How to Apply for South African Police Service (SAPS) Careers

Who doesn’t want to be a hero?

South Africa currently has a lack of people willing to fight the bad guys while looking good doing it. This fact is not gone unnoticed by Minister of the South African Police Service (SAPS). During an SABC News interview, he revealed his plan to increase the ratio of SAPS members to citizens in South Africa. SAPS would need to fill over 60,000 vacancies over the next five years to increase the ratio (1:383 to 1:220), in line with global standards.

But being a hero isn’t just putting on a great uniform. There’s maintaining law and order, preventing crime, and investigating offences against the law. There’s also the entire infrastructure that maintains it, from administration and secretarial duties to cleaning services. No matter what your role, a SAPS career helps you make the world a little better.

This post will offer a step-by-step guide to beginning your own hero story. We will look at the huge variety of SAPS careers available and how to apply for a SAPS career. This includes info about the SAPS application form and tips on the new requirements. As a bonus, here are some hints on the South African Police Service psychometric test.

Let’s get started!

SAPS career Streams and Vacancies You Could Fill.
According to Lieut. Gen. Bonang Mgwenya, SAPS, is actively seeking more women. She also describes the ideal recruit as “upright, disciplined and accountable”, whether male or female. SAPS recruitment material states that “the South African police service is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer”.

If you fit this bill and are willing to give service to the community, consider the following SAPS careers:

SAPS career Stream 1: Police Official.
Pay: R 4 500 per month stipend plus service benefits, starting salary.

Your career as a SAPS police official will be focused on preventing and combating crime. The Police Officials are the frontline, the most visible members of SAPS.

After Basic Training

Uniformed Police Official
This is the basic level all recruits start at.
Further SAPS Career Opportunities
DPCI Investigator
Bomb Technician
Equestrian Unit
Dog Handling
Air Wing
Hostage Negotiator
Forensic Scientists
SAPS career Stream 2: Civilian Employees.
Pay: Varies with the level of responsibility and qualification/training.

Your career as a SAPS civilian employee will be providing functional support to police officials. This includes tasks such as administration, clerical work, supply management and custodial duties.

SAPS Civilian Employee Career Opportunities
Personnel Administration
Clerical Duties
Financial Administration
Secretarial Duties
Messenger Service
Cleaning Services
For more information on these careers and more, you should head to

Just scroll to the bottom of the Careers section and select the booklets to download the brochure.

Requirements for SAPS career Stream 1 and 2.
SAPS career basic requirements:

Be a South African citizen.
You must have matric (National Senior Certificate or NSC);
You need a National Certificate (Vocational) if you don’t have a matric. Able to use two Official Languages; one must be English.
Between the ages of 18 and 30.
Have no criminal record; submit to fingerprinting and background check.
No visible tattoos, piercings, or things on your body that your mom wouldn’t like.
Swear an Oath of Office.
An Oath of Office is (like any oath) a legal promise. You must promise to act responsibly with your authority on the pain of legal action.
Submit to Medical Examination.
Pass a South African Police Service Psychometric Test and interview.
You must also realise that if your SAPS application is successful, you must be willing to undergo extra training.

You must also be willing to be sent where you are needed, meaning relocating to anywhere in South Africa.

SAPS career Stream 1 Special Requirement:
Pass a basic Fitness Assessment and Medical Test.
Male candidates must:
Run 2.4 kilometres in 13 minutes or less.
Complete 30 push-ups in 1 minute or less.
Perform 45 sit-ups in 1 minute or less.
Complete 10 shuttle runs in 1 minute or less.
Female candidates must:
Run 2.4 kilometres in 15 minutes and 30 seconds.
Complete 21 push-ups in 1 minute or less.
Perform 31 sit-ups in 1 minute or less.
Complete 10 shuttle runs in 70 seconds or less.
How to Apply for a SAPS career.
The SAPS application form can be downloaded from their website.

Look through local newspapers in the careers section.
SAPS careers are advertised in local newspapers, such as the Sowetan, the Times, the Citizen etc. It’s government policy.
Careers are also advertised on their website here.
SAPS vacancies in the papers/online have a “POST NUMBER / REF NUMBER”.
Write this down; it’s vital for your application form.
Download the above SAPS application form.
Print the form and fill it in.

The form is extensive. I recommend you read it through several times before filling it in. Take your time and do it properly.
Most applicants fail because their SAPS application form is not filled in incorrectly.
When in doubt, ask a SAPS member for help.
Make a copy of the following:
Your 13-Digit Smart ID Card,
Your Driver’s License,
Your matric Certificate (NSC)/

NV(C) – Vocational Certificate,
Any additional qualifications, and
Proof of residence.
Sign your filled-in SAPS application in front of a Commissioner of Oaths.
TIP: Take all the documents you need to your local South African Police Service station and sign them before a SAPS officer.
You will hear from SAPS about your application in three months at most.
No communication after three months means your application was unsuccessful.
Steps After a Successful SAPS application.
If you pass the SAPS application stage, you will be assessed in person. The SAPS assessment centre will put you through several skills tests. As part of the process, there will also be an interview.

There are four tests during the assessment:

Numerical reasoning: How well you work with numbers.
Verbal reasoning: Understanding words and communication.
Comprehension: Speed-reading to find important info. You will be timed.
South African Police Service Psychometric Test.
In the interview, they will ask questions about your knowledge of SAPS, why you think you’ll be a good member and your plans for the future.

The South African Police Service Psychometric Test
This is the final stage of your SAPS application. This is a series of psychometric tests that measure spatial and nonverbal reasoning. If this sounds difficult, it is.

In practice, you will have to look at shapes and their differences, identify patterns and complete sequences. Your test will be timed.

I recommend you look up more information online about psychometric tests and prepare yourself well.

TIP: JobTestPrep offers a test preparation course for the SAPS application process. Practice tasks for the South African Police Service psychometric test are included. Find out more on their site.

APS Career Stream 1, Second Phase: Basic Police Learning Program (BLDP).
New Police Official (SAPS career Stream 1) hires will:

Spend one month working at a designated police station.
After this, you will be relocated to a SAPS Academy for eight months of basic training.
You’ll learn basic police skills like firearms training, group tactics, responding to civilians etc.
If you successfully complete Basic Training, you will become a rookie officer.
After a successful 12-month probation period working as a rookie, you will become a full member of the SAPS.
It’s worth noting that not only do trainees get paid during the 21-month BLDP, they also receive medical aid benefits.

New Requirements for SAPS recruitment
Minister Bheki Cele is planning to amend the SAPS application requirements.

The amendment involves a new application requirement, namely an integrity test.

The integrity test involves:

Take a buccal sample (cheek swab) to analyse your DNA profile;
A lie detector test;
Truthfully revealing all your income and expenses.

Conclusion: ‘
The SAPS 2023/2024 recruitment drive will continue soon. Certainly, at any given time, SAPS has a lot of career opportunities for you to aim for.

With many more vacancies still remaining in SAPS, the questions are: what can you do to make our country a better place? Are you ready to be a hero?

As always, drop a comment if you have any questions or experiences with SAPS applications. I hope this informative step-by-step guide helps you, and share it with any potential heroes you know.

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