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Selection Process


The selection process is a fair and equitable competition. It results in only the best and most competitive candidates being offered employment. Applicants are processed on an ongoing basis throughout the year, in an effort to identify and maintain a qualified applicant pool.

The amount of time that each applicant spends in the selection process will vary. Variables such as the number of positions available, the scheduling of recruit classes at the Police Academy, and the competitiveness of the other applicants in the current pool will all influence the application process. Applicants should expect a highly competitive process that will require time, persistence and high levels of performance to be successful.

The following is a general overview of the Abbotsford Police Department’s recruit selection process. Each stage depends on successful performance in the preceding stages. Failure to complete one stage will result in the removal of the candidate from the application process. In certain circumstances, the number and order of certain steps in the process may vary.

Rigorous assessments of honesty, integrity and ethics are an integral part of the selection process. The information you provide throughout the process will be scrutinized closely. Dishonesty, deceit, or non-disclosure of information can result in the applicants permanent removal from the process.

Online Submission of Resume and Cover Letter

The Abbotsford Police Department hiring process begins with an online application. Applicants are required to electronically submit a resume and cover letter for the position of either Recruit Police Officer or Experienced Police Officer. Please ensure that you select the correct portal when submitting an application. Once received by the APD Recruiting Section, the online application will be assessed for competitiveness.  

If the applicant is deemed to be “competitive”, they will receive a full, hardcopy application package. This consists of a comprehensive application form, and the Integrity and Lifestyle Questionnaire. Applicants have 30 days to return these forms.

If the applicant is deemed to be “not competitive”; they will receive an email advising them that they are not competitive, and their application is closed at that time. Due to the volume of applicants, it is not possible for the Recruiting Section to provide individual and specific feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Please do not begin the online application process until you are certain that you have met all of the Applicant Requirements, and you are ready to participate in ALL stages of our selection process.

Please do not begin the online process until you are ready to participate in ALL stages of our selection process.

Pre-screening Interview (Optional)

The Recruiting Section may choose to conduct a “Pre-screening Interview” with an applicant, in order to assess whether or not the candidate should receive the full application package. This optional interview occurs when the Recruiting Section reviews the on-line application and feels that there is information that needs further clarification or a more comprehensive explanation. This can be accomplished by either phone or e-mail.

Submission of Complete Application Package

Successful applicants will receive, via email, an electronic version of the Application Package, which includes the Integrity and Lifestyle Questionnaire. The applicant will be required to print (single-sided pages) the Application Package and the Integrity and Lifestyle Questionnaire. The documents MUST be completed in black ink, by hand, by the candidate. Applicants can either mail or courier the original Application Package and Integrity and Lifestyle Questionnaire to the Recruiting Section, or drop it off in person at 2838 Justice Way in Abbotsford, BC. Be sure to follow ALL of the instructions provided on the forms. The candidate will be required to include the following documents with the Application Package:

  • Photocopy of a valid driver's license
  • Photocopy of your Social Insurance card
  • Two colour, passport-suitable photos
  • Driver's abstract (obtained from the Motor Vehicle Branch)
  • A copy of your valid First Aid certificate (minimum requirement is "basic" or "standard" first aid with CPR), showing date of expiry
  • A copy of your Birth Certificate and/or proof of your Permanent Resident status
  • The APD-issued Visual Acuity Report, completed by a recognized eye care professional, confirming that the minimum vision requirements are met (eye exam must be within the past 6 months)(Visual Acuity Report)

Review of Application Package and Integrity and Lifestyle Questionnaire

The Recruiting Section will be responsible for reviewing all completed and returned Application Packages and Integrity and Lifestyle Questionnaires.

Successful applicants will be invited, via email, to participate in the Abbotsford Police Department Intake Exam.  Intake Exams are held on an “as needed” basis.

Unsuccessful applicants at this stage will receive an email advising them that they have been deemed “not competitive” at this time. Due to the volume of applicants, it is not possible for the Recruiting Section to provide individual and specific feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Overview of Abbotsford Police Recruitment Exam

*NOTE* There is a hyperlink at the end of this section to “Abbotsford Police Exam Sample Questions”

The Abbotsford Police Department Intake Exam assesses practical skill sets that police officers use on a regular basis while performing their duties. The ETHOS exam has a three-hour time limit, and most applicants use the bulk of the allowed time to complete the exam. It is divided into four modules, and is marked out of 110. A score of 60% (66/110) is required to pass. Applicants who fail to pass the ETHOS exam must wait 6 months to request a second opportunity to write the exam, and each request will be considered on an individual basis.

The modules assess the following four areas:

  • Memory and observation skills (20 marks)
  • Reading, Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills (30 marks)
  • Summarizing skills (15 marks)
  • Writing and editing skills (45 marks)

Once the exam is marked, applicants will receive an email showing their exam score.

Module A: Assessment of Memory and Observation Skills

This module is divided into two sections, and the format is multiple choice. At the beginning of the exam, candidates are shown a police bulletin, and asked to read and remember as much of the information as possible in 3 minutes. Candidates then watch a video detailing a crime-in-progress. There are 15 multiple choice questions related to the video, designed to test a candidate’s memory and observation skills. There are 5 multiple choice questions relating to the information listed on the police bulletin.

Module B: Assessment of Reading, Comprehension, and Critical Thinking Skills

This module is divided into three sections. The objective of this module is to assess the candidate’s reading and comprehension skills, their ability to reason and think critically, and their ability to apply basic math skills. The math skills required by this section include competency in addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, percentages, and fractions. The first section requires the candidate to read an article, and then answer 10 questions about the article. Answers in this section are written in sentence and paragraph form, as necessary. The second and third sections contain information about crimes and accident scenes, and applicants answer questions related to the information provided. Answers in these two sections can be written in point form.

Module C: Assessment of Summary Skills

This module requires the candidate to read a witness statement, and then write a logical, coherent summary that captures the essential information of the witness statement. The summary is written in paragraph form.

Module D: Assessment of Writing and Editing Skills

This module is divided into three sections. Each section presents one paragraph of text that requires correction of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Candidates re-write the paragraphs, eliminating errors in the following areas: grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, and word choice.

Abbotsford Police Exam Sample Questions

Peace Officers Physical Abilities Testing (POPAT) and 2.4km Run

The Peace Officers Physical Abilities Testing (POPAT) is a job-related, physical abilities test. It is designed to simulate a critical incident where a police officer chases, controls and apprehends a suspect. The POPAT has many components, including obstacles, jumps, cones, an agility bar, an eighty pound push-pull exercise, and a one-hundred pound bag carry. The standard is the same for males and females. It must be completed in less than 4 minutes, 15 seconds (4:15). Applicants should strive for the most competitive time possible, in order to maintain their competitiveness in the selection process.

Applicants need to be physically fit to complete this test. It is highly recommended that all applicants prepare physically and mentally for this test. Although the minimum standard is 4 min 15 sec, this part of the selection process is very competitive and as such it is important to strive for the best possible time.

It is strongly recommended that an applicant practice the POPAT before completing the test as part of an application. Practicing will help you pace yourself properly, become comfortable with the rules and proper protocols, and ultimately give you a better time. POPAT practice tests are conducted by private companies, and you can locate one in your area through an Internet search.

Applicants are also required to complete a 2.4 km (1.5 mile) run, following the completion of the POPAT. A rest break is provided following the POPAT. Although the run is not timed, it is beneficial for the applicant to complete the run in a competitive time.

Suitability Interview

The Suitability Interview is conducted by the Recruiting Section. It reviews the candidate's personal history, focusing on areas such as employment, work ethic, integrity and lifestyle, problem-solving abilities, and volunteer-based community service. This interview provides the Recruiting Section with an opportunity to gain an understanding of why the candidate is interested in a career in policing, and how much the candidate understands about the role, responsibilities and duties of a police officer.

Management Interview

This interview is conducted by a panel made up of 2 senior police officers and the Director of Human Resources. The panel reviews the applicant's entire file, and questions the applicant on all aspects relative to potential suitability for employment as a police officer with the Abbotsford Police Department. The questions are primarily behavioural-based, and they require the applicant to provide specific examples of how they have displayed certain behaviours in the past. At the completion of the interview, the panel makes a determination as to whether or not the candidate will move forward in the selection process.

Psychological Testing

Applicants complete a battery of psychological tests, and then meet one-on-one with a clinical psychologist.

Polygraph Examination

The polygraph is a pre-employment tool used to verify the applicant's truthfulness about their personal history, qualifications, and integrity. The polygraph examination is conducted by certified polygraphist.

Background Investigation

The Background Investigation is an extremely thorough and comprehensive investigation into every aspect of an applicant's work and personal history. It can take up to 6 weeks to complete. All aspects of the candidate’s background will be subject to investigation and authentication. At the conclusion of the Background Investigation, a recommendation is made as to the candidate's overall suitability to become a member of the Abbotsford Police Department.

Medical Examination

All candidates are required to take a pre-employment medical exam. It is a comprehensive physical exam that is conducted by a doctor designated by the Abbotsford Police Department. The medical testing includes, but is not limited to, cardiovascular FIT testing (stress test), strength (grip) testing, visual acuity, hearing testing, flexibility, blood work, and an overall review of personal health. Upon completion, a medical report is forwarded to the Recruiting Section for review and consideration.

The Selection Decision

Once a pool of suitable applicants has been identified, the Recruiting Section, under the direction of the Director of Human Resources, reviews each file and determines the applicant's competitiveness and overall suitability to become a police officer with the Abbotsford Police Department.

Important Note Regarding the Competitive Nature of Our Process

Our objective is to select the best-qualified, most competitive individuals to provide policing services in Abbotsford.

The process is lengthy, and at each step, a minimum level of achievement must be attained. However, even if you meet the minimum standard, the Recruiting Section of the Abbotsford Police Department must still determine which applicants are the best-qualified and most competitive to proceed to further testing. These decisions are based on your qualifications, individual test scores, the number of testing spaces available, and the number of positions we are working to fill. In other words, even if you meet our minimum standards of performance at each step, you may not be selected to proceed to the next step of the process due to the number of other more competitive candidates. If, after a step in the application process, you are advised that others were more competitive, please remember that due to the volume of qualified applicants, the reason has less to do with you, and more to do with the greater competitiveness of the other applicants. If you are unsuccessful in any stage of the process, it is up to you to make yourself more competitive. 

We prefer to be as direct as possible. We want to ensure that you know exactly what is involved in the application process, and that you have a realistic understanding of the level of your competitiveness.

Thank you for your interest in the Abbotsford Police Department.