Police tell members of the media to move. (AP)
How long does the training last?
Police officer training in South Africa covers both theory and practical studies. You will spend the same amount of time on each area – about six months in each case. You will join the training course at one of the special colleges set up specifically to train South African police officers. There are six colleges in all.
What happens if you successfully get through the initial six months of training?
The next stage is to become a student constable. Constable is the lowest rank – the entry rank, if you will – in the SAPS. The title of student constable indicates you are still in training. You have completed your initial training, but will now gain experience in dealing with the public. This occurs by taking a position in a community service centre. You will be in uniform and perform an important role, but it is not the same as being a traditional and fully qualified constable.
The community centre work lasts for three months, after which you will spend the next three months working in other areas.
After six months of training in a college and six months of being a student constable, what happens next?
By this time, you will have completed a year’s worth of training. Now you have another 12 months of training as part of the actual police service. You will almost be a fully fledged constable by this point, as you will be dealing with all kinds of situations and experiences as a police officer.
It is important to note that this 12-month period is the point at which you will put your classroom training into action in the job itself. But it will only be upon successfully completing these 12 months on the job that you will be properly appointed a member of the SAPS.