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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

Qualified applicants will be required to submit an Authorization for Release form and additional information via a Personal History Statement (PHS). The information provided will be reviewed by an adjudicator, along with a review of a candidate’s credit, criminal, and driving records.

  • Online Questionnaire:  The Peace Officer Background Investigation Tracking System (POBITS) is an automated system used by investigators to efficiently manage background investigations.  Applicants will receive an e-mail from the POBITS system, where they will be instructed to provide their Personal History Statement (PHS), which is an additional questionnaire used to complete a background check.

Assessment Center

Following the adjudication, applicants may be invited to attend a two-day Assessment Center with the USCP. The Assessment Center consists of a Police Officer Selection Test (POST), Pre-Hire Interview, Physical Readiness Test (PRT), and Orientation. The Assessment Center measures an applicant’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. 

Qualified applicants must be available to attend an Assessment Center in the Washington, D.C., area and travel at their own expense.  Qualified applicants are required to bring a valid U.S. driver's license to the Assessment Center for identification purposes.

The Assessment Center is conducted over two days (usually over a weekend), and consists of four components:  

1.  Orientation Session - An overview of the USCP mission and the specialty assignments and employment opportunities.

2.  Written Exam - The Police Officer Selection Test (POST) will be administered to qualified applicants. The POST will test applicants’ knowledge of basic math, reading, and grammar. A passing score of at least 70 must be obtained in each section to receive further consideration.

PDF iconPOST Study Guide

3.  Physical Readiness Test (PRT) - 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 qualified applicants for entry-level Police Officer positions. Qualified applicants will be required to pass the PRT in order to receive further consideration. 

For a complete description of the PRT and to view the required medical forms, please consult the following Physical Readiness Test Forms below. Please note, qualified applicants must complete and submit all three of the PRT forms.

   A. PDF iconCP-1477 Physical Readiness Test 
   B. PDF iconCP-1477A PRT Liability Waiver
   C. PDF iconCP-1477B PRT Health Care Provider Release Form

4.  Pre-employment Interview - A personal interview will be conducted to review, confirm, and clarify all submitted information to determine each qualified applicant’s suitability for the position of Police Officer. 

Applicants who successfully complete all components of the Assessment Center and who are recommended to move forward by their assigned Background Investigator will be issued a conditional offer of employment and will enter into the Gauntlet Phase of the hiring process.

Preparing for the Gauntlet Phase

The Gauntlet Phase of the USCP Police Officer hiring process consists of a polygraph, medical, and psychological examinations.  The screening exams will be scheduled over two to three days in Washington, D.C.  

•  Polygraph - Candidates are encouraged to:

  • 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.

•  Psychological - The psychological examination will last approximately four to six hours.  Candidates are encouraged to be well rested and 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.

Oral Boards

Candidates selected to move forward beyond the Gauntlet Phase will be invited to participate in a Behavioral-Based Interview before a panel of USCP Commanders. Candidates preparing for the interview should draw on previous work-related and life experiences that are relevant to the questions. Interviews are held in Washington, D.C., and candidates must travel at their own expense. 

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, residential, and personal references, as well as criminal, credit history, and academic records.  

Due to the significant number of applications received and the competitive nature of this process, passing all phases of the process may not guarantee an applicant will be determined to be a best qualified applicant and issued an offer of employment.


Upon obtaining a final offer of employment and receiving necessary clearances, 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, eliminating the need to print a majority of the paperwork. 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.