Recertification

Information on the recertification process, types of certification notices and conditionally certified notices are found here, along with FAQ's on the recertification process and submission of documents.

The POST Commission has met the June 30 deadline for submission of recertification documents for officers with last names beginning with A - H.

Officers will continue to be certified while their applications for recertification are being processed, if agencies include their names on a roster of individuals seeking recertification. Further, if officers, through no fault of their own, find themselves unable to satisfy certain requirements, the Commission will conditionally recertify them, and the officers will have opportunities for further review.  A conditional recertification will not prevent an officer from continuing to serve and will not limit the officer’s powers.  However, if an officer does not complete an application for recertification (i.e., refuses to participate in the process or answer the questionnaire), and their certification expires, the officer will lose their ability to conduct police duties and functions.

 

Table of Contents

Understanding POST Certified Notices

Types of certification notices:

  1. “Certified” Notice:

If an officer is classified as “Certified,” POST has determined that the officer has met the requirements for recertification. For these officers, the recertification period expires July 1, 2025. 

There is no other action needed for officers in the “Certified” category.  Note that your officers must remain in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 6E and all regulations promulgated by the Commission for the duration of their employment as a law enforcement officer.

  1. “Conditionally Certified” Notice:

If an officer is classified as “Conditionally Certified,” POST has determined that, based on the information provided, the officer has complied with only some recertification requirements.  

A “Conditional Certification” is functionally the same as a certification but is a temporary certification.  In order to maintain certification, an officer in the conditional certification status is required to satisfy each of the “conditions of certification” listed on their notice within the period indicated.

If an agency has one or more officers that are conditionally recertified, we ask that agencies verify that all specific conditions are met by those officers prior to notifying POSTC of their compliance by the 90-day deadline, prior to the conclusion of the period. Instructions for how to notify POSTC that an officer has met the conditions of their recertification are not currently available but will be published on the POST website.

Once POST has determined that all listed conditions have been met, the officer status will change from conditionally certified to certified for a period of three years ending on July 1, 2025.

Note that your officers must remain in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 6E and all regulations promulgated by the Commission for the duration of their employment as a law enforcement officer.

If the officer fails to satisfy any condition within the designated time or any extension of time that may be afforded, POST will notify the agency that such officer’s certification has expired.  If a certification expires and is not extended by the Commission, all Massachusetts law enforcement agencies will be precluded from appointing or employing the individual as a law enforcement officer, unless the individual is certified anew in the future.

  1. “Not Certified” Notice:

If an officer is classified as “Not Certified,” POST has determined that, based on the information provided, the officer has not satisfied all requirements for recertification and POST cannot renew the certification that was set to expire on July 1, 2022.

The officer may seek a review by POST of the decision within twenty-one days of the date of their official recertification notice or such additional time as allowed by POST by sending an email to: POSTCAttestation@mass.gov.

Until the conclusion of any review or hearing or the expiration of the time for seeking review or hearing, the application for recertification previously submitted will not be deemed “finally determined” by POST.  During such time, an officer will be deemed conditionally certified, and thus “certified” as that term is used in Chapter 6E.  If, at the conclusion of that period, the certification is not maintained, the statute will preclude all Massachusetts law enforcement agencies from appointing or employing that person as a law enforcement officer unless the person is certified anew in the future.

  1. Individuals Not Included in the Notices:

If an individual officer is not included in the categories above (Certified, Conditionally Certified, and Not Certified) POST has determined that their case merits further review, and POST will reach out to agencies with officers in this category.

In cases where a Chief does not attest to the good moral character and fitness for employment of a law enforcement officer, they should receive a written reason for this lack of attestation by the Chief of the Agency.  These individuals will have an opportunity to provide a written response to POST before a decision is rendered. 

Based on the information exchange regarding these cases, POST may place these individuals in one of the categories above (Certified, Conditionally Certified or Not Certified).  During such time, an officer will be deemed conditionally certified, and thus “certified” as that term is used in Chapter 6E.  If at the conclusion of that period, the certification is not maintained, the statute will preclude all Massachusetts law enforcement agencies from appointing or employing that person as a law enforcement officer.

  1. Invalid status

If you see an “invalid” status for one or more officers, it is likely that there is a data validation error(s) that needs to be addressed.  Please review your submitted information for any information that may need to be corrected, or request an extension from POST through JIRA or by emailing POSTCattestation@mass.gov

We will continue to communicate with you via these periodic updates, and through content on our website.  

If you have received a conditional certification notice, the contents below explain the conditional certification types and next steps.

Explanation of conditionally certified notice types

Officers on approved or extended leave must complete their certification requirements no later than 90 days after the date of their return to active service

For officers on extended leave that were attested to by their department heads, POST will extend the officer's conditional certification indefinitely at the end of this first 90-day conditional certification period. The department must notify POST of the date of return for such officers and the officers will be allowed 90 days to complete those requirements under a new conditional certification. 

Upon meeting the requirements, the department or officer will provide documentation that the officer satisfied those conditions via email to POSTCAttestation@mass.gov and the officer will receive a full certification upon review by POST.

Requirements for Recertification FAQs

What do we submit for recertification?

Each department will submit a Submission Template (may submit up to 2 spreadsheets), and a Signature page for all officers attested to. If you attest to an officer’s moral character and fitness, do not submit the questionnaire; simply keep the questionnaire in an officer’s personnel file. At this time, these questionnaires are not considered public records, as they are considered a personnel matter. 

What is the definition of a complaint that is required to be submitted to POST?

It is mandatory to submit complaints that:

  • Allege bias on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, mental or physical disability, immigration status, or socioeconomic or professional level
  • Involves excessive, prohibited or deadly force
  • Resulted in serious bodily injury or death

Complaints that allege unprofessionalism are also required to be submitted to POST. However, certain minor matters (discourtesy, tardiness, inattention to detail, equipment violations, grooming violations, etc.) need not be submitted to POST, but should still be addressed according to the agency’s internal resolution policy.

If a complaint is withdrawn prior to submission to POST, it is not required to be submitted to POST.

What documentation must be submitted in the event a Chief does not attest to an officer’s good moral character?

Questionnaires are required to be submitted if an agency head does NOT attest to an officer’s good moral character/fitness.  A separate signature page is required PER officer to include the written justification portion and should be submitted with each officer’s questionnaire.

In the event an officer has not completed a psychological evaluation, or had one many years ago, will they be denied recertification?

Answering no to this question will not result in a denial of recertification or suspension. POST wants to know if any such evaluation was ever conducted for officer employment.  If an officer has had an evaluation administered by your department, but you do not have a record on file, you may still answer “yes” for purposes of this recertification.

If an officer is on leave, how long would they have under a conditional certification to return to full duty? Is there a period of time after which the officer would have to go back through an academy?

Include all officers on leave in the submission template, and answer all questions accordingly.  For example, if they did not complete in-service, then enter “No” in that column. Indicate in the “notes” column the reason(s) why they are on leave and their anticipated date of return, if known.  If the leave is for an extended period of time, the officer may remain “inactive” and receive a conditional certification upon return to allow the officer to complete requirements such as in-service, etc., but they would be “certified” to work as a police officer during that time.  Upon return from leave, an officer would have 90 days to complete outstanding requirements or provide justification for non-completion. If an officer is out on leave in excess of 5 years, that is considered a break in service by MPTC and that officer would be required to attend a full-time academy upon return.

I have an officer on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.  Am I still able to attest to the officer’s good moral character and fitness for duty given their good work history and no other disciplinary history?

Yes if you determine, based on your knowledge of this officer, that they are of good moral character and fit for duty as a police officer, you may attest to them.  Chiefs may also choose not to attest to the officer due to their status as being on administrative leave or any other kind of leave.  In this case POST would issue a conditional certification valid for 90 days upon their return, for the officer to complete outstanding requirements.  When/if the officer returns to full duty, POST should be notified by email to POSTCAttestation@mass.gov or through your department’s submission in JIRA and a determination would be made by POST as to which requirements have been met. 

Several members of my department have not been subject to a physical fitness exam through the MPTC, but have had physical fitness exams through occupational health facilities prior to employment. Does the non-MPTC physical fitness exam qualify?

Yes. Occupational health/medical evaluations are acceptable for the purposes of officer recertification, as long as such evaluations are related to employment in law enforcement.

What happens if CPR training has not been completed?

If not completed, a conditional certification may be issued, in which case that officer would be required to complete the requirement within a specified period of time (TBD).

Is there further clarification of what constitutes the exam approved by POST?

Any exam that was administered during any of the academies would constitute an exam approved by POST. Those exams may be different depending on the type of academy (reserve, bridge, MPTC, MSP) but they all qualify.

Attestations FAQs

How does POST define Good Moral Character?  Does fitness for employment include physical and psychological fitness? 

The regulations on recertification (555 CMR 7.00) adopted by the Commission on June 8, 2022 elaborate on the concept: In assessing good character and fitness for employment, an employing agency may take into account whether an officer adheres to state and federal law, acts consistently with recognized standards of ethics and conduct adopted by the employing agency or as set forth in the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct most recently adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and is worthy of the public trust and of the authority given to law enforcement officers.

What happens in the event a chief cannot attest to an officer’s moral character and fitness?

The officer will be provided the signature page BY THE AGENCY HEAD stating that the agency head does not attest to their good moral character/fitness for employment as a police officer and the agency head must provide the explanation or justification for that on the same signature page. The officer is allowed to respond to a non-attestation before the POST Commission. Exact procedures are being drafted by POST at this time.

While a non-attestation is cause for further review by POST, it would not result in the automatic denial of recertification.

I have 2 reserve officers that work in another town. Do I need to attest to them?

If another department has that officer hired full-time, that department should provide the recertification documents to POST.  If they are hired part-time equally by multiple departments, the department they worked for first should do so.  All departments that employ that officer should ensure that the officer is being “sponsored” by one department and complying with POST filings.  The officer has the responsibility to ensure an attestation is being filed on their behalf as well. 

Questionnaire FAQs

What happens if an officer refuses to complete the questionnaire?

POST will consider that the requirement of an oral interview, M.G.L. c. 6E, section 4(f)(1), is not satisfied, and the officer will not be recertified.

What is the difference between employees choosing not to answer one or two questions as opposed to employees who choose not to answer any of the questions? Is the former permissible, whereas the latter is not?

POST will have to evaluate instances of not answering one or two questions on a case-by-case basis.  As mentioned above, if an officer refuses to participate in the questionnaire, POST will consider that the requirement of an oral interview, M.G.L. c. 6E, section 4(f)(1), is not satisfied, and the officer will not be recertified.

What happens when an officer responds to a question with the preface of “On the advice of Counsel” and/or refuses to answer one or two questions?

Officers should qualify, explain and expound their answers to ensure they are truthful.  If the advice of counsel is to not answer that question, the evaluator should note that.  Individuals should also note if answering the question might waive a privilege, protection or right recognized by law (as stated in the instructions).

Relative to Question #5 of the Officer Questionnaire, do you consider administrative leave pending investigation as a "paid suspension"?

No.  The suspension referenced in this question is considered a suspension imposed as disciplinary action only after an investigation has been completed.

In Service/Work Requirements FAQs

Is a person working as a Police Officer full-time at the Federal Reserve or for a federal agency allowed to have his work hours count towards the 2400 hours work experience?

MPTC would make the determination re: work experience hours.  If the work experience hours qualify, MPTC would then issue an exemption and a training verification letter for that officer.

What happens if an officer has not completed in-service by the time we submit the roster for recertification?

The officer would be issued a conditional certification allowing all police powers. The certification would be subject to the condition that they must complete the training within a specific time period (ex. 90 days).  If the condition has not been met by that specified time, POST may take action against the officer’s certification if there are no circumstances preventing them from completion.

Can you explain the 24 hours of specialized training and 16 hours of elective training?

MPTC identifies the 24 hours of specialized training and the additional 16 hours of elective training. The 16 hours of elective additional training may be required by the specific agency in addition to the “core” in-service MPTC requirements (which change annually).

What if a reserve officer hasn’t completed their hours yet?

If an officer works full-time, they have until 1/1/23 to complete the work hours, if part-time, they have until 1/1/27.

If an officer is A-H and has not completed their work experience hours, a conditional certification may be issued allowing that officer to work with full police powers.  Upon completion of the hours, POST should be notified by that department, the condition would be removed, and the officer would receive full certification.

Submitting Info to POST FAQs

Who do we notify if we have not received an email from POST with the login-information to submit recertification documents?

Some network administrators block all automated e-mails.  Please look in the Spam or Junk folders and/or discuss with your network administrator.  If you have additional questions regarding log-ins please contact Maurice Myrie at Maurice.Myrie2@mass.gov.

I am unable to type my answer into the Submission Template/Spreadsheet for Question 15 and I don’t see a dropdown.  What do I do?

Type in the answer exactly as listed here and it will be accepted on the spreadsheet:

  • Yes, with exceptions
  • Yes, no exceptions
  • Not conducted

Download FAQs PDF Document

Recertification Packet & Instructions

The Recertification Packet consists of the following documents:   

1) Part 1: Agency Attestation Document (Updated as of 5/12/2022)

          a. If you only seek the Attestation Signature Page click here

          b. if you only seek the Non-Attestation Signature Page click here

2) Part 2: Questionnaire (part 2) (Updated as of 7/14/2022)

3) Submission Template (Provided By POST Commission - DO NOT EDIT FIELD HEADERS) (Updated as of 5/12/2022 3:20 PM)

Definitions as used in these materials: 

  1. “Agency” refers to the law enforcement agency that employs, or that serves as the appointing authority, for an officer seeking recertification. 

  1. “Agency Head” refers to the actual head of the Agency or that person’s designee. 

  1. “Evaluator” refers to an officer who is senior to the officer seeking recertification and who has been charged by the Agency Head with evaluating whether the officer satisfies the criteria for recertification. 

  1. “Interviewer” refers to an officer who is senior to the officer seeking recertification and who has been charged by the Agency Head or by the Evaluator with orally interviewing the officer seeking recertification.  

 

Please read and follow the instructions below carefully. 

Instructions for the Agency Head 

For each officer within the agency, we ask that you attest to the good moral character and fitness for employment as a law enforcement officer and whether or not they satisfy the statutory criteria for recertification.  Please consider the information contained in the two documents provided (Part 1 and Part 2).  Part 1 may be completed by an Evaluator who will review the Agency’s records on the relevant criteria regarding the individual officers.   

We further ask that Part 2 be distributed to each officer whose last name begins with A-H and who will be seeking recertification.  You may delegate the tasks for data collection and due diligence to an Evaluator.  The Evaluator may enlist the aid of an Interviewer.  Large agencies may rely on more than one Evaluator or Interviewer in order to efficiently engage in this due diligence throughout the Agency.   

After reviewing the officer data collected by the Evaluator, please submit one Submission Template for all officers with last names ending in A-H you are attesting to and ONE Signature Page for ALL officers listed on that Submission Template. The Officer Questionnaire shall be retained by the Agency and is not required to be submitted.  

If you are unable to attest to an officer’s good moral character and fitness for employment, you may choose to include the name(s) on the first Submission Template or submit a second Submission Template with those names listed and you will be required to submit a Signature Page for EACH individual officer you are NOT attesting to.  

Instructions for the Evaluator and/or Interviewer 

The Evaluator is responsible for reviewing the criteria in Part 1 and Part 2.  The Evaluator will gather officer data and corroborate the answers to the 15 questions on Part 1, which will be entered onto the Submission Template.  The Evaluator may enlist the aid of an Interviewer.  The Evaluator may provide a recommendation for or against recertification, but it is ultimately the Agency Head who will make that attestation to POST.  Large agencies may rely on more than one Evaluator or Interviewer in order to efficiently engage in this due diligence throughout the Agency.  

Instructions for Officer Seeking Re-certification 

The Agency will provide answers to the criteria outlined in the Part 1 document with your input.  You should verify that such information is up to date and accurate.  You will also be provided a Questionnaire (Part 2).  Please answer the questions in the Questionnaire accurately and completely.  You will be asked to discuss the answers to those questions with a higher-ranking Evaluator or Interviewer. 

  1. Agency Attestation Document (Part 1) 

    1. Includes a signature page, where the Agency Head will attest to the information provided  

    2. Consists of 15 questions/entries relative to the individual officer.  

    3. Appendix 1: Agency Attestation Worksheet.  Contains criteria and information that needs to be submitted using the Submission Template.  This form is provided as a fillable document, but we are not asking that this worksheet be submitted to the POST Commission.  

    4. Appendix 2: Instructions for Attestation Questions.   

  2. Officer Questionnaire (Part 2) 

    1. The individual officer seeking recertification provides the answers to the Questionnaire.   

    2. The Questionnaire must be provided to the officer seeking recertification by an Evaluator or Interviewer.  

    3. Responses must be discussed between the officer and either the Evaluator or the Interviewer.  

    4. The officer will sign and date the Questionnaire and affirm that information provided on the Questionnaire is true and complete.  

  3. Submission Template (spreadsheet) 

    1. The Submission Template is the spreadsheet that Agencies will use to submit the requested information to the POST Commission. 

    2. All officers with last names beginning with A-H should be listed on the Submission Template. 

    3. The Submission Template must not be reconfigured in any way.   

    4. Each officer’s information should be entered in only one row.   

    5. Extra rows should not be added in between officer records.  This will result in a delay of recertification and require the Agency’s resubmission of the spreadsheet.  

The Agency Head should list an officer on the Submission Template if the Agency Head attests that the officer satisfies all the criteria for recertification, including the requirement to be of good moral character and fit for employment.  It is possible that there may be one or more instances in which an Agency Head will not make such attestation.  If the Agency prefers to separate the list of officers attested to from those not attested to, a Submission Template for each list is acceptable.  These may be submitted at different times as long as the POST Commission receives those before June 15, 2022.     

 

What has to be submitted to the POST Commission? 

  1. Signed Attestation Signature Page.  

  2. Filled out Submission Template (spreadsheet) with information on all officers that are found by the Agency Head to satisfy all criteria for recertification.  

  3. IF AND ONLY IF the Agency Head declines to attest that an officer(s) with last names beginning with A-H satisfy all criteria for recertification: 

    1. Submit one Non-attestation Signature Page for each officer who is not found to satisfy those criteria and enter the reason(s).  Provide that page to the individual officer. 

    2. Include all individuals who are not found to satisfy the criteria in the same Submission Template or, if you choose to do so, submit one separate Submission Template (a second submission).  

Date published: April 29, 2022
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