Equivalency of Training FAQ
Question 1: What is Equivalency Of Training (EOT)?
Equivalency Of Training is a program that allows qualified persons to follow an accelerated path to certification as a Law Enforcement or Corrections Officer in Florida. It is based on the assumption that it is wasteful of time and resources, both for qualified applicants and our taxpayers, to needlessly repeat some parts of basic training. Once your qualifications are established, you are allowed to demonstrate proficiency in specific high-liability training areas and take the State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE), without having to first complete a full basic training academy.
Question 2: What are the qualifications I must meet?
To be qualified, you must have completed training in specific required subjects and have been employed full-time for at least one full year (not counting time spent in an academy) as a law enforcement or corrections officer in another state, a federal agency or the military. Qualifying employment must not have ended more than 8-years prior to making a complete EOT application. The time limit is measured from the separation date of the applicant's most recent qualifying full-time employment to the date a complete EOT application is made to a selection center or employing agency. "Complete application" means an application made on the required form that contains all information needed to process the evaluation. It must be legible, accurate and sworn before a notary public. It must include the required processing fee, supporting documents and a properly executed waiver form (CJSTC 58).
Question 3: Are the Law Enforcement and Corrections certifications interchangeable in Florida?
No, each is a separate discipline for the purposes of certification. If you are currently a law enforcement officer in another state or federal system, you may be eligible to become a law enforcement officer in Florida through the EOT process. If you are a corrections officer, you may be eligible to become a corrections officer in Florida through the EOT process. The EOT process does not change your certification from one discipline to another. After you complete the EOT process and are certified by Florida in your discipline (law enforcement or corrections), you may become eligible for crossover-training to change from one discipline to another. Click here for more information on the crossover process.
Question 4: How does the EOT process work?
The EOT process has three parts: EOT Evaluation (Required). This part is done by a regional selection center, such as the Brevard Police Testing Center (BPTC), to establish your qualifications.
Proficiency Demonstration (Required). This part is done by a certified training institution, such as Eastern Florida State College, to give you an opportunity to show a certified instructor that you are proficient in certain physical skills such as defensive tactics and weapons. Click here for information on how to register for the EFSC Equivalency of Training course.
State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE). (Required). The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) requires this test which is administered at the Brevard Police Testing Center housed on the Eastern Florida State College Melbourne Campus.
Question 5: How do I get started?
You must submit the following to the Brevard Police Testing Center (BPTC) for review:
• A complete Equivalency Of Training (EOT) Evaluation Application;
• A complete FDLE Form CJSTC 58 "Authority For Release Of Information" waiver allowing us access to your employment and training records;
• Supporting documents that help prove the training and employment qualifications upon which your equivalency claim is based and;
• A non-refundable $350 fee by money order ($150 for inactive Florida-certified).
The BPTC will use the waiver to access the records needed to verify your qualifying employment and training. While the BPTC always tries to work with applicants and give them an opportunity to correct any problems, BPTC staff cannot work on your evaluation until your application is complete. If the evaluation establishes that you are qualified, the BPTC will ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to issue you the recruit-training exemption on Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC) Form 76 that you need to continue in the process.
Question 6: What kind of supporting documents should I send with EOT application form?
While the Brevard Police Testing Center must still verify employment and training by contacting the institutions in question, you must also supply documentation that supports your claim of eligibility for the EOT exemption. Examples of helpful documents:
- An officer training profile maintained by an employer, a state certification authority such as POST or CJSTC, a military profile from VMET or AKO Account, or other officer training profiles maintained by an authorized government agency.
- Your basic/recruit academy diploma and the summary outline of its basic/recruit training curriculum.
- A certificate or other credential issued to you by a state or federal certification authority that shows your compliance with law enforcement or corrections officer certification requirements in the state (or federal entity) upon which your EOT claim is based.
- Annual evaluations or reviews for the time you claim as qualifying employment on your EOT Application. These can help establish that your employment was as an officer with duties (such as bearing arms, making arrests, conducting investigations, enforcing traffic regulations, investigating traffic crashes, supervising inmates, etc.) that support your EOT claim.
- Training records related to the high liability training areas listed in the instructions that accompany the EOT Evaluation Application Form. These records may be certificates of attendance or excerpts from regular training records made by your employer.
- A letter from your commanding officer or agency chief which confirms the service as a law enforcement or correctional officer claimed on your EOT Application.
Examples of documents that are not usually helpful:
- College degrees or diplomas for education or training unrelated to basic recruit curriculum
- Certificates or diplomas for specialized courses such as K-9, SWAT, Fingerprint classification, or other areas unrelated to basic recruit curriculum.
Question 7: How much time does the EOT qualification evaluation take?
You should allow about eight weeks for the review step of the process. Some evaluations take less time, but the Brevard Police Testing Center cannot predict how quickly employers or training institutions will respond to verification requests.
Question 8: I want to attend a particular Proficiency Demonstration class or take the state examination on a certain date. Is there anything I can do to speed up the qualifications evaluation?
Yes. Submit a complete application along with supporting documents, and respond in a timely manner to any request the Brevard Police and Testing Center staff make for additional information. You should also consider calling the employer(s) and/or training institution(s) used as the basis for your qualifications and ask them to reply quickly to our verification requests. This is much more helpful than calling the BPTC to ask why we have not yet received answers to our verification requests. Problem areas that often slow down an evaluation:
- An illegible, incomplete or ambiguous application form
- Incomplete or inaccurate addresses
- With large agencies or institutions, failure to provide the address of the specific office that handles verifications, causing inquiries to get lost in a large internal mail system.
Question 9: How can I avoid errors that slow down the process?
Research. Remember, if you don't know or can't find the correct dates, course titles, names and addresses to support your claim - it is doubtful that the Brevard Police Testing Center will be able to complete your evaluation in a timely manner and present a convincing case that you are eligible for the program.
Question 10: I don't want my employer to know that I am trying to get certified in Florida and may be leaving. Can you verify employment without contacting my employer?
No. The Brevard Police Testing Center staff understands that some employers may not react pleasantly in such situations, but the BPTC needs a reliable verification of your qualifications. This requires the verification to be both explicit and from a proper authority. (This also applies to training verifications.)
Question 11: Will my service as a reserve or part-time officer meet the employment qualification?
No. To qualify, employment must have been on a full-time, paid basis. For law enforcement officers it must also have been in a "sworn" position authorized to bear arms and make arrests. Reserve, part-time, auxiliary or seasonal employment does not qualify, even if you worked full time hours.
Question 12: My law enforcement or corrections employment was as a military police officer. Does this qualify?
Maybe. Your duty assignment during the qualifying period must have been devoted full time to the discipline (law enforcement or corrections) for which you are making an EOT application. For instance, if you are trying to qualify based on service as a military police officer, the BPTC must be able to verify that you were assigned full time to discharging law enforcement duties (such as answering calls for law enforcement service, conducting criminal investigations, making arrests, investigating accidents, conducting traffic enforcement, etc.). Duties related to security, or working in a vessel-boarding or inspection team will not establish qualification.
Question 13: I accumulated a full year of full-time employment, but it was with two different employers. Does this meet the employment qualification?
Probably - so long as you (1) were classified as a full-time employee by each of those employers and; (2) you accumulated a full year of full-time employment within an eighteen-month period and; (3) no more than two employers can be used to satisfy this EOT requirement.
Also, to be considered full-time employment, the employment periods cannot overlap - in other words you cannot use two employments to satisfy the EOT requirement if you were simultaneously working for two different employers. The most recent of the qualifying employment periods that you are adding together to satisfy the EOT requirement must not have ended more than 8-years prior to the submission of your complete EOT application.
Question 14: Does time spent in a police academy on a paid employment basis count toward the EOT employment requirement?
No, time spent in basic recruit training (police or corrections academy) does not count. The one-year employment requirement must be satisfied using time serving as an officer, not as a cadet.
Question 15: Once the evaluation has established my qualifications, what comes next?
The reviewing agency, in this case the Brevard Police Testing Center, will ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to issue the exemption from basic recruit training. This will be issued directly to you by FDLE on the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC) Form 76. You will need that form to continue in the process. You will have one year from the date the exemption is issued to complete a Proficiency Demonstration course such as the one offered at the Eastern Florida State College Public Safety Institute AND pass the State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE).
Question 16: What happens if I do not complete the Proficiency Demonstration and pass the SOCE examination within one year?
FDLE may require you to attend a full basic recruit academy in order for you to become certified in Florida.
Question 17: How do I "demonstrate proficiency" in the special high-liability subject areas?
A Florida state certified instructor must observe you demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities required in the following subject areas:
For Law Enforcement Officers: Firearms Performance Evaluation, First Aid For Criminal Justice Officers, Defensive Tactics Performance Evaluation, and Vehicle Operations Performance Evaluation.
For Corrections Officers (and Probation Officers): Firearms Performance Evaluation, First Aid For Criminal Justice Officers, Defensive Tactics Performance Evaluation.
This is normally done at a certified training institution, such as Eastern Florida State College, and will require you to attend a class that provides a safe and trustworthy means of demonstration.
Such classes usually take one week for the Proficiency Demonstration and a second week for the optional SOCE review material. Tuition prices reflect the use of school provided equipment such as firearms and vehicles, the use of firearms ranges and driving facilities, and substantial labor costs to ensure a safe ratio of specialized instructors to students.
Upon completion of the course, the institution will provide you with documentation that you have demonstrated the required proficiency on a CJSTC Form 76-A. Remember, you must first have your CJSTC Form 76 (exemption) in hand to prove your eligibility to participate in the Proficiency Demonstration training course.
Question 18: How do I arrange to take the State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE)?
The Brevard Police Testing Center administers the SOCE in this area. Remember, you must first have your CJSTC Form 76 (Exemption) and CJSTC Form 76-A (Proficiency Demonstration) in hand to prove your eligibility to take the written examination.
Question 19: I have other questions about this process. Where should I go for answers?
For questions on Evaluation of your qualifications, the best first step is to read the "Equivalency Of Training (EOT) Application," the EOT Information Sheet and review the information in the EOT web section. If you have questions after you read it, call or visit the Brevard Police Testing Center during normal business hours. We do have e-mail, but have found that it is usually an inefficient means of answering EOT questions. (We often need to ask you a few questions first, to make sure we know what information you are seeking - so we can avoid confusing you further.) In any case, we'll be happy to help you. Answering your questions is actually a large part of what we do. All we ask is that you read the material first, so we can help you more efficiently.
For questions about the Proficiency Demonstration Course Contact:
EFSC, Equivalency of Training Program Coordinator
For questions about the State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE): This exam is offered by the Brevard Police Testing Center, 321-433-5640
Question 20: What else do you think I need to know?
Remember that the EOT process only establishes your training and employment qualifications to be a law enforcement or corrections officer. There are other requirements related to criminal history, the character of military discharge, moral character, etc. that must be established by a full background investigation before a person can be appointed as an officer. You may learn more about these standards here. We hope that you will consider applying for the BPTC process and seek employment with the agencies we serve in Brevard County.