While the exact period varies by area, it may take around six months to complete the Police Academy training, after which the successful candidate becomes a police officer. Prior to starting the Academy training, the candidate must pass a written test, a physical ability test and a background check.
After entering the force, there are two ways to advance as a police officer. These are promotion and assignment to a higher pay grade. The former involves a change of job role as well as an increase in salary. A police officer automatically becomes a level two police officer after successfully completing an 18 month probation period, and level three after three more years of experience.
The speed of advancement may vary according to job duties. There are several different career pathways for an officer to take within the police force including detective, sergeant and member of the SWAT team.