Exemption of Training (EOT)

Exemption of Training (EOT) Verification Process

The Equivalency of Training (EOT) process is for Out-of-State Federal Officers and previously certified Florida officers with a four year or more break-in-service pursuant to section 943.131(2), Florida Statutes and Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) 11B-35.009(4)(5).

The EOT allows an officer to be exempt from having to complete the full basic recruit academy.

You may be eligible for an exemption from the full basic training requirements if you were an officer in another state or with the federal government and meet the following requirements:

  • You worked at least one year, full-time as a sworn officer in the discipline you are seeking exemption;
  • You received training in that discipline which is comparable to Florida’s full basic recruit curriculum and/or;
  • You were previously certified in Florida.

There can be no more than an 8 year break in employment as an officer. The break in employment is measured from the separation date of the most recent qualifying employment to the time a complete application requesting an exemption from training is submitted to PASS (Criminal Justice Selection Center) or criminal justice employing agency.

Once you are approved for an equivalency of training, you will need to demonstrate proficiency in the high liability areas and pass the state certification exam in the same discipline within 1 year of receipt of the approved Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76.

If you do not complete the training and pass the State Officer Certification Examination within the 1 year time limit, you may apply for another exemption from training, but you must be eligible pursuant to Chapter 943.131(2), F.S. at the time of application.

By law, criminal justice employing agencies or selection centers are responsible for reviewing out-of-state or federal officer’s employment and training to initially determine eligibility for exemption. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not determine a person’s eligibility.

Upon collection, verification and authentication of documentation which establishes that you meet the training and experience requirements, a criminal justice employing agency or an assessment center must submit a completed Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76 to the FDLE for approval. (The applicant does not complete the CJSTC-76 form)

Documentation of one year’s experience as an out-of-state or federal officer may consist of authentic copies of one or more of the following:

  • payroll records
  • employment records
  • verification of employment letters/affidavits

Documentation of prior training may consist of authentic copies of one or more of the following:

  • training records from prior employers
  • training records from academies
  • transcripts
  • curricula summaries
  • certificates of completion
  • verification of training /letters affidavits

Once the request is processed, if approved for the exemption from training, you should enroll in the appropriate pre-exam training at a Commission-certified training center in order to demonstrate proficiency in the high liability areas and then take and pass the state certification exam.

You may find it very helpful to read the EOT Frequently Asked Questions.

Application Fee

In order to initiate an exemption evaluation you must submit an application fee of $300 for out-of-state officers, and $100 for inactive Florida-certified applicants. Money order only. Personal checks and cash will not be accepted. See How to Apply  for more information.

NOTE: All fees paid in connection with Exemption of Training (EOT) are NON-REFUNDABLE.

Qualifying for Exemption

Qualifying for exemption on the basis of being certified in another state, federal service or military law enforcement is not guaranteed. Selection centers are held to strict standards by the applicable statutes and administrative codes, and the Department of Law Enforcement in reviewing training records. An applicant’s training must be substantially the same as that received by a Florida officer.

Our experience at PASS shows that the most common shortfalls are in the high-liability areas of First Aid and Vehicle Operations; courses for which Florida officers receive at least a full week of training in each.  Some specialized agencies train only in investigations and do not train in patrol or traffic; conversely, some omit investigations altogether if that is not part of the agency mission. We will work closely with an applicant to help him/her achieve the required minimum training. This is usually best accomplished in the applicant’s current locale. Call if you have questions prior to applying.

NOTE: Although not an intented consequence, the verification process is very detailed and can create some anixety for requesting candidates. We ask candidates to work closely with our staff to resolve potential barriers to verification completion. Our staff will make every effort to complete the verification process in an expedious manner. 

Please understand that FDLE mandates Criminal Justice Selection Centers, such as the Police Applicant Screening Service (PASS), and criminal justice employing agencies to perform due dillegence verifiying official law enforcment training and full time empolyment records.  Therefore, all aspects of training and employment documentation used for exemption will be throughly examined to ensure EOT compliance.    

Documentation Submission & Demonstration of Proficiency 

If your documentation is found to be sufficient, the PASS will submit an exemption of Training review form (CJSTC 76) to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for their approval. If the FDLE approves your request then you will be eligible to advance in the EOT process. The next step is to complete a course that demonstrates your proficiency in four high-liability areas of expertise, followed by the Florida State Officer Certification Exam (SOCE).

Eligibility for Employment upon Completion

Completion of the EOT process makes you eligible for employment at a law enforcement agency in Pinellas County or within the State of Florida.

State Exam & Exemption Process

Remember, in the Exemption process you are actually challenging the State Exam. The examination is the same one given to cadets who have just graduated from a full Curriculum Maintenance System (CMS) police academy using scenario-based training techniques over approximately seventeen weeks of full- time instruction. While your former training and experience will be helpful in most topics, some of the nomenclature and concepts may be presented in ways that are new to you. This can affect your performance on the written SOCE.

A substantial number of Exemption applicants fail the SOCE on the first try. This is an expensive and time-consuming gamble if you choose not to prepare. We recommend that you develop an aggressive and dedicated study schedule using the recommended curriculum.

Worksheet for Completion of Requirements

  • Did you submit a certified check or money order for $300 ($100 for inactive Florida-certified officers)? Personal checks will not be accepted.
  • Did you complete the Exemption of Training Application and the FDLE “Authority For Release of Information” (CJSTC Form 58)? Go to the Forms page from the section on the left side of the screen. Both forms must be notarized and mailed or brought to our offices.
  • Does your application include the exact dates of employment as a full-time law enforcement or corrections officer and position title?
  • Does your application have complete addresses and phone numbers for your agency and training center(please do not leave the “point of contact” blank, emails and fax numbers expedite the processing)?
  • Does your training documentation verify training in the 11 minimum primary areas? Please do not provide original documents of certificates.
  • Did you retain copies of the information that you submitted for an exemption of training review?