Testing Information

NOTE: Our testing process has changed in 2021 to a two-part exam/applicant screening process. The first part of the process are exams administered by the National Testing Network. These exams can be completed virtually or in person at a National Testing Network Center. The second part of the process is administered in Seattle by the Seattle Police Department. Please carefully read the information below to ensure the proper completion of the screening process.

Entry Level Upcoming Tests

EXAM APPLICATION INFORMATION: 

There are four expected Entry Level Police Officer exam cycles for 2021. Applications for the first exam cycle will be accepted during the period of January 5, 2021 through February 10, 2021

Once a completed application is received by the City of Seattle's Fire & Police Exam Unit, the Fire & Police Exam Unit will send each screened applicant's name and e-mail address to the National Testing Network (NTN). NTN will contact the applicant with instructions for how to schedule participation in the NTN Frontline exam process at no cost. If you would like to apply after reading all of the requirements for participation in this exam cycle, you will be able to click on a link to the application below.

EXAM DATES:

Applicants must be available to participate in all parts of the pre-employment screening process that are listed below. 
If you apply between January 5 and February 10, 2021 and successfully complete the first stage of the assessment process (video exam) by February 12, you will be scheduled by the Seattle Police Department to participate in additional pre-scheduled assessment steps:

  • A physical agility test
  • An oral board interview
  • An interview with a Background Detective. 

Before you apply and test, please be sure that you are available to participate in the post-exam assessments advertised below. If you are unavailable to participate in any of the screening steps listed below, you will need to wait to participate in a subsequent exam cycle.

Exam Step 1 - Video Exam (PLEASE NOTE: There are two options to complete the video exam. Seattle will only accept one of the test result options listed below)

    • Option 1
      • Between January 5, 2021 - February 12, 2021, video exams will be conducted by the National Testing Network (NTN). Applicants will be able to participate in the exam process in one of two ways: (1) from their own home computer with a virtual proctor, or (2) at an NTN center location convenient to them. The City of Seattle will pay the fee for exam administration.
      • Test results earned at these exam administrations will be sent to Seattle and are not transferable to any other department. All candidates will receive their scores on or about February 19, 2021. If you select Option 1, you forfeit the ability to transfer a current NTN exam score to the City of Seattle (see Option 2 below).            
    • Option 2: 
      • Applicants can transfer any current NTN Frontline score earned between August 19, 2020 and February 19, 2021. Applicants who elect to transfer scores will be able to add Seattle as a department (at no cost) following NTN's standard "department add" process. The City of Seattle will pay the fee for a score transfer. Candidates who pass the NTN Frontline video exam will be scheduled by the Seattle Police Department's Background Investigation Unit for the remainder of the scheduled pre-employment assessment screening.


Exam Step 2 - Post-Exam Screening with the Seattle Police Department

Washington State Residents:

    • Physical agility test: Saturday, February 27, 2021
    • Oral Board interviews: Sunday, February 28, 2021 (and Saturday, March 6 if extra day is needed)
    • Interview with Background Detective: Scheduled individually 

Out of State Candidates: 

    • Physical agility test: Saturday, March 20, 2021 (a.m.)
    • Oral Board interviews: Saturday, March 20, 2021 (p.m.) (Formal interview)
    • Oral Board interviews: Sunday, March 21, 2021 (if needed) (Formal interview)
    • Interview with Background Detective: Sunday, March 21, 2021 - Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (Formal interview)
    • In order to accommodate all candidates who pass the NTN Frontline test and who live outside the State of Washington, the SPD Background Unit requires you to be available during the entire time frame outlined above: March 20 - 24, 2021.

Lateral Entry Upcoming Tests

EXAM APPLICATION INFORMATION: 

There are four expected Lateral Entry Police Officer exam cycles for 2021. Applications for the first exam cycle will be accepted during the period of January 5, 2021 through January 27, 2021.

 Once a completed application is received by the City of Seattle's Fire & Police Exam Unit, the Fire & Police Exam Unit will send each screened applicant's name and e-mail address to the National Testing Network (NTN). NTN will contact the applicant with instructions for how to schedule participation in the NTN Frontline exam process at no cost. If you would like to apply after reading all of the requirements for participation in this exam cycle, you will be able to click on a link to the application below.

EXAM DATES:

Applicants must be available to participate in all parts of the pre-employment screening process that are listed below. If you apply between January 5 and January 27, 2021 and successfully complete the first stage of the assessment process (video exam) by January 29, you will be scheduled by the Seattle Police Department to participate in additional pre-scheduled assessment steps. These steps include a physical agility test, an oral board interview, and an interview with a Background Detective. 
Before you apply and test, please be sure that you are available to participate in the post-exam assessments advertised below. If you are unavailable to participate in any of the screening steps listed below, you will need to wait to participate in a subsequent exam cycle.

Exam Step 1 - Video Exam (PLEASE NOTE: There are two options to complete the video exam. Seattle will only accept one of the test result options listed below)

    • Option 1
      • Between January 5, 2021 - January 29, 2021, video exams will be conducted by the National Testing Network (NTN). Applicants will be able to participate in the exam process in one of two ways: (1) from their own home computer with a virtual proctor, or (2) at an NTN center location convenient to them. The City of Seattle will pay the fee for exam administration.
      • Test results earned at these exam administrations will be sent to Seattle and are not transferable to any other department. All candidates will receive their scores on or about February 24, 2021. If you select Option 1, you forfeit the ability to transfer a current NTN exam score to the City of Seattle (see Option 2 below).            
    • Option 2: 
      • Applicants can transfer any current NTN Frontline score earned between August 24, 2020 and February 24, 2021. Applicants who elect to transfer scores will be able to add Seattle as a department (at no cost) following NTN's standard "department add" process. The City of Seattle will pay the fee for a score transfer. Candidates who pass the NTN Frontline video exam will be scheduled by the Seattle Police Department's Background Investigation Unit for the remainder of the scheduled pre-employment assessment screening.


Please Note: Applicants who pass the NTN test will be invited to come to Seattle for Steps 2 and 3. Exam Step 2 - Lateral Entry Oral Board Interview: February 20, 2021
Exam Step 3 - Interview with a Background Detective February 20 & 21, 2021 (Candidates will be required to remain in Seattle until 4:00 p.m. on February 21, 2021.)

Types of Candidates

Entry Level Police Officer describes a candidate with no prior law enforcement experience and those who have completed a self-sponsored academy and have not worked as a commissioned officer/deputy for a law enforcement agency. All candidates must meet the minimum qualifications. Entry Level candidates must bring a completed, notarized, SPD Personal History Information Packet to their Physical Ability Test.  Learn more about the Entry Level Hiring Process.

If you are currently a sworn police officer who works full time for another police agency, but have worked there less than 24 months of the last 36 months, you are not a Lateral Entry Candidate. However, you may be considered an Exceptional Entry Candidate. See all Qualifications Individuals are evaluated on a case by case basis and must meet the following criteria to be considered as exceptional-entry candidates: Applicants must be certified via attendance at the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) or an equivalent academy to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) training academy, which is 720 hours long. (Basic training does not mean military or police reserve training or any other federal program not approved by the WSCJTC.)

Employed for less than 24 of the past 36 months (post academy experience), as a full-time, paid Police Officer, Deputy Sheriff, Tribal Officer or State Trooper who possess full police powers and duties.

Applicants must take and pass the City of Seattle civil service test for police officers.

Applicants must provide copies of current/valid academy certification, photocopy of a current basic first aid card and documentation of EVOC (emergency driving) training hours.

Officers will NOT have to attend the basic law enforcement academy; however, ALL certified law enforcement officers from outside the State of Washington must take and pass the Police Officer Equivalency Academy administered by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.  Learn more about the Lateral Entry and Exceptional Entry Hiring Processes.

Please Note: The Seattle Police Department retains the right to send an Exceptional Entry candidate to the CJTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy and reclassify them as an Entry Level Police Officer if it is determined that a candidate’s existing training is not comparable. Officers successfully completing the Washington State Equivalency Academy and Seattle Police Department training will then enter into the Field Training program.

You must meet the minimum hiring standards for all police officers. At the time of testing with us, you must be an experienced police officer who worked for another agency for at least 24 of the past 36 months (post academy experience) with full police powers and duties. Learn more about the Lateral Entry and Exceptional Entry Hiring Processes.

The Seattle Police Department is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity in its workforce. At SPD we acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals and pledge ourselves to creating and maintaining an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages, and experiences.