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Background Investigation Manual

NOTICE: Effective January 1, 2013, per Penal Code section 11105, agencies must provide applicants with a copy of their Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), if the information is a basis for an adverse employment decision (DOJ Information Bulletin #12-05-BCIA (pdf)). This information will be incorporated into the Manual during the next revision.

The background manual is currently being revised. For current POST requirements, refer to Commission Regulations 1950-1955 (peace officers) and 1956-1960 (public safety dispatchers).

Guidelines for the Investigator

The "POST Background Investigation Manual: Guidelines for the Investigator" provides guidance to assist background investigators in the conduct of background investigations of both peace officers and public safety dispatchers. The Manual contains descriptions of the statutory and regulatory requirements that must be addressed as part of the background investigation. The Personal History Statements and other sample forms are included, along with a step-by-step explanation of the investigative process, a topic-by-topic explanation of the areas of investigation, and the expectations and common problems detected during POST compliance inspections.

The Manual is formatted for, and may be printed, two-sided (back-to-back). Hyperlinks throughout the online Manual allow for easy access to many of the referenced codes, regulations, and other source documents. The Adobe Acrobat bookmark feature can be used to navigate through the Manual.


Personal History Statements

Agencies may request “unprotected” versions of these forms for agency-specific use only. Requests for unprotected versions of the forms, as well as administrative questions about the forms, should be directed to the POST Forms Manager. Substantive questions about these forms should be directed to Melani Singley of the Standards, Evaluation, and Research Bureau at (916) 227-4258.

Sample Forms

Tabbed Dividers for Organizing Background Reports

POST no longer provides background tabs to agencies/organizations for use in background files.  However, POST highly recommends that background investigators continue using tabs to ensure completeness of the files as well as to assist POST personnel during audit inspections.

Tabs may be downloaded and printed or ordered in black and white and shipped directly from the FedEx Doc Store.