Recognition of Prior Training and Experience (RPTE) Program

A limited group of individuals who have previous law enforcement training and/or experience may seek eligibility for Michigan Law Enforcement Licensure through the Recognition of Prior Training and Experience (RPTE) program. A waiver of mandatory basic police training may be granted to a person who was previously a police officer in Michigan, another state, or to a Michigan pre-service candidate who is seeking additional years of eligibility. Out-of-state candidate applications for RPTE program will not be accepted unless the candidate has completed at least one year of full-time, fully empowered, paid police service following his/her police training.

To apply, please print out the Application and Instruction Packet. The Application can be filled out online and then printed. The MCOLES Mandatory Basic Training Firearms Assessment can also be viewed and printed.

NOTICE: As of June 1, 2007, all RPTE program candidates are required to qualify with a patrol rifle, in addition to the handgun and shotgun assessments.  See the MCOLES Mandatory Basic Training Firearms Assessment.

Each candidate is required to demonstrate competency by passing Commission administered tests. The tests consist of a firearms proficiency exam and Michigan's written law enforcement licensing examination. In addition, the Employment Standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers require the candidate to meet specific medical and non-medical standards. The authorized testing sites charge a fee for this program.

In order to qualify for the RPTE program of the mandatory basic police training requirements under Michigan Administrative Rule 28.14401, et seq., an individual must meet all of the requirements in one of the following categories:

Michigan Pre-Service Graduate 

1. Applicant has met all requirements under the Pre-service Administrative Rules with the exception of employment within one (1) year from graduation.

2. Applicant has successfully completed the:

a. Reading and Writing examination;
b.  Physical Fitness examination (if you completed training prior to January 1, 2003);
c.  License examination. 

3. Applicant meets the current selection and employment standards. (See the Minimum Selection and Employment Standards.)

NOTE: All pre-service candidates approved for the RPTE program must attend the entire preparatory program before taking the Recognition of Prior Training and Experience Examinations, in order to obtain one additional year of eligibility. (Pursuant to Commission Policy VI, 2.01, 4.)

Previously Licensed as a Michigan Officer 

1. An individual must have been previously licensed in Michigan under the requirements of Public Act 203 of 1965, as amended.

2. The individual has voluntarily or involuntarily discontinued employment as a licensed law enforcement officer for a period of time in excess of that provided for in Section 9 (2) (a), (b) or (c) of Public Act 203.

3. The individual meets the current selection and employment standards in R 28.14203 and R 28.14204, except as specified in R 28.14203 (g).  (See the Minimum Selection and Employment Standards.)

Licensed Out-of-State Officer

1. Applicant is or was a state licensed law enforcement officer in good standing in a state other than Michigan for a minimum of one (1) year full-time, fully empowered and paid for all hours worked.  Employment prior to the completion of training and awarding of state licensing will not be considered.

2. Applicant has completed a state-recognized basic training program or was employed before the establishment of training standards.

3. Applicant meets the current selection and employment standards in R 28.14203 and R 28.14204 except as specified in R 28.14203(g).  (See the  Minimum Selection and Employment Standards 

4. Applicant reasonably expects or anticipates employment within twelve (12) months of the Recognition of Prior Training and Experience examinations.

Michigan Indian Tribal Officers

1. Applicant must have successfully completed a basic law enforcement training program recognized by a POST agency in another state, or a federally operated police training school that was sufficient to fulfill the minimum standards required by federal law to be appointed as a law enforcement officer of a Michigan tribal police force.

2. Be currently employed or have been employed as a law enforcement officer of a Michigan Indian tribal police force for not less than 1 year and empowered to enforce the criminal laws and have acted in that capacity following the date of appointment.

3. Reasonably expect to meet the current selection and employment standards of R 28.14203(a) to (j), except (g) and (i), and R 28.14204.

4. If not currently employed as a law enforcement officer, the separation from employment as a law enforcement officer shall have been under such conditions that qualify the candidate for employment in Michigan as a law enforcement officer.

Application Requirements

All applicants for the RPTE program are required to complete and submit an application to:

Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards
Standards Compliance Section
P.O. Box 30633
Lansing, MI 48909

The completed original Application must be received and approved by the Commission no later than two (2) weeks prior to the start of the program or examination date.  Submission of an Application does not constitute approval to enroll in or attend a program or examination.

Application packets must be on original forms. The only documents that can be sent via FAX, if necessary, are documents verifying previous law enforcement employment and training. 

A complete application packet consists of the following:

1. Application for Licensing Based Upon a RPTE: All applicants shall complete this form. This means that all information must be completed down through the signature line. If an applicant has not been employed with a law enforcement agency, the portions of the application regarding employment should indicate "N/A".

2. Fingerprint Processing: All applicants MUST be fingerprinted as part of the application process to the Recognition of Prior Training and Experience (RPTE) program. Failure to be
properly fingerprinted will result in a denial of your application to the RPTE program.

ALL RPTE program applicants shall have a fingerprint based criminal history search completed. You must complete, print and sign the Livescan Fingerprint Background Check Request form, also known as MSP form RI-030. Take the Livescan Fingerprint Background Check Request form (RI-030) to an approved Livescan vendor.

The following link provides locations and vendors who will obtain your fingerprints:,4643,7-123-1878_8311-237662--,00.html or
you may do a web search for “Michigan State Police Livescan Vendors.”

You MUST include your signed and completed Livescan Fingerprint Background Check Request form (RI-030) with your application RPTE packet.  Failure to submit your Livescan Fingerprint Background Check Request form (RI-030) to MCOLES with your application will delay or prevent enrollment in the program.

3. Verification of Training and Licensing:  All out-of-state and tribal applicants must provide verification of successful completion of basic police training and status as a licensed law enforcement officer. This verification must be official written confirmation from the appropriate state standard-setting agency in the applicant's respective state or the Bureau of Indian Affairs. A copy of a training certificate will not fulfill this requirement. If the applicant was licensed prior to mandatory basic training requirements in that state, the applicant must qualify for licensing under a grandfather clause in that state. Previously Michigan licensed officers and pre-service candidates do not need to supply this information. MCOLES has this on file.

4. Verification of Employment: All applicants must provide written documentation verifying their employment as a licensed law enforcement officer. This verification must be in the form of a letter, on the agency's letterhead, indicating the exact dates of employment, whether employed full-time or part-time, and the capacity in which the applicant was employed (see example in application packet). Applicants may also provide a copy of their current resume, but submission of a resume will not be accepted as a replacement for the employment verification letters or proof of training. Employment verification is mandatory.

If employed by more than one law enforcement agency, a letter from each agency must be submitted. Applications submitted without employment verification will not be processed. The employment letter should indicate the standing in which the employee separated (or current status).

Standards Application Review and Notification

Commission staff will review all applications submitted for the RPTE program. Upon completion of the review, the Commission will notify the applicant, in writing, if approval was granted. Once the notification has been received, it is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the facility that is providing the program or test they desire to attend. A facilities listing and schedule will be forwarded with the approval letter.

Please contact Ms. Sandra Luther by E-mail at or 517-636-7873 if you have questions or need further assistance.