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.
Candidates will be required to submit an Authorization for Release form and additional information via a Personal History Statement (PHS). The information provided, as well as a 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), and Pre-Employment Interview. The Initial Assessment Phase measures a candidate’s initial suitability for the position of Police Officer. It also provides the applicant with an overview of the USCP and its hiring process.
The Initial Assessment Phase consists of three 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 the candidate's knowledge of basic math, reading, and grammar. A passing score of at least 70 percent must be obtained in each section.
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.
The Orientation, POST, and Pre-Employment Interview will require candidates to use a video conferencing system.
NOTE: All online portions of the hiring process will require the use of a desktop or laptop computer. The use of cell phones and tablets will NOT be allowed for video conferencing. It is highly recommended that all candidates become familiar with the use of their computer's webcam and microphone.
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.
The Examination Phase consists of psychological, medical, and polygraph examinations, as well as the Physical Readiness Test (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 exam, polygraph, and 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.
Physical Readiness Test (PRT) - The PRT consists of three events: a timed 300-meter run, push-up test, and a 1.5 mile run. These events are scored as pass/fail, and the minimum requirements are based on a candidate's gender identity and age.
A complete description of the PRT, minimum requirements, and protocols may be viewed here: CP-1477 PRT Passing Scores and Protocols.pdf
Candidates will be required to complete a Liability Waiver prior to participating in the PRT.
- 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.
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.