City of Berkeley • Police Employment


Testing Process

The Police Officer testing process consists of a written, physical ability and oral examinations. Candidates must successfully pass each phase to continue onto the entire testing process.

1st Phase - WRITTEN TEST

The City of Berkeley uses a written exam, which was developed in cooperation with a consortium of local agencies. City of Berkeley Police Officers had a fundamental role in the development of this test. Because this exam is particular to Berkeley, we are unable to accept substitution of test scores from other agencies. All applicants for Police Officer Recruit must take the City of Berkeley’s written exam.

Due to the volume of applicants and the length of time of the exam, we are unable to provide special testing accommodations for out-of-town applicants. However, if you are arriving from out-of-town, you can request that your Qualification Appraisal Board Interview be moved to earlier in the week and we will do our best to accommodate that request.


All applicants who pass the written exam must take the City of Berkeley's Physical Ability Test. All who are invited are provided with a written description of the Physical Ability prior to the test date. Upon successful completion of the Physical Ability Test, candidates will be scheduled for the “Qualifications Appraisal Board (QAB).

(Click here for a detailed description of the Physical Ability Test)


The QAB interview is conducted by a panel of sworn Police Department personnel. Each applicant is asked the same set of questions.

Once the entire QAB interview test is completed, all applicants will be mailed notification of their final results.

Exam Results

The City of Berkeley has a system whereby candidates are placed on an Employment Eligible List within categories; individual scores are not given. Candidates are notified as to which category they are in. For example, Category 1 contains the names of candidates (alphabetically) who had an overall average score between 90-100%; Category 2 contains those with scores between 80-89%; Category 3 contains those with scores between 70-79%. The eligibility list is valid for one year. The Police Department may select candidates from any category, but typically they first look at Category 1 candidates. As vacancies occur within the next twelve months from the creation of the eligibility list, candidates on the list will be considered for hire, and may be invited to a departmental interview and possible background investigation at any time during the life of the eligibility list. This entire process may take several months to complete. Individuals who are selected to fill a vacancy must pass a medical and psychological examination as a condition of employment.

If you would like to find out if your application is still active on an eligibility list, you may go to the City’s main page and go to the job opportunities and follow the instructions on how to obtain Employment Application Status.


Applying /


For more info, contact the Police Dept / Personnel & Training Bureau at:
PHONE:  (510) 981-5977   •   EMAIL: