A career in law enforcement can be exciting and rewarding. However, becoming a Colorado peace officer requires high ethical standards, personal discipline, and extensive training. To be eligible for appointment as a peace officer, an applicant must first be certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board. By law Basic certification requires successful completion of a POST-approved Basic academy, successful completion of the POST certification examination, and a background check.
Under Rule 14- Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Record Check, every applicant must be fingerprinted and cleared through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The fingerprints can be complete by an out-of-state law enforcement agency but must be done on the Colorado POST fingerprint card. The academy, agency or the individual may send the fingerprint card to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, 690 Kipling, Suite 3000, Denver, CO 80215 with the $39.50 processing fee (certified check or money orders only - made out to CBI).
Misdemeanor and Felony Convictions
State law prohibits POST certification of any person who has been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors. If an individual wishes to attend an academy and has a misdemeanor conviction that would preclude certification, they may request a Rule 8 – Process for Seeking Exemption from Statutory Certification Restriction variance to appeal the denial of certification. An individual convicted of any felony is ineligible, and no variance is allowed for a felony conviction.
Additionally, individuals with domestic violence convictions may not be eligible to serve as peace officers, due to federal laws.
Basic POST Certification Examination
Upon passing the basic academy, POST Certification exam, and background check, an applicant for Basic certification under Board Rule 10- Basic Peace Officer Certification will receive a certificate allowing them to seek employment as a Colorado peace officer.
In order to be eligible for the POST examination, the Board requires every applicant to have:
- A G.E.D, high school diploma, or an equivalency certificate
- Current first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certificates or equivalents
- A state-issued Driver's License or Identification card
- Successful completion, within the two years prior to application, of an approved Colorado Basic training course
After receiving POST certification, an individual must meet additional requirements before being appointed as a peace officer. Please view complete information on the Hiring Requirements page.
Anyone who is POST certified and is convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors will be decertified. The POST Board will begin revocation proceedings, even if a deferment has been accepted. After successful completion of the deferment and dismissal of the charge, your certification remains revoked. You may petition the POST Board to reinstate your certification. If the board agrees to reinstate it, your certification will be reinstated. The POST Board may put stipulations on your reinstatement, such as:
- Attendance at a full basic academy
- Renewal of certification through the test out process
- Attendance at a refresher academy.
The reinstatement procedure is found in Rule 5- Hearings
For questions regarding Basic certification: