How to Become a Police Officer in Toronto

Toronto skyline from King St.
Toronto skyline from King St.

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) is an elite law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the people of Toronto. As the Canadian metropolitan area with the most police officers, Toronto has many career opportunities for aspiring and current police officers, but the hiring process can be competitive. A policing degree or a criminology degree can set candidates apart, lead to promotions, and open doors to a broad range of job opportunities.

Laurier’s online Bachelor of Arts in Policing and online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing develop analytical and critical thinking skills, foster key competencies required for leadership roles, and give public safety professionals an edge in their overall careers and salary potential—no matter where in Canada they may be studying from.

How Do You Become a Police Officer in Toronto?

To join the Toronto Police Service as a police constable, they outline the following steps:

  1. Obtain an O.A.C.P. Certificate of Results from www.OACPCertificate.ca
  2. Complete medical forms with appropriate physicians for hearing and vision standards (Forms are available here)
  3. Complete an ongoing fitness log; logs from the most current two weeks may be requested at any time (Forms are available here)
  4. Submit Toronto Police Service online application
  5. Pre-Screening
  6. Pre-Background Questionnaire (PBQ) and written Local Focus Interview (LFI)
  7. Complete the Leger 20m Shuttle Run, obtaining a minimum of Level 7
  8. Blended Interview (in-person Essential Competency Interview (ECI) and Local Focus Interview (LFI))
  9. Complete the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2)
  10. Background Investigation
  11. Psychological Assessment
  12. Conditional Offer of Employment Pending Medical Examination
  13. Cadet-in-Training at the Ontario Police College

Please be advised that the process for becoming a Police Constable is competitive and as such, an applicant may be declined at any stage of the process. If you have any questions regarding the above information, please contact a member of the TPS Recruiting Section.

For those interested in the hiring requirements for other local police services within Ontario, as well as for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), hiring requirements may be different than those outlined above. See the hiring requirements for the OPP here.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in Toronto?

It takes 24 weeks to complete the prescribed police training and become sworn in as a 4th class constable. As cadets-in-training, new recruits attend a three-week orientation at the Toronto Police College followed by a 12-week session at the Ontario Police College. Training concludes with nine weeks of training at the Toronto Police College.

What Do You Need to Become a Police Constable in Toronto?

Officer candidates follow a detailed application and training process to become police constables with TPS. Once hired, new recruits attend the Ontario Police College for Basic Constable Training. You need to meet the following minimum requirements to become a Police Constable in Toronto:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada,
  • Be at least 18 years of age,
  • Be physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position, having regard to your own safety and the safety of members of the public,
  • Have successfully completed at least four years of secondary school education or its equivalent. (Note: Official transcripts and diplomas will be required). Where education has been completed outside Ontario, official proof of equivalency must be obtained,
  • Be of good moral character and habits, meaning that you are an individual other people would look upon as being trustworthy and having integrity.

 In addition, you must:

  • Have no criminal convictions for which a pardon has not been granted,
  • Possess a valid driver's license with no more than six accumulated demerit points, permitting you to drive an automobile in Ontario with full driving privileges,
  • Have current certification in CPR and first aid by the time the offer of employment is given,
  • Possess a valid O.A.C.P. (Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police) certificate,
  • Have a minimum of 20/40 (uncorrected) vision, with normal colour acuity,
  • Successfully pass the hearing standards as outlined by the O.A.C.P.,
  • Be able to pass a security clearance as well as a background investigation, credit and reference checks.

As outlined above, currently, the minimum requirement for hiring is a secondary school education to apply. A university degree or a diploma from a college of applied arts and technology can help applicants stand out in a large pool of candidates.

Two Toronto police officer mounted on horses

Benefits of Earning a Policing Degree

While a policing degree is not required to become a law enforcement official, a policing degree from Laurier helps enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in this field.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in policing will have an advantage when pursuing leadership positions and promotions. In addition to becoming a police officer, some of the top job opportunities for graduates include emergency management specialist, crime analyst and security director.

Additionally, the earning potential is higher for graduates with an online degree in policing. Higher education can translate into higher wages than a high school or college diploma alone. Earning a bachelor's degree can earn you over 30 percent higher earnings than high school graduates.

In terms of salaries in Canada, a police officer earns an average of $93,000 per year. The average security director salary in Canada is $99,000. And a detective sergeant can earn in excess of $121,000 annually.

Are You Already a Police Officer?

If you are a working or retired police officer, Laurier’s Honours Bachelor in Policing degree is just for you. Designed for those with at least a year of full-time professional work as a police officer, this program is a great fit for those with experience seeking to elevate their career and understanding.;

Depending on your prior education and professional experience, you may be eligible to transfer up to 10 of the 20 total credits mandated for the program's completion. Connect with an enrolment advisor or get your program guide to learn more.

While police organizations provide new recruits with basic constable training, obtaining a policing degree provides the necessary skills to evaluate and apply different perspectives to better operate in a society that often scrutinizes and challenges police actions. You'll combine the real-world skills and experience you have acquired in the service with a broader understanding of justice, investigative technique, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving that will help you better serve citizens. Earning a degree later in your career expands your options for new higher-paid roles after retiring from the service.

Laurier’s Online Bachelor of Criminology and Policing Degree

Our online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing prepares you for a career in criminology and justice. Focusing on practical techniques and real-world experience, it delivers an engaging curriculum designed to improve your critical thinking and analytical skills. The fully online and asynchronous criminology courses provide you with a broader view of public safety through a combined focus on criminology and policing. This degree can help enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in criminology and policing.

Now is the time to kick-start your career as a police officer in Toronto. Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Policing or Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing today: