The Massachusetts State Police Certification Unit, a Unit under the Division of Standards and Training, is multi-faceted. The Unit is comprised of a full-time staff one lieutenant, two sergeants, five troopers and four civilians.

The primary service provided by the Unit is conducting background investigations. These investigations are conducted on applicants seeking employment in various law enforcement positions including the Department of State Police Recruit Training Candidates, Department of State Police civilian employees, Chiefs of Police, NESPIN, Military, Private Detectives, Watch Guard Patrol Agency, Special State Police, Department of State Police Interns and temporary employees. The Unit also conducts background investigations upon request for out-of-state police agencies from across the nation. During the background investigations, officers verify the information provided by an applicant by researching computer records, conducting neighborhood interviews, performing reference checks and credit checks and verifying past employment. The candidate is also interviewed to provide information and to address any issues regarding their application.

In addition to conducting background investigations, another responsibility of the Certification Unit is to administer the Employee Evaluation System (EES) for the Department. This is the rating system that is used to track individual performance by identifying problems or rewarding achievements on an annual basis. The Certification Unit reviews these reports, ensures that they are in compliance with policy and when appropriate, forwards them to the Department's Awards Board for consideration. Twice a year, the Department hosts an awards ceremony and the officers who have demonstrated conduct and performance above and beyond the call of duty are recognized for their service and sacrifice.

In accordance with MGL C 147 S22-30, the Certification Unit performs the task of licensing Private Detectives and/or Watch Guard/ Patrol agencies for the Department. The Unit provides oversight in the licensing of these persons and performs routine administrative inspections to ensure compliance. The Unit investigates complaints made against Private Investigators and Watch Guard/Patrol agencies and when necessary, administrative hearings are held pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 30A, State Administrative Procedure Act.

The Certification Unit's primary responsibility is to ensure the integrity of persons who are seeking to gain employment in sensitive positions. The Certification Unit is located at AHQ in Danvers and it has other satellite locations strategically located throughout the Commonwealth. The Unit may be contacted by calling 978-538-6128.