Becoming a Deputy – Basics-

How to Become a Certified Officer in Florida

Individuals may become certified in the following disciplines:

Law Enforcement
Corrections

There are four primary steps to becoming a certified officer in Florida:

1.  Meet the minimum qualifications.

2.  Complete the required training.
3.  Pass the State Officer Certification Exam (SOCE).
4.  Become employed as a sworn officer.
1. Meet the Minimum Qualifications established in Florida Statutes 943.13
Individuals must:
  • be at least 19 years of age.
  • be a citizen of the United States.
  • have earned a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) for law enforcement and corrections applicants. A bachelors degree is required for correctional probation officers.
  • not have been convicted of any felony or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or false statement. Any person who, after July 1, 1981, pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is found guilty of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or a false statement, shall not be eligible for employment or appointment as an officer, not-withstanding suspension of sentence or withholding of adjudication.
  • never have received a dishonorable discharge from any of the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • have documentation of processed fingerprints on file with the employing agency.
  • pass a physical examination by a licensed physician, physician assistant, or certified advanced registered nurse practitioner.
  • have good moral character as determined by a background investigation under procedures established by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

2. Complete the Required Training pursuant to 11B-35, F.A.C.
If you are a - You must complete the following -
New Officer or Discipline Cross Over 1. Complete the Basic Abilities Test (BAT) – An individual must pass a Commission-approved BAT prior to entering a basic recruit training program. The BAT is available at most training schools and results are valid for four years. 2. Complete Basic Recruit or Cross Over Training –  An individual must successfully complete the Florida Basic Recruit Training Program or Cross Over Training Program for the respective discipline. Training must be completed at a Commission-Certified Training School.
Former Florida Officer – Less than 4 yrs. Break in Service An officer’s certification is valid for 4 years from last employment date.
Former Florida Officer – More than 4 Yrs., but less than 8 yrs. Break in Service 1. Complete an Equivalency of Training  AND 2. Demonstrates Proficiency in High Liabilities
Former Florida Officer – More than 8 Yrs. Break in Service 1. Complete the Basic Abilities Test (BAT) – Prior to entering a Basic Recruit Training Program, an individual must pass a Commission-approved BAT. The BAT is available at most training academies and is valid for four years. 2. Complete Basic Recruit or Cross Over Training –  An individual must successfully complete the Florida Basic Recruit Training Program or Cross Over Training Program for the respective discipline. Training must be completed at a  Commission-certified training school. 
Out of State, Federal, or Military Officers – Active officers or less than 8 yrs. break in service 1. Complete an Equivalency of Training  AND 2. Demonstrate Proficiency in High Liabilities
3. Pass the State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE) pursuant 11B-30, F.A.C.

Upon successful completion of the required training, an individual has three attempts to achieve a passing score on the SOCE.


4. Become Employed as a sworn officer pursuant to Florida Statutes 943.1395
  • Individuals who have completed the required Basic Recruit Training and passed the State Officer Certification Examination have four years from the start date of their Basic Recruit Training Program to become employed as an officer in Florida.

Certification Process - Obtaining a “Certificate of Compliance”

1. To be eligible for application of a “Certificate of Compliance”, an applicant must:

  • Complete the required training,
  • Pass the SOCE (This alone does not necessarily entitle an applicant to receive the Certificate of Compliance),
  • Become employed in the discipline in which certification is sought. Click HERE for the Hiring Process for Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Have processed fingerprints on file with the employing agency.


2. The individuals’ employing agency will apply for the Certificate of Compliance.

3. After confirming all requirements, the officer’s certificate is issued by the FDLE Records section.