skills and abilities required to become an outstanding and knowledgeable police officer.
Here we discover more about what you should expect from the training program.
How long does the police officer training last?
Police officer training in South Africa covers both theory and practical studies. Thus you will spend the same amount of time on each area – approximately six months in each case. You will join the training course at one of the special colleges set up specifically to train South African police officers before embarking on their careers. There are six colleges in all, including one in Pretoria and one in Chatsworth.
What happens if you successfully get through this initial six months’ worth of training?
The next stage is to become a student constable. Constable is the lowest rank – the entry rank, if you will – in the South African Police Service. The title of student constable indicates you are still in training. You have completed your initial training but now you will get experience in dealing with the public. This occurs by taking a position in a community service centre. You will be in uniform and perform an important role, but it is not the same as being a traditional and fully qualified constable.
The community centre work lasts for three months, after which you will spend the next three months working outside in other areas.
So after six months of training in a college and six months of being a student constable, what happens next?
By this time you will have completed a year’s worth of training. Now you have another twelve months of training as part of the actual police service. You will be almost a fully fledged constable by this point, as you will be dealing with all kinds of situations and experiences as a police officer.
It is important to note that this twelve month period is the point at which you will put your classroom training into action in the job itself. But it will only be upon successfully completing these twelve months on the job that you will be properly appointed as a member of the South African Police Service.
As you can see, the training process is well thought through and enables you to tackle it in three distinct stages. Each stage is important in its own way and requires you to learn everything about being a police officer in South Africa. As you can imagine, the whole process is very in depth and really puts your skills and abilities to the test. There is a lot to learn and you will find it challenging to say the least. But if you complete the training successfully, you can embark on a highly rewarding career.