If you aspire to become a police officer in South Africa, it is crucial to understand the academic requirements and the necessary qualifications. While obtaining a diploma or degree is not mandatory, passing matric (Grade 12) with specific subjects is essential.

Subjects Needed to Become a Police Officer in South Africa

To qualify for a position in the South African Police Service (SAPS), you must have completed matric with the following subjects:

  • Languages: It is compulsory to have passed your home language and a first additional language. Proficiency in English is particularly important as it is a medium of communication in the SAPS.
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy: You must have passed either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy. While Mathematics provides a more in-depth understanding, Mathematical Literacy is also acceptable and focuses on practical problem-solving skills.


General Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer

In addition to passing matric with the required subjects, there are several other criteria you must meet:

  • South African Citizenship: You must be a South African citizen by birth.
  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old but under 30 years old.
  • Driver’s License: A valid driver’s license is required.
  • Criminal Record: You must not have a criminal record.
  • Language Proficiency: Fluency in English and at least one other official language is essential.
  • Physical and Mental Fitness: You must be physically, mentally, and medically fit to perform the duties of a police officer.
  • Character and Integrity: Good character and integrity are vital, with no visible tattoos and the readiness to undergo psychometric tests and assessments.
Subjects Needed to Become a Police Officer in South Africa
Source: Citizen

Training Process

Once you meet the basic requirements and pass the selection process, you will undergo a comprehensive training program:

  • Training Duration: The initial training lasts for six months and takes place at one of the SAPS training colleges located in Bishop Lavis, Wentworth, Pretoria, or Hammanskraal.
  • Further Training: Graduates will then have an additional training period of approximately three months.
  • Ongoing Training: Continuous professional development and training are part of a police officer’s career to maintain high standards of service.
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SAPS training centres in South Africa

  1. SAPS Academy: Paarl
  2. SAPS Academy: Bishops Lavis 
  3. SAPS Academy: Tshwane/Pretoria 
  4. SAPS Academy: Phillipi
  5. SAPS Academy: Chatsworth
  6. SAPS Academy: Outdshoorn
  7. Tshwane Metro Police Department Academy 
  8. Addo Police Academy 
  9. DAM School of Policing 
  10. SAPS Academy: Benoni

Career Responsibilities

As a police officer in South Africa, you will be part of the justice system, tasked with preventing, investigating, and combating crime. The role demands handling tense and potentially dangerous situations with composure and effective control.

Additional Considerations

  • Health: You must complete a health questionnaire, confirmed by a registered medical practitioner.
  • Psychometric Tests: Successful completion of psychometric tests or assessments is necessary.
  • Commitment: You must be prepared to undergo training and take the oath of office.

By meeting these requirements and successfully completing the training, you can embark on a rewarding career in the South African Police Service, contributing to the safety and security of the community.

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