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How the Garda Reserve Recruit

How the Garda Reserve Recruit

What are the main entry requirements and recruitment procedures?

Recruitment for the Garda Reserve is ongoing and the Public Appointments Service (PAS) deals with all inquiries. The PAS hold interviews on a rolling basis at a range of locations around the country.

Educational requirements
Candidates must have obtained in the Leaving Certificate Examination:

  • A grade not lower than B3 at Foundation Level or D3 at another level in Mathematics, and
  • A qualifying grade in 2 languages, 1 of which must be English or Irish, as follows: English: a grade not lower that D3 at Ordinary Level, Irish: a grade not lower than C3 at Foundation Level or D3 at another level, Other language: a grade not lower than D3 at Ordinary Level, and
  • A grade not lower than D3 at Ordinary Level, in not less than 2 other subjects


  • The Merit Grade in the Applied Leaving Certificate,


  • Like Grades in another examination, that, in the opinion of the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform, is not of a lower standard than the above.


  • A former member who, on retirement, received an exemplary, very good or good discharge from An Garda Síochána is deemed to meet the requirements.


  • The Garda Commissioner may exempt a person from meeting these requirements if satisfied that the person has personal attributes which otherwise render him or her suitable to be admitted as a reserve trainee. (This only occurs in exceptional circumstances).

Is there a height requirement?
There is no height requirement to join the Garda Reserve.

What are the physical requirements?
Successful candidates at stages 1 and 2 of the selection process will also be required to undergo an exacting medical examination by a Registered Medical Practitioner nominated by the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána or by the Chief Medical Officer at Garda Headquarters. Such candidates must be of good mental and bodily health and free from any defect or abnormality likely to interfere with the efficient performance of their duties. Any of the following examples of medical conditions may be a bar to passing the medical examination:

  • Defective Vision (the vision standard required of a Garda Reserve trainee is not less than 6/18, 6/18 correctable to 6/9,6/12, with normal colour vision).
  • Varicose veins
  • Being overweight
  • Albumenuria
  • Dental Caries
  • Defective Hearing
  • Hypertension

Can a reserve police officer from another Country transfer to the Garda Síochána Reserve?
No, there is no internal transfer process. You must go through the normal recruitment process.

Can a citizen from any country join?
Applicants to join must

  • Be a national of a European Union Member State, or
  • Be a national of an EEA State or the Swiss Confederation, or
  • Be a refugee under the Refugee Act, 1996, or
  • Have a period of one year's continuous residence in the State immediately before 1 September 2005 and, during the 8 years immediately preceding that period, have had a total residence in the State amounting to 4 years. (Periods of illegal residence or residence as an asylum seeker do not count in the qualifying 5 year period).

What are the restrictions on admission to training for the Garda Reserve?
Notwithstanding that the requirements of Regulation 4 are met, a person may not be recruited for admission as a reserve trainee if the person:

  • Holds a designated certificate, licence or permit i.e. Taxi/PSV Licence, Licence to sell intoxicating liquor
  • Is a member of the Defence Forces
  • Is an officer of the court
  • Is an officer of the probation and welfare service
  • Is a bailiff
  • Is a prison officer
  • Is a practicing barrister or a practicing solicitor
  • For reward or personal gain, manages or conducts, or assists in the management or conducting of, a concern or premises which is required by law to be operated under a licence, permit or certificate, the grant of which may be opposed by An Garda Síochána
  • Provides a security service within the meaning of the Private Security Services Act 2004
  • Serves summonses as a spare time activity or
  • Is employed in any occupation or holds any appointment or position which, in the opinion of the Garda Commissioner, may cause a conflict of interest with the proper discharge of the duties of a reserve member.
Notwithstanding any other provision of these regulations, the Garda Commissioner may not recruit a person for admission as a reserve trainee if it appears to the Commissioner that the person is generally unsuitable for such admission.

Selection Process for the Garda Reserve

The competition for the selection of Garda Reserves attracts a very high number of applicants. Accordingly the selection process to become a Garda Reserve is comprehensive, with candidates required to undertake a range of relevant assessment tests and exercises over a number of selection stages. The tests and exercises are designed to identify candidates suitable to be a Garda Reserve. Therefore only the highest performing candidates at each particular stage will progress to the next stage. The numbers called forward to each stage of selection will be determined from time to time having regard to the location and number of vacancies to be filled.

The Public Appointments Service will conduct the initial selection stages (i.e. Stage 1 & Stage 2) on behalf of the Garda Commissioner. Names and details of candidates who are successful and are placed highest on the order of merit following the selection stages conducted by the Public Appointments Service will be forwarded to An Garda Síochána for further consideration (i.e. Stage 3).

Neither An Garda Síochána nor the Public Appointments Service will be responsible for refunding any expenses incurred by candidates in relation to the selection process.

Selection Methods
Candidates will be required to take a number of tests which are designed to identify their potential to become a Garda Reserve. More detailed information in relation to the selection methods e.g. tests, exercises, etc., and confirmed dates will be made available to candidates as they progress through the process.

The methods used to select the successful candidates for this role may include:
  • Assessment questionnaire(s)
  • Job simulation exercises
  • Report writing exercises
  • Interview(s)
  • Medical Examination
  • Any other assessment tests/exercises deemed appropriate 


On-Line Assessment Questionnaire

To facilitate candidates’ availability and circumstances, Stage 1 of the process will be conducted on-line, with later stages requiring candidates to attend in person e.g. Interview, medical etc. Detailed information on each stage will be made available at the appropriate time to candidates being invited to that particular stage of the process. 

The initial on-line assessment will be unsupervised and candidates may take it in a venue of their choice, anywhere in the world, wherever they have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection. It is advised to take the tests on a PC or Laptop. Candidates should not attempt to take the test on a smart phone, mobile or tablet device.

Online Test Taking Environment

Please be aware that taking the Assessment Questionnaire within a secure IT network e.g. a network such as your work or college which may have firewalls or other security technology in place may cause you technical difficulties. You should consider taking the test in your home or other environment where access to the internet is not restricted to the same level. The onus is on you to ensure that you have full internet access to complete the Questionnaire. Candidates should ensure that they can complete the test in a quiet environment where they can concentrate without being disturbed.

Link to the on-line Stage 1 Assessment Questionnaire

A link to the actual on-line Assessment Questionnaire will be sent to candidates’ Message Boards in advance of the test-taking window. It is anticipated that candidates will receive a link to their Stage 1 on-line Assessment Questionnaire by the 21st April and will have until the 27th April to complete and submit it. [2017]

Preparing yourself for the selection process

Familiarisation material will be made available in advance of each assessment stage. Please note that the assessment tests require no other special preparation and that past papers are not available.

Stage 1: On-line Assessment Questionnaire Following the closing date and before Stage 1 commences, candidates will receive instructions and a link to the on-line Assessment Questionnaire. Information on when you can expect to receive the link will be forwarded to you in advance.

Candidates will be ranked based on their responses to the Questionnaire. Those ranked highest will be invited to undertake the next stage of the selection process. The numbers called forward to each stage of selection will be determined from time to time having regard to the location and number of vacancies to be filled.


Applicants invited to attend for Stage 2 will be required to complete a supplementary application form and to provide identification and documentary evidence of age and educational qualifications. 


Applicants who progress to the final stage of the selection (stage 3) will be subject to a comprehensive screening by the Garda Authorities. This will include vetting, medical exam, physical competence test, etc.


Training of Reserve Members

Applicants who are successful through all stages of the selection process will be required to undertake the following training:

(a) Phase I – 16 Hours Induction - Garda College, Templemore

(b) Phase II – 56 Hours – Classroom based – Various Locations

(c) Phase III – 16 Hours – Practical Training – Various Locations

(d) Phase IV – 40 Hours Observational Training (On the Job)

(e) Phase V – 6 Hours Graduation

At the end of the Garda Reserve Training and Development Programme, members of the Garda Reserve will be able to:

  • Fully comprehend their role and responsibilities within An Garda Síochána and the roles and responsibilities of the various other ranks within the force.
  • Display a commitment to maintain the same professional standards as expected of all members of An Garda Síochána.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the legislative powers available to members of the Garda Reserve.
  • Assist Garda members whilst on Beat duty and on duty in the Public Office.
  • Master basic self defence skills to help protect themselves whilst on duty.
  • Gather, detail and document accurate information in their official notebooks relating to instances encountered whilst on duty.
  • Effectively use relevant Garda equipment from information and communication systems to handcuffs and batons etc.
  • Competently assist Garda members in specified areas: foot patrol; traffic check points; in instances of accidents / emergencies and at other major events e.g. festivals or sporting events.
  • Give evidence in court when required.
  • Recognise when to take initiative and exercise discretion where appropriate.
  • Possess communication skills necessary to effectively engage, in a pleasant and professional manner, with members of both the community and An Garda Síochána itself.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work as part of a team.
  • Exercise an awareness of human rights issues and a respect for diversity at all times.
NOTE: Where a Reserve trainee does not complete the prescribed training (Phases 1 to 5 inclusive) within a reasonable timeframe, he/she will be discharged from the Training Programme.

Where to go for current vacancies?

The first step is to access the Public Appointments Service website and ensure that you meet the entry requirements (see above).

You will need to complete the relevant application form on the www.publicjobs.ie website.

The Public Appointments Service will then schedule you for an interview on an agreed date.