On this page

  • About the job
  • Open sheriff's officer opportunities
  • Upcoming information sessions
  • What we do
  • The skills you need
  • Application process
  • Eligibility

About the job

Every day as a sheriff’s officer is different, 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 contributing to a safer Victoria.

Sheriff’s officers have the power to arrest defendants, seize and sell assets, collect money, make payment arrangements, remove number plates and clamp vehicles.

Sheriff's offices are located in metropolitan as well as regional locations.

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 area.

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

“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”.

Two 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.

Open sheriff's officer opportunities

Expression of Interest (External link) for sheriff's officer positions.

What we do

Our role as sheriff’s officers is to help people honour their legal obligations. We could be working with:

  • someone with years of unpaid traffic fines to get them paid, or
  • a company to collect money they owe to a customer as a result of a VCAT hearing, or
  • a credit card holder who has fallen way behind in their payments, or
  • a homeowner who has ignored requests from their bank to bring their mortgage payments up to date, or
  • someone who has failed to appear in court as required.

There are many aspects to our work as sheriff’s officers, we work with a wide range of people, no two days are ever the same and your plans can change pretty quickly. This is what makes our time at work so interesting.

We’re given autonomy to manage our own time the tasks we have to complete. Our work is mostly out of the office so it’s great if you like to be out on the road and in the community.

We work eight-day fortnights which means you can look forward to a four-day weekend every second week. Your work is during the day (so no night shifts), Monday to Friday and you won’t be working public holidays. It’s one of the best jobs around for work life balance!

Currently there are sheriff’s officers located in Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Bendigo, Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Carlton, Dandenong, Geelong, Mildura, Morwell, Pakenham, Ringwood, Sale, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Werribee and Wodonga.

The skills you need

The role is all about working closely with people to achieve outcomes in difficult circumstances. So you’ll need to have a real interest in people, be great at communicating and gaining the cooperation of the people you’re calling on while doing that with empathy and respect.

You’ll be open-minded, be able to resonate and show empathy and respect to people from all walks of life without stopping to judge them.

The work is often not easy: you’ll be working with challenging people in difficult situations. You can cop a bit of abuse and people will try to make it difficult for you. You’ll need the confidence in yourself to stand your ground, keep focused on the task, remain calm, maintain your empathy and show respect.

You’ll need resilience, which here means not taking personally some of the language and treatment you’ll experience. It’s important to be able to put into place measures that enable you to minimise the impact of these on you personally and carry on with your day.

We’re looking for people who are self-motivated, focused on results, set goals for themselves and have the discipline and focus to make steady progress to those goals.

You need to be a good team player too. You’ll be part of a close-knit team and what you achieve will be reflected in the team’s results.

Application process

Apply online

There is an online application form you will need to fill in to apply to become a sheriff's officer. You will find the form, and information about roles that we're currently recruiting for by looking at open opportunities above. You will need to upload your resume (no cover letter is required) and submit responses to the free text questions listed which will be assessed. 

Situational judgment test

If you pass the initial application phase (from here on, the schedule you’re currently reading is based on candidate success at each stage), you will need to answer a series of situation-based questions in reflection of an enforcement services environment. All questions will be multiple-choice based questions and require you to select the most appropriate response from a list of three options.

One-way video interview

This can be completed on any mobile device, with a front facing camera and microphone or a desktop computer with an internet connection.

Online assessment centre

This will be a live two-way online interview with Sheriff’s Office Victoria and recruitment staff. Candidates will be asked questions about their background and experience. You will also participate in two practical simulations with an actor who will be playing the role of a defendant.

Security and background checks

Once your application progresses past the assessment centre, you will complete the following checks:
• Pre-employment security check (including an international police check if applicable)
• VicRoads license check (and/or interstate drivers licence check if applicable)

Your honesty and integrity in disclosing any offending history or known associations is crucial. Your disclosures are presented to the hiring manager and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Psychometric assessments and reference checks

You will be asked about your interests, values and strengths by selecting your preference across a variety of different statements. Please note: there are no right or wrong answers in this exercise.

At this stage of the process, there will be reference checks held with current and/or former professional managers.

Medical and physical assessment

To ensure that you can safely perform the role of a sheriff’s officer, you will be required to perform a physical assessment in addition to declaring any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. 

Verbal offer and additional security checks

Congratulations! Once a verbal offer has been made, you will be required to conduct a National Criminal Records check and Fingerprint check. Once all passed, we will send you your letter of offer and confirm you as part of our next sheriff’s officer intake.


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
  • Australian Securities Investments Commission 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 fulfil 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.