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Certification Types

In order to serve as a peace officer in Colorado, an individual must first be certified by Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). There are three types of certification:

  • Basic Certification
    A main certification that requires a successful completion of a POST-approved Basic academy successful completion of the POST certification examination, and a background check.
  • Provisional Certification
    An interim certification that affords a qualified out-of-state officer the opportunity to obtain employment as a Colorado peace officer while completing the requirements for Basic certification. 
  • Reserve Certification
    A certification that allows to act as a reserve officer only. 

Certifications remain active as long as you are employed as a certified Colorado Peace Officer as described in Title 16 Article 2.5 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, and for three years after leaving certified employment. You must renew your certification if you allow your certification to lapse, and wish to return to duty. Becoming a reserve officer after you've received Basic certification also keeps your certification in effect.

Students in training to be law enforcement officers and those whose certification has expired are ineligible to serve as police officers.