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Sheriff's officer recruitment

Expressions of interest

You can register your name and email for future recruitment at the online recruitment portal (external link)

About the job

Every day is different as a sheriff’s officer with new challenges and experiences. The majority of the work is outdoors with a combination of early and late shifts.

Sheriff's officers are responsible for enforcing warrants and orders issued by the courts, making members of the public accountable for unpaid fines and infringements, and contributing to a safer Victoria.

Sheriff’s officers have the power to arrest defendants, seize and sell assets, collect money, make payment arrangements, clamp vehicles and suspend driver licences and vehicle registrations.

Read about the experiences of current sheriff's officers

Melissa, Sheriff's Officer


Melissa was looking at jobs for her husband when an advertisement to become a sheriff’s officer caught her eye.

“I was on maternity leave and not looking to go back to work, but when I saw it and read the description I thought it sounded really interesting,” she said.

“Every day is different. You never know what you will find on the other side of the door.”

Melissa graduated as a sheriff’s officer in September 2013 and is now working within the metropolitan region.

The former legal assistant said she decided to apply because the job didn’t require any previous experience and offered full training.

New recruits receive 12 weeks of pre-service classroom and in-field training prior to graduating as a sheriff’s officer.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the training. It gave me the tools I needed to do the job,” Melissa said.

With family commitments, the rostered hours and short commute also appealed to Melissa.

“My office is 5 minutes down the road, which is great”.

2 years into the role, Melissa said the job has exceeded her expectations and she is looking forward to a long career as a sheriff’s officer.

Jayson, Sheriff's Officer

After 8 years of working in an office, Jayson wanted a new challenge and the opportunity to test his skills in a dynamic environment.

Graduating as a sheriff’s officer in 2013, Jayson said he hasn’t looked back.

He is currently working in the metropolitan sheriff’s office and says the job allows him to spend plenty of time with his family.

“The shift work really fits in well with my lifestyle.”

When asked about what it takes to be sheriff’s officer, Jayson said excellent communication skills and attention to detail is required in the job but people skills are vital.

“Above all else, you need to be very good with people,” he said.


You do not need formal qualifications to become a sheriff’s officer. 

Full training will be provided when you commence. Sheriff's officers come from diverse backgrounds and bring a range of work experience and skills to the role.

The type of skills and qualities we are looking for include:

  • sound problem solving and judgement
  • strong conflict management and negotiation skills
  • exceptional teamwork skills
  • resilience
  • drive and commitment
  • effective written skills.

Watch the videos to find out what it takes to be a sheriff’s officer.

Work locations

Sheriff's offices are located in metropolitan as well as regional locations. A number of vacancies are currently available in metro and regional areas, specifically Geelong, Tullamarine, Werribee, Shepparton, Wangaratta and Bendigo.

Applicants can nominate a preferred location, which will be considered during the selection process.


Trainee officers must undertake 12 weeks comprehensive classroom and field training.

The training modules include:

  • sheriff's officer legislation and policy
  • communication skills
  • enforcement process and procedures
  • diversity and cultural awareness
  • occupational health and safety
  • defensive tactics
  • scenario practices
  • roadblocks and operations.

Trainee officers complete the first 6 weeks of training in the Melbourne CBD, and the final 6 weeks in their allocated region.

Officers are required to wear a protective vest and carry an extendable baton for use as a defensive weapon only. Training covers all aspects of equipment use.

Learning modules are delivered as a combination of classroom, scenarios and on-the-job experience. Assessments are scheduled on a weekly basis. Trainee officers need to achieve competency in all assessments within the training period to successfully become a sheriff’s officer.

Certificate IV Government (Court Compliance)

Within the first 12 months of employment, sheriff's officers are required to complete the Certificate IV Government (Court Compliance). Officers can complete the assessment and submissions during working hours. Current sheriff’s officers have reported that completing after work revision assists in their training.


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The following outlines salary before tax. Salary increases are dependant on successful completion of training, demonstration of competency and satisfactory performance.

Trainee sheriff's officer

First 3 months - Full-time starting salary from $46,143 per annum + 9.5 % superannuation = $50,527

Sheriff's officer

First year - After successfully completing the 3-month probationary period and achieved competency in the Certificate IV, officers are paid $53,634 + 6% commute allowance* + 9.5% superannuation = minimum $62,252**

Second year – After satisfactory performance outcomes, officers are paid $57,380 + 6% commute allowance* + 9.5% superannuation = minimum $66,601**

Senior sheriff's officer

After 3 years, officers are paid $60,551 + 6% commute allowance* + 9.5% superannuation = minimum $70,281**


*Rural based officers receive 10% commute allowance.

**Officers have occasional opportunities to raise their salary via approved overtime.


Annual leave

Officers are entitled to 4 weeks (or 20 days) annual leave each year, with a loading of 17.5% of base salary.

Approved overtime

  • Monday to Saturday - time and a half for the first 3 hours of approved overtime and double time thereafter
  • Sunday - double time for the approved overtime
  • Public holidays - double time and a half for the approved overtime
  • Shifts that begin after 10am receive a 15% allowance.

Hours of work

Shift duration is 8-9 hours with varying start times (e.g. 7am for an early shift or 12 noon for a late shift finishing about 10pm). Sheriff's officers are given a combination of early and late shifts.

Those working in metropolitan regions work an 8-day fortnight. Regional locations predominately work a 9-day fortnight.

Occasionally, officers work outside these hours and on weekends to attend roadblocks and other operations.


All appointments to the department are subject to the appropriate checks. These include:

  • offence history and national police record (refer to Disclosing offence history for more information)
  • a full and current Victorian driver’s licence with no restrictions*
  • warrant history
  • ASIC bankruptcy 
  • conflict of interest 
  • reference checks
  • medical and physical assessment.

*allowances are made when there are restrictions for contact lenses, glasses and Category S and V under VicRoads licences.

Please note

Declaration of associations - During the selection process, applicants will be asked to declare any association or potential conflict of interest which may affect their ability to fulfill the role. Failure to disclose this information may result in the application not proceeding.

Outside employment - Outside employment must be disclosed during the selection process.

Disclosing offence history

There are certain offences and/or disclosures that may disqualify your application.

Suitability is determined by reference to legislative requirements and the department’s Criminal Records Check Guideline and Related Policy and Department of Justice and Regulation Values and Behaviours.

Provision of false or misleading information

It is expected that candidates will provide truthful and accurate information. Failure to declare details, or supplying false or misleading information, will result in an application being deemed ineligible for consideration. Failure to disclose any information may result in the application not proceeding, any offer of employment may be withdrawn, or termination or dismissal.

Some categories of offences are deemed to be of great and high severity. Disqualification from employment will apply where the applicant, for example:

  • has served a term of any term of imprisonment
  • has served a sentence in a youth justice centre (including juvenile justice centre or youth training centre) within the past 5 years
  • has been a client supervised by a corrections agency, (e.g. on a supervised community order, home detention) within the past 10 years
  • has been found guilty of a sexual offence, a homicide, or a drug trafficking offence
  • has been involved in a serious property crime, particularly in circumstances posing physical risk or potential risk to victims
  • has committed any offence against a lawful authority
  • has committed any offence involving fraud
  • is or has been subject to a final intervention order (unlimited timeframe).

This is on the basis that this will prevent the applicant from being capable of performing the inherent requirements of the role of a trainee and/or sheriff’s officer and appointment as a bailiff.

There are also a number of disqualifying offences under the Control of Weapons Act 1990

Frequently asked questions

What checks is my employment subject to?

A number of relevant checks will be completed on your behalf should your application be selected to advance through the selection process. At various stages in the process the department will request your consent to the following checks:

  • offence history and a consent to check and release national police record
  • driver history
  • warrant history
  • ASIC disqualified director check (bankruptcy)
  • conflict of interest
  • references
  • medical and physical assessment.

What will happen if my criminal record check produces a disclosable outcome?

It is important to note community expectations and legislative obligations regarding trainee sheriff’s officers and sheriff’s officers: people who perform duties relating to warrant enforcement must be fit to be entrusted with that responsibility. A high standard of integrity is an inherent requirement of the role: sheriff’s officers play an important warrant enforcement role and must therefore ensure that public trust and confidence in the work of the department is not compromised.

Under section 12(1) of the Sheriff Act 2009 (the Act), the Sheriff may appoint a trainee sheriff’s officer as a bailiff for the purposes of the Supreme Court Act 1986 or the County Court Act 1958.

The Sheriff may only appoint an officer as a bailiff if he believes the officer has the necessary competence, training or experience for the role.

Furthermore, trainee sheriff’s officers and trainee sheriff’s officers are frequently required to perform key duties including:

  • collecting monies in the course of their duties
  • attending the houses and business’ of members of the public
  • driving a vehicle.

In assessing an application, it will be necessary for the Deputy Sheriff and/or the Sheriff to evaluate whether an applicant’s disclosable outcomes affect his or her capacity to perform one or more of the key duties.

If I have a disclosable outcome, will I get an opportunity to explain the background of my criminal history?

Under the department’s Criminal Record Check Guideline and Related Policy, if you have a disclosable outcome, the Recruiting Manager or the Deputy Sheriff and/or the Sheriff may seek further information from you concerning your record, including any relevant background information.

The details of offences committed are often important to understand, especially the nature of the offence, when it occurred and the penalty. It is for this reason that further information on any offence history will frequently be sought.

What happens if I do not disclose that I have a criminal history when asked?

Thorough checks are administered in addition to self-disclosures. Failure to fully disclose an offending history will be viewed seriously, particularly if it suggests a deliberate attempt to mislead or convey inaccurate information during the recruitment process. 

How will the department use and/or store information about my criminal history?

The selection process and all matters relating to it are treated in the strictest confidence. Personal information received during the selection process will be managed in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

Selection process

There are 7 steps in the recruitment process. Candidates must satisfy the criteria in each step before advancing to the next.

Step 1 - Application 

To apply, you need to:

  • understand the sheriff's officer role requirements by watching the videos and viewing the position description
  • answer questions about eligibility
  • upload a current resume
  • complete the application assessment (to demonstrate your understanding about the role of a sheriff's officer).

Tip: When uploading your resume, provide your full employment history and clarify any gaps.

Step 2 - Online test

Stage 1 -The first stage assesses abstract reasoning. If you are successful after this stage, you will be invited to complete a behavioural assessment.

Stage 2 – The behavioural assessment asks you to respond to questions about your preferred work environment and evaluates your alignment with the role and departmental values.

Step 3 - Telephone interview

The telephone interview will take about 20 minutes in duration. It is an opportunity for our recruitment team to clarify any areas of your application, and also to discuss your understanding of the role and reasons for applying for a position.

Step 4 - Assessment centre

This half-day of activities will include a behavioural-based interview, role play activities and work sample activities. The assessment is designed for you to demonstrate the skills, personal attributes and behaviours required of a sheriff’s officer.

Step 5 - Reference checks

A minimum of 2 professional references are required. Please note that your referees must be people you have reported to (such as a manager, team leader or supervisor) within the past 5 years, not colleagues or friends. 

Step 6 – Medical and physical assessment

As part of the selection process, you will be required to undergo a medical and physical assessment. The Department of Justice and Regulation's service provider is located in the Melbourne CBD.

Please note:

It is a legal requirement that you disclose information on all pre-existing injuries or illnesses that may be affected by your work.

If you decline to undergo a pre-employment medical assessment, the Sheriff's Office will take this to mean that you are unable to meet the requirements of the role and the selection process will not proceed.

If you exercise regularly and maintain a base level of fitness, you should not find the assessment difficult. At the end of the assessment, the medical provider sends a statement to the department to indicate whether you are fit or unfit to perform the inherent requirements of the job, subject to modifications/restrictions.

Some of the activities you may need to carry out in your role as a sheriff's officer
  • work a combination of day/afternoon/evening shifts
  • wear full uniform including protective equipment
  • apply different restraint and self-defence tactics if required
  • deescalate conflict situations and continue to enforce warrants
  • manage levels of verbal abuse and confrontation with disgruntled members of the public
  • make demands for payment (money and debt collection to emotionally charged defendants/members of the community), adhere to sheriff's officer policy and uphold the departmental values at all times
  • carry out various duties while maintaining a heightened sense of awareness
  • cooperate and work with stakeholders such as Victoria Police
  • enter and work in high-rise buildings and car parks
  • work outdoors in varying weather conditions
  • safely drive and operate an automatic vehicle
  • office work (i.e. sit at a desk, carry out computer tasks)
  • stand and sit for extended periods of time
  • twist to retrieve paperwork in a vehicle
  • safely lift wheel clamps (up to 20kg)
  • bend, kneel, squat to secure wheel clamps
  • walk for lengths at a time including up and down stairs and on uneven surfaces.

The medical and physical assessment will include:

  • a detailed health questionnaire, including questions about past medical history
  • vision test (basic eye test) - vision cannot be less than 6/9 with corrective lenses/glasses for both eyes
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement - BMI to be between 18.5 – 35, i.e. within an acceptable range
  • hearing test (hearing capacity of less than 35 dB at all frequencies in worst ear)
  • supervised urine drug screen
  • lung function test
  • cardiovascular health and task-based assessments based on the physical requirements of the role (including push ups, sit ups, cardio fitness test, lifting 20kg over a short distance, leg and arm raises).

The role of a sheriff’s officer can be demanding, therefore after seeking advice from a medical practitioner, the department may require candidates to complete an assessment with a qualified psychologist.

The department has a responsibility to ensure all sheriff’s officers are able to carry out all responsibilities including dealing with confronting and challenging behaviours, and understanding when and how to defuse a situation.

Step 7 - Notification

Final application review and outcomes notified.


Author: Department of Justice and Regulation
Publisher: Department of Justice and Regulation
Date of Publication: 2016
Copyright: State of Victoria, 2016.


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The department acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.