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Recertification Overview

Information on the recertification process for 2023

The new POST Law Enforcement Agency portal is open for recertification of officers with last names I-P. If you have not submitted the recertification documents, you must now request an extension.

By statute, all officers who were employed as police officers in Massachusetts on July 1, 2021 were certified and scheduled for recertification in three groups based on the officer’s last name.  Upon recertification by POST, the certification is valid for three years. 

  • Officers with last names A-H were recertified as of July 1, 2022
  • Officers with last names I-P are recertified by July 1, 2023
  • Officers with last names Q-Z will be recertified by July 1, 2024 

The Commission shall not issue a certificate to an applicant who does not meet the minimum standards of the Commission or has been convicted of a felony or whose name is listed in the national decertification index.  

Table of Contents

Recertification Fact Sheets

2023 Recertification Eligibility

Officers eligible for recertification on July 1, 2023 have last names beginning with I-P, were employed in any police capacity on July 1, 2021 (certified by statute) and have not been issued a new certification as of the date of their submission. This recertification submission should include all officers with last name I-P who are full-time officers, part-time officers, reserve officers, officers on leave or suspension, and retired officers that work details. 

The recertification process is governed by the Recertification Regulations (555 CMR 7.00) and is based on the principles described in those regulations:

  • Agencies apply for recertification on behalf of officers.
  • Agencies utilize a questionnaire to conduct an oral interview (administered by the chiefs or their designees).
  • The head of the agency makes (or declines to make) an attestation to the good moral character and fitness for duty as a law enforcement officer for each individual officer.  In the case of the chief, their appointing authority makes such attestation. 

2023 Recertification Submission Process

POST has debuted a new online portal for recertification submissions.

Agencies are required to submit information directly into the portal.  No template or spreadsheet is required to be uploaded, but a worksheet is provided to assist agencies with data collection. Each agency head and/or point of contact will receive a login to access the new portal.

All agency contacts that had JIRA login credentials last year will receive an email with credentials to log in to the new portal when POST is ready to accept submissions. Officer submissions consisting of identifying information, status, and attestation questions similar to those asked for A-H, will be submitted through the portal. If multiple officers have the same answers to attestation questions, use the option to upload these in bulk to facilitate entry. 

The certifications will be processed by POST during the month of July and officers will be emailed their certification notices.  Agencies will be notified by email when processing is complete, the agency will receive a recertification report and will have access to the certification status of each officer through the portal.  The deadline for submission is June 30, 2023, but agencies may request an extension for good cause by contacting POSTCCertification@mass.gov.

Agencies with 100 or more officers with last names I-P will be allowed to submit their recertifications utilizing another method (contact POSTCCertification@mass.gov for instructions).    

Exceptions (Officers on Leave)

Officers on extended leave (medical/injured on duty, military, family, administrative or other) who have not met the required conditions of recertification will be classified as “not certified” and categorized as “on leave” until they return to full duty. 

Upon return to full duty, the agency must submit a Status Form and the officer may be granted a conditional certification allowing 90 days for the completion of requirements.  If an officer is on administrative leave due to a pending investigation or discipline, the case may be classified as requiring further review.  The agency must also notify MPTC at MPTCAcadis@mass.gov of the officer’s return to duty.  Upon completion, a second status form will be filed with POST and, upon review, a full certification will issue. 

In reaching a determination on the officer’s recertification status, the Division of Certification reviews the officer’s application and the accompanying documentation received from the officer’s employing agency. The Division of Certification may grant an officer full recertification and has the authority to deny an officer full recertification, or limit, condition, restrict, revoke or suspend the officer’s certification.  An officer will receive a notice from the Division of Certification detailing their recertification status. 

2023 Recertification Forms

2023 Recertification Reference Guide (part 1) convenient reference guide for portal submission questions

2023 Officer Questionnaire (part 2)

2023 Officer Questionnaire (part 2) Fillable

2023 Recertification Submission Guide

The questionnaire must be answered by all I-P officers and reviewed by a supervisor/evaluator to qualify as the oral interview administered by POST.  The questionnaire is not submitted to POST unless there is no attestation made for that officer.

2023 Non-Attestation form

The non-attestation form must be uploaded for each officer not attested to or with a negative attestation.  A copy must be provided to the officer by the agency head/designee.

Law Enforcement Agency Portal Terms of Use

Recertification Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: Requirements for Recertification

Who is eligible for recertification by July 1, 2023?

Officers with the last names I-P employed in any police capacity on July 1, 2021, who have not already received a new certification (from another agency or as a new academy graduate).  Officers on all types of leave are considered employed officers and should be included in this submission.

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. 

What forms do we submit for recertification?

All information will be submitted through the new POST online portal.  The only forms that are required to be uploaded are those relative to non-attestations. 

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

The following must be uploaded to the portal: 1) A separate non-attestation signature page PER officer, and 2) the officer’s completed questionnaire.

Do we submit recertification information for officers on leave?

Yes. I-P officers on any type of leave (military, medical, administrative, or other) should be included in the recertification submission.

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.  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.

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, if they are related to employment in law enforcement.

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

No. 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 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.

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.

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.

Can officers qualify their answers to the Questionnaire (i.e., “on the advice of counsel…”)?

Yes, officers may 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).

FAQs: In-Service/Work Requirements 

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

If it is expected that the officer will complete the training by July 1st, please answer accordingly. POST will cross-check records with MPTC and if Acadis has not been updated to reflect completion, this may result in the issuance of a conditional certification allowing the officer 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).  At the end of the 90-day period, POST will again cross-check training records through Acadis to ensure compliance. After September 30, 2023, POST will audit Acadis records so timely updates are encouraged.  If the condition has not been met by that specified time, POST may administratively suspend the officer, limiting officer duties to an administrative capacity until training is completed.  

What if an officer hasn’t completed their 2400 Bridge Academy work experience hours yet? 

If any I-P officer has not completed their work experience hours, a conditional certification may be issued allowing that officer to work with full police powers.  The officer is allowed to work on a part-time basis only, defined as more than half-time, but less than full-time hours per MPTC guidelines.  For example, if the department has a 40-hour work week, the officer may work over 20 hours, but less than 40 hours.  The officer has until January 1, 2027 to complete the work hours experience.  Upon completion of the hours, POST would be notified by that department through submission of the Officer Status Update Form, the condition would be removed, and the officer would receive full certification. 

Additional Resources

Date published: March 29, 2023
Last updated: July 6, 2023

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