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Perishable Skills Program

POST is the principal liaison between the Commission and law enforcement agencies, training managers, and course presenters. POST works with over 700 POST law enforcement presenters, as well as a number of agencies not in the POST program, to certify quality law enforcement training and to ensure the delivery of that training.

Perishable Skills/Communications Requirement for CPT

Effective January 1, 2002, all peace officers (except reserve officers and jail deputies) below the middle management position are required to complete Perishable Skills and Communications training. In-lieu of completing the training, the requirement may be met by successfully passing a presenter-developed test that measures the approved training objectives.

Perishable Skills training shall consist of a minimum of 12 hours in each 2 year period. Of the total 12 hours required, a minimum of 4 hours of each of the 3 following topical areas shall be completed:

  • Arrest and Control
  • Driver Training/Awareness or Driving Simulator*
  • Tactical Firearms* or Force Options Simulator

*Reference Commission Procedure D-2 for minimum requirements.

Communications training, either tactical or interpersonal, shall consist of a minimum of 2 hours in each 2-year period. Reference Commission Procedure D-2 for minimum requirements.

It is recommended that managers and executives complete, within their 2-year compliance cycle, 2 hours of CPT devoted to updates in the perishable skills topical areas enumerated above.

Exemptions: Agencies may request an exemption from all or part of the Perishable Skills and Communications training requirement. Agencies must request an exemption in writing and provide an attestation that their peace officers do not carry firearms, or they infrequently interact with or effect physical arrests of criminal suspects, or do not utilize marked emergency vehicles during normal course of business.

Questions: The state is divided into 10 service areas, each of which is overseen and serviced by a law enforcement training consultant assigned to this bureau. For questions regarding the Perishable Skills Program or Regional Skills Training Centers please contact the Regional Consultant in your area.

For additional information, please contact the Training Delivery and Compliance Bureau at (916) 227-4862 or (916) 227-4863.

Regional Skills Training Centers

POST has developed 24 Regional Skills Training Centers (RSTCs) to provide a cost-effective way to meet the perishable skills training needs of more than 80,000 sworn officers. The sites are equipped with Law Enforcement Driving Simulators (LEDS) and/or Force Options Simulators (FOS), as well as skid training cars and platforms, training mannequins, computers, LCD projectors and other related training equipment. Implementation costs for each site are about $603,000. Total equipment costs to date are approximately $15,000,000.

The intent of this program is to place an RSTC within one hour's driving time of every California law enforcement agency. In addition to the fixed locations, there are mobile FOS and LEDS systems that take simulation training to agencies located in remote areas of the state. The cost of delivering the training is absorbed by POST through contracts with the presenters. The average tuition for each 4-hour course is $110.00.

Studies have shown that incidents involving perishable skills make up the majority of law enforcement and civilian deaths, injuries and resulting legal claims. The same studies show that after two years without refresher training, those skills begin to deteriorate. Perishable skills for peace officers have been identified as driving, tactical firearms, force options, arrest and control, and verbal communications.

The LEDS and FOS provide a series of simulations based on real situations encountered by California peace officers. The officer trainees hone judgment and decision making skills in a safe environment while faced with the distractions (lights, sirens, radio calls, partners, suspects, and citizens) that occur in the real world. The skid car trainers, mannequins, and other equipment focus on psychomotor training.