See below for some common Garda recruitment FAQ's.
Budget 2022 announced that funding will be made available to the Department of Justice for the recruitment of 800 new Gardaí in 2022. In addition, 400 additional civilian staff will also be recruited. Budget 2021 provided funding for over 600 new Garda recruits in 2021 and according to official sources it is expected that the next planned Garda Trainee competition will take place in Q4 2021. Unfortunately, we do not currently have any information on when exactly the next Garda Recruitment Campaign will take place. However, our Garda Stage 1 Ultimate Course is now available to book and is excellent advanced preparation for the next campaign.
We offer offer a Free Job Alert Service should you wish to sign up and stay informed of the next Garda campaign.
Eligibility criteria is set out at the start of each respective campaign. With regard to age requirements, the Information Booklet released by the PAS for the most recent campaign (2019) stated;
To be eligible for selection as a Trainee, an applicant must:
Be 18 years of age but not yet 35 years of age on midnight of the 24th April, 2019, therefore you must have been born between 25th April 1984 and 24th April 2001.
As these notes are from last year’s campaign, we would expect that the birth date ranges would naturally update for the next campaign, but that 35 would remain the upper age limit for candidates.
The most recent campaign (2019) stated the following for applicants in terms of education requirements:
Have by the closing date:
(a) obtained an Irish Leaving Certificate with a grade D3 minimum in five subjects at Ordinary Level*
(b) hold a Level 5 Certificate (Major award) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ),
(c) hold a recognised qualification (at Level 5 or greater), deemed comparable to the above in terms of both level and volume of learning as determined by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
In terms of educational requirements a Level 5 Certificate (Major award) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) or a recognised qualification (at Level 5 or greater), deemed comparable to the above in terms of both level and volume of learning as determined by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) can be used instead of Leaving Certificate.
Candidates are required to have proficiency in two languages as outlined below. This proficiency is often proven via Leaving Certificate results.
In regard to language requirements the eligibility criteria states (based off the most recent and prior campaigns) that candidates:
Must have a proven proficiency in two languages; one of which must be Irish or English. Such competency may be proven by achieving the relevant grades in an Irish Leaving Certificate or for English or Irish through such assessments as set out by the Public Appointments Service. The contents and scoring mechanism to be used at the assessments (written and oral) will be determined by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).
*Subjects taken at Foundation Level Leaving Certificate are not considered equivalent for entry to this competition. In certain cases a Pass in the Applied Leaving Certificate may be deemed equivalent to an Ordinary Leaving Certificate.
In addition, applicants must also have proven proficiency in two languages as set out in 3 (vi) (d) above.
The Public Appointments Service may verify the validity of qualifications other than the Leaving Certificate with Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Applicants should not contact QQI directly. Candidates may however refer to www.naric.ie which offers advice on the academic recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland.
In order to prove a candidates proficiency in a language outside of a leaving certificate qualification, the Public Appointments Service would look to the European Framework of Reference for Languages. Candidates would be required to demonstrate a level of B2 for their chosen language. Documentary evidence is required from an educational institute for language proficiency.
Based on this, we would suggest you look for language courses that are recognised by established awarding bodies. For example, Alliance Française for French or The Goethe-Institut for German. You’ll find a list of languages and corresponding certificates here:
The official eligibility documentation states the following:
Applicants who have an exemption from languages in school will still need to have documentary evidence of two languages (one to be Irish or English) to be eligible for this competition.
With regard to the residency requirements for An Garda Síochána, on page 4 of the Notes for Candidates booklet they state:
“To be eligible for selection as a Trainee, an applicant must:
(a) Be a national of a European Union Member State, or
(b) Be a national of a European Economic Area State or the Swiss Confederation; or
(c) Be a Refugee under the Refugee Act, 1996; or
(d) Have had a period of one year’s continuous residence in the State on the closing date of the advertisement for the competition for the vacancy to which the admission relates, and during the eight years immediately preceding that period, has had a total residence in the State amounting to four years;
(e) Has been granted subsidiary protection, or is a family member of such a person, in compliance with the Admissions and Appointments Regulations 2013.”
Members of An Garda Síochána are eligible to apply for additional increments based on their educational qualifications as per Section 13.10 of The Garda Síochána Finance Code on successful completion of their probationary period.
Under the Garda Code, members of An Garda Síochána who, on appointment to An Garda Síochána, hold any of the qualifications listed below may, after completion of two years’ service, apply for additional increments as follows:
(i) One additional increment in respect of at least one Grade ‘B’ and two Grade ‘C’ in three subjects (which must include Mathematics and English or Irish) at Honours level in the established Leaving Certificate Examination or Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme;
(ii) Three additional increments in respect of a Diploma or Degree from a third level educational institution. The Degree or Diploma must be full time, of two or four years duration, and be awarded by a third level institution recognised by the HETAC, or a recognised Irish statutory authority.
These increments are payable in addition to the increments for which the member might qualify under paragraph (i) above.
The Code makes no provision for payment of additional increments to serving members who complete Diploma or Degree level courses following their appointment to An Garda Síochána.
I am further informed that where the applicant completed a full time Degree/Diploma over five years due to for example taking a year off, repeating exams, etc, the member would still qualify under the code.
Each application is, considered on its own merits and is processed in accordance with the Garda Code.
Garda Trainees are assigned to a station upon their attestation from the Garda College.
A Garda may apply for a transfer once he/she has completed his/her probationary period. However if a Garda member has under 5 years of service they cannot be within 80 km of their home station. The restriction is 50km thereafter. The Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) and the cities of Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway and Kilkenny are exempt from this rule however this is no guarantee that if you are from these areas you will be based near home.
It must be stressed that there is absolutely no guarantee of a transfer to a preferred location and the likelihood of serving away from home is extremely high.
Ordinarily new members of the service must spend at least three years on normal uniformed policing duties. After that, they are free to apply for any vacancies which may arise in specialist areas. Each section will have its own unique selection procedures.
The recruitment process can range from several weeks to several months depending on a candidate’s performance and order of merit at each stage. A candidate must pass all stages of the selection tests before being accepted into Garda college. Candidates are called forward based on their ‘Order of Merit’. Those that score the highest at each stage will be called forward first, followed by further groups. In other words, the higher your marks in the selection tests, the quicker you will move through the recruitment process.
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide official advice for this query. However, there are a few sources you can contact to try to get an answer to this query.
Firstly, you can contact Garda Headquarters on (01) 666 0000 as they may be able to direct your query to the correct department. It is possible that the Garda Recruitment, Human Resources and People Development section may be able to help answer your query (Tel: 01 666 2571, email: email@example.com ).
Secondly, your local garda station may be able to answer this question for you. To the best of our knowledge, when it comes to any background checks during a recruitment campaign, it is the candidate’s local station who deals with this. Therefore, they may be able to share their knowledge in this matter.
Thirdly, you could contact the Public Appointments Service for official advice as they are the recruiter for Garda Trainees. Therefore, they will be very familiar with question relating to eligibility. They can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on (01) 858 7400 for advice.
The Garda training programme is delivered over 104 weeks leading to a B.A. Degree in Applied Policing.
Phase I is 34 weeks including two weeks leave. During Phase I of the training the Trainee Gardaí will reside at the Garda College, Templemore. Co. Tipperary – Monday to Friday inclusive. On successful completion of Phase I training the Trainee Garda will be attested and will progress to Phase II of their training. The Trainee Garda will now be a Probationer Garda and will be appointed as a member of An Garda Síochána.
Phase II is 34 weeks in total. It will be an operational phase where the newly appointed Probationer Garda will commence training in the operational field at a designated Garda Station. He/she will work alongside a Garda assigned to assist them.
Phase III is completely autonomous. In this phase of the training, the Probationer Garda will work independently.