Provisional Certification

To obtain the Provisional Packet, please send a certified check or money order for $30.00 and this form. It is required that the Skills Proficiency Manual be purchased with the Provisional Packet. This manual gives detailed information on what to expect when demonstrating your proficiency in the skills areas.

Provisional certification is an interim certification that affords a qualified out-of-state officer the opportunity to obtain employment as a Colorado peace officer while completing the requirements for basic certification. Once all of the requirements for basic certification have been satisfied, POST will issue a numbered certificate to the applicant who is then considered to be “POST certified” in Colorado. Please note that all Provisional Certification candidates must have all of their required paperwork and forms submitted and approved with Colorado POST prior to starting employment with an agency.

Who may apply for provisional certification?

A Provisional Certification is for those officers who are  fully certified in another state and had held that certification for a minimum of three years, and have served for a minimum of one year within the last three years in law enforcement in the other state.

If you are still currently employed in your state,  you can be appointed without having to do any of the testing.  At that time they will receive their Provisional Certification and have six months to complete all of the four skills testing.  

If youhave a break in service of longer than six months, you must take the written examination prior to being appointed and will then have six months to complete the three remaining skills testing.

All Provisional Certification candidates still must have all of their required paperwork and forms submitted and approved with Colorado P.O.S.T. prior to starting employment with a Colorado law enforcement agency.

How do I obtain provisional certification?

The following five requirements must be satisfied in order for a qualified applicant to proceed with the provisional process:

1: Provide Proof of Out-of-State Certification

A copy of the out-of-state certificate authorizing peace officer status in that state must be submitted by the applicant to Colorado POST. Authenticity of the certificate and verification of good standing will be confirmed.

2: Complete an Application for Provisional Certification Form

The completed application must be on file at POST. A PDF version of the form is available.

3: Complete First-Aid / CPR Training

The applicant must successfully complete at least basic first aid and CPR. Copies of the cards, front and back, must be on file at POST, AND the cards must be current at the time the provisional certification is granted. The cards must also be current at the time basic certification is awarded.

4: Provide Proof of a High School Diploma or GED

A copy of the applicant’s high school diploma or GED certificate, OR a copy of college transcripts which document high school diploma or GED must be on file at POST.

5: Complete a Background Check

No one convicted of a felony may be certified as a peace officer in the State of Colorado. The POST Board shall deny certification to any person who has been convicted of certain misdemeanors. A provisional applicant must provide his or her fingerprints to CBI/FBI using a designated POST fingerprint card with the POST logo. The actual card to be used and instructions are included in the Provisional Packet. (Please send these cards to CBI not to POST).

In all cases, results from the CBI/FBI clearance must be on file at POST in order for basic certification to be awarded.

6: Complete a Written Exam

The applicant must pass the written examination with a minimum score of 70 percent. The exam may be taken a maximum of three times, and the exam fee is $125 each time the exam is taken. Only a certified check or money order will be accepted as payment; i.e., NO cash and NO personal checks will be accepted. The exam fee is not refundable. The exam is administered the 3rd Wednesday of every month at POST and advance registration is required at least two weeks PRIOR to the exam date. You may contact POST at any time while working to satisfy the requirements for renewal to register for and take the written exam.

7: Demonstrate Required Skills

The applicant must have successfully demonstrated proficiency in firearms, driving and arrest control. Please be aware that the test-out will not be an instructional time but a time to demonstrate your proficiency.

It is required that the Skills Proficiency Manual be purchased with the Provisional Packet. This manual gives detailed information on what to expect when demonstrating your proficiency in the skills areas.

8: Possess a Colorado Drivers License or Other Optional ID

Colorado Statute 24-76.5-101 requires any individual seeking a Colorado POST certification must provide POST with a copy of one of the following forms of ID prior to starting work with a Colorado agency:

  • A valid Colorado driver’s license
  • A Colorado Identification Card, issued pursuant to Article 2 of Title 42, C.R.S.
  • A United States military card or a military dependent’s identification card
  • A United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
  • A Native American tribal document

Qualified provisional applicants who have completed the requirements in 1-5 above and who have left active federal or out-of-state peace officer employment less than six months ago may be awarded provisional certification prior to passing the written certification exam. The applicant then has up to six months from the date of provisional certification to pass the written exam and complete the skills requirement. However, if a provisional applicant has left federal or out-of- state peace officer employment longer than six months ago, must pass the written exam prior to being granted provisional certification.  They then have six months to do the three remaining skills test.

Completion of the written exam and skills requirement may be satisfied as described below:

Test-Out

This test out is given in the Denver metro area every other Month (see website).  The process incorporates both the written exam and skills requirement.  During the skills evaluation, the applicant is provided with an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in the areas of firearms, driving and arrest control by being evaluated against POST proficiency standards for each skill in lieu of attending a two or three week refresher academy or 158-hours of skills training at a basic academy.  If your skills are lacking, we suggest you attend the refresher academy which will refresh your skills before being tested.

The fee to test-out is $125 for each of the three skills. The written exam fee is also $125. Registration and advance payment of $500 is required in order to participate in the test-out process. Only a certified check or money order payable to “POST” will be accepted as payment.

If an applicant passes the written exam and demonstrates proficiency in all three skills during the test-out, and all other requirements for basic certification have been satisfied, the applicant is considered to have completed the provisional process and basic certification. good for three years,  will be awarded.

Refresher Academy

A refresher academy is a two or three week academy that consists of both academics and skills training in firearms and driving. The written exam is administered on the last day of the academy. An applicant who successfully completes the refresher academy and passes the POST exam will then have six months within which to complete comparable skills training in arrest control, typically documented by a letter from the hiring agency to POST. Once documentation of the comparable skills training in arrest control is received by POST, and all other requirements for basic certification have been satisfied, the applicant will be awarded basic certification.

A list of approved refresher academies is available here.

Basic Academy

An applicant may satisfy the skills requirement by attending 64 hours of firearms, 44 hours of driving and 62 hours of arrest control at a POST-approved basic academy.  Academies may, but are under no obligation to, offer the skills training to provisional applicants. The applicant must make all arrangements with the academy to complete skills training under this option and the applicant must provide certificates of completion for each skill to POST. Once the certificates of completion are received by POST and the written exam has been passed, and all other requirements for basic certification have been satisfied, the applicant will be awarded basic certification.

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