Montana Department of Justice
Home / Public Safety Officer Standards & Training – POST / POST Certification Requirements

Basic Certificate

Officers must have completed:

  • the discipline-specific Basic course at MLEA or a POST-approved equivalent
  • one full year of discipline-specific employment with the same agency

Intermediate Certificate

Officers must have:

  • served at least one year with the present employing agency and be satisfactorily performing the duties, attested to by the administrator of the employing law enforcement and/or public safety agency
  • the discipline-specific Basic certificate
  • fours years’ experience and 200 job-related POST training hours

Advanced Certificate

Officers must have:

  • the discipline-specific Intermediate certificate
  • eight years’ experience and 400 job-related POST training hours

Supervisory Certificate

A first-level supervisor is:

  • above the operational level for which commensurate pay is authorized
  • an officer who, in the chain of command, is principally responsible for the direct supervision of an agency’s employees, or may be assigned those supervisory responsibilities
  • most commonly a sergeant

To qualify for a certificate at this level, officers must:

  • possess the discipline-specific Intermediate certificate
  • have successfully completed a 40-hour, POST-approved management course
  • at the time of application, serve satisfactorily as a first-level supervisor and have served in that capacity for one year prior to the date of application, attested to by the administrator of the employing agency

Command Certificate

Officers must:

  • possess the discipline-specific Supervisory certificate
  • have completed a professional development course or courses, cumulating a minimum of 200 hours of POST-approved management or leadership courses
  • at the time of application, serve satisfactorily at the command or mid-management level and have served in that capacity for one year prior to the date of appointment, attested to by the administrator of the employing agency

Administrative Certificate

The administrative or management position is:

  • a senior-level administrator for whom commensurate pay is authorized
  • an individual who, in the chain of command, is responsible either for agency administration or has broad administrative authority, or may be assigned those responsibilities
  • typically a chief, assistant chief, sheriff, undersheriff, warden or deputy warden

To qualify for a certificate at this level, officers must:

  • have the discipline-specific Advanced and Command certificates
  • serve satisfactorily at the administrative or management level, and have served in that capacity with the same agency for at least one year prior to the date of application

Calculation of POST training hours

All POST-certified training is placed in one of the following categories. No more than 25 percent of the required training hours for Intermediate, Advanced or Supervisory certificates may come from any one category.

Basic Supervisor Instructor/Instructor Development
College/Military Investigation
Communication/Human Behavior Leadership/Management
Coroner Specialty
Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) Traffic
General Public Safety Officer Use of Force

Military training is accepted hour for hour only with a written explanation of how the training relates to civilian law enforcement, and needs to follow the same rules as required for out-of-state and other training certification.

College education is credited for individual class work only. Credit is given according to this formula:

  • 10 hours for one semester credit hour
  • 6 hours for one quarter credit hour

Applicants must submit a written explanation of how the higher education course relates to working as a public safety officer.

You must have a total of 200 or more POST training hours to be eligible for an Intermediate certificate. Since you may use no more than 25 percent (50 hours) in any one training category toward your certificate, you must have sufficient training in at least four categories.

Course Title Actual Training Hours Allowed Hours
(up to 25% maximum)
Communication/Human Behavior 62 50
Use of Force 54 50
General Public Safety Officer 26 26
College/Military 134 50
Total 276 176

In this example, the officer can count only 176 hours of training toward an Intermediate certificate. To meet the 200-hour training qualification, the officer needs an additional 24 hours in General Public Safety Officer training or another course in which he or she does not yet have the 50-hour maximum.

Application Deadlines
Applications must be received by the POST Council by April 1, August 1 or December 1 (the months in which the Council’s meetings are held). Mail applications to:
POST Council
2260 Sierra Road East
Helena, MT 59602

Tim’s Tweets

Tim Fox Tim Fox @AGTimFox .@StenehjemForGov Happy 2 be there 2day in #Bismarck with you as you kick-off your campaign 4 #NorthDakota governor! 2 days ago
Tim Fox Tim Fox @AGTimFox Great story @GFTrib_PDrake about Havre girl who'll be helping others in #india this weekend: @MakeAWish @MT_MVD 2 days ago
Tim Fox Tim Fox @AGTimFox RT @GFTribune: DOJ offers tips for holiday donors, consumers #mtnews 3 days ago
Tim Fox Tim Fox @AGTimFox . #Montana, remember to donate & shop wisely this holiday season by following these tips: #mtnews #mtgov 3 days ago

Attorney General's Office & Legal Services Division

The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Attorney General Tim Fox, and the Legal Services Division function as the lawyers for the State of Montana. The attorneys in the Office have expertise in a wide range of legal topics and handle a broad range of legal cases involving the State of Montana and its people.


Children’s Justice Bureau

The Children’s Justice Bureau is an agency-wide initiative at the Montana Department of Justice dedicated to IMPROVING how we respond to child victims, DEVELOPING state-of-the-art approaches by keeping up with the newest research and, most importantly, HELPING child victims recover and move on with their lives.


Forensic Science Division & State Crime Lab

The mission of the Montana Forensic Science Division is to use operationally efficient and financially responsible practices as the laboratory provides accurate, objective, and timely forensic analyses to the criminal justice community in order to maximize value to the citizens of Montana.


Missing Persons Clearinghouse

The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice. In March 2008, the department implemented a searchable online database that, for the first time, is updated in real time and includes any photos provided by law enforcement.


Office of Victim Services

The goal of the Office of Victim Services is to provide tools and information to help crime victims recover from their experience and provide them with a range of services available. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for victims. To assist them as they go through the justice system, the Office of Victim Service is available to answer any questions they may have.


Central Services Division

The Montana Department of Justice’s Central Services Division provides financial and human resources support for the department. We make sure that everything works for the people Working for Justice. If you’re interested in a rewarding career helping protect the rights and safety of all Montanans, we invite you to join our team of over 800 dedicated employees working across the state.


Justice Information Technology Services Division

Our Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) provides vital Information Technology (IT) infrastructure upon which Montanans and lojitsdcal and state law enforcement agencies rely for timely, accurate information. JITSD manages the IT systems, services, and interfaces to support nearly 800 DOJ employees, 325 statewide county motor vehicle system users, and over 3,000 Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) users across the state.


Division of Criminal Investigation

The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Montana Department of Justice is involved in many aspects of Montana law enforcement and is integral to the Department dciof Justice’s mission of promoting public safety.


Montana Highway Patrol

Montana is rich in natural beauty and history. From Glacier Park in the west to Makoshika Park in the east, the men and women of the Montana Highway Patrol are working hard to make your travels safe and enjoyable. The Highway Patrol’s core values are “Service, Integrity and Respect.” These values are reflected in our commitment to public safety through diligent and fair enforcement of our traffic codes.


Montana Law Enforcement Academy

The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is the premier law enforcement and public safety educational and training institution for state, county, city and tribal officers throughout the state. The Academy offers entry-level programs referred to as Basic Programs and advanced training through an array of Professional Development Programs.


Public Safety Officer Standards & Training

The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA. Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.


Motor Vehicle Division

The mission of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public. The MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.


Natural Resource Damage Program

The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) was created in 1990 to prepare the state’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area’s natural resources.


Office of Consumer Protection

Enforce consumer laws designed to protect the consumer from unfair or deceptive business practices. Enforce statutes relating to telephone solicitation and telemarketing. Provide information to consumers about the Consumer Protection Act. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.


Gambling Control Division

Through the Gambling Control Division, the Department of Justice regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The legislature has charged the division with maintaining a uniform regulatory climate that is fair and free of corrupt influences. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.


Human Trafficking

The Montana Department of Justice has a continued commitment to victims of human trafficking. In partnership with federal authorities, our agency plays a key role in the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of crimes related to human trafficking in Montana. This form of modern day slavery does happen here in Big Sky Country.


Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Program

Montana’s deadliest drugs aren’t made in secret labs and they don’t always come from dealers on the corner. They’re in our own medicine cabinets. Each year, prescription drug abuse contributes to the deaths of more than 300 Montanans — making prescription drug abuse 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined. Our kids report the third-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country and more than half of them say prescription drugs are easier to get than street drugs.


Safe in Your Space

When it comes to embracing new technology, kids have rapidly outpaced their parents and teachers. By their early school years, many children are already more comfortable on the Internet than their parents. But just because children are smart enough to know how to navigate the Internet, doesn’t mean they have the experience to make good decisions about some of the possibilities they may face online.


Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

Created by the Montana Department of Justice in 1989, the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is a valuable resource for Montanans to protect their families against sexual or violent offenders.


Montana 24/7 Sobriety Program

Drinking and driving has been a chronic – and deadly — problem on Montana’s roadways for decades. In 2008, Montana was ranked as the deadliest state in the nation when it came to per capita DUI-related traffic fatalities.


Work for Justice

Everyday at The Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. We’re passionate about what we do because it’s more than a job or a career. It’s about who we are as people. If this sounds like you, your unique experiences, knowledge, and values may be just what the Montana Department of Justice is looking for and needs. In return we can offer a culture that promotes fairness and growth opportunities.