The Southwest Florida Public Service
The Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy has suspended the Equivalency of Training (EOT)
at our location indefinitely.
Please contact: St. Petersburg College at:
The Equivalency of Training (EOT) process is for Out-of-State Federal Officers and/or 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:
(1) You worked at least one year, full-time as a sworn officer in the discipline you are seeking exemption;
(2) You received training in that discipline which is comparable to Florida's full basic curriculum and/or;
(3) 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 a 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 will have to complete a full basic recruit training course.
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 Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy or Department of Law Enforcement does not determine a person's eligibility. Eligibility can only be determined by the employing agency or one of the selection centers .
Upon collection, verification and authentication of documentation which establishes that you meet the training and experience requirements, a criminal justice employing agency or a selection centers must submit a completed Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76 to the FDLE for approval. (Only the selection centers or the employing agency can 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.
• 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.
The Steps For an Out-of-State, Federal or Previously Sworn Florida Officer To Become Certified in Florida
1. Contact a Criminal Justice Selection Center or criminal justice employing agency and complete their application process to determine eligibility to be exempt from completing a basic recruit training course.
2. Once you are approved and receive your Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76 from the selection center or agency, contact a Commission-certified Criminal Justice Training Center to enroll in the training course to complete your demonstration of proficiency in the high-liability skills areas. The training center personnel will issue you a voucher to allow you to take the State Officer Certification Examination.
3. Register to take the State Officer Certification Examination. The date you take the examination must be after the completion date of your training class. You have up to 3 attempts to pass the examination provided all attempts are within the 1 year time limit.
4. Obtain employment in a sworn position with a criminal justice agency who will conduct your background investigation and complete the process for certification.
Contact the criminal justice agency of your choice for specific information concerning job vacancies. For your convenience, here is a link to the address list of all Florida criminal justice agencies.
Equivalency of Training (EOT) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Question: Can I complete the Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76 and submit it to FDLE?
Answer: No. FDLE does not determine if you are eligible for an exemption from training. 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. You would need to contact one of these entities to apply for an exemption from training.
Question: What does it cost for the Equivalency of Training process?
Answer: The cost to review your information and process the EOT is set by each selection center. You would need to contact them directly to determine what their individual price is. Additionally, each Criminal Justice Training Center determines their cost for the training course, so again, you would need to contact the training center you are interested in attending to determine the cost.
Question: Once I receive my Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76, what do I need to do?
Answer: Contact a Commission-certified Criminal Justice Training Center to register for the training class that will allow you to demonstrate proficiency in the high-liability skills for the sworn discipline you were granted your EOT in.
Question: How long do I have to complete the training and pass the State Officer Certification Examination?
Answer: You only have one (1) year from the date you receive your EOT to complete the demonstration of proficiency and pass the State Officer Certification Examination. If you do not complete the requirements of EOT within the one year time limit, pursuant to Florida Statutes, you will have to attend a full basic recruit training academy.
Question: I had family problems and was not able to come to Florida to take the training and the State Certification Examination within the one year, can I apply for an extension of time?
Answer: No. The requirement to complete the demonstration of proficiency and pass the State Officer Certification Examination within one year is found in Chapter 943.131(2), Florida Statutes and because it is in Florida Statute, neither the Commission nor FDLE has any authority to extend the time period in such a situation.
Question: What happens if I fail the State Officer Certification Examination?
Answer: Provided you still have time remaining before your one year time limit expires, you may have up to two additional attempts to pass the exam. If you are unable to pass the exam after three attempts, you would have to complete a full basic recruit training program in order to be eligible to take the exam again. You can find additional information about the State Certification Exam. Applicants for the EOT are highly encouraged to complete their demonstration of proficiency as soon as possible following their approval in order to allow time for preparing for the exam as well as retakes if needed.
Question: Do I have to wait until I have passed the State Officer Certification Examination before looking for a sworn position with a criminal justice agency?
Answer: No. Under the provisions of Chapter 943.131(1), Florida Statutes, a criminal justice employing agency may hire you on a Temporary Employment Authorization while you participate in the EOT process. The decision to hire you resides solely with the employing agency.
Question: If I am hired on a Temporary Employment Authorization (TEA), do I have to follow the time limits for the TEA or for the EOT?
Answer: You must abide by both. For example: Under the requirements for the EOT, you have one year to take the training and pass the State Officer Certification Examination. You could wait until the last few months to actually take the training and pass the exam if you chose to. If you are on a TEA, you are required to start the training course within 180 days of your appointment on a TEA, so you could not wait until near the end of your one year time limit to enter the training. Additionally, under the requirements for the TEA, you must pass the State Officer Certification Examination within 180 days of completing the training so if you complete your training very early in your one year time limit for the EOT, you would have to complete the exam prior to the end of the one year time limit to remain employed on the TEA. Also, if you are employed on a TEA, the 180 day time limit to pass the exam following your training does not extend the one year time limit to complete the requirements for the EOT.
Question: Once I complete the requirements of the EOT, how long do I have to get hired in a sworn position?
Answer: You have four years from the date that you started your training course for your EOT to become employed.
Question: What happens if I am not able to find a sworn position or decide to remain where I am after I complete the requirements of the EOT?
Answer: If you do not get employed in a sworn position within four years of the start date of the training course for the EOT, you can apply for another EOT provided you are still eligible or you would have to complete a full basic recruit academy.
Question: Is there a central location I can contact to apply for multiple agencies at once?
Answer: No, each agency is responsible for their own hiring and hiring standards above the minimum requirements found in Chapter 943.13, Florida Statutes. Some agencies do utilize a regional screening service in their area, but you would need to contact the agency to determine if they use a screening service or not. Contact information for Florida’s criminal justice employing agencies can be found here.
Question: I did not work full time as an officer, but I completed a full basic recruit course in the state I was employed. Can I qualify for an EOT?
Answer: No. Chapter 943.131(2), Florida Statutes mandates that the one year of service must have been as a full-time sworn officer.
Question: My employing agency does not list me as a full-time officer, but my normal working hours for a week equal 40. Can I qualify for an EOT?
Answer: You may qualify provided your normal hours have equaled 40 for at least one year and you meet the other requirements. Rule 11B-35.009, Florida Administrative Code defines “full-time” as “any employed or appointed status in which a normal work week consists of forty or more on-duty hours, exclusive of overtime, holidays, regular days off, leave, or other authorized or ordered absence from work.” You will likely need payroll records from your employing agency in order for the selection center conducting your review to document you meet the employment requirement.
Question: Is there an EOT process for Auxiliary Officers?
Answer: No. Due to the very wide range of training requirements and the way auxiliary officers are used throughout the country, no EOT process has been authorized by the Commission.
Question: I am dual certified in corrections and law enforcement in my home state. Can I do an EOT for both disciplines at the same time?
Answer: Yes, you will have to have two separate Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76 completed for you, one for each discipline. Your demonstration of proficiency for the law enforcement discipline can be counted for your corrections as the law enforcement covers everything required for the corrections with the addition of vehicle operations required for law enforcement. You will also have to take both the corrections and the law enforcement versions of the State Officer Certification Examination and they can not be taken at the same time.
Question: I am certified in corrections in my home state, but want to become certified in law enforcement in Florida. Will I have to compete the full basic recruit training for law enforcement?
Answer: You can apply for and complete the requirements for the EOT for corrections. Once you have passed the State Officer Certification Examination, you would be eligible to complete a cross-over basic recruit class to cross-over from corrections to law enforcement here.