Garda Recruitment Overview

How do I apply? 

In order to apply to An Garda Síochána to become a Garda Trainee you must wait for a recruitment campaign to be launched. 

We do not currently have any information on when exactly the 2021 recruitment campaign will take place. Budget 2021 provided funding for the force to deliver over 600 new Garda recruits so we would expect a recruitment campaign once covid-19 restrictions have eased sufficiently. Therefore, it is expected that there will be another campaign at some stage this year (2021).

We offer a Free Job Alert Service which you can sign up to if you'd like to be notified when the next campaign launches. You can sign up here:

When a new Garda Recruitment campaign is launched applications are taken by the Public Appointments Service on their website  The Public Appointments Service is the centralised recruiter for An Garda Síochána and they will process  candidates on their behalf.  

Am I eligible to join? 

When a recruitment competition is launched, eligibility criteria is outlined in a document called 'Notes for Applicants' which is an Information Booklet released by the centralised recruiter, the Public Appointments Service. The eligibility requirements tend to remain consistent from year to year. See here for an outline of the Garda recruitment entry requirements:  Garda Entry Requirements

An Exceptional Career Decision

Maybe you are considering a career as a Garda just recently or maybe you have wanted to be a Garda for as long as you can remember, either way becoming a Garda is an exceptional career decision. Members of An Garda Síochaná operate on the front line and provide a proactive contribution to the areas and communities in which they serve. It is a very rewarding career with attractive benefits such as an incremental pay scale with additional allowances and overtime, an option to retire after 30 years’ service, a public service pension - lump sum & 50% of your average wage for the rest of your life and over 40 different possibilities for vertical and lateral moves into areas of special task forces and other areas of expertise.

Unfortunately, it's not easy to become a Garda. The competition for the selection of Garda Trainees attracts a very high number of applicants in every campaign. Accordingly, the selection process to become a Garda Trainee is rigorous, with candidates required to undertake a range of relevant assessment tests and exercises over a number of selection stages.

Stages of Recruitment

Stage 1 

Applicants are firstly invited to complete a series of online assessments. These assessments are completed at home / in an unsupervised environment on a laptop or PC. 

Stage 1 Preparation Courses

Stage 2

This stage usually comprises of a number of assessments including validation tests. These validation tests are similar to the tests in Stage 1 but they are held in an assessment centre under supervised conditions. The main purpose of this is to ensure that candidates did not cheat when attempting the Stage 1 online assessments without supervision. Additional tests such as Report Writing and Job Simulation Exercises are also usually introduced at this stage. Initially the top group of candidates from Stage 1 are invited to Assessment Centre. Further groups are then invited as required.

Stage 2 Preparation Courses

Stage 3

A competency based interview is a highly structured interview where candidates are informed in advance of a number of key competencies. The competencies which are predefined by the interview board are key skills deemed necessary to serve effectively as a member of An Garda Síochána. Examples of the competencies could include 'Problem Solving', 'Resilience', 'Motivation for the Role' etc. During the interview candidates are asked to give examples of instances when they displayed each of the competencies effectively. Most people pick examples from their previous work experience, voluntary experience, educational experience or a hobby that that they enjoy. All candidates are assessed on the same competencies to ensure that there is fairness in the selection process.

Stage 3 Preparation Courses

Stage 4

This is the final stage and is generally not a major obstacle for candidates who are fit and healthy, but it cannot be taken for granted. Garda vetting is also carried out at this stage. 

If successful in the recruitment process, candidates will be placed on a panel and as spaces become available they will be called to the Garda College in Templemore for training.

Garda Training

Once candidates successfully complete all the selection stages of the recruitment process, and provided they pass a personal background check, successful candidates are invited for intake to the Garda Training College in Templemore, Co. Tipperary.  Training takes place for an initial 34 weeks in the Garda College where recruits will reside for the duration. Upon completion of this residential training, Garda trainees are then assigned to a Garda Station where they will continue their training. Garda trainees will return on occasion to Templemore to complete further classroom based studies. Throughout training in its entirety, a Garda Trainee will undergo a 104 week training programme. Upon completion they will have attained a BA Degree in Applied Policing (level 7) accredited by the University of Limerick. 

Preparing for the Garda Selection Stages

We provide preparation courses for Stages 1-3 of the Garda recruitment process and have day course and online options. You can find out more about our preparation courses for these stages in the Garda section here:

When is the next recruitment campaign?

Budget 2021 provided funding for over 600 new Garda recruits in 2021. Unfortunately, we do not currently have any information on when the next Garda Recruitment Campaign will take place. However, our Garda Stage 1 Online Course is now available to book and is excellent advanced preparation for the next campaign.

 Why not sign up for our Free Job Alert Service to be notified of the next campaign?