Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 NSW Police Force Recruitment Branch Special Announcement

With the spread of COVID-19 and the impact this has had on the community and particularly those in the workforce, we have been looking at ways to help in our own small way. To that end, for the next six (6) months only (06/07/2020 to 31/01/2021) if you have completed the University Certificate in Workforce Essentials (UCWE) which is the mandatory pre-qualifying course through Charles Sturt University in the last 3 years (06/07/2017 to 06/07/2020) and have NOT lodged an application with the NSWPF, we will NOW accept a NSWPF application without you having to renew the UCWE.

With a starting salary before overtime and penalty rates of $73k, there has never been a better time to join the NSWPF. Policing is a diverse career and specialist areas such as Airwing, Dog Unit, Highway Patrol, Water Police, and Police Rescue may be available after initial operational tenure as a general duties officer.

For more information head to

How do I enrol in the University Certificate in Workforce Essentials (UCWE)?

Lodge an online application with Charles Sturt University.

Can I defer my place in the UCWE?

No, this course is not able to be deferred.

When can I submit a police application to the NSW Police Force?

Once you have enrolled in the UCWE and received the Confirmation of Enrolment email from Charles Sturt, you may then submit your application to join the NSW Police Force. You MUST upload a copy of the Confirmation of Enrolment email with your application to join. Once received, your police application will be allocated to a NSW Police Recruitment case officer who will commence processing your application. Ensure you read the eligibility requirements set out on the NSW Police Force Recruitment website BEFORE you submit your application.

The NSW Police Force will recognise the learning currency of the UCWE for three years when satisfactorily completed up to 31 December 2018, and for one year when satisfactorily completed after 1 January 2019.

Why do I have to complete the UCWE to join the NSW Police Force?

This course is designed to better prepare applicants for the Associate Degree in Policing Practice and a career with the NSW Police Force.

Does completing the UCWE guarantee me entry to the NSW Police Force?

No. Successful completion of the UCWE does not guarantee recruitment, selection or training as a policing student, or future employment with the NSW Police Force.

What will I study in the UCWE?

Please visit the Course structure page for a full list of Module topics.

Is the UCWE offered full-time and online?

There are two options to study the UCWE:

  1. Online over eight weeks (average of 20 hours engagement per week) see course notes below.
  2. On campus over five weeks (average of 32 hours engagement per week) no courses scheduled for 2021.

This course will be offered online over eight weeks and may be offered over five weeks on campus, depending on demand. On campus sessions, if offered, may be run from either Dubbo, Port Macquarie, Sydney or Wagga Wagga. To register your interest in a five-week on campus session, send us an email with your contact information.

Please note: There are no five weeks on campus sessions scheduled for 2021.

How long does the UCWE take to complete?

This course takes eight weeks online or five weeks on campus (if offered).

Please note: There are no five weeks on campus sessions scheduled for 2021.

Do I need a computer or laptop to do the UCWE?

Yes. Visit the About the course page for information technology requirements.

Do I get a grade score for completing the UCWE?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the UCWE will be graded as Pass, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction.

How much does the UCWE cost?

The cost of study in 2021 is $1,690 (upfront). Information about FEE-HELP and deferring fees is available on the Cost of study page

What do I have to do to pass the UCWE?

Successfully complete the eight week online course (or five week face-to-face course – if offered). The UCWE final exam is held online at your home and is a closed book exam. Visit the About the course page for exam dates. In exceptional circumstances, students unable to attend the planned examination date may be eligible for a second examination date – these situations will be determined on a case-by-case basis only.

Can I apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

No. Recognition of Prior Learning will not be awarded for the UCWE.

What happens if I fail?

Students can apply for admission to another session offering of the UCWE.

Can I repeat the UCWE to gain a better final grade?


I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Public Safety and Security or the Bachelor of Policing. Do I have to complete the UCWE?

Yes. All applicants seeking a career in the NSW Police Force must successfully complete the UCWE as part of the mandatory requirements to lodge a police application with the NSW Police Force.

What assistance does the University provide for mature age students and students commencing tertiary study for the first time?

If it has been some time since you have studied, STUDY LINK subjects are available. Visit STUDY LINK for information. Once you are a student in the program, CSU Academic Skills Advisers provide individual and group workshops, together with information packs on topics such as time management; effective reading and note taking; essay writing; assignment techniques and exam preparation.

How do I obtain my student transcript after I complete the UCWE?

Once you successfully complete the UCWE and grades are released, you will receive an email with login details to access your digital student transcript via My eQuals.

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