Skip to main content
An Garda Siochana

Understanding Garda Eligibility: Requirements for Aspiring Trainees

By June 13, 2024No Comments

The process of becoming a Garda Trainee is stringent, ensuring that only the most qualified and suitable candidates are selected. Eligibility criteria for the recruitment campaign is outlined at the start of each campaign in a Candidate Information Booklet released by the Public Appointments Service. It’s important to review the details in this booklet fully and the onus is on the candidate to ensure they are eligible before submitting an application form. Generally eligibility does not change vastly from year to year. Here, we break down some of the basic requirements that were outline in the most recent Candidate Booklet to help potential applicants understand what is needed to embark on this esteemed career path.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for the Garda Trainee position, candidates must meet the following basic eligibility criteria:

  1. Good Character: Candidates must possess a clean and reputable character.
  2. Health and Fitness: Certification by a Registered Medical Practitioner, nominated by the Commissioner after consulting with the Minister, is required. Candidates must be in good health, of sound constitution, and physically and mentally suited to performing the duties of a Garda.
  3. Physical Competence Test: Candidates must pass a rigorous Physical Competence Test to ensure they meet the physical demands of the role.

Age Requirements

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and not yet 50 years old by midnight on Thursday, 8th February 2024. This age range ensures that candidates are mature enough to handle the responsibilities of the job but still within a reasonable age for long-term service.

Nationality Requirements

Candidates must meet one of the following nationality criteria:

  • Be a national of a European Union Member State.
  • Be a national of a European Economic Area State, the United Kingdom, or the Swiss Confederation.
  • Under the International Protection Act, 2015, and the Admissions and Appointments Regulations 2013, as amended, candidates can be:
    • A refugee or a family member of a refugee with a valid refugee declaration for the entire duration of the selection and admissions process.
    • A person granted subsidiary protection or a family member of such a person with a valid subsidiary protection declaration for the entire duration of the process.
  • Have had one year’s continuous residence in the State by the closing date of the advertisement and a total residence in the State amounting to four years in the eight years immediately preceding that period.

Candidates are responsible for providing documentary evidence to prove their eligibility and must keep the Public Appointment Service and An Garda Síochána updated on any changes affecting their eligibility.

Educational Requirements

By the closing date of the application process, candidates must meet one of the following educational criteria:

  • Have obtained an Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum grade D3 or O6 in five subjects at Ordinary Level.
  • Hold a minimum of a Level 5 Major award (120 Credits) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
  • Possess a recognized qualification at Level 5 or greater, comparable in terms of both level and volume of learning as determined by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

It is important to note that subjects taken at Foundation Level Leaving Certificate are not considered equivalent. In some cases, a pass in the Applied Leaving Certificate may be deemed equivalent to an Ordinary Leaving Certificate, and a H7 grade is equivalent to an O6 grade. The Public Appointments Service may verify the validity of qualifications with QQI, and candidates can seek advice from the National Academic Recognition Information Centre regarding the recognition of foreign qualifications.

Language Requirements

Candidates must be proficient in either or both of the following languages:

  • Irish
  • English


Meeting these eligibility requirements is the first step towards becoming a Garda Trainee. Each criterion is designed to ensure that candidates are well-prepared, both mentally and physically, to serve and protect the community effectively. Aspiring candidates should carefully review these requirements and ensure they meet all criteria before applying. The journey to becoming a member of An Garda Síochána is demanding, but for those who succeed, it is a rewarding career dedicated to public service and safety.

Find out more about the Garda recruitment process and how to succeed here

Skip to content