Competency-based Application Forms and Competency-based Interviews for An Garda Síochána

An Garda Síochána (meaning “the Guardian of the Peace”), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí (Guardians”) or “the Guards“, is the police force of the Republic of Ireland. The service is headed by the Garda Commissioner  who is appointed by the Irish Government. Its headquarters are in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

Since the formation of the Garda Síochána in 1923, it has been a predominantly unarmed force, and more than three-quarters of the force do not routinely carry firearms. As of 2016, the force employed approximately 13,000 sworn members, 2,000 civilian staff and 700 Garda Reserves. Operationally, the Garda Síochána is organised into six geographical regions: the Eastern, Northern, Southern, South-Eastern, Western and Dublin Metropolitan Regions.

In addition to its crime detection and prevention roles, road safety enforcement duties, and community policing remit, the force has some diplomatic and witness protection responsibilities and border control functions.

The force headed by the Garda Commissioner, whose immediate subordinates are two Deputy Commissioners – in charge of “Operations” and “Strategy and Change Management”, respectively, and a Chief Administrative Officer with responsibility for resource management (personnel, finance, Information and Communications Technology, and accommodation). There are twelve Assistant Commissioners: one for each of the six geographical Regions, and the remainder dealing with various national support functions. At an equivalent or near-equivalent level to the Assistant Commissioners are the positions of Chief Medical Officer, Executive Director of Information and Communications Technology, and Executive Director of Finance.

Directly subordinate to the Assistant Commissioners are approximately 50 Chief Superintendents, whom about 50% supervise Divisions. Each Division contains a number of Districts, each commanded by a Superintendent assisted by a team of Inspectors. Each District contains a number of Sub-districts, which are usually commanded by Sergeants

Typically each Subdistrict contains only one Garda Station. A different number of Gardaí are based at each station depending on its importance. Most of these stations employ the basic rank of Garda, which was referred to as the rank of Guard until 1972. The most junior members of the force are students, whose duties can vary depending on their training progress. They are often assigned clerical duties as part of their extracurricular studies.

The Garda organisation also has approximately 2,000 non-officer support staff encompassing a diverse range of areas such as human resources, occupational health services, finance and procurement, internal audit, IT and telecommunications, accommodation and fleet management, scenes-of-crime support, research and analysis, training and general administration. The figure also includes industrial staff such as traffic wardens, drivers and cleaners. It is ongoing government policy to bring the level of non-officer support in the organisation up to international standards – thus enhancing its capacity and expertise in a range of specialist and administrative functions, and releasing more of its police officers for core operational duties


Over the past number of years, An Garda Síochana has introduced Competency-based Application Forms and Competency-based Interviews to help them select, recruit external and / or promote members. Talent Fusion have been helping these members complete these Competency-based Application Forms and prepare for Competency-based Interviews for over 10 years across Ireland. Every Competency-based Application Form and every Competency-based Interview is tailored around the Member, Job Title and the desired Department, where structure, design and word count / space allowed and time are respected. Talent Fusion strive and aim to meet members time and budget and can meet / work with members during and outside office / working hours. An impressive Competency-based Application Form makes for a more confident interviewee, satisfied interviewers and an easier interview.

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