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How to Become a Police Officer: SAPS Trainees

Thanks for arriving on this page, if you want to become a police officer, here is the process. You can also find Reasons to Work for SAPS here on this bog.

Police recruits undergo a Basic Police Development Learning Programme (BPDLP) when they enlist in the South African Police Service. Upon recruitment, a Memorandum of Agreement is entered into between the South African Police Service and the police recruit for a contract period of 24 months. During this period, the recruit will be a police trainee and will undergo the Basic Police Development Learning Programme.

The purpose of the Basic Police Development Learning Programme is to enable newly-appointed police officials to –use a series of legal and policing skills to protect and serve members of communities in accordance with the Constitution of South Africa provide a more effective service that will improve community satisfaction and position them to fulfill their mission of creating a safe and secure environment for all who live in South Africa.


The course is presented at the accredited SAPS academies earmarked to present the Basic Police Development Learning Programme.

The SAPS have the following academies:



  • SAPS Academy All Saints – Eastern Cape
  • SAPS Academy Bhisho – Eastern Cape
  • SAPS Academy Graaff – Reinet Eastern Cape
  • SAPS Academy Mthatha – Eastern Cape
  • SAPS Academy Chatsworth – Kwazulu-Natal
  • SAPS Academy Ulundi – Kwazulu-Natal
  • SAPS Academy Tshwane – Gauteng
  • SAPS Academy Bishop Lavis – Western Cape
  • SAPS Academy Oudtshoorn – Western Cape
  • SAPS Academy Philippi – Western Cape

The duration of the Learning Programme will be 24 months, of which 12 months will be at the Academy and 12 months in the workplace. It will consist of two phases at the academy and one phase in the workplace.

Phase One: Academy (10 months)


  • Foundational phase – will mainly focus on acquiring necessary knowledge and skills.
  • Practical application of knowledge and skills

Phase Two: Workplace experience (12 months)



  • Workplace exposure at a station

Phase Three: Academy (2 months)



  • Integrated assessments
  • When police trainees complete the training and are found competent, they are permanently enlisted in the South African Police Service as constables.
  • Payment and benefits during the first 24 months

A police trainee will receive the following payment and benefits during the first 24 months:
Phase 1: 10 months at the SAPS Academy
  • R3 175,00 per month
  • Free meals and accommodation
  • Polmed medical aid – lower plan membership, no pension fund
Phase 2 and 3: 12 months in the workplace at a station and two months integrated assessment at the Academy

  • R 7 275,00 per month
  • Own meals and accommodation
  • Polmed medical aid – lower or higher plan membership, pension fund and all other benefits (Leave, allowances, etc)
Permanent appointment after 24 months:
R 10 307,00 per month
All benefits applicable to SAPS Act members
Click here for the latest Police Trainee vacancies and other SAPS career opportunities.
See Available SAPS Jobs
See The SAPS Education Trust.

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