Queensland lures international police talent under new agreement

Published Thursday, 23 February, 2023 at 05:26 PM

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

  • Up to 500 new Queensland police will be recruited from overseas each year for five years, as part of a new international recruitment campaign.
  • The offer applies to current experienced serving foreign police officers only, with all accepted international recruits to have comparable international policing experience before applying to the QPS.
  • The successful recruits must undergo training once enrolled, in order to ensure they meet the standards of the QPS before commencing on their first year as a sworn officer.

Foreign nationals with sufficient policing experience will be eligible to apply to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) under a new labour agreement between the State and Federal Governments. 

The QPS has approval for 500 new international recruits to join the service each year, for five years.

The agreement, the broadest of its kind among Australia’s policing jurisdictions, allows the QPS to recruit international police officers without the requirement to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

All police officers recruited under the new labour agreement will be required to pass the QPS’ recruit testing and vetting.

Depending on the level and recency of their experience, successful recruits will be trained through either the existing Police Abridged Competency Education (PACE) program or the mainstream recruit training program, ensuring they meet the standards of the QPS.

At the completion of their training, the newest recruits will be stationed across Queensland to commence their First Year Constable program, with the opportunity to expedite this program and enter the service up to the rank of Senior Constable.

Quotes attributable to Police Minister, Mark Ryan:
“This is a commitment from the Queensland Government to bring international police talent to Queensland,” Minister Ryan said.

“This is a win-win. It’s an unprecedented opportunity for the Queensland Police Service to significantly expand the diversity of its workforce, while providing a unique opportunity for people around the world to join a world-class police organisation.

“There really is no better state to be a police officer and this new labour agreement shows the joint dedication of the Queensland Government and QPS to remove barriers for experienced talent to come into the organisation.”

“The ability to recruit beyond Australia’s borders will strengthen the Queensland Police Service’s efforts in recruiting police officers for the state.

“I’m excited to welcome international police officers to our Queensland community and hope they enjoy everything that our state has to offer.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles:
"This is the second labour agreement for state and territory police forces we have finalised since coming to Government,” Minister Giles said.

“The Albanese Government continues to take important steps to clean up the mess in our immigration system left by the former Liberal National Government.

“The visa backlog is down from almost a million visa applications to fewer than 600,000. The Albanese Government is focused on getting on with the job of getting our visa system back on track so that organisations like the Queensland Police are better able to do their job and protect the Queensland community.”

Quotes attributable to the Commissioner of Police, Katarina Carroll:
"This agreement is the biggest opportunity for internationally experienced officers to work in Queensland,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“The new labour agreement goes beyond what has been offered by any other police organisation in Australia, allowing experienced officers from any country the chance to work for the Queensland Police Service and bring their own unique experiences, knowledge and skills to our organisation,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“This is the biggest opportunity that we have offered for international police who are looking for a career in one of the most beautiful places in the world which has so much to offer – from fast paced operations within our major cities, to regional policing in communities in the tropics.”

“While the QPS is already a popular choice for internationals with permanent residency, I expect this agreement will remove barriers for others looking to move abroad.

“With this new agreement, I expect interest from international police officers to greatly increase.

“I joined the Queensland Police 40 years ago, and I can say from personal experience that policing in this state has everything to offer - there is something for everyone and every lifestyle.

“To officers out there who might be thinking about a move abroad, now is the time. Come and join the Queensland Police Service.”

Quote attributable to Queensland Police Senior Constable Lisa Harris:
Senior Constable Lisa Harris became a QPS officer in 2019, after several years in frontline policing in Scotland and West Midlands Police, she said the training provided made the transition very smooth with much of the work and learning based on familiar principles.

“I’ve felt very welcomed by the wider QPS since the very start of my time here; we have access to modern resources including the vehicles and technology we use to do our job, there’s good support on jobs and the salary is great,” Senior Constable Harris said.

“Of course, the lifestyle in Queensland is also a big draw card. When I’m not on shift I’m able to do what I love and get outdoors and soak up the Queensland sunshine.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers:
"We have been acutely aware police recruiting needs to be a priority and we have been working with Government to develop new ideas to attract applicants,” Mr Leavers said.

“500 additional police each year for the next five years, bringing a range of different experiences and skill sets will be greatly appreciated amongst those already on the frontline.

“I’m confident international police will see this as a rewarding opportunity to use their abilities in a new environment that can really assist in making our communities a better and safer place along with the added benefit of living in Queensland.”

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

  • Foreign police officers are now eligible to apply to the Queensland Police Service under the new agreement.
  • The agreement is the broadest of its kind, with no restrictions on nationality of applicants.
  • Applicants must hold a substantive ENS visa issued under the labour agreement to be granted a position.
  • Applicants with comparable policing experience will be trained under the existing Police Abridged Competency Education (PACE) program, others will be required to partake in the mainstream recruit training.

For more information on applying to the Queensland Police Service, visit www.policerecruit.com.au

Media contacts 
Minister Ryan’s Office: (07) 3035 8300
Minister Giles’ Office: Zoe Ranganathan 0403 732 346
Police Media: (07) 3015 2444

This statement replaces the statement which was released at 10:15 Thursday 23rd February 2023.