Begin Main Content Area

While Act 165 of 2012 gave the Commission authority to grant partial training waivers to federal and military law enforcement officers who meet certain training and experience requirements, on July 7, 2022, the Commission voted to develop an accelerated basic training course for certain experienced law enforcement officers who will complete Act 120 training in the accelerated course rather than being granted waivers or attending portions of the full-length (919-hour) course.  Officers who have qualifying law enforcement service or training will take an assessment test to determine their eligibility to attend the accelerated course.  Officers who complete the accelerated basic training course will be required to successfully pass the state certification examination before they can be certified as municipal police officers.  

Information about the accelerated course will be posted here as it becomes available.  The current waiver assessment process will continue until the accelerated basic training course and revised assessment test are completed (estimated 2023).  Former federal and military law enforcement officers who meet the standards listed below are eligible to take an assessment test to determine what areas of training may be waived and what areas must be attended at a certified PA police academy.  

Training  – Must have completed a cumulative total of at least 760 hours of basic and in-service law enforcement training and must have successfully completed a law enforcement training course resulting in certification as a law enforcement officer authorized to carry a firearm and make arrests.

Service  – Must have served at least two (2) years of full-time duty as a law enforcement officer within the past seven (7) years and must be eligible for employment as a law enforcement officer.  Service is considered full-time at a minimum of 32 hours per week.  Full-time service need not be continuous nor be with a single agency.

The current waiver assessment test consists of 200 multiple choice questions, scored as three sections corresponding to the first three modules of the basic municipal police training program.  To pass each section of the assessment test, the applicant must obtain a score of at least 72% in that section.  Applicants who pass all sections of the assessment test will be granted a full waiver and permitted to take the certification exam without additional training.  Applicants who fail to obtain a 72% in any section will be required to attend the corresponding module at a certified Pennsylvania municipal police academy prior to being permitted to take the certification exam. While there is no specific study guide for the assessment test, officers may refer to the documents listed below.

Federal and military law enforcement officers who meet the service and training standards may apply for assessment testing using the existing application process in TACS by creating a "Certification Exam Application" and selecting a test date listed as "Partial Waiver Assessment Test".  In the application, the applicant should provide the following three documents as PDF documents.  These description of the required documents in the application will not match the information listed below, however the applicant must include the three documents listed below to be considered.

  1. The completed and signed Application Form named "Applicant Name - Application".  Please ensure that your document contains all requested information before you send it.
  2. A single document named "Applicant Name - Certificates" containing copies of certificates for any courses you listed on the application form.
  3. A single document named "Applicant Name - Employment" containing documentation supporting your two years of full-time employment as a law enforcement officer.

Federal and military law enforcement officers will not be permitted to take the MPO Certification Exam until they have either successfully passed all the sections of the assessment test or have completed any required training at a police academy.  The results of the assessment test will be valid for up to two years, during which the applicant must enroll in an academy and complete the required training.  Applicants who do not complete the required training within two years of the assessment test will be required to take the assessment test again.  Applicants are not permitted to take the assessment test more than once in any 2-year timeframe.