An Garda Síochána is the national police service of Ireland. The Mission of An Garda Síochána is Working with Communities to Protect and Serve.
The Garda Síochána College provides education/training from Trainee Garda stage up to the development of Officers at the highest level. Gardaí throughout the Service are supported in their duties by a number of specialist units, with membership of these units is open to all members of the Garda Service on completion of three years in mainstream operational police duties.
Applicants must be 18 years of age but not yet 35 years of age on midnight of the closing date for the competition specified in the advertising campaign to which the admission relates.
The recruitment process for An Garda Síochána includes assessment, interview, vetting, physical testing and medical examination.
Peter Clifford is a Probationer Garda in Waterford. Peter had previously worked as a care assistant for people with intellectual diabilities before deciding on a career change. He was also a member of the Garda Reserve for 5 years in a busy city environment which shaped his decision to join the force.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
How did you go about getting your current job?
I had been registered on publicjobs.ie for many years and knew they were recruiting soon.
I applied and we had to do:
1. Online aptitude
2. Online aptitude
3. Test centre Dublin to repeat the online aptitude tests in a supervised setting along with a report writing exercise and job simulation test
4. Competency based interview
5. Medical, fitness test and vetting
Describe a typical day?
The best thing about the job is there is no typical day. This was probably the biggest draw for me to the job. I love the unpredictable nature of it and that we can get called to any incident at any time.
Some days when it is extremely busy I find we are very reactive due to the high volume of calls. Other days when it is a bit quieter we can be more proactive and we can get out and prevent incidents from happening before they unfold.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
What are the main challenges?
I love the variety the job offers. It sounds like a cliché but no two days are the same. I also like the satisfaction of knowing I am helping people.
People sometimes see the Gardaí as disciplinarians but in a lot of situations we help people who are very emotional and vulnerable such as victims of crime.
What's not so cool?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
I think my experience as a Garda Reserve for 5 years has been the single most important for me. I completed a training programme for the Garda Reserves and then I did a lot of on the job learning.
I was very lucky in that Gardaí in the station knew where my interests lay and took me under their wing as a Reserve.
I was involved in a huge variety of incidents and this furthered my interests in becoming a full member. My time in the Garda Reserve also provided me with a range of experiences to draw from for my application and interview.
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
What is your dream job?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
To get physically fit for the entrance tests and also for the demanding physical nature of the job. Also I would tell people to enjoy themselves before they join as it’s a job for at least 30 years.
I would also informl people about the variety of avenues people can get into when they have completed their training. There really is a career for every person regardless of where their interests lie. There is so many specialised units and prospects.
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
What is your pet hate at work?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
In the Garda College I have completed a suicide intervention course which has proved to be a very worthwhile course.
In the future I hope that I can further my education and build on the degree that I will attain at the end of the training. I think that furthering education will be crucial if I want to progress my career in years to come.
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?