Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Can I pay to put myself through the Academy to obtain Law Enforcement certification in Virginia?

A:  Unfortunately, we do not accept pre-employment students at our facility.  You must have already obtained employment with one of our participating agencies to come through a Basic Law Enforcement certification course.

Q:  One of our officers was unable to complete training by the due date. Does he or she qualify for an extension?

A:  Written requests for extension should be forwarded to the appropriate field services coordinator. It should be received by the coordinator prior to the officer’s training due date, and should include the reason for which the officer could not complete training. Subsequent requests for additional extensions should be received prior to the expiration date of the first extension. Acceptable reasons for extensions include: Illness, injury, military service, special duty assignment required and performed in the public interest, and administrative leave involving the determination of worker’s compensation or disability retirement issues, full-time education leave or suspension pending investigation of adjudication of a crime. Coordinators will review and consider other reasons for possible justification.

Please link to this pdf file to download a request for training exemption form.

Q:  If my instructor certification expires, do I have to take the 40 hour instructor development course again?

A:  Only if your certification expired 12 months or more ago. Otherwise, in order to be re-certified after certification has expired, you must complete instructor re-certification training, followed by a successful apprenticeship (minimum of 4 hours), minimum of 8 hours of instruction, and submit an application requesting re-certification.
All instructors, General and Specialty, must complete a minimum of 8 hours of instruction, for each instructorship, within the 3 year certification as well as complete a re-certificaiton class either in the classroom (if available) or online. Visit for detailed information.

Q:  If I am certified as a law enforcement officer and I leave my agency, how long does my certification last?

A:  Please link to this Virginia DCJS website for your answer to this question.  This site also provides the links to the necessary forms you may need to request an exemption.

Q:  If I leave law enforcement and later decide to return to law enforcement, do I have to take basic all over again?

A:  The agency administrator decides how much training is required. Some agencies require all of their officers to attend the entire entry-level training regardless of previous training or employment.  Depending upon the length of time you have been away from your previous law enforcement agency, you may have to attend an abbreviated Law Enforcement Basic school.  Please link to this Virginia DCJS website for your answer to this question.