Of the hiring process

Please review the Application and Selection Procedures to join the San Francisco Police Department. If you are ready to join, click the Apply Now button.

Step 1 : Submit Application

First, complete and submit an online application with the City and County of San Francisco. To do so, click here and follow the directions.

Step 2: Schedule Written Test

Written Exam (Pass/Fail)
For this portion, applicants may use either the a) FrontLine National Law Enforcement Examination administered by the National Testing Network (NTN) or the b) California POST PELLETB Exam. Either exam is pass/fail. Click here for more information.


Step 3 : Physical Ability Test (PAT)

Candidates that pass the Written Test will be notified to take a Physical Ability Test (PAT), a pass/fail examination. 

Step 4: Oral Interview (OI)

The OI will assess community involvement, interest, motivation, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, oral communication skills and abilities not tested by other examination components.  The OI score will be used to place candidates on the eligible list. Click here for more information.

Step 5: Eligibility List

Candidates that pass all test components (i.e., Written Test, Physical Ability Test and Oral Interview) will have their names added to the eligible list. Candidate names will remain on the list for a maximum period of 24 months. The San Francisco Police Department has the option to hire any candidate on the eligible list (“Rule of List”). Therefore, placement on this list neither guarantees nor implies that you will be offered employment. The San Francisco Police Department will administer the remaining processes outlined below to determine who shall advance further in the hiring process and be considered for appointment.

Step 6: Background Investigation

The following items and tests may be required of candidates during the background investigation phase:

  • Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ) Evaluation 
  • Employment, Character, and Background Investigation
  • Review of Judicial and Driving Records
  • Polygraph Examination
  • Testing for Use of Controlled Substances
  • Psychological Examination
  • Medical Examination
  • Vision Test
  • Hearing Test
Step 7: Academy

Each member of the San Francisco Police Department commits to excellence in law enforcement and dedicates themselves to serving the people of our City with just, transparent, unbiased and responsive policing. That commitment begins at the SFPD Regional Training Center Basic Academy, where our instructors provide all possible assistance to each recruit in order to ensure their success in the Academy, the Field Training Program, and throughout their career. Click here to learn more.

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