It is in this spirit of growth and responsiveness that the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards & Training have resolved to establish a set of MODEL STANDARDS to which all states may aspire.
Revised February 2022
IADLEST Model Standards
for POST Administration
“No one is compelled to choose the profession of a police officer, but having chosen it,
everyone is obliged to live up to the standard of its requirements.”
- President Calvin Coolidge
Time and again, events around the country, around the world, and within our communities demonstrate the importance of integrity and professionalism within the law enforcement profession. But they have also reminded us of the importance of performing due diligence during the hiring of candidates to assure they meet the high standards of the profession and the importance of accountability – having an entity that can take action to remove peace officers from their positions when they do not adhere to the high standards inculcated in the profession.
There is a two-pronged approach needed to assure that only those individuals who can meet and adhere to the high standards of the profession are hired and retained. The first prong is the hiring process. Agencies need to design hiring processes that objectively measure a candidate’s character, skills, knowledge and abilities that would indicate the likelihood of success within the profession. The second prong is an entity that sets hiring standards and helps to guide agencies in their hiring. The entity must also establish training and retention standards to assure officers maintain high levels of knowledge and proficiency and to weed out those individuals who do not belong in the profession.
In response to the need for accountability, Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) organizations have been created to assure citizens that their officers meet prescribed standards of competency and ethical behavior consistent with the community’s expectations regarding peace officer performance and conduct.
The following standards are intended to provide a guide to national and state leaders for designing and implementing an agency tasked with creating such standards and establishing a system of accountability.
“With great authority comes great responsibility.” -Unknown
Table of Contents
Model Standards for POST Administration
As used in this document, the terms “POST” and “commission” are representative and are used to refer to any agency, commission, committee, organization, or entity tasked with setting standards for the hiring, training, and/or licensing of criminal justice officers and officials.
The term “state” refers to any political subdivision that is autonomous from national oversight with regards to setting standards for police and corrections officers. Many countries do not have such political subdivisions, and in such cases, the term “state” would refer to the national authority designated to set and enforce such standards.
The terms “certify” and “license” refer to the POST commission’s ability to grant or withhold an officer’s ability to exercise police and custodial powers.
The terms “peace officers,” “police officers,” and “policing” are intended to refer to all officers who exercise police or custodial powers, including sheriffs and their deputies, game wardens, tribal police officers, maritime and boating enforcement, corrections officers, police officers and any other officer empowered to enforce laws, make arrests, and detain persons. These terms also take into account that law enforcement is but a small part of what all such officers do in today’s society.
The term “corrections” refers to officers at the national, state, county, and local level who are tasked with the care and control of persons who are in detention or otherwise incarcerated.
1.0 Mission and Authority
Each state or country shall have a single organization with the sole authority to set and enforce standards for employing, educating, and remaining peace and corrections officers. That authority shall include granting and removing certification, licensing, and the ability to act as an officer. The authority to set and enforce standards shall not have exceptions for any agencies within the state or country that employ peace officers or corrections officers.
The ultimate mission of a POST commission should be to assure the police and corrections officers hired into and retained within the criminal justice profession meet the highest standards of conduct and training and to take appropriate action against those who do not meet those standards.
1.0.2 Independent Agency
To combat undue political influence or pressure, and to avoid any appearance of impropriety or favoritism, the commission should be a separate, autonomous national or state agency rather than a division or branch of another agency.
Since a standards and training commission should serve the interests of the community, as well as national, state, county, and local criminal justice agencies equally, it is preferable that it maintain its autonomy and avoid any appearance that its actions are dominated by another criminal justice agency. This autonomy will also help to ensure that the commission’s funding does not get diverted to a parent agency to supplement the parent agency’s funding.
1.0.3 Authority to Set Selection Standards
The commission should have the authority and responsibility to establish minimum selection and certification standards for all persons having authority to exercise police powers (e.g. make arrests for violations of law and/or for violations of local ordinances); for all persons having custody of individuals who are incarcerated awaiting arraignment or trial, sentenced to terms in correctional institutions or released on probation or parole by the courts; and persons who hold other related public offices and positions.
1.0.4 Authority to Set Education and Training Standards
The commission should have the authority and responsibility to establish minimum educational and training standards for pre-service, in-service, and specialized training programs for officers engaged in policing and for corrections personnel, and for persons who hold other related public offices. This should include setting instructional goals and objectives, establishing performance goals and required proficiency levels, and determining and approving the length and curricula for such programs. The commission should also set minimum standards for instructors in such programs and approve facilities as acceptable for police and corrections training.
1.0.5 Licensing or Certification
The commission should have the authority and responsibility to act as the certifying or licensing authority for sworn personnel who perform policing and correctional duties and other related public officers and to determine the conditions such officers and officials must meet for certification or licensing.
1.0.6 Decertification or License Revocation
The commission shall have the authority and responsibility to withdraw, suspend, revoke or enforce other sanctions against the licenses of personnel who perform policing and correctional duties. The commission shall also have the authority and responsibility to withdraw, suspend, or revoke or conduct other sanctions against other related public officers and officials for failure to comply with standards and for incompetence or egregious misconduct. The commission shall establish standards of conduct that would result in such actions and shall determine the mechanics and conditions for such decertification. There shall be a clearly delineated policy or regulation detailing the process for taking such actions that includes due process for the officer or official involved.
1.0.7 Conducting Research
The commission should have the authority and responsibility to conduct and stimulate research by public and private agencies designed to improve police and corrections services.
1.0.8 Compliance Enforcement
The commission should have the authority, responsibility, and resources to conduct inspections to assure that its standards are being adhered to and to sanction persons and agencies who fail to comply with these standards.
1.0.9 Financial Assistance
Ideally, the commission should have the authority, responsibility, and resources to provide financial aid to government units as an incentive to send their officers to training programs.
1.1 Commission, How Constituted and Operated
1.1.1 Representation on the Commission
The majority of the representatives on the commission should be a cross-section of representatives from police and correctional agencies, with additional representation from other appropriate agencies or professions. The membership should also include community leaders to help assure the commission is considering community expectations. Care should be taken to avoid having too many members and thus make meetings and actions unwieldy. Another consideration is having more than one appointing authority to avoid any one person having undue political influence (e.g., having some appointments made by the governor and others by the attorney general).
In some states, standards commissions are separate from training commissions to avoid any claims of a conflict of interest if the standards setting agency also provides the training. However, in instances where such responsibility is split between two commissions, the participants sometimes indicate that communications and coordination are more difficult and there can be duplication of effort. In some states, the responsibility for corrections training is vested in a separate commission, or some agencies, such as state police or sheriffs, are either exempt from training standards or set their own. However, there are many similarities between police and corrections work at all levels which make it quite logical that the responsibilities for setting standards and delivering training can be vested in a single commission, with adequate resources and division of duties.
1.1.2 Terms of Commissioners
The members of the commission should be appointed for staggered terms which are not all coterminous with the term of the appointing authority. Staggered terms help to reduce transitional lag time and assure historical knowledge is available. The enabling statute should provide that certain members serve by virtue of their office.
The commission, while under the control of the politically elected officials of the state, should be set up in such a way as to provide some continuity and expertise in office, so that it will not be used solely as a source of political patronage and so it will not be unduly susceptible to political coercion.
1.1.3 Executive Direction
The day-to-day operations of the commission should be under the control of an executive director or other administrator. To help insulate the executive director from undue political influence or pressure, the executive director should be appointed by a majority vote of the commission and only be able to be removed for cause and after a public hearing.
The executive director should be a competent professional, chosen because of ability rather than politics, and whose selection should be removed from the partisan political process. He or she should have adequate tenure to develop and implement the goals and objectives of the commission and enforce compliance with commission mandates without fear of political reprisal.
1.1.4 Qualifications of Director
The minimum qualifications for the executive director should be established in statue/law and should include a baccalaureate or graduate degree; considerable experience in administration, leadership, and supervision; extensive experience in the field of policing or corrections; and familiarity with the development and management of training programs.
1.1.5 Funding Source
The commission's operations, including subsidizing the costs of statewide training programs, should be paid out of a dedicated, non-lapsing revenue source independent of the state's general fund and protected within the state constitution, such as a penalty assessment fund, vehicle registration or rental fees, or other funding sources.
A penalty assessment fund, based on a percentage of court fines, has proven to be a worthwhile and constitutionally permissible mechanism for the funding of criminal justice training programs because it involves no tax monies, and because those who contribute to it have a vested interest in being dealt with by competent professionals with high ethical standards and community relations skills. However, consideration should be taken that funding sources linked to criminal justice fines are subject to variability, such as crime rates, judicial discretion in assessing fines, and legislative changes, or could be perceived as a conflict of interest as officers directly benefit from the funding provided by deciding to charge defendants.
Where such a fund exists or is enacted, it is important for it to be established as a trust fund within the state constitution, to prevent it from being diverted to other purposes whenever the state experiences a general fund revenue shortfall. It is also important to resist having a variety of other programs funded out of this dedicated revenue source, as the end result is usually that court fines reach the point of diminishing returns, and police and corrections training programs are either inadequately funded or require additional general fund support.
The enabling statutes should require the commission to meet at least quarterly.
The commission should be provided with an adequate budget to employ sufficient full-time professional staff to carry out its mandated duties, with sufficient equipment, travel, and staff development funds to enable its staff to keep abreast of progressive training methods, maintain appropriate professional certifications, belong to professional organizations, and monitor the compliance by agencies and officers with its standards.
Ideally, the state should provide the commission with sufficient funds to enable it to reimburse or subsidize every police and corrections agency 100 percent of the salary of officers while attending training and/or underwrite the cost of training programs to be completed by those officers.
Through reciprocity, the commission should recognize the licensing or certification standards of other POST entities that maintain and enforce equivalent standards and thus allow lateral entry by officers from another jurisdiction without requiring the officers to undergo redundant training, either at the academy level or in various specialties.
Such reciprocity can be provided through standardized licensing and certification examination programs, which are then supplemented by attendance at programs designed to acquaint officers who move in from another jurisdiction or whose license or certification has lapsed during a break in service with updated laws, tactics and procedures as practiced in that jurisdiction.
The commission should recognize the value of an accreditation process in helping agencies and academies to develop and maintain a culture of excellence and should provide technical assistance and support to departments and academies seeking accreditation.
Model Standards for Peace Officer Selection
Each state commission should prescribe minimum statewide standards that must be complied with by hiring authorities who employ law enforcement and corrections officers and other related public officers. These standards should comply with any applicable federal and state equal employment guidelines and relate to the skills and attributes necessary to perform the essential functions of a police or corrections officer.
2.0.1 Drug Screening
State law or regulation should require each candidate for an entry-level or lateral-entry sworn position, to submit to testing to determine if he or she is currently using an illegal controlled dangerous substance.
Peace officers are expected to operate vehicles and make critical split-second decisions, including whether to use force and at what level. Consequently, officers must demonstrate they are free of drugs that could impair critical decision-making. Ensuring officers are free of impairing drugs helps to limit liability for the agency and the officers themselves, while also reducing opportunities for graft, corruption, and extortion. Additionally, officers enforce the law related to the use of controlled dangerous substances and to prevent prisoners from acquiring such substances. The effectiveness of these officers would be compromised if they were also illegally using these drugs. Therefore, they should receive a valid test to screen for the illegal use of controlled dangerous substances consistent with federal and state laws. The type of test to be utilized would be selected by the agency consistent with their needs and costs and consistent with minimum requirements set by the commission.
2.0.2 Background Investigation
State law or commission regulation should require each candidate for an entry-level or lateral entry peace officer position or other related public office, to submit to a thorough background investigation according to protocols developed by the commission, to determine that they have exhibited mature judgment and are of good moral character and reputation. Checking the IADLEST National Decertification Index (NDI) should be a component of the background investigation.
Those called to serve in the criminal justice system are faced with many difficult occupational situations. A documented background investigation is necessary to ensure that all candidates possess the necessary attributes to perform their duties. It is also necessary to screen out undesirable personal characteristics that may adversely affect their performance as officers. This background investigation should include at a minimum~ interview with previous employers and coworkers, neighbors, past and present family members, character references, school authorities, and academic and military records. Polygraph examinations can be an effective tool to help validate written and oral information, and to detect possible deception by a candidate. They should be used to support, but not as the sole indicator for, employment status decisions. In addition to the polygraph, the background investigation should include Fingerprint Based Criminal History Check. It is recommended that the background investigation also include multiple references, home interview, search of civil/domestic court records, education check, driver’s license check, personnel record check at previous employing law enforcement agency and discussions with former employers and neighbors, where feasible.
2.0.3 Fingerprint Check
State law or commission regulation should require the hiring authority to conduct a state and national criminal history check, including fingerprinting, and should prohibit the hiring of any person as a sworn peace officer who has been convicted of a felony, or any other crime or series of crimes which would indicate to a reasonable person that the applicant was potentially dangerous, violent, or had a propensity to break the law.
All persons who are expected to enforce the law should be free of a criminal background which would compromise their effectiveness. A criminal history check should be made through the National Crime Information Center and the appropriate local and state criminal history repositories in all communities where the applicant has lived or worked, confirmed by an applicant fingerprint card.
2.0.4 Age Requirements
Each state should set a minimum age requirement for employment as a peace officer, or other related public office, verified by a birth certificate or other appropriate documentation.
The minimum age requirement should be established to ensure that candidates will be legally able to perform their duties. This age requirement should be consistent with all federal and state laws, ordinances and regulations related to law enforcement activities, the possession of various types of evidence, and the use of firearms.
State law or commission regulation should require all candidates for officer positions and other related public offices to be given a personal interview by representatives of the hiring authority, along with other appropriate evidence-based assessments, to evaluate job-related evidence-based skills, knowledge, abilities and behaviors, whether by an interview panel or another appropriate assessment process, and should provide guidance to the hiring authority as to any questions or methodologies that are best practices and those that should not be used during such a process. The process should be carefully crafted to gauge whether a candidate is a good fit within the agency and within the profession.
Evidence-based assessments are a valuable tool to verify and further expand on information provided by a candidate, to determine his or her fitness for the job, to evaluate whether they possess adequate verbal and written communications skills, and possess the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities for success within the profession.
State law or commission regulation should require all sworn peace officers to be national citizens or permanent resident aliens. In order to encourage the cultural diversity that enriches communities has enriched our nation over the years, foreign nationals with a sufficient time in the country for a quality background check should be encouraged to consider policing careers.
Police officers are expected to enforce the laws and constitution of their jurisdiction, and are among the few persons who can deprive a citizen of their freedom. This power should be vested in peace officers who are committed to support the laws of their country, state, and locality of their employment. The ability to follow the law, including federal immigration laws, is important in upholding the integrity of the profession. Relatedly, one must be a citizen or permanent resident alien in order to possess a firearm, which is necessary to perform the duties of a peace officer.
2.0.7 Driver's License
State law or commission regulation for peace officers should require a driver history record that indicates that a candidate is a safe driver who has adequate respect for the traffic laws that they will be enforcing and has an active, valid motor vehicle driver's license. However, a driver's license may not always be a requirement for officers working in a custodial setting.
All peace officers will utilize motor vehicles in the performance of their duties at one time or another, and many will drive under emergency conditions. Their driving records should be screened prior to hiring to determine that they are not poor or unsafe drivers. Poor or unsafe drivers can create liability concerns for their employing agencies and create undue risk to the communities they serve.
2.0.8 Medical Qualifications
Once a conditional offer of employment has been issued, state law or commission regulation should require the hiring agency to provide a job-related pass/fail medical examination to each applicant for a sworn officer position and mandate that they are medically fit to complete any necessary training and perform the duties of a peace officer. The commission should provide for a medical review board to consider the cases of any applicant with a disability who feels that their disability will not prevent them from completing the training or performing the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodation and without endangering others.
Such an examination evaluates the candidate's physiological readiness to learn and determines the relative risk of whether and how their health will compromise their ability to perform the frequent and critical tasks assigned to them.
State law or commission regulation should require that all persons hired as officers possess, at a minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent, along with an entry-level assessment of basic reading, writing and arithmetic prior to hiring. An entry-level requirement of a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by a regional postsecondary accrediting body should be considered. College degree requirements should be tempered with credit given to those with life experience applicable to the policing profession, such as military experience or other appropriate work history. That said, even if college degrees are not an entry-level requirement, state law or commission regulation should require post-secondary degrees for supervisory positions. For example, a two-year degree should be required for front-line supervisory positions; a four-year degree should be required for mid-level and administrative positions; and master’s degree or higher should be required for executive-level positions.
Completion of high school, along with an independent assessment prior to hiring, ensures that candidates will have obtained at least minimal skills in writing, comprehension, and analysis required of an officer who must possess superior written and oral communications skills and an ability to read and interpret complex statutes, court decisions, and operational procedures. It will also be an indicator that the candidate can successfully complete a training academy or entrance-level training program. As communities move toward community policing, a college education becomes increasingly desirable as an entrance standard because post-secondary education broadens an officer’s knowledge and perspectives.
2.0.10 Physical Fitness Assessment
State law or commission regulation should mandate that candidates for employment successfully complete a valid, job-related physical fitness or agility test based on data obtained from a written job description validated by a job task analysis.
Each candidate should be tested for physical conditioning, fitness, and agility. The results of these tests should be evaluated against established, validated criteria, to determine their ability to complete any necessary training and perform the essential job functions, and reduce the danger to coworkers. Physical fitness or agility standards (muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, coordination, flexibility, strength, etc.) must also be validated as job-related to the occupational needs of peace officers. Without validation, such standards may not survive legal challenge, especially if they deny employment to a protected class of people. A decision must be made as to whether candidates must meet certain standards before they can enter an academy, or whether they must achieve certain standards as a requirement for successful completion of the academy. Agility testing, if employed, must be done across the board for all candidates. Consideration should be given to mandating periodic physical fitness assessments for incumbent officers, as well.
2.0.11 Psychological Screening
State law or commission regulation should require hiring authorities to administer a psychological screening to all applicants for sworn officer positions and help to ensure that applicants are not hired who suffer from a current mental condition that would affect their ability to function safely and effectively in the job or who display characteristics such as a tendency toward unnecessary violence or poor impulse control. Only qualified, licensed professionals who have expertise in assessing criminal justice candidates. should interpret these tests, using norm-referenced testing instruments, with emphasis on clinical interviews, to determine emotional and mental stability.
A psychological assessment is necessary to screen out candidates who may not be able to carry out their responsibilities, endure the uniquely stressful working conditions, or who are not mentally or emotionally fit for duty. Psychological assessment should be analyzed as one part of the overall background process. An appeal process or second opinion should be afforded to ensure fairness if a candidate is eliminated by this process.
2.1 Interstate Training Reciprocity
Commissions should publish their requirements for reciprocity. They should be designed to notify other commissions as to reciprocity requirements for holding appointment as a peace officer in that jurisdiction, and the training required or equivalency test needed for lateral entry. The published requirements should specifically address the areas enumerated below.
Rules should state the prerequisites for holding the position requested by an applicant seeking employment in the state's criminal justice system, the prerequisites for attending basic law enforcement training, and a description of the required minimum law enforcement training recruit course, including hours of attendance.
Rules should describe the procedure to obtain a waiver of basic training requirements or state that a waiver is not allowed.
The commission should develop a matrix to allow the staff to give a preliminary, non-binding opinion regarding the equivalency of training. Any testing utilized as a part of this matrix should be based upon a job task analysis (JTA) and learning objectives contained within basic training.
Rules should prescribe the documentation and the certification of such documents from other educational institutions or training academies that are allowed as proof of completion of courses.
Rules should prescribe the charging, hearing, and appeal process for decertification of an officer for infractions of laws, rules, or regulations, and the effect to be given to an out-of-state decertification action or conviction.
The commission should publish a listing of any criminal justice position requiring a license or special license, a description of the licensing examination, and the name and contact information for the licensing board or agency.
Model Standards for Recruit (New Officer) Basic Training
3.0 Basic Training
Commission regulations authorized by state law should establish minimum standards for the accreditation, administration, and delivery of basic training programs required for professional certification or licensing of entry-level police and corrections officers and other such officers, regardless of whether such programs are delivered by state-run academies, individual police agencies, institutions of higher learning, or a combination thereof.
NOTE: Due to the difference in national and international police and corrections officer standards and training programs, the following standards may not be totally applicable to some training or educational programs. It is recognized that each commission must abide by its own state, provincial or national standards and regulations.
The purpose of basic training should be to provide a supportive and nurturing environment that will encourage future officers to be humanistic, compassionate, empathetic, culturally aware and career-oriented; skilled in the use of discretion; able to identify and solve problems in traditional and non-traditional but acceptable ways; proficient in the use of weapons; proficient in the ethical and effective use of both deadly and non-deadly force; and respectful of constitutional limitations on their authority.
3.0.2 Core Competencies
Minimum curriculum requirements for basic training programs should identify a set of core competencies required for satisfactory performance of entry-level tasks. These competencies should include both knowledge and skills identified through a job task analysis, and additional abilities in areas such as professional orientation, human relations, verbal communication, critical thinking, universal respect at all times, and the ethical use of discretion consistent with the role of
police law enforcement and corrections officers in a free society.
3.0.3 Matriculation Requirements
Institutions, academies, and agencies offering basic training courses should be encouraged to adopt entry standards for their programs that are designed to assure that graduates meet the professional standards for certification, are eligible for hire by a criminal justice agency, have an aptitude for success as an officer, and will uphold the honor and integrity of the profession.
3.0.4 Medical Examination
Students, as a condition of admission to basic programs, should be required to submit to a medical examination by a licensed physician familiar with the aspects of the curriculum that require physical strength, agility, flexibility and aerobic capacity and who, on a pass/fail basis, certifies that the prospective student can, in the physician's opinion, safely perform the course work required.
Students should be required to present transcripts of all prior education and training as a precondition of admission into a basic training program.
3.0.6 Student Records
The items contained in standards 3.0.2 through 3.0.5 above should become a permanent part of the candidate's training records. This record should be available to the commission and to the staff and management of the basic course provider. Medical records should be kept in separate files or with restricted access. A student's files should be released only to the student's employing or sponsoring agency, if any, or to commission officials, unless the student has given written permission for others to access them or a valid court order exists. Student records are protected under federal law by the Buckley Amendment. Records should be retained for at least the record retention period required by state law, either in the form of hard copy, computer files, or other court-acceptable media.
3.0.7 Training Course Records
The commission should promulgate standards for the documentation of curriculum and the keeping of historical records for a period mandated by the established record retention schedule for each basic training class, to include lesson plans, copies of audiovisual aids, tests and examinations, attendance records, student and instructor evaluations, course schedules, and instructor certifications and résumés.
3.0.8 Forms and Procedures
Commission administrative regulations should require that each institution have a policy that prescribes the forms and procedures for documenting the candidate's pre-employment or pre-basic requirements. Forms for each requirement should be developed and made available to agencies that will use the services of the training institution. When the candidate arrives for training at the institution, his or her training records should be inclusive and in a manageable format.
3.0.9 Basic Course Administration
Institutions and agencies providing basic training should be required by commission regulation to have a policy manual or course management guide which outlines the procedures to be followed in conducting the basic course. The policies should be directed toward delineating the acceptable and unacceptable behavior of employees and staff, as well as the students.
3.0.10 Academy Assessment and Accreditation
Commission staff should conduct academy training audits to assure that training academies are adhering to commission rules and regulations, are using prescribed lesson plans and assessment instruments, are utilizing only certified instructions, and are complying with record-keeping requirements. Academies should also be encouraged to work toward accreditation as a mechanism for achieving best practices and demonstrating they meet the highest standards of the profession.
Written policies should describe the rules of the institution as they apply to the students, and each student upon entry should be issued a copy of the rules and acknowledge receipt of them in writing.
The commission should require that each agency, institution, or academy offering a basic course set aside a block of time at the beginning of the course for verbal orientation of the students and an explanation of the relevant institution rules and matriculation requirements.
Written policies should describe the rules of the institution as they apply to the students, and each student upon entry should be issued a copy of the rules and acknowledge receipt of them in writing.
The rules should describe the process for charging a student for a rules violation, the penalty for such a violation, and the appeal process.
The rules should describe the records to be maintained for every student who receives any training and the method used to provide a validated transcript of such training. Records maintenance rules should be compatible with state and federal laws concerning student records.
The rules should prescribe facility requirements commensurate to the curricula to be taught by the institution. Curricula activities such as driver training, firearms training, practical exercises and any other training program mandating special needs should have access to adequate facilities that provide an adequate training environment and provide for the safety of the students and staff. The facilities should be designed to adequately provide the specific training needed to meet the course objectives.
Student grading policies should be established in terms of pass/fail, re-testing in regards to a failure (if permitted), appeal of test results, and necessary repeating of a subject area if a failure is substantiated or in case of excessive absence from class. Remedial or re-training, when permitted, should be applied in an equitable manner.
Attendance at courses should be mandated. If a percentage of time is allowed for excused absences (for any reason), the percentage of time a student is allowed to be absent and still pass the course should be set and published by the commission. The policy should also delineate whether a student is able to make up and missed instructional hours
Methods of developing test questions conforming to the performance objectives stated in the course should be explained to each student. The test development process should be stated in procedural format, outlining exactly how the testing program is administered. Required education and/or reading levels should be stated here as well, with references to existing statutory or administrative code requirements.
Training staff advisors and/or counselors should be available to discuss personal or training matters with the students. Remedial study habits should be suggested, along with advice to provide the student with every opportunity to do well in the courses. Peer counseling and mental health programs for recruits are strongly encouraged to promote career long officer wellness.
The commission must establish rules and regulations regarding the setting of objective standards for assessing student performance and the criteria for successful completion of training. The commission must also establish rules, regulations, and policies for dealing with academic and performance failures. Should it be determined that the student who is failing can be successfully trained, remedial training should be provided, if permitted by commission rules and regulations.
3.2.1 Resource Center
A satisfactory learning resource center should be provided if the student is assigned studies outside of the training handouts or classroom notebook. Ideally, the resource center would provide students with computer workstations with Internet access to allow for reading, research, transcribing notes, and completing assignments. Such computer labs are also useful for conducting testing via a secure intranet connection.
The commission should establish minimum curriculum requirements for the basic course, and all institutions and agencies delivering approved basic training should be required to comply with these requirements. Curricula should be based on a valid and reliable job task analysis which is updated at least every five (5) years. Training techniques should be generally accepted as best practice and legal and evidence based. Curricula should be submitted on a standardized form detailing the performance objectives for the course and the training methodology. The curricula should be certified by the commission's executive director upon recommendation of a curricula committee, including legal experts, whose members have examined the content and training methodology for the purpose of validating it. Instructors involved in the delivery of basic training should be credentialed as instructors by the commission. Post-graduation surveys or other assessment methods should be utilized to assess the effectiveness and applicability of the curriculum on an ongoing basis.
Safety rules should be given to all persons who enter the training facility. Conspicuous signage should be used to notify persons when training is in progress, especially training involving reality-based scenarios, uses of force, or other high liability areas. Safety rules, along with rules of conduct, should be discussed during orientation. A form attesting that the rules have been distributed and are understood should be signed by each student, collected by the instructor and filed. High-risk and high- liability curriculum areas should have safety rules posted in a conspicuous manner to remind the students of potential risks. Instructors should be periodically refreshed on the contents of these rules. Safety plans that include responses to injuries or emergency situations and notification requirements and protocols should be developed for each training location, posted, and issued to students and staff.
Diplomas or notices of successful completion of basic courses should be awarded and should identify the awarding institution, the name of the recipient, statutory mandate for the course (if any), precise name of the course, dates of attendance and graduation, and signature of the agency or institution head.
Liability and comprehensive insurance should be provided in accordance with city, county or state laws or regulations. The chief legal counsel for the training agency should be consulted about indemnification.
Employment of staff should be done through an established hiring process designed to ensure that they possess adequate education, experience, ethical standards and medical condition for the position. The use of guest lecturers should be controlled in a manner that assures their integrity and qualifications to teach. Training programs should be instituted for all staff to ensure they remain up to date with current best practices, procedures, and body of knowledge emerging in the criminal justice profession.
3.2.7 First Aid
First aid and medical emergency plans should be included in instructor and student orientation materials. If courses include high-risk activities, emergency medical plans should be discussed with students. Every instructor who teaches firearms, driving or other high-risk subjects should be currently certified in first-aid and CPR. First-aid kits, AEDs, and a means of summoning emergency medical assistance should be available at all training sites.
Equipment requirements and standards should be established and provided to all agencies or persons participating in the training courses. Standards for weapons and ammunition used on the firing range should be established, as well as vehicles used on the driving range. Other equipment, such as uniforms, leather gear, footwear, radar sets, batons, cameras or any other equipment used in training courses, should conform to acceptable standards. The standards should be set by the commission or a group of persons having the ability to set such standards in a reliable and expert manner.
Model Standards for In-Service Training
4.0 In-Service Training
IADLEST endorses the concept of additional, commission mandated annual in-service training for sworn or commissioned law enforcement officers following basic certification or licensure. The commission should set mandatory in-service training requirements, including hours, topics, and lesson plans. However, some discretion in the selection and approval of subjects should be left to the local administrators, subject to the guidance and minimums set by the commission or by statute.
As with many professions, and more so than most, policing and corrections are an ever-changing occupation. Laws, court decisions, techniques, technology, and indeed the society that we regulate and serve, is in a constant state of flux. For this reason, it is necessary that police and corrections officers keep abreast of evolutions in their field so that they can more effectively serve the citizens, help the agencies that employ them avoid civil liability, and develop necessary supervisory and management skills. This training should be effective, meaningful, usable, and impactful, using best practices in adult learning, such as facilitated discussions, problem-based learning, and scenarios. These trainings should also be sufficiently complex to prepare peace officers for the realities they will encounter regarding the topic of the course. Unfortunately, in some jurisdictions the continuing education requirement for officers is either non-existent or less than that of some less complex occupations, such as barbers or real estate salespersons. This situation must be rectified for the criminal justice system to achieve optimal professionalism, quality, and excellence in service.
4.1.1 Statutory Authority; Purpose
Each state legislature should provide its commission with the statutory authority to mandate continuing education requirements for police and corrections officers as a condition of certification or licensure. The purpose of such training should be to ensure continued proficiency in necessary skills, to become familiar with new developments and techniques, and to achieve a revitalized sense of compassion, professionalism, and career interest.
Each state legislature should provide adequate funding to its commission to assist in the development, presentation, and monitoring of in-service training requirements.
The criteria for needs assessment, curriculum development, instructor qualifications, research, testing, and student safety for continuing education should be no less stringent than that which is prescribed for recruit training programs. If the statutory authority for the POST organization does not allow the mandating of training, the POST organization should encourage and support agencies’ creation and development of best practices in training in an effort to adequately prepare their peace officers and for the furtherment of the profession.
Model Standards for Training and Instructor Standards
5.0 Task Analysis
Each state commission should conduct a job task analysis (JTA) of the entry-level police and corrections positions at least once every five (5) years.
A job task analysis should be conducted statewide to determine the essential functions of the entry level position and the relevant tasks and task steps.
5.0.1 Task Analysis Committee
Each commission should utilize a committee to assist with the job task analysis. Members of the committee must possess the technical knowledge to conduct a systemic and scientific based analysis. If the commission does not have access to such expertise, a vendor should be considered.
The committee should be made up of personnel in the criminal justice profession to assist with the development of the curriculum using results of the job task analysis. This will assure that the curriculum reflects the actual needs of the basic police officer. The advisory committee can also be a useful resource to add/modify curricula during years that the job task analysis is being upgraded or revised. Incorporating community input into a job task analysis can be essential in identifying areas where policing may not be aligned with the expectations of their communities.
5.0.2 Core Curricula
Each commission should develop a minimum standard basic police and corrections training curriculum based upon the results of the job task analysis, plus additional areas such as professional orientation, human relations, and the ethical use of discretion, that the commission deems consistent with the role of police and corrections officers in a free society.
Curricula should be based upon a job task analysis, to assure that the goals and objectives of the course are based upon the current requirements of the position. The job task analysis will identify the most important, most difficult and most frequent tasks required by the essential functions, and further identify those tasks that should be learned at the academy, as opposed to at some other time and place, such as field training programs. The authority to set curriculum standards should be set in statute as the sole purview of the commission. Legislative initiatives to set curriculum standards, times, and content are rarely based upon validated scientific principles, and standards are difficult to defend if they are based upon politics. In addition, when such statutory training requirements become antiquated or contrary to best practices, they are very difficult to get retracted.
5.0.3 Unit Goals
The state standard basic training core curriculum should contain a unit goal for each unit of instruction, and performance objectives that are measured by demonstrated performance (written or practical) assessments.
5.0.4 Performance Objective
The curriculum should assign each performance objective a unique alphanumeric identifier.
The use of numbered goals and objectives for each unit of instruction assures that the course offers the same curriculum every time it is taught. The alphanumeric identifiers allow the easy tracking, reporting, and updating of objectives. This is essential for reports to students or administrators upon completion of a course. The alphanumeric identifiers also allow for tracking test questions to specific objectives.
5.0.5 Field Training
Each state commission should be empowered to and should establish a field training officers' program of on-the-job training that is also based upon a job task analysis. In addition to agency-specific needs, the content of the field training program should have general consistency with the curriculum of the basic training program and a specific nexus with identified performance deficiencies of the student in his/her basic training program. The field training program should be carefully and specifically structured to reinforce and build upon the basic training program.
The basic curriculum and the field training program must both be based upon a task analysis
, and complement one another. The field training program should cover the following areas: (1) knowledge and skills that are unique to the employing agency, but not relevant to the state as a whole; (2) knowledge and skills that have been determined through a task analysis to be essential to the job, but the local employing agency is better suited as the primary trainer; and (3) demonstrating proficiency in performance objectives that were not met during the academy training process. The final report to the employing administrator should contain the performance objectives that the officer did not achieve while in training at the academy. This report should become a part of the field training program as a remedial loop. The performance objectives should be demonstrated satisfactorily during the field training experience before the officer can be certified. Field training should be an integral part of the core curriculum and quantified as to time to be credited.
5.0.6 Achievement Tests
Each state commission should develop a bank of test questions that measure the knowledge required by performance objectives and are evaluated by written examination, which can be administered using computer platforms. The questions must be tied to learning objectives and developed using evidence-based test development criteria.
5.0.7 Performance Demonstration
Each commission should develop a demonstrated performance rubric for each performance objective evaluated by demonstrated performance.
It is essential that the examination process measure knowledge and skills identified through job task analysis. To do this, both written and performance-based assessments must be utilized. Questions and demonstrated scenarios should be developed to measure knowledge and skills relative to the course performance objectives. The questions missed or skills not demonstrated are reported to the student so that he or she not only knows the questions they missed, but also the performance objectives not achieved.
5.0.8 Final Examination and Scenario-Based Evaluation
Each commission should develop a comprehensive final examination that includes academic (written) testing and scenario-based evaluation to determine how much knowledge was gained during the basic course. Alternatively, a basic certification examination to determine that the student has the requisite knowledge to perform the essential job tasks at the entry level can be used. Such examinations and scenario-based evaluations in general subjects should have a defined passing score. Sections of tests and evaluations that relate to high-risk, high liability areas, such as the use of deadly force, should require 100%.
Post-test measurement need not be conducted if careful examination of performance objectives was conducted during the course.
Each commission should establish comprehensive post-graduation follow-up surveys. Students and the employing agency should be surveyed after the student has been on the job for six months. The survey should ask students about their academy experience and about any gaps or deficiencies in the training that they experienced. The employing agency should be queried about how well prepared the student officer was to perform his or her responsibilities and about any identified gaps or deficiencies in the student’s training.
The post-graduation follow-up is essential
, and ensures that the course and course content remain relevant. The survey should be designed to determine the retention of basic knowledge and skills. Adjustments should be made to course and delivery systems to increase retention and relevancy of the curriculum. The survey can also identify training gaps that need to be remedied in future academy courses.
5.0.10 Instructor Training
Each commission should establish an instructor training program for instructors involved in the basic core curriculum.
A comprehensive instructor training course is essential to a standardized basic core curriculum. Unless the instructional staff knows the purpose of performance objectives, how they are measured, and how to write proper test questions and demonstration scenarios, the influence of the goals and objectives on learning and retention will be diminished. Additionally, the instructor should be required to demonstrate their instructional capabilities and the teaching methods and techniques they will use, before actual use in a teaching role. This requirement may be waived in the case of instructors whose prior education or experience is deemed to be the equivalent of such a course, such as professors or instructors at accredited postsecondary institutions.
5.0.11 Instructor Evaluation
Each state commission should develop an instructor evaluation process. It is important to the instructor to receive candid feedback on how well he or she does in the classroom. A comprehensive program will not only use the students to evaluate the instructor, but will also utilize feedback from managers, commissioned members, and other designated personnel.
5.0.12 Standardized Lesson Plan Format
Each state commission should develop a standardized format for lesson plans. Lesson plans should contain all of the following elements: Title, Lesson Purpose, Training objectives/outcomes, Hours/Credits, Instructional Method, Materials Required, Training Aids, References, Lesson Plan Text with Introduction, Body and Summary and Instructor Notes.
The lesson plan should meet the standard and contain reference(s) to each performance objective covered during the unit of instruction. The lesson plan should be approved by the course coordinator before the instructor teaches. The lesson plan should be a permanent part of the course record. All multimedia, handouts, and source materials used during the presentation should be identified on the lesson plan.
5.0.13 Instructor Certification
Each state commission should establish certification criteria and levels for persons wishing to be instructors. In addition, the commission should develop standards of conduct for instructional staff.
Different levels of certification should be established for instructors, valid for a set period of time, after which renewal can be requested. A basic level instructor should be required to demonstrate the knowledge and ability to conduct instruction from prepared material. More advanced instructors should also be required to demonstrate the knowledge and ability to determine course objectives, develop lesson plans, coordinate other instructors and utilize results of task analyses. Top-level instructors should be required to demonstrate the ability to develop tests, supervise instructors and support staff, organize goal-setting, assist in developing a budget for training programs and maintain positive public relations. Appropriate instructor designations should recognize certain high-liability areas, such as firearms, defensive tactics, physical fitness, and emergency driving.
5.0.14 Revocation of Certification
Each state commission should have the authority to revoke the certification of instructors.
The commission must develop rules, regulations, and policies delineating the criteria and process for denying, suspending, or revoking an instructor’s certification or authorization if the commission, for example, finds that the instructor:
Has failed to meet the commission’s requirements for certification or professional authorization;
Has failed to remain knowledgeable and current in the instructional area of expertise;
Has failed to meet reasonable instructional standards and practices;
Has demonstrated unprofessional, unethical, or morally deficient behavior; or
Has not completed required instructor updates.
5.0.15 Annual Instructor Evaluation
Each state commission should conduct evaluations of instructors on a routine basis, at least annually.
Commission staff should annually evaluate each instructor who is providing training in mandated training programs. The evaluation will be a useful tool to the instructor and the commission and ensures that all performance objectives are presented by the instructor and that high-quality teaching is provided to students.
5.0.16 Instruction and Curricula Management
Curricula should be carefully documented, validated, and constantly updated.
Curricula should have dates of original writing and dates when it was updated or revised. A tickler file should trigger automatic review and update consideration. A competent curriculum committee with the appropriate education and background should review and recommend all curriculum. Whenever the commission director is the sole curriculum approving authority, he or she should have the background, education and credentials necessary to make such judgments and should utilize a curriculum committee to provide guidance and recommendations. The committee or commission director should have statutory authority to approve or deny curricula.
Validation procedures for curricula should be based on a job task analysis and contain performance objectives that are based upon identified training needs. Moreover, test construction should be valid and reliable in testing the performance objectives.
Curriculum design should include full research of the topic(s) or curriculum, including source documents written from research, lesson plan(s) developed from the source document, and the source documents and lesson plan should be kept on file for reference.
Handout materials or any reference materials should be serialized and corresponding numbers placed on lesson plans and curricula to which the handout is related.
5.0.21 Staff Instructors
Staff instructors should be graduates of a recognized college or university with a degree in the appropriate field, or have at least a high school education with a documented background and experience to equate in ratio to years of college or university study. In addition, selection of staff instructors should evaluate their fit within the training program and their ability to mentor and be a role model to the students.
Instructors should successfully pass a background investigation documenting good moral character, integrity, and good job performance.
5.0.23 Physical Fitness
Instructors should be physically fit and in acceptable health to perform the essential functions of their jobs.
Instructors should have the ability to communicate with students in a supportive manner and yet be able to render objective judgments in reference to student efforts.
Instructors should be able to instruct in a manner that motivates students to learn.
5.0.26 Research Skills
Instructors should be able to research and write training materials, such as source documents, lesson plans, and tests.
Testing, whether pre-test or post-test, should be valid and reliable and based on objective measures. If pre-testing is used, it should be done with a specific purpose in mind and result in the ability to measure the instructional results accurately. Otherwise, it will not provide a usable result, but will instead mislead and cause confusion.
Contemporary information with regard to the use and development of instructional technology should be researched in order to maximize training techniques. The goal should be to correctly apply training technology to enhance the ability of students to learn, and not solely to expedite the training process, such as using virtual reality training to achieve realism in situations that cannot be safely replicated or easily assessed in the classroom or in scenario training.
5.0.29 Skills Training
Critical skills areas (vehicle stops, use of force, taking suspects into custody, diffusing situations, evidence collection and preservation, etc.) should be tested through the use of graded practical exercises. A validated, objective pass/fail criterion should be established for each skills test.
Instructional strategies should be utilized when it is determined that a particular strategy is the best technique that could be used to teach a particular attitude, knowledge, or skill.
Model State Standards for Professional Conduct
6.0 Standards of Professional Conduct
Every state or nation should establish by law a commission or board with the power to certify or license peace officers according to professional standards set forth in the law or established by rules and regulations. The commission or board should also have the power to revoke the license or issue lesser discipline for officers who have been found to have violated standards set forth in the statute or commission rules.
Every state or nation has the authority to regulate occupations and professions to protect the public. Typically, this power is exercised by a commission or board that issues a certificate or license indicating the person has met specified minimum standards. In addition, these commissions or boards should be granted the authority to revoke the licenses of persons who have violated the standards set forth in the law or by commission rules.
State law and commission regulations should set forth standards for initial certification, including selection, training, and continuing education requirements. They should also specify the grounds for decertification and lesser discipline and provide procedural protections, including notice, hearing, and appeal. The process for recertification should also be set forth. The state should utilize in the IADLEST National Decertification Index (NDI) of decertified officers as part of the hiring and retention processes.
Each commission should have the authority to certify that individuals have met the required selection and training standards required for employment as a peace or corrections officer.
The public should be made aware of the selection, character, and training standards required for a person to be employed, retained or disciplined as an officer.
As is the case for other professions, the minimum standards for certification should be uniform throughout the jurisdiction.
Before issuing a certificate or license, the commission should ensure that the applicant has complied with minimum standards by collecting, verifying, and maintaining all documentation establishing compliance, and assuring that a proper background investigation and criminal history check have been completed and requiring the training institution or hiring authority to provide assurance of completion of all pre-hiring requirements, subject to verification by commission audit.
6.0.5 Ongoing Compliance
The commission should be authorized to monitor and enforce ongoing compliance with minimum standards of conduct.
To ensure that certified peace officers who engage in serious misconduct do not continue to serve, each jurisdiction should establish procedures for detecting such misconduct and issuing discipline, including decertification. Such a system is necessary for reasons of professionalism, upholding the integrity of the profession, and protecting the public. Potential hiring agencies should be made aware of any discipline issued by the commission.
6.0.6 Application, Certification, and Denial
Each commission should require a formal application for certification. If minimum selection and training standards are met, the applicant should be certified. If the applicant does not meet minimum standards, the commission should formally notify the applicant of its intention to reject the application and allow all applicable due process, according to law or commission rule, if the applicant files a timely request.
6.0.7 Reporting Misconduct to the Commission
Employing agencies should be required to notify the commission when an officer leaves employment, whether the officer resigned, retired, was terminated, or laid off. If permitted by law, the commission should disclose the facts leading to the separation where there is reason to believe the certificate holder has committed decertifiable conduct. The employing agency should investigate such conduct and report its findings to the commission even when the certificate holder has resigned. All police agencies should be required to report to the commission the arrest of any person known or identified to them as a peace or corrections officer and when criminal charges have been filed against such officers.
18.104.22.168 Reporting Misconduct to Law Enforcement Agencies
On request of a police or corrections agency conducting a background investigation of an applicant for the position of a peace or corrections officer, another agency currently employing, previously employing, or having a complete or partial background investigation on the applicant should be required to advise the requesting agency of any known misconduct.
22.214.171.124 Good Faith Reporting
State law should provide that civil liability may not be imposed on either a law enforcement agency or the commission for providing information if there is a good faith belief that the information is accurate.
When the public becomes aware of serious misconduct by peace officers, its confidence is shaken, and all criminal justice professionals and agencies suffer a loss of public respect and cooperation. Therefore, agencies must share information with the commission and sister agencies concerning known officer misconduct.
6.0.8 Investigation of Misconduct
The commission should investigate all allegations from hiring agencies or other sources that certificate holders have violated commission standards. The investigation should be completed even if the certificate holder has resigned. If the investigation indicates that a certificate holder violated the standards, the matter should be presented to the commission or executive director as appropriate for determination. If the investigation concludes that no cause exists, the employing agency and certificate holder should be notified. If cause is found, the commission should issue a formal complaint specifying the conduct for which sanctions may be imposed and initiate the disciplinary process.
6.0.9 Grounds for Discipline
Grounds for commission discipline of certificate holders should be specified in law or commission rule and should include at least the following:
- conviction for a felony or serious misdemeanor, including a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether there is a suspended imposition or execution of sentence. The commission may also consider convictions that have been annulled.;
- regardless of whether there is conviction, criminal acts, and acts of dishonesty, such as perjury and filing false reports;
- acts showing an intentional or reckless disregard for the rights of others;
- unlawful sale, use, or possession of a controlled dangerous substance; and
- violation of the code of conduct as established by the commission.
The commission shall have the authority to revoke any certificate or license obtained through misrepresentation or fraud or that was issued due to an administrative error on the part of the commission or the employing agency. In addition, when permitted by statute or regulation, a certificate may be immediately suspended where the officer is under indictment for, is charged with, or has been convicted of the commission of any felony or where the officer’s certificate has been suspended or revoked by another state.
6.1 Range of Sanctions
Depending on the type of violation, the facts and circumstances of the case, and any prior commission discipline, the commission should impose the most appropriate administrative sanction, including suspension or revocation of the license or certificate, probationary status, which may consist of remedial retraining, or formal reprimand or censure. In addition, an officer may voluntarily surrender their license, temporarily or permanently.
6.1.1 Sanction Procedure
Per the jurisdiction’s administrative procedure act or other applicable law, the certificate holder should be given notice of the commission proceeding, be provided with an opportunity to be heard, and be permitted to be represented by counsel at their own expense. If the hearing results in a finding that the standard of professional conduct was not violated or a conclusion that the conduct in question does not warrant administrative discipline, the case should be dismissed. In the event a violation of professional standards is found, the commission should impose sanctions as appropriate. The standard of proof for a standards violation is the preponderance of the evidence, unless otherwise denoted in law.
6.1.2 Effect of Decisions by Employing Agencies
Disciplinary action taken by the officer’s agency, a finding by the agency that no misconduct occurred, or a decision resulting from an appeal of that action do not preclude action by the commission to deny, cancel, suspend, or revoke the certification or license of a peace or corrections officer.
6.1.3 IADLEST National Decertification Index (NDI)
Each commission that has the power to decertify officers should submit the information that an officer has been decertified or given other lesser discipline to the IADLEST National Decertification Index. In addition, each commission should query the NDI as part of the background check for initial certification. The commission should also grant permission for hiring agencies to query the NDI.
The number of peace and corrections officers who have violated professional standards continues to grow. Unfortunately, some of these officers have sought certification in other states without disclosing that they have been previously decertified. To protect criminal justice agencies from employing a person who has been decertified in another state, each state should have the authority to provide information on decertified or suspended officers to the NDI, including other lesser forms of discipline as authorized by statute or rule.
The commission should be empowered to provide to the NDI information regarding the decertification or suspension of officers for misconduct, as well as lesser forms of discipline. NDI policies set forth the process for submitting information as well as querying the NDI.
Each commission should develop a process whereby an officer may apply for the restoration of a revoked license. The policy should include the number of years an officer must wait to reapply and list conduct for which decertification is permanent. Before recertification, the officer must comply with minimum certification and recertification requirements. If the commission denies the recertification request, the officer should be given the reasons for the denial and the procedure for filing an appeal.
6.1.6 Failure to Comply
State law should provide that willful failure by the head of a police or corrections agency to comply with the provisions to report misconduct may be grounds for commission discipline.
Appendix: Summary of Minimum Standards from Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Missouri and Oregon
Firearms Instructor Certification
Introductory Sections and Overview:
TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
Table of Contents...............................................................................3
Standards Review Committee..........................................................4
Introduction and Objective...............................................................6
Scope of Standards............................................................................7
Section 1: Minimum Pre-Course Requirements..............................8
Section 2: Minimum Recommended Hours for Certification.........9
Section 3: Minimum Topics to be Covered.....................................10
Section 4: Minimum Task Requirements to Graduate...................13
Section 5: Recommended Training Format & Methodology.........14
INTRODUCTION & OBJECTIVE
Law enforcement firearms instructors across the nation are NOT certified to the same standards. In fact, most law enforcement firearms instructor certification courses fit into one of three categories:
1. 40-hour 1-gun instructor certification course (pistol, shotgun, rifle, etc.)
2. 40-hour 2-gun instructor certification course (pistol/revolver, pistol/shotgun, pistol/rifle, etc.)
3. 80-hour 3-gun instructor certification course (pistol/revolver/shotgun, pistol/shotgun/rifle, etc.)
There is a growing trend of training companies and organizations offering 40-hour 3-gun instructor certification courses. The more firearm disciplines that are introduced into an instructor certification course, the less time there is spent on each discipline thereby lowering the standard of knowledge and skill an instructor should have with each discipline.
This committee was created to offer a minimum standards recommendation for various law enforcement firearms instructor certification programs. While most firearms instructors across the nation would agree that more training is better (as long as it’s impactful towards learning objectives), this committee focused on the minimum standards necessary for a newly certified firearms instructor to be capable of conducting the following tasks for the firearm disciplines in which they were certified:
1. Be able to provide firearms safety to recruits/in-service personnel
2. Be able to provide basic firearms training to recruits/in-service personnel
3. Be able to provide remedial/skill builder training to struggling shooters
4. Be able to administer a firearms qualification course of fire
Firearms instructor certification courses are simply an academy for new firearms instructors. Graduates may have more knowledge and skill than those who have not attended a firearms instructor course, but they should not be considered experts at that point. They are new instructors on the firearm disciplines in which they were certified. They may lack the in-depth knowledge, coaching skills, and experience that only come with time and additional instructor development training.
The objective of this document is to bring law enforcement firearms instructor certification program standards, conducted by various training organizations across the nation, into closer alignment and to ensure newly certified law enforcement firearms instructors have the minimum knowledge, skills, and capability to provide the necessary tasks an agency requires from its firearms instructor staff.
SCOPE OF STANDARDS
This document will address five main areas of concern regarding recommended minimum standards:
1. Minimum pre-course requirements to attend
2. Minimum recommended training hours for certification
3. Minimum required topics to be covered
4. Minimum task requirements to graduate
5. Recommended training methodology and course format
This document does not dictate how a certification course should be presented hour-by-hour or day-by-day. How the listed recommendations are implemented into a certification course is up to the training organization. However, a sample syllabus is provided as a guide (Addendum A, attached).
This document is not retroactive, nor does it imply that any past or previous firearms instructor certification programs are invalid.
This document is not intended to be a recommendation for civilian firearms instructor certification, but may be used as a guide to improve any civilian firearms instructor certification course.
IADLEST Training Standards
What constitutes good training?
IADLEST recommends policy makers consider the following when reviewing training models and requirements:
- All training programs should have complete and detailed written instructor and student lesson plans developed from valid job task and training needs analysis.
- All training programs should engage and challenge the participants mentally and physically with well-designed lesson plans that include discussion questions, in-class collaborative exercises, and realistic, practical exercises replicating the most common tactics and incidents for effective police response.
- Good training should be evidence-based and developed in an unbiased manner.
- All training programs should incorporate a variety of learning preferences that will stimulate students and foster content retention.
- Students should demonstrate content mastery and training transfer with pre-and post-testing.
- Critical skills areas (vehicle stops, use of deadly force, de-escalation techniques, responding to individuals with mental illness, etc.) should be tested using graded practical exercises.
Each of these points is treated in detail in this document:
IADLEST Training Standards