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Field Training / Police Training Programs

Below you will find many of the frequently asked questions regarding the Field Training Program. If you do not find an answer to your question, please do not hesitate to reach out to the staff member(s) listed on the right-hand side of this page.

Program Overview

  1. 1.How long is the Field Training/Police Training Program?
    The Field Training Program (FTP) must be a minimum of ten (10) weeks. The Police Training Program (PTP) must be a minimum of 15 weeks. (Regulation 1004)
  2. 2.Is an orientation period required prior to beginning the program?
    Yes, all trainees will go through a one week minimum (most agencies do two or more weeks) orientation program and are given the opportunity to spend a day in dispatch, records, and property during that period.
  3. 3.Must agencies have four (4) training phases?
    An agency does not need to have four training phases; however, this reflects best practices. Even if an agency opts to have less than four phases, the length of the program must be a minimum of 10 weeks for the FTP, or 15 weeks for the PTP. The POST training manual provided by each agency must list the training phases for their program.
  4. 4.Can you provide an example of how to break down the training program phases? 
    Phase One: 4 Weeks assigned to FTO # 1
    Phase Two: 4 Weeks assigned to FTO # 2
    Phase Three: 4 Weeks assigned to FTO #3
    Phase Four: 4 Weeks assigned to FTO #1
    In the above example, academy graduates must perform in the agency's established phases for a minimum of 16 weeks. The agency can adjust this number based on the number of weeks desired.
  5. 5.How do I know if my agency should have a Field Training Program or a Police Training Program?
    The agency must be a POST-participating agency and provide general police services.
    1. The Field Training Program is a traditional, standardized evaluation program completed with on-the-job training validated by a Field Training Officer (FTO).
    2. The Police Training Program is a program based on a philosophy of adult learning that includes midterm evaluations and matrix performance outcomes.
  6. 6. What is the requirement for lateral officers?
    There is no regulation requirement for lateral officers to complete any Field Training. However, it is highly recommended that agencies have a documented process in place to ensure lateral officers are competent and have received the proper training and indoctrination into their new agency.

New or Modified Field Training Programs

  1. 1.How does my agency create a brand-new Field Training or Police Training Program?
    POST has created templates to assist an agency in creating a new FTP or modifying the existing FTP. At this time, we require the POST templates (Vol. I and II) be used in order to have your Field Training Program approved.
  2. 2.How does my department update our existing FTP/PTP?
    If your agency is looking to modify an existing POST-Approved Field Training Program, your agency will need to submit a POST – Approved Field Training Program (FTP) or Police Training Program (PTP) Application (2-229) (pdf) form, which includes all the proposed changes and where the new information will be contained within the Field Training Program. If the proposed changes do not fit on the POST – Approved Field Training Program (FTP) or Police Training Program (PTP) Application (2-229) (pdf) (page 2 – narrative block), POST recommends creating and including a Word document outlining the changes and where those changes can be found within the Field Training Program.

    Once you have completed the POST – Approved Field Training Program (FTP) or Police Training Program (PTP) Application (2-229) (pdf) form, please email the complete form to those listed under the Field Training Program "Contact Us" section. POST will notify the FTP-SAC when they have received the completed application form.

    Once approved, the FTP-SAC will receive another email indicating the modified Field Training Program can now be implemented. This will be followed by an official letter to the Chief of Police or Sheriff. Please note: During the review process, the department is expected to follow their old POST-Approved Field Training Program until final approval has been given.
  3. 3.Can we use manual templates other than the ones provided by POST?
    No, a Field Training Program manual submitted without using the POST templates will not be approved and will be sent back to the submitting agency. POST provides templates that reflect the minimum core competencies a trainee must demonstrate to successfully pass a POST-Approved Field Training or Police Training Program.
  4. 4.What do the two (2) Volumes Cover?
    The POST Field Training Program templates are broken down into two different volumes. The Field Training Program Guide Volume 1 (pdf) contains the administrative information about the program with only four fillable pages: Agency Perspective (two pages), Agency Mission Statement (one page), and Agency Values Statement (one page). The Field Training Program Guide Volume 2 (doc) describes the minimum core competencies the trainee must demonstrate.

Field Training Program Guide Volume 1

  1. 1.What are the requirements for becoming a FTO?
    FTOs will be selected based on the following criteria (Regulation 1004): 
    1. Participate in and pass an internal oral interview selection process 
    2. Have a minimum of one year of general uniformed patrol experience. (Many agencies require more than one year)
    3. Possess a POST Basic certificate 
    4. Applicant must be off probation at the time of application 
    5. Anything else an agency would like to include as criteria for selection of new FTOs such as: 
      • Desire to be a FTO (not mandatory)
      • Demonstrated ability as a positive role model (not mandatory)
      • Evaluation by supervisors (not mandatory)
    6. Once selected, FTOs must abide by the following requirements:
      • An officer selected as a Field Training Officer shall successfully complete a POST (40-hour) Field Training Officer Course prior to being assigned as an FTO
      • All FTOs must complete 24-hour Field Training Officer update course every three years while assigned to the FTO position
      • All FTOs must meet any training mandate regarding crisis intervention/behavioral health training pursuant to Penal Code § 13515.28
      • All FTOs must maintain certification status pursuant to Government Code 1029 - Penal Code § 13510.8
      • All FTOs will be evaluated annually by the FTO SAC to ensure they possess the skills and performance necessary to continue in the assignment
  2. 2.What is the "Agency Perspective"?  
    The Agency Perspective section is located on page vii of the Field Training Program Guide Volume 1 (doc). It is used to provide an overview of the Field Training Program and includes details such as how the Field Training Officers are selected and what documents are needed to show the trainee has successfully completed the POST-approved FTP. There is information that must appear in the Agency Perspective section to indicate that the agency’s Field Training Program complies with POST Regulations and legislatively mandated training. 
  3. 3.Where can I find the Agency Mission Statement?
    The Agency Mission Statement page is located on page ix in Volume 1. This is the agency’s opportunity to introduce trainees to the established mission statement of the organization.
  4. 4.Where can I find the Agency Values Statement?
    The Agency Values Statement page is located on page x in Volume 1. This is the agency’s opportunity to introduce trainees to the established values of the organization. 

Field Training Program Guide Volume 2

  1. 1.What is needed from my department for Volume 2?
    Volume 2 is divided into 18 chapters. The first 17 chapters contain the minimum core competencies the trainee must demonstrate to successfully complete the POST-approved FTP.  Chapter 18 is for agency-specific trainings that were not covered in the first 17 chapters.  When completing Volume 2, only fill out Part A. Part B can be completed if the department feels it is necessary. Part A should only contain policy and procedure. Part B, if needed, should only contain department-specific references. Any department-specific training referenced that supports Part B of the Field Training Guide should be kept internally.  In other words, do not provide copies of these policies to POST staff. For example: written tests, geography tests, and PC/VC quizzes do not need to be provided to POST.

    Download Volume 2 of the Field Training Program Guide (doc), Field Training Program Guide Volume 2 Example (pdf).

Evaluation Process

  1. 1.How am I required to evaluate my trainee(s)?
    Trainees will be evaluated daily by their assigned FTO using the POST Numeric Scale 2-237 (pdf) or NICS Scale 2-238 (pdf) Daily Observation Report (DOR) and the Standard Evaluation Guidelines.
  2. 2.What is a DOR?
    It is a daily observation report that notes trainee behavior observed by the FTO.
  3. 3.What are the Standardized Evaluation Guidelines (SEGS)?
    The Standardized Evaluation Guidelines (SEGS) define the competency levels for all required performance categories and any agency-specific requirements.
  4. 4.Can our agency create our own SEGS and use those to evaluate trainee(s)?
    No the SEGS are intended to provide a fair and uniform scoring method to assess each trainee's progress. It is through the use of these guidelines that the field training program achieves a recognized level of standard competency and credibility. Additionally, a trainee's progress will be monitored by a FTP-SAC or designee by review and signing of the DORS, or by completing and/or signing weekly written summaries of performance (e.g. Supervisor's Weekly Report, coaching and training reports) that are reviewed with the trainee.
  5. 5.Does a department have to have an attestation for a trainee?
    Yes, the Field Training Officer's Attestation of each trainee's competence and successful completion of the Field Training Program must be completed at the end of the program, and a statement that releases the trainee from the program, along with the signed concurrence of the department head or his/her designee.
  6. 6.Is the trainee required to complete a Field Training Officer critique and Field Training Program critique?
    Yes, at the completion of the FTO program, the trainee will complete a Field Training Officer Critique for each Field Training Officer, and a Field Training Program Critique of the training program.

Exemption Guidelines

  1. 1.How do I know if my agency is exempt from submitting a Field Training or Police Training Program Manual?
    Your agency may be exempt if:
    1. It does not provide general law enforcement uniformed patrol services, or
    2. It hires only lateral entry officers possessing a post basic certificate who have either:
      • Completed a POST–Approved Field Training Program, or
      • One-year previous experience performance performing general law enforcement uniformed patrol duties.
    3. Requests for an exemption shall be on the POST– Approved Field Training Program (FTP) or Police Training Program (PTP) application (2-229) (pdf) signed by the department head, along with written documentation attesting to the department’s qualification(s) for an exemption. In the event that a department no longer meets the exemption criteria as outlined in Commission Procedure Section D-13, complete POST– Approved Field Training program (FTP) or Police Training Program (PTP) Application (2-229) (pdf).

Submission

  1. 1.How do I submit my new or updated Field Training Program Manual?
    Once ready for submission, email the following materials to POST personnel found in the Field Training Program "Contact Us" section.
    1. Volume 1
    2. Volume 2
    3. Department Procedures
    4. POST 2-229 form, POST–Approved Field Training Program (FTP) or Police Training Program (PTP) application (2-229) (pdf)
    5. Select a DOR (Numeric Scale 2-237 (pdf) or NICS Scale 2-238 (pdf)
  2. Once received, the FTO-SAC will receive a confirmation email which will provide the FTO-SAC with the contact information of the reviewer. If questions arise during the review process, the reviewing Law Enforcement Consultant (LEC) will contact the FTO-SAC for clarification. If an agency's submission is disapproved, they should re-submit their FTP within 60 days.