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An Garda Siochana

Becoming a Garda Trainee: Selection Process and Training

By June 13, 2024June 17th, 2024No Comments

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a Garda Trainee? The selection process for this esteemed position is rigorous and competitive, but with the right guidance, you can increase your chances of success. In this blog post, we will delve into the various stages of the selection process and provide an overview of the training program for Garda Trainees.

Stage 1: Garda Online Aptitude Tests

The first hurdle in the selection process is the Garda Online Aptitude Tests. These assessments are conducted online, allowing applicants to complete them at home on a laptop or PC in an unsupervised environment. The tests are designed to measure a range of cognitive abilities and aptitudes relevant to the role of a Garda Trainee.

Stage 2: Competency-Based Interview

Candidates who successfully pass the online aptitude tests are invited to participate in a competency-based interview. This highly structured interview format requires candidates to demonstrate key competencies that are crucial for effective service in An Garda Síochána. These competencies, which are predefined by the interview board, typically include skills such as Problem Solving, Resilience, and Motivation for the Role.

During the interview, candidates are expected to provide examples from their previous work experience, voluntary activities, educational background, or hobbies, illustrating instances where they have effectively displayed each competency. This stage is critical in assessing whether candidates possess the practical skills and mindset necessary for the demanding role of a Garda.

Stage 3: The Physical Competence Test

The final stage of the recruitment process is the Physical Competence Test, which is notoriously challenging. Even individuals who consider themselves fit and healthy may find this test demanding. According to figures released by the Department of Justice in January 2023, more than 1 in 6 Garda recruits failed the fitness test, with the failure rate rising to over 1 in 3 by the end of February 2023.

In addition to the physical test, candidates undergo a Medical Examination, Substance Misuse Testing, and Garda Vetting at this stage. These measures ensure that only those who meet the stringent physical and ethical standards proceed to the next phase.

Garda Training

Candidates who successfully navigate all stages of the selection process are placed on a panel. As spaces become available, these candidates are called to the Garda Training College in Templemore, Co. Tipperary, to begin their formal training. The initial training phase lasts for 34 weeks, during which recruits reside at the college.

Following this residential training period, Garda trainees are assigned to a Garda Station where they continue their training. They will return to Templemore periodically for further classroom-based studies. The entire training program spans 104 weeks, culminating in the awarding of a BA Degree in Applied Policing (Level 7), accredited by the University of Limerick.


The path to becoming a Garda Trainee is demanding and thorough, designed to ensure that only the most capable and dedicated individuals are selected to serve. From online aptitude tests and competency-based interviews to rigorous physical assessments and extensive training, each stage of the process plays a crucial role in preparing candidates for the challenges of policing. For those who successfully complete this journey, a rewarding career in An Garda Síochána awaits, marked by a commitment to public service and community safety.

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