Peace Officer Basic Training

The POST-certified Regular Basic Course (basic academy) is the training standard for police officers, deputy sheriffs, school district police officers, district attorney investigators, as well as a few other classifications of peace officers. The basic academy is both physically and mentally challenging. It includes a minimum of 664 hours of POST-developed training and testing in 42 separate areas of instruction called Learning Domains. Most POST-certified basic training academies exceed the 664 hour minimum by 200 or more hours with some academies presenting over 1000 hours of training and testing.

Academy students are subject to various written, skill, exercise, and scenario-based tests. Students must also participate in a rigorous physical conditioning program which culminates in a Work Sample Test Battery (physical ability test) at the end of the academy. Students must pass all tests in order to graduate from the basic academy.

For many other peace officer classifications, the PC 832 Course is the training standard.  The 40-hour PC 832 Arrest Course and the 24-hour PC 832 Firearms Course may be presented separately or as a single course.  Those interested in PC 832 training should contact the PC 832 course presenters directly to obtain registration, scheduling, and course requirement information.    

Intensive, Extended, and Modular Format Academies

The Standard Format of the Regular Basic Course is delivered in a one-part instructional sequence with a minimum requirement of 664 hours. There are two presentation styles: Intensive and Extended. The Intensive Format is a full-time academy that typically meets Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The Extended Format is a part-time or weekend academy that meets evenings and weekends.

The Modular Format of the Regular Basic Course is delivered in a three-part instructional sequence that concurrently provides a reserve training program since the three modules coincide with the training requirements for the three levels of California reserve peace officers. The minimum requirement is 730 hours, allowing necessary redundancy of instruction in critical skill areas due to the three-part sequence that can be taken over an extended period of time.

Affiliated and Non-Affiliated Students

Affiliated students are those students who have successfully completed the hiring/selection process with a department, have been hired as a recruit or trainee, and the department “sponsors” (i.e., pays for) their academy training. These recruits/cadets usually receive a trainee salary while attending the academy. Non-affiliated students are those who are “self-sponsored” (i.e., they pay their own way through the academy). These students generally have a full or part-time non-law enforcement job and may or may not have begun the application process with a law enforcement agency.

Whether you are an affiliated or non-affiliated student, the academy is designed to provide a demanding, rigorous, and interactive learning environment for all students. The goal of every POST-certified academy is to ensure that those who graduate will be well-prepared for and successful in the Field Training / Police Training Program and their career as a California peace officer.

41 POST-certified basic training academies, not POST, present the academy in both the Standard and Modular Formats.  Those interested in obtaining academy-specific information on entry requirements, costs, and course schedules should contact the academies directly.  Persons interested in being hired and attending an academy as an affiliate or sponsored recruit must contact agencies or their personnel departments directly to initiate the hiring process.

Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics establishes the foundation for all peace officer motives, actions, and expectations.  Pursuant to Commission Regulation 1013, the Code shall be administered to all peace officer trainees during the basic course and all other persons at time of appointment.  The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics is as follows: 

As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God* to my chosen enforcement.

*Reference to religious affirmation may be omitted where objected to by the officer.