Question Answer

How soon will a decision be made once the hearing concludes?

The panel will notify the parties in writing of the panels decision within 90 days as required by state law.

An officer's certification has been revoked or suspended as a peace officer.  Can they apply for employment as a corrections officer?  If they have been revoked or suspended as a corrections officer, can they apply for employment as a peace officer?

No.  If a peace or corrections officer certification has been revoked or suspended, they can not request employment and/or certification in the other field.

How do I report background verification to the commission prior to an conditional offer of employment?

The notice of hire form has been revised to include the following statement: "Per WAC 139-07-020, this agency completed its own background investigation, prior to a conditional offer of employment, to include the submission of fingerprints for this applicant on (insert date)."  This form will be submitted to the Commission prior to acceptance into an academy.  This will be the same process for law enforcement agencies as well as corrections facilities.  The form can be found in the documents section of this page.

If the Commission requires remedial training or probation does the officer receive it before or after separation?  Where do they receive the training?

The Commission may require mandatory retraining or placement on probation for up to two years or both for anything listed under the discretionary denial/revocation column on the Misconduct for Certification Action Overview document that can be found in the resource section of this page.

What are the rules for agency imposed suspension/probation?

If an agency suspends or disciplines an officer for any incident listed in Section 9, the agency must notify the commission on Form CJ-1915 Reporting from for EUOF, Suspension, Criminal Charges and Discipline.  Any suspension or period of probation imposed by the commission shall run concurrently to any leave or discipline imposed by the employing agency for the same incident.  An agency may not terminate based solely on imposition of suspension or probation by the Commission.  However, this does not prohibit an agency from terminating an officer based on the underlying acts or omissions for which the commission took such action.

Are hearings open to the public?

Under RCW 43.101.380 hearings are open to the public, but the deliberations are not.  The transcripts, admitted evidence, and written decisions of the hearings panel on behalf of the Commission are not confidential or exempt from public disclosure, and are subject to subpoena and discovery proceedings in civil actions.

Do the new certification rules apply to all currently employed officers?

Yes, E2SSB 5051 established new certification mandates for all Peace, Corrections and Tribal Officers. Refer to RCW’s 43.101.095 and 43.101.105.

Once a hearing has been requested, when will it take place?

The hearing will take place within 90 days of receiving the request for hearing.  Once the hearing is set, the Commission shall transmit electronic and written notice of the hearing to the officer and provide public notice on the Commission's website.

Can the Commission request information and proceed with the decertification process if there is an appeal or union agreement?

E2SSB 5051 mandated that requests for information from the Commission to an agency cannot be delayed, limited, or precluded by any agreement or contract between the officer, the officer's union, and/or the entity responsible for the records or information. 

What is the discretion of the Commission regarding decertification?

RCW 43.101.135 gives the Commission discretion to initiate decertification at the conclusion of any investigation or disciplinary proceeding initiated by the employing agency.

The Commission can separately pursue action under RCW 43.101.105.  A complete list of revocation misconduct can be found on the Misconduct for Certification Action Overview document found in the resources section of this page.

The Commission can wait to proceed until any investigation, disciplinary proceedings, or appeals through the employing agency are final. 

Can anyone make a complaint to the Commission regarding an officer or misconduct?  How will the complaints be handled?

Per RCW 44.101.145 any individual may submit a written complaint to the Commission regarding an officer's certification.  The Commission has a webform available here for individuals to complete and submit.  WSCJTC staff will receive the complaint, track the information, contact the employing agency to discuss complaint, and ensure an investigation is completed if the alleged misconduct meets the requirements of the law.  If the employing agency declines to investigate, the Commission may conduct its own investigation.  When possible, WSCJTC staff will update the individual on the status of the complaint.

Can an officer lose their certification if their agency does not act because of an appeal or there is an agreement?

No action or failure to act by an employing agency, or decision resulting from an appeal of that action precludes action by the commission to suspend or revoke.  The employing agency may not enter into an agreement or contract with the officer or union for the officer to retain certification when there is misconduct.

The agency has to report conduct and cannot delay reporting, or preclude disclosure of any relevant information including, but not limited to, a promise not to check the box on the notice of separation form that would indicate misconduct in exchange for resigning or retiring.  The agency cannot agree to destroy or remove a personnel record while the officer is employed - all records are to be retained for 10 years.

Does the officer need to be present for the hearing?

Yes. The hearings will take place on the Commission's campus in Burien and the officer is required to attend.  Failure to appear in person shall constitute default and the hearing panel shall enter an order under RCW 34.05.440.

Prior to certification, how does the agency and officer authorize the release of employee files?

The peace or corrections officer certification application will be completed at the time of graduation by the agency.  The revised forms must be signed by both the agency representative and the officer prior to graduation.  The form will be used to certify that the background requirements were completed.  The form will also be used to authorize the release of personnel files including disciplinary, termination, civil or criminal investigations, or other records or information directly related to certification or decertification.  

What happens if an officer resigns and surrenders their certification?

The Commission will proceed with revocation of certification.  The Commission does not have to send the required written notice and information regarding the hearing.  The officer's certification will automatically be revoked.

When does my certification lapse or expire?

Certification will lapse after 24 months and expire after 60 months.  If certification has lapsed, the peace or corrections officer will have to attend the Basic Law Enforcement Equivalency Academy or Corrections Officers Equivalency Academy to regain their certification.  After 60 months, the officer would need to attend BLEA again.

If an officer resigned or retired in lieu of termination, does an investigation need to be conducted and completed?

Yes.  Even if the misconduct was not discovered at the time of separation and would have more than likely resulted in suspension or discharge, the agency shall conduct and complete the investigation and provide all relevant information to the Commission as if the officer were still employed.

Who can have their certification denied or revoked?

Peace, tribal, and corrections officers can have their certification denied or revoked.  With the passage of E2SSB 5051, the range of criminal convictions, discharges, and behaviors under which a peace, tribal, and corrections officer can have their certification denied or revoked has been broadened. 

What conduct can result in denial or revocation?

WSCJTC staff received a comprehensive breakdown of conduct that can result in denial or revocation of certification in regards to E2SSB 5051 from Bellevue Police Department.  This breakdown covers both mandatory and discretionary revocation/denial of certification.  The Misconduct for Certification Action Overview document can be found in the Resources section of this page. 

Do officers have to release their social media accounts?

For clarification see RCW 43.101.095(4).

When does the Commission impose suspensions, probation, or re-training?

WSCJTC is developing the policies and procedures for suspensions, probation, and training.  As new information on this is available, it will be added to the WSCJTC website.

When does the agency have to provide a notice of hire form, notice of separation form and the certification application form to the Commission?

We have combined all forms to include peace, tribal and corrections Officers. 

The revised CJ-1903 Notice of Hire form is required prior to attendance to the academy. The revised CJ-1902 Notice of Separation form is required when separation has occurred for any reason.  This form is due with 15 days of separation.  It is now mandatory to include the separated officer's email address.  A new form, CJ 1915 Reporting EUFO, Suspension, Criminal Charges or Discipline.  This form is required within 15 days of any of these occurrences.

Certification applications will still be distributed by CJTC to be processed at the time of graduation.  This form have been revised to include the new consent to release mandate. 

What are the new background requirements?

To comply with RCW 43.101.095, agencies must review or complete the following prior to signing and submitting the notice of hire form:

  • A psychological exam per WAC 139-07-030.  No changes from previous requirements.
  • A polygraph exam per WAC 139-07-040.  No changes from previous requirements.
  • Fingerprints are still required for criminal history records checks.
  • Check the National Decertification Index. Check the National Decertification Index (NDI) . IADLEST has a membership fee, but the NDI located on their website is free of charge.  For additional information we have attached the FAQ from IADLEST.
  • Review any Commission records. Requests should be submitted to
  • Review any records from previous employer.  These records should be received with 30 days from request.  Records provided should include: Any complaints, investigations of misconduct (regardless of result), and reason for separation.
  • Check with prosecuting authority in the jurisdiction of employment for placement on the impeachment list (Brady list).
  • Verify any past or present affiliations with extremist groups. RCW 43.101.095(2)(b)(iii) states "inquiry into whether the applicant has any past or present affiliations with extremist organizations, as defined by the Commission".  The Commission plans to adopt a definition of an extremist organization at the next Commission meeting on March 9, 2022.
  • Verify immigrant or citizenship status as either a US citizen or permanent resident.

Can I request my certification to be reinstated?

For reinstatement of certification that has been revoked, please see RCW 43.101.115.