Certification Information

Certification Division

The Certification Division of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) can grant, deny, suspend, or revoke certification of, or require remedial training for peace officers, certified limited authority officers, and corrections officers in Washington State. The Certification Division will provide comprehensive and timely investigations of complaints to ensure adherence to State law and WSCJTC policy and to strengthen the integrity and accountability of peace officers, limited authority certified officers, and corrections officers while maintaining public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system in this state.

The WSCJTC certifies corrections officers, general and limited authority officers, including tribal officers under RCW 43.101.157. Limited authority officers must work for a limited authority agency, have arrest powers, and carry a firearm as part of their normal duty.

**For the purpose of this page, “officer” will include all certified officers. 

If you have questions or requests for additional information or resources, please email certmail@cjtc.wa.gov.

Law Enforcement Hiring Process

Employing agencies should review the background requirements of RCW 43.101.095 before making a conditional offer of employment.

 There are vital changes in Title 139 WAC and WSCJTC Policies that agencies should be aware of, beginning with WAC 139-01-310 – Definitions, specifically the definitions for extremist organization and affiliations.

 Agencies can find critical revisions to conditions of employment in WAC Chapter 139-07 that include verification of certification for lateral officers from both WSCJTC and the National Decertification Index (NDI). Both the polygraph and psychological examinations have been updated, with psychological examinations including three tests. Please also note that Reserve Officers are required to complete the same background requirements as full time officers.

Equivalency Process

Prior to acceptance into a Basic Law Enforcement Equivalency Academy (BLEEA) or the Corrections Officers Equivalency Academy (COEA), agencies must submit the following documentation to certmail@cjtc.wa.gov for review and approval of prior training for previously certified officers:

  • The syllabus of the academy completed which must include the topic and hours of each course
  • A copy of the certificate of completion from the academy attended
  • The prior employment history of the applicant
  • When the applicant is hired, an official letter of certification status should be submitted with registration. This letter is required to be on agency letterhead, signed by the head of the agency or designee, and state that certification was found to be in good standing with no potential misconduct per RCW 43.101.105.   

Officers who have had a break in service must comply with the following to continue or reinstate their officer certification: 

  • A break in service of less than 24 months of a WA state officer does not require additional training if certification is in good standing
  • A break in service between 24 – 60 months requires the Equivalency Academy to receive certification
  • A break in service of over 60 months requires the full basic law enforcement or corrections academy

The following are not certified positions, and any certified officer who is hired into one of these positions begins the clock to have their certification lapse/expire:

  • Reserve and/or part-time officer
  • Special commission
  • Limited authority officers that do not meet the definition of a certified limited authority officer
  • Railroad police officers          

For further information, see the Basic Law Enforcement Equivalency Academy or the Corrections Officers Equivalency Academy webpages.

Notification to the WSCJTC, Investigations, and Authority

Agencies are required to notify the WSCJTC within 15 days of any incidents listed in statute RCW 43.101.135:

  • Form CJ 1915 – Agency Report is required when an officer is suspended, criminally charged, disciplined, and involved in a use of force incident that causes serious injury or death.
    • For purposes of RCW 43.101.135 WSCJTC reporting, “initial disciplinary decision” means the point at which an agency supervisor or management representative becomes aware of facts, circumstances, or allegations which if true, may constitute a violation of RCW 43.101.105 (2) – (3).
    • Serious injury means substantial bodily harm and great bodily harm as defined in RCW 9A.04.110 (4)(b) and (c)
  • Form CJ-1916 – Canine Reporting is required for reporting serious injury involving canine. A definition of serious injury from a canine can be found in the Canine Model Policy

When an officer is accused of misconduct, agencies must provide the WSCJTC with relevant records. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, agencies have 30 days to comply with the request. For more information, refer to WAC 139-06-030.

Agencies cannot make an agreement with an officer or union to delay or not report misconduct to the WSCJTC. Records are required to remain in the officer’s employment record for 10 years after separation.