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Garda Reserve

Preparation Course
Selection Process

Garda Reserve

The Garda Reserve is a volunteer force made up of individuals dedicated to giving back to their communities. These volunteers work alongside full-time Garda members by supporting policing operations, strengthening community ties, and bringing diverse skills and talents to the force. Being a Garda Reserve is a rewarding experience, whether you’re hoping to ultimately use it as a stepping stone to becoming a member of An Garda Síochána or you’re motivated to positively contribute to your community.

Established under the 2005 Garda Síochána Act, the Garda Reserve has seen 1706 members graduate from the Garda College, with the first trainees completing their training in December 2006. Currently, there are 332 active members in the Garda Reserve. While on duty, Reserve Gardaí are endowed with policing powers by the Garda Commissioner. Under the guidance and support of full-time Garda members, they help prevent crime and enhance community reassurance.

2024 Garda Reserve Applications 

A campaign is currently in progress to recruit over 650 new Garda Reserves. The force aims to have 1,000 Garda Reserve members by 2026, up from the current 341.

The Public Appointments Service is taking applications for the voluntary position of Garda Reserve through before 3pm on Thursday, July 4th 2024. Full details of the role, process and eligibility criteria are outlined in the official Candidate Information Booklet released by the Public Appointments Service.

Prepare for success in the Recruitment Process

A very high number of applicants are expected for the 2024 Garda Reserve campaign. Get a competitive edge and secure your position with our expertly created preparation course option.

Start Preparing today!

How do I apply to be a Garda Reserve?

In order to apply to be a Garda Reserve you must wait for applications to open via the public jobs website. Applications for Garda Reserves opened on 5th June 2024. The deadline for applications is 3pm Thurs 4th July.

What is the recruitment process for the Garda Reserve?

2024 Application Process

  • Stage 1 – Application Form Candidates who are interested in joining the Garda Reserve must apply online via the Public Appointments Service and must submit a detailed application form.
  • Stage 2 – Online Interviews (via Zoom) Candidates will be invited to Stage 2 based on their performance at Stage 1. The initial group will be invited to attend Stage 2 commencing in August/September. Further groups will be invited from time to time as the need arises.
  • Stage 3 – Suitability Checks & Medical Candidates who are successful at Stage 2 and who are confirmed as meeting the eligibility criteria, will be forwarded to An Garda Síochána to commence Stage 3. During Stage 3, you will be required to undertake a medical examination and vetting checks. An Garda Síochána will reach out to you directly with more information on Stage 3 once we receive your contact details from PAS, along with confirmation that you have been successful at Stage 2.

What are the age requirements for joining the Garda Reserve?

Persons wishing to join the Garda Reserve must be no younger than 18 and not yet 60 years of age when commencing the prescribed training.

Can a citizen from another country join?

Applicants to join must;

  • Be a national of a European Member State or
  • Be a national of a EEA State or the Swiss Confederation or the United Kingdom of Great Britain or Northern Ireland or
  • Be a refugee under the International Protection Act 2015
  • Be a person granted subsidiary protection or a family member of such a person in relation to whom a subsidiary protection declaration is in force and continues to be in force for the entire duration of the Garda Reserve Recruit selection and admissions process or by the closing date of the advertisement of this competition, have had a period of one year’s continuous residence in the State, and during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a total residence in the State amounting to four years

What are the educational requirements?

Candidates must have obtained;

  • an Irish Leaving Certificate with a grade D3 or O6 minimum in five subjects at Ordinary Level*, or
  • hold a minimum of a Level 5 Major award (120 Credits) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), or
  • 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)

*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. A H7 grade is also deemed equivalent to an O6 grade

I have a foreign qualifications and not an Irish Leaving Certificate can I apply?

Please refer to the National Academic Recognition Information Centre for advice on the academic recording of foreign qualifications in Ireland.

What are the language requirements?

It is necessary to be fluent in either English or Irish, but not both to become a Garda Reserve member.

Is there a fitness test?

No, there is no prescribed fitness test for entry to the Garda Reserve, however the training requirements and duty of a Garda Reserve are demanding, and being in good physical health is recommended.

What is involved in the training programme?

The training programme for Reserve Gardaí is broken up into 5 phases and features a blended approach of in person training at the Garda College Templemore, Co Tipperary, in designated stations, and online modules. At the end of the Garda Reserve Training Programme Reserve Gardaí will be able to fully comprehend their role and responsibilities within An Garda Síochána, display a commitment to maintain the same professional standards as expected of all members of An Garda Síochána and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the legislative powers available to members of the Garda Reserve. An overview of the Garda Reserve training can be found in Regulation 5 of the S.I. No. 64 of 2024. The training and duties of a Garda Reserve can be physical demanding therefore a good standard of physical fitness is recommended in anticipation of Garda Reserve training.

Will my current occupation prevent me from becoming a Garda Reserve?

The Garda Commissioner may not admit as a Garda Reserve trainee or appoint as a Garda Reserve member any person who: holds a designated certificate, license or permit, the granting of which may be opposed by An Garda Síochána;

  • Is a member of the Defence Forces;
  • Is an officer of the court;
  • Is an officer of the probation service;
  • Is a bailiff;
  • Is a prison officer;
  • Is a practicing barrister or a practicing solicitor;
  • For reward or personal gain, manages or conducts, or assists in the management or conducting of, a concern or premises which is required by law to be operated under a licence, permit or certificate, the grant of which may be opposed by An Garda
  • Provides a security service within the meaning of the Private Security Services Act 2004;
  • serves summonses as a spare time activity;
  • Is employed in any occupation or holds any appointment or position, which, in the opinion of the Garda Commissioner, may cause a conflict of interest with the proper discharge of the duties of a Garda Reserve member

Do Garda Reserves receive payment for their services?

Service in the Garda Reserve is voluntary and unpaid. An allowance is payable by the Garda Commissioner in respect of expenses incurred in performing functions as a Reserve Garda annually, it is not a wage.

The Garda Reserve Annual Allowance claim is applicable on a graduated scale up to €3000 based on the number of hours completed in a calendar year.

Hours Performed & Claim
50 hours €500
100 hours €1000
150 hours €2000
200 hours and above €3000

In addition to the annual allowance, Garda Reserve members will be reimbursed by the Commissioner for any expenses incurred by them in attending courts, tribunals or other legal proceedings outside of their hours of duty

Is there a minimum commitment to An Garda Síochána as a Reserve Garda?

Yes. Reserve Gardaí must perform no less than 60 hours per calendar year. Reserve Gardaí can perform a full tour (12 hours) or half tour (6 hours) of duty when rostered. A Reserve is not required to serve more than 208 hours in any 12-month period.

Will I be based/working at my local Garda Station?

There is a general policy in place where Garda Reserve members are not assigned duties in his or her immediate neighbourhood, however your place of residence will be considered  when allocated for duty.

Do I have to work nights?

Reserve Gardaí are attached to a unit and may choose to assist their unit for a full (12 hours) or half tour (6 hours) which may involve performing duty at night.

Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?

Stage 3 of the application process includes Vetting. Candidates must be found suitable in order to be offered a place in the next stage of the recruitment process. Please note that success through any stage of the selection process is not a guarantee of acceptance as a Garda Reserve Trainee.

Are tattoos or other body modifications such as piercings allowed in the Garda Reserve?

You will not be admitted into the Garda Reserve if you have tattoos visible on your hands or face, as they are not permitted under the Garda Uniform and Dress Code. In addition, no item of jewellery is permitted through the nose, eyebrows, lips, tongue or any other visible part of the body by any member while on duty. If you have any questions about a particular tattoo or piercing, please reach out to the Garda Reserve National Office.

Official Contacts

The Garda Reserve National Office –

Useful information and details can also be found here on the official Garda website

How can I prepare for success in the recruitment process?

A very high number of applicants are expected for the 2024 Garda Reserve campaign. Get a competitive edge and secure your position with our expertly created preparation course option.

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