RCMP opens up recruiting, expands uniform options

Member wearing Hijab

The RCMP is Canada’s national police force, and it proudly reflects the communities it serves across the country.

In May 2016, our organization expanded our ability to welcome candidates from all backgrounds, opening up recruiting to permanent residents of Canada for the first time, provided they have lived in the country for 10 consecutive years. Prior to this, applications were only accepted if they were Canadian citizens.  

Behind this change was a recognition that a diverse workforce helps us better reflect the communities we serve. It also allows for better cultural understandings in day-to-day police work.  

New applicants may not be aware that the distinctive RCMP uniform has also continued to change, better reflecting its workforce. The red serge uniform is one of the most recognized and iconic police uniforms in the world. As our diversity expands the uniform has expanded to include a turban and most recently a hijab. While there has been no formal request by a member to wear the hijab to date, it is now available to be ordered as part of standard kit and clothing.  

The organization hopes this change will encourage more Muslim women to consider a career in policing. Turbans have been worn by RCMP members of the Sikh faith since 1990, when Baltej Singh Dhillon wore one during recruit training at the RCMP academy in Regina. There are now more than 25 active members who wear the turban on-duty. Other accommodations the Force has made include access to foot baths and prayer rooms in the RCMP workplace.  

Regarding recruiting, there have been further modernizations of the outdated application process. For example, applicants with a two-year post-secondary diploma no longer have to write the Entrance Exam. University grads haven’t had to write the test since June 2015.

And applicants from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba have the ability to select their home province for their first post following graduation.

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