POST Certification Requirements

Basic Certificate

Officers must have completed:

  • the discipline-specific Basic course at MLEA or a POST-approved equivalent
  • one full year of discipline-specific employment with the same agency

Intermediate Certificate

Officers must have:

  • served at least one year with the present employing agency and be satisfactorily performing the duties, attested to by the administrator of the employing law enforcement and/or public safety agency
  • the discipline-specific Basic certificate
  • fours years’ experience and 200 job-related POST training hours

Advanced Certificate

Officers must have:

  • the discipline-specific Intermediate certificate
  • eight years’ experience and 400 job-related POST training hours

Supervisory Certificate

A first-level supervisor is:

  • above the operational level for which commensurate pay is authorized
  • an officer who, in the chain of command, is principally responsible for the direct supervision of an agency’s employees, or may be assigned those supervisory responsibilities
  • most commonly a sergeant

To qualify for a certificate at this level, officers must:

  • possess the discipline-specific Intermediate certificate
  • have successfully completed a 40-hour, POST-approved management course
  • at the time of application, serve satisfactorily as a first-level supervisor and have served in that capacity for one year prior to the date of application, attested to by the administrator of the employing agency

Command Certificate

Officers must:

  • possess the discipline-specific Supervisory certificate
  • have completed a professional development course or courses, cumulating a minimum of 200 hours of POST-approved management or leadership courses
  • at the time of application, serve satisfactorily at the command or mid-management level and have served in that capacity for one year prior to the date of appointment, attested to by the administrator of the employing agency

Administrative Certificate

The administrative or management position is:

  • a senior-level administrator for whom commensurate pay is authorized
  • an individual who, in the chain of command, is responsible either for agency administration or has broad administrative authority, or may be assigned those responsibilities
  • typically a chief, assistant chief, sheriff, undersheriff, warden or deputy warden

To qualify for a certificate at this level, officers must:

  • have the discipline-specific Advanced and Command certificates
  • serve satisfactorily at the administrative or management level, and have served in that capacity with the same agency for at least one year prior to the date of application

Calculation of POST training hours

All POST-certified training is placed in one of the following categories. No more than 25 percent of the required training hours for Intermediate, Advanced or Supervisory certificates may come from any one category.

Basic Supervisor Instructor/Instructor Development
College/Military Investigation
Communication/Human Behavior Leadership/Management
Coroner Specialty
Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) Traffic
General Public Safety Officer Use of Force

Military training is accepted hour for hour only with a written explanation of how the training relates to civilian law enforcement, and needs to follow the same rules as required for out-of-state and other training certification.

College education is credited for individual class work only. Credit is given according to this formula:

  • 10 hours for one semester credit hour
  • 6 hours for one quarter credit hour

Applicants must submit a written explanation of how the higher education course relates to working as a public safety officer.

Example:
You must have a total of 200 or more POST training hours to be eligible for an Intermediate certificate. Since you may use no more than 25 percent (50 hours) in any one training category toward your certificate, you must have sufficient training in at least four categories.

Course Title Actual Training Hours Allowed Hours
(up to 25% maximum)
Communication/Human Behavior 62 50
Use of Force 54 50
General Public Safety Officer 26 26
College/Military 134 50
Total 276 176

In this example, the officer can count only 176 hours of training toward an Intermediate certificate. To meet the 200-hour training qualification, the officer needs an additional 24 hours in General Public Safety Officer training or another course in which he or she does not yet have the 50-hour maximum.

Application Deadlines

Applications must be received by the POST Council by April 1, August 1 or December 1 (the months in which the Council’s meetings are held). Mail applications to:

POST Council
2260 Sierra Road East
Helena, MT 59602