The NSW Government will invest an extra $17 million over the next 5 years in recruitment incentives and open up faster and more flexible study pathways in a new push to strengthen the ranks of the NSW Police Force.

From 1 Jan 2023, those looking to become a police officer in NSW will receive a $3000 financial boost while studying on campus and have greater flexibility to work during distance learning sessions.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said the incentives announced today will ensure the Force’s ongoing strength into the future.

“This is about investing in the next generation in blue who will keep our community safe,” Mr Toole said.

“We are not just ramping up our recruitment activities, we are knocking down the financial barriers to training and making it easier for those who want to juggle study with work.

“These new incentives put our recruits at the centre – cutting the cost of study and making it easier for them to work part or full time while they study online, putting $3000 in their pocket while they’re training on-campus at Goulburn and turning out among the best paid probationary constables in the country.

“This builds on our investment of about $4.5 million a year towards scholarships of up to $9500 for those who need financial support the most and will ensure every single recruit gets a financial boost.

“It’s part of a more than $100 million package of reforms designed to help recruit, retain and better take care of every member of the Force throughout their career.”

The new incentives for recruits from 2023 announced today include:

A $3000 on-campus allowance during Session Two.

  • Reducing the online entry level component of study, the University Certificate in Workforce Essentials (UCWE), from 8 to 4 weeks to help recruits move into the Associate Diploma of Policing Practice sooner.
  • Reducing the cost of the UCWE course from about $1800 to $700 which recruits will now only enroll in after the recruitment assessment is complete.
  • Introducing field placements as a key component of Session One learning, allowing recruits to experience operational scenarios and get a taste of the realities of being a police officer.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the Force has listened to feedback and made changes to the way new police officers are recruited in NSW.

“Our ‘You Should Be A Cop’ campaign is just warming up and is targeting the best and brightest to consider joining the Force and serve their community,” Commissioner Webb said.  

“Like every employer we’re faced with a competitive labour market, and we’ve thought long and hard about what we offer to attract people to join a world-class police force.

“The People and Capability Command has been working closely with the university provider to ensure the journey to becoming a NSW Police officer is the best it can be and attracts the best people – from giving them greater flexibility of when they study to giving them earlier exposure to day-to-day community policing.

“We’ve more than halved the cost and length of recruits’ foundation period of study and put a new $3000 financial incentive on the table to support them while they are at the NSW Police Academy at Goulburn for Session Two.

“This will boost the financial support for those in most need during Session Two to up to $12,500 on top of meals and accommodation.”

Police Association NSW president Kevin Morton said we need to be doing everything possible to attract and retain the best and brightest cops in this state.

“It’s great that the NSW Government has listened to the feedback and is taking steps to address some of the barriers to recruiting new police to the job,” Mr Morton said.

“In a tough labour market, we need to make sure we’re attracting a diverse and talented pool of new recruits, while also retaining our hard-working officers. Breaking down the barriers to employment and providing genuine incentives to attract budding cops is critical to ensuring we have the strongest possible police force.”

Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor Renee Leon said the $1000 cost reduction will also be applied to the current UCWE class.

“For a quarter of a century, Charles Sturt University has been proud to play an integral role in helping to train tens of thousands of NSW Police Officers,” Professor Leon said.

“The financial incentives and increased flexibility in study options which will be available to the next generation of officers will help maintain a strong and well-equipped police force in NSW."

“Further, it will now only take 4 weeks to complete the UCWE to help recruits move into the Associate Diploma of Policing Practice (ADPP) sooner.”