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.
As a sheriff’s officer, you will be 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’s licences and vehicle registrations.
You do not need formal qualifications or previous related experience to become a sheriff’s officer. Full training will be provided when you commence.
Sheriff’s officers come from different 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
- drive and commitment
- effective written skills
Watch the videos to find out what it takes to be a sheriff’s officer.
Sheriff's offices are located in metropolitan as well as regional locations.
You can nominate preferred locations, which will be considered during the selection process. Please note that locations are subject to availability, training and operational requirements.
Personal protective equipment
Officers are required to wear a protective vest and are required to carry an extendable baton for use as a defensive weapon only. Training is provided, and covers aspects of policy and use of equipment. Trainee officers will be required to complete this training and achieve satisfactory assessment and performance results before progressing to ongoing employment and becoming a fully-fledged sheriff’s officer.
As a trainee officer you will receive 12 weeks comprehensive classroom and field training. The training is specific to the role of a sheriff’s officer, it is competency based, and compulsory.
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.
The first six weeks of training is conducted near the Melbourne CBD, and the final six weeks will be based in your allocated region.
Learning modules are delivered as a combination of classroom, scenarios and on-the-job experience. Assessments are scheduled on a weekly basis. You need to achieve competency in all assessments within training period before you can 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 doing after work revision also assists in their training.
Want to know more? Read the position description (Word, 867KB)
The following outlines salary information before tax. Salary increases will occur depending on successful completion of training, demonstration of competency and satisfactory performance.
Annual leave loading of 17.5 per cent of base salary.
- Monday to Saturday - time and a half for the first three hours of approved overtime and double time afterward
- Sunday - double time for the approved overtime
- Public holidays - double time and a half for the approved overtime.
- 15 per cent allowance applies for shifts that begin after 10am.
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). Officers are given a combination of early and late shifts.
Those working in metropolitan regions work an eight-day fortnight. Regional locations predominately work a nine-day fortnight.
Occasionally, sheriff’s 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**
- a full and current Victorian driver’s licence (allowances are made where there are restrictions for contact lenses, glasses and Category S and V under VicRoads licences)
- warrant history
- ASIC bankruptcy
- conflict of interest
- reference checks
- medical and physical assessment.
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 five 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
- 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.
There are seven 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:
- watch the videos and read the position description (to ensure you understand the requirements of the role)
- answer questions about eligibility
- upload a current resume
- complete the assessment (to demonstrate your understanding about the role).
Tip: When uploading your resume, be sure to provide current employment history and clarify any gaps during your employment history.
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 two 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 five years, not colleagues or friends.
Step 6 – Medical and physical assessment
Sheriff's officers perform a range of duties that require a certain level of fitness.
- 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 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.
As part of the selection process, you will be required to undergo a medical and physical assessment, which will take place in the Melbourne CBD.
These assessments ensure you are medically and physically able to meet the requirements of your role safely, without risk of injury or illness to yourself or others.
The 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).
Note: 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 a psychological 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.
Medical and physical assessment
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 will send a statement to the department to indicate whether you are fit or unfit to perform the inherent requirements of the job, subject to modifications and/or restrictions.
Declare associations or conflict of interest
During the selection process, applicants will be asked to declare any association or potential conflict of interest which may impact on their ability to fulfil the role. Failure to disclose any information may result in the application not proceeding or termination of employment.
Any outside employment must be disclosed during the selection process.