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Police Officer Selection Process

Applicants meeting the minimum requirements of the position may be selected to move forward in the hiring process. The USCP is looking for individuals who display the upmost level of integrity, honesty, maturity, and commitment to serve the public. Applicants who provide false or misleading information during any phase of the hiring process will be permanently disqualified.  

Pre-Employment Screening

Candidates will be required to submit an Authorization for Release form and additional information via a Personal History Statement (PHS). The information provided, along with the candidate's credit, criminal history, and driving record, will be reviewed.

The Peace Officer Background Investigation Tracking System (POBITS) is an automated system used by investigators to efficiently manage background investigations. Candidates will receive an e-mail from the POBITS system where they will be instructed to provide their Personal History Statement (PHS).

Initial Assessment Phase

Following the pre-employment screening, candidates may be invited to participate in the Initial Assessment Phase of the USCP hiring process; all facets of which will be conducted virtually at a location of their choice. This phase consists of an Orientation, Police Officer Selection Test (POST), Pre-Employment Interview, and Self-Assessed Physical Readiness Test (PRT). The Initial Assessment Phase measures a candidate’s skills, ability, and readiness to successfully complete the recruit officer training programs. It also provides the applicant with an overview of the USCP and its hiring process. 

The Initial Assessment Phase consists of four components:  

1.  Orientation Session - An overview of the USCP mission, hiring process, training, and employment opportunities.

2.  Written Exam - The Police Officer Selection Test (POST) will test a candidate's knowledge of basic math, reading, and grammar. A passing score of at least 70 percent must be obtained in each section.

PDF iconPOST Study Guide

3.  Pre-Employment Interview - A personal interview will be conducted to review, confirm, and clarify all submitted information to determine each candidate's suitability for the position of Police Officer. 

4.  Physical Readiness Test (PRT) Self-Assessment - Due to the strenuous nature of the USCP officer duties and the associated training programs, fitness tests have been developed and will be used to screen candidates for entry-level Police Officer positions. Candidates will be required to pass the PRT self-assessment in order to receive further consideration, and will have 30 days from the receipt of the PRT forms to submit passing scores for the self-assessment phase. These tests include a 300-meter run, push-up test, and a 1.5 mile run. In addition, candidates will be required to pass an in-person PRT at a later date. 

A complete description of the PRT may viewed using the link below. 

   PDF iconCP-1477 PRT Passing Scores and Protocols.pdf

Candidates will be provided a Liability Waiver and Health Care Provider Release Form. Once the forms have been completed and submitted, candidates will receive the PRT scoring form for final submission of their results.  

The Orientation, POST, and Pre-Employment Interview will require candidates to use a video conferencing system.

All online portions of the hiring process will require the use of a desktop or laptop computer.

Applicants who successfully complete the Initial Assessment Phase will be issued a Conditional Offer of Employment, and will enter the Examination Phase of the hiring process.

Examination Phase

The Examination Phase consists of psychological, medical, and polygraph examinations, as well as the proctored PRT and Oral Board. The psychological exam will occur online and require the use of a desktop or laptop computer, camera, and microphone. Following the psychological exam, all efforts will be made to schedule the medical, polygraph, and proctored PRT consecutively and concisely in Washington, D.C. This will be a candidate's first required visit to our nation's capital during this process.  

  • Psychological - Candidates complete a battery of psychological assessments and a clinical interview. The psychological examination will last approximately four to six hours. Candidates are encouraged to be well rested and to eat prior to the examination.
  • Medical - The medical examination will determine if a candidate is medically qualified to perform the functional requirements of the job. Candidates will be required to fast (abstain from food) prior to the medical examination.
  • Polygraph - The polygraph examination is used to confirm information obtained through the selection process. Candidates are encouraged to:
    • Arrive early.
    • Avoid alcohol prior to the examination.
    • Eat a well-balanced meal and be well rested.
    • Continue taking any prescribed medication.  
    • Notify their assigned investigator 24 hours prior to the examination of any illness, pregnancy, or traumatic life events.
  • Proctored PRT - The proctored PRT (live evaluation of events) confirms the self-assessment submitted during the Initial Assessment Phase (a timed 300-meter sprint, push-up test, and 1.5 mile run). As with the self-assessment, the events are scored as pass/fail, and the minimum requirements are based on a candidate's gender identity and age.
  • Oral Board - Candidates will be invited to participate in a behavioral-based interview before a panel of USCP supervisors. Candidates preparing for the interview should draw on previous work-related and life experiences that are relevant to the questions. Interviews are held utilizing an online video conferencing system that will require the use of a desktop or laptop computer, camera, and microphone. Candidates will not be required to travel to Washington, D.C., for this portion of the process. 

Background Investigation

The final phase of the selection process requires candidates to undergo a full background investigation that will include a thorough review and verification of the candidate’s employment history; employer, residential, and personal references; in depth criminal and credit history, and academic records.  

Due to the significant number of applications received and the competitive nature of this process, passing all phases may not guarantee an applicant is issued an offer of employment.


Upon obtaining a final offer of employment, new employees will be required to complete their new hire paperwork using the USA Staffing Onboarding Manager Entrance on Duty System. The system will ask a series of questions, and the answers are used to fill out the forms automatically. The majority of the paperwork can be electronically signed and submitted in the system. Once an account is established in the system, it will be accessible for 90 days after the new employee’s USCP start date. All questions regarding the new hire paperwork should be directed to the Human Resources representative who extended the offer of employment.


The United States Capitol Police is an equal opportunity employer.  All applicants will be considered without discrimination based on national origin, race, religion, sex (including marital or parental status), disability, age, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.