This page will explain the hiring process for our Regular Academy. There are a number of steps which must be completed prior to receiving an offer for employment. For some candidates, the order of steps may be rearranged slightly – regardless, all steps in the hiring process must be successfully completed in order for you to be hired. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will be disqualified. Please note: Out of town applicants will be required to travel to Austin at least two times throughout the hiring process.
All applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to apply for the position of police cadet:
Must be 20.5 years of age at time of application
Must possess a High School Diploma or GED
Must have a valid driver’s license
Must be a U.S. citizen (by birth or naturalized)
Must read, write, and speak English
Step One: Submit Application
All police cadet candidates must submit an online application and provide an updated PDF copy of your Experian credit report. You can obtain your Experian credit report from www.Experian.com or www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit report must be dated within 30 days of your application.
IMPORTANT: We contact all applicants via email throughout the hiring process. It is recommended that you add iCIMS to your approved/safe sender list to ensure that our emails are properly delivered to your inbox and not marked as spam. Not taking this step may result in you missing important updates regarding your application.
SUBMITTING INFORMATION: Applicants should not send any personal information, such as a credit report, social security card, or driver’s license information to us via email. Submitting personal information by email is not a secure form of communication. Instead, please upload these documents directly into the iCIMS portal by logging into the system. Applicants with questions are asked to contact the Recruiting Office directly at 512-974-4211 for assistance on this matter.
Step Two: Intake Review
After submitting an application online, each one is reviewed for disqualifying factors. Applicants who pass the Intake Review will be contacted via email and scheduled for Phase I Testing.
Those who do not pass the Intake Review process will be contacted via email and provided with an eligibility date to reapply, if applicable. Some disqualifiers are permanent. Please visit the FAQ section of our website for information on potential disqualifiers.
Step Three: Phase 1 Testing
Applicants who pass the Intake Review process will be scheduled for Phase I Testing (Civil Service Exam). Additionally, during this step, applicants will have 15 (fifteen) days from the date requested to submit a completed electronic Background History Statement (BHS).
This portion of the process is a one day event and includes the written exam, completion and notarizing of the Candidate Forms Guide, and a series of questionnaires. Applicants will be required to upload copies of required documentation to the iCIMS portal prior to Phase I Testing:
Original/Certified Birth Certificate
Naturalization documents, if applicable
Social security card
Current driver’s license
High school diploma, official high school transcripts, or GED
Official departmental forms (link provided in testing confirmation email)
Failure to sit for the written exam or failure to earn a passing score of at least 70 will result in your disqualification from the hiring process. Applicants must review the Reading Comprehension Manual prior to sitting for the exam - a number of questions on the exam will be based on this reading material. We also strongly suggest that you review the Candidate Orientation Guide and take the free practice exam. This will give you a better understanding of what to expect on the day of the exam.
Step Four: Background Investigation
Applicants will be sent a link providing access to the electronic Background History Statement (BHS), after being scheduled for Phase I Testing and prior to the test day. Applicants must submit the completed BHS within 15 (fifteen) days of being provided access to the link. All required documents must be submitted to the Recruiting Unit online through the iCIMS portal prior to attending Phase I Testing. In order to prepare for the amount of information required in the Background Investigation phase, it is highly recommended that applicants begin gathering this information immediately after submitting the initial application. You will be asked to provide:
Last 10 years of chronological work and volunteer history, including phone numbers and email addresses for a supervisor and coworker at each place of employment or for each volunteer position
Last 10 years of chronological residence history
Last 10 years of relationship history including names, phone numbers, and email addresses for current and past relationships
Life history of vehicle crashes, citations, and warnings
Contact information for all immediate family members including parents, step-parents, adoptive parents, in-laws, siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings, adoptive siblings and all children
Contact information for 5 personal references that you have known for at least 2 years (cannot include family members, current/prior relationship, or current/prior supervisors/coworkers that are already listed in your work history section)
Once the applicant has provided all of the required information, uploaded copies of required documentation to the iCIMS portal, and passed Phase I Testing, a Background Investigator will conduct the investigation. Applicants are expected to communicate with their assigned investigators in a timely manner throughout this stage of the hiring process. Failure to respond with required information, or a failure to communicate in a timely manner will result in your disqualification.
Documentation that must be submitted electronically through the iCIMS application portal:
Social security card High school diploma, official high school transcripts or GED
Original or certified birth certificate
Naturalization documents, if applicable
College transcripts, if applicable
DD214 (Member 4 or Service 2 versions only) or good standing letter from Commanding Officer if active military, if applicable
Marriage license(s), if applicable
Divorce decree(s) and addendum(s), if applicable
Last 2 earnings statements from your current job or last filed tax return if unemployed
Current or prior law enforcement: Copy of personnel file and any Internal Affairs investigations in which you have been involved. If you are unable to obtain this documentation, you must provide an addendum explaining the reason(s) why and what you did to attempt to obtain this information.
You may be asked to supply an updated Experian credit report at some point during the background investigation
Step Five: Phase 2 Testing
Applicants who successfully complete the Background Investigation stage of the hiring process will be invited to complete Phase II Testing. This is a multi-step process that consists of online and in-person testing:
The psychological questionnaires administered include the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the Inwald Personality Inventory (IPI). Both are designed to measure a variety of personality and psychological factors related to police work. Results will be reviewed by a psychologist and follow-up questions may be asked during the psychological interview in Phase II.
Psychological interview – The psychological interview is conducted by a Department psychologist and consists of a one-on-one interview with the applicant along with a review of the previously taken psychological questionnaires (MMPI & IPI). The psychologist will decide whether or not the candidate meets the mental and emotional fitness to function successfully as a police cadet and upon graduation, as an Austin Police Officer. Candidates should dress in business formal attire for this interview. The psychological interview and oral board interview are scheduled to occur on the same day.
Oral board interview –The candidate will be sat in front of a panel of Austin Police officers ranging from the rank of officer to lieutenant. During the oral board, the applicant will be asked questions designed to demonstrate certain knowledge, skills and abilities considered basic for the effective performance as a police officer. Candidates should dress in business formal attire for the oral board interview.
Polygraph examination – The candidate will receive instructions on how to prepare for the polygraph examination. A pre-polygraph questionnaire will be completed during Phase I Testing. The polygraph examiner will develop your examination from the information you give on the pre-polygraph questionnaire and from the report provided by your background investigator. The polygraph examination is approximately a 2 hour process.
Medical assessment – Applicants who successfully complete all previous stages of the hiring process will be required to take a general fitness assessment and medical examination conducted by Austin Police Wellness staff. Each candidate’s physical and medical condition will be evaluated to ensure that he/she can function safely as a police cadet. If the applicant’s medical history or the physical findings by the Department physician indicate the need for further clarification the applicant will be required to submit their medical records to the Austin Police Staff Physician. Upon completion of the physical assessment, the candidate will be given directions to proceed directly to a medical facility to undergo a collection of bodily fluids and hair samples. The samples will be analyzed to detect the use of illegal drugs.
Physical Fitness Test - Applicants will be given two opportunities to prove their fitness level for approval to enter the 153rd Academy. The fitness tests to be used by the Austin Police Department will consist of the following:
Concept2 Rower Fitness Test 2,000 meter
Concept2 Rower Fitness Test 500 meter
Concept2 Rower Fitness Tests
The Concept2 Rower Fitness Tests will be conducted duringPhase 2 of the Austin Police Department's hiring process. Applicants who pass the Background Phase of the APD hiring process will be scheduled for the fitness test by their Background Investigator.
2,000 MeterRow Test*
For the 2,000m Row Test, individuals will row 2,000-meter as fast as possible and the time will be utilized to estimate one’s VO2 in order to calculate their score. The 2,000-meter test takes place at the level 5or damper setting 5on the flywheel. For the Recruiting standard, the applicant must obtain a score of 60% or greater. To determine this passing metric, visit the link below and complete information in the box labeled “Inputs.” Complete the box on the bottom right labeled “Desired Results” by entering 60 in the input box beside percent, then select calculate. The time needed to complete the test and obtain a score of 60% or greater will be displayed in the “Desired Results” portion of the page. The applicants age and weight are utilized to calculate the desired outcome.
Due to the varying age and weight calculations, there is not a chart indicating percentage of passing standards.
In the event that the applicant scores below 60% on the 2,000-meter row, the applicant will be provided a second opportunity, utilizing the 500-meter row sprint test. The applicant will have 20 minutes to rest and recover before they start the 500-meter row sprint test.
*Applicants must attempt the 2000 Meter Row Test before they will be given the opportunity to attempt the 500 Meter Row Test.
500 Meter Row Test
For the 500-meter row test, individuals shall row 500m as fast as possible and the time will be utilized to estimate one’s score. The 500-meter test takes place at the level 5or damper setting 5 on the flywheel
The 500m Row Test is scored based on the applicants’ gender and the time the test was completed.
The 60th percentile on the 500m Row Test is a time of 2:17 or better for females and 1:58 or better for males.
If the applicant scores below a 60% on the 500-meter row test, the applicant will fail the fitness test.
The below listed links will provide pointers on the proper technique to use on the rowers. It will be extremely beneficial to you to view these videos and practice the techniques shown. If you do not have access to a Concept2 Rower, contact local Gyms and inquire if they have the Concept2 Rower. It would be beneficial to obtain a short-term membership to allow you to practice on the rower.
If an applicant does not pass either of the Concept2 Rower Fitness Tests, they will be disqualified for this Civil Service Testing Cycle. They may reapply for a future Civil Service testing date.
Step Six: Offer for Hire
Applicants who successfully pass Phase I Testing, the Background Investigation, and Phase II Testing will be offered a conditional offer of employment. This offer is conditional upon the successful completion of the remaining portions of the application process and upon funding authorization by the City of Austin.
Step Seven: Mandatory Orientation
All applicants must attend a mandatory orientation session at the Training Academy approximately 3-5 weeks prior to the start of the Academy. Applicants who do not attend orientation are subject to disqualification and the conditional offer of employment will be rescinded. At orientation you will meet Cadet Training staff, members of the APD Executive Team, and your classmates. Cadet Training staff will outline expectations for the first day of the Academy. You are encouraged to bring a close friend or family member with you to orientation. Keeping them involved in the process is important and this opportunity allows them to establish friendships with other spouses, family members, etc. A strong support system starts here.