Application and Selection Procedures

  • Step 1: Submit Application
  • Step 2: Schedule Written Test

    Written Exam (Pass/Fail)
    For this portion, applicants may use either the a) FrontLine National Law Enforcement Examination administered by the National Testing Network (NTN) or the b) California POST PELLETB Exam.  Either exam is pass/fail with the minimum scores posted below.

     a) FrontLine National Law Enforcement Examination (NTN)

    Visit National Testing Network website to register.

    You will need to establish an account with NTN. A fee is required to take the FrontLine National examination. Candidates with demonstrated financial hardship may submit a request to have the fee waived prior to test registration. See “Candidate FAQ #27” on the NTN website to learn more about how to apply for a fee waiver.

    There are three components to the FrontLine National exam: a video-based human relations test, a reading ability test, and a written language ability test. The passing scores are:

    · Video: 65
    · Writing: 75
    · Reading: 75

    Candidates must pass each test independently. The scores are not averaged.

    Please note that the Public Safety Job Suitability Assessment on the NTN website is a two-component online test and you must complete both parts.

    b) Post Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB)
    The PELLETB exam was developed by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and measures reading comprehension and writing abilities. 

    Applicants who have taken the POST written within the last two years and have achieved a t-score of 42 or higher will also be exempt from the written examination.   A copy of the documentation which includes the date of the POST test and score on valid agency letterhead must be submitted with your application.

    Candidates that attain passing scores on the FrontLine National Exam or the PELLETB will be notified to take a Physical Ability Test (PAT) and an Oral Interview (OI).

  • Step 3: Physical Ability Test (PAT)

    Candidates that pass the FrontLine National examination will be notified to take a Physical Ability Test (PAT), a pass/fail examination. 

  • Step 4: Oral Interview

    The OI will assess community involvement, interest, motivation, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, oral communication skills and abilities not tested by other examination components.  The OI score will be used to place candidates on the eligible list. 

    Candidates will be notified via email of their pass/fail status on the PAT and OI. Those that do not pass may request another opportunity to re-take the test no sooner than 3 months from their previous attempt.

    In accordance with Civil Service Commission Rule 211.16.1, candidates may appeal the administration of the examination components. All appeals must be filed in writing with the Department of Human Resources within five (5) calendar days of the administration of the examination component giving rise to the appeal. A day that the Department of Human Resources is closed shall not be counted as the fifth (5th) calendar day.  Appeals shall be limited as defined in Rule 211.16.1.

    Candidates must pass each of the selection components unless otherwise noted on the announcement. The Department reserves the right to waive selection components for individuals based on prior experience or certification.

  • Step 5: Eligibility List

    Candidates that pass the NTN Examination, the PAT and the Oral Examination will have their names added to the eligible list. Candidate names will remain on the list for a maximum period of 24 months. The San Francisco Police Department has the option to hire any candidate on the eligible list (“Rule of List”). Therefore, placement on this list neither guarantees nor implies that you will be offered employment. The San Francisco Police Department will administer the remaining processes outlined below to determine who shall advance further in the hiring process and be considered for appointment.

  • Step 6: Background Investigation

    The following items and tests may be required of candidates during the background investigation phase:

    • Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ) Evaluation 
    • Employment, Character, and Background Investigation
    • Review of Judicial and Driving Records
    • Polygraph Examination
    • Testing for Use of Controlled Substances
    • Psychological Examination
    • Medical Examination
    • Vision Test
    • Hearing Test

San Francisco Police Department

Safety with Respect for All.