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Garda FAQ's

See below for some common Garda recruitment FAQ's.

When is the next Garda recruitment campaign?

The latest recruitment competition was launched in March 2023. The deadline for applications was 3pm on Friday, 14th April 2023. Whilst we do not know exactly when this will be, we expect another competition to launch in 2024 as the force have committed to ongoing recruitment.  We also offer a Free Job Alert service which you can sign up to in order to stay informed of the next campaign. Start preparing for the next campaign with our renowned Garda preparation courses.

What are the age requirements?

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 stated;

To be eligible for selection as a Trainee, an applicant must:

(iv) Be 18 years of age but not yet 35 years of age at midnight on Friday, 14th April 2023

As these notes are from the last 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.

What are the education requirements?

The most recent campaign stated the following for applicants in terms of education requirements:

by the closing date:

(a) have obtained an Irish Leaving Certificate with a grade D3 or O6 minimum in five subjects at Ordinary Level*, or

(b) hold a minimum of a Level 5 Major award (120 Credits) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), or

(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)

Do I need a Leaving Cert?

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.

What are the language requirements?

be proficient in either or both of the following:

i) the Irish language

ii) the English language

I’m not an Irish Citizen, can I still apply?

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.”

What if I have a Degree does this have an impact on my application?


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.

Can I choose a particular station to work in?

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.

Can I specialise in a particular area?

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.

What if I have a conviction?

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: ).

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 or by phone on (01) 858 7400 for advice.

How long does the recruitment process take?

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.

What are the Garda training timelines?

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.

Please note: We are not affiliated with An Garda Síochána or the Public Appointments Service (the official recruiter) and our courses are optional.