Department of Criminal Justice Studies - St. Cloud State University

Department of Criminal Justice - School of Public Affairs

MN Law Enforcement Licensure Training Information

Facts About the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Board

The POST Board is Minnesota’s first step toward regulating the practice of law enforcement came in 1967 when the Minnesota Peace Officer Training Board (MPOTB) was created by the legislature.  Beginning in 1968, MPOTB’s responsibilities included certification of agencies offering police academy training. The certification of training programs was an attempt to standardize police training in the state.

In 1977 the Minnesota legislature debated the role of law enforcement in society and then passed several amendments to the original MPOTB legislation.  These amendments abolished the MPOTB and replaced it with the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST Board).  The mission of the new Minnesota POST Board was to create the first law enforcement occupational licensing system in the United States.   This system established law enforcement licensing and training requirements and set standards for law enforcement agencies and officers.

As an occupational licensing agency, POST is responsible for licensing over 10,000 active peace officers and over 250 active part-time peace officers.  The mission of the POST Board is to enhance the profession of law enforcement in the state of Minnesota through the selection, education and licensing standards of peace officers. The board has the legislative authority to adopt administrative rules that have the force and effect of law.  The rules enable the board to establish policies and standards to which all licensees must adhere.

Information provided by the Minnesota P.O.S.T. Board Website


Entering the Law Enforcement Profession

Traditionally, a person had only to secure employment with a law enforcement agency to become a peace officer.  During the initial year of employment, the new officer was sent to a basic training course at the expense of the employer.

Changing times and the new economic realities have resulted in the phasing out of this kind of training.  Local government bodies became increasingly reluctant to absorb the training costs of their peace officers, and the responsibility has now come to rest squarely on the shoulders of the potential officer.  There is nothing unusual or unfair about this when you consider that aspirants to other professions have always had to personally finance their own lengthy training and education.  The shift away from subsidized training for peace officers coincides with an overall change in emphasis from narrow training goals to the broader ideals of a general education.The prospective peace officer now follows one of the routes to licensing outlined below.


The Two or Four Year College Route

  1. Completion of a law enforcement program at a two or four year POST certified institution. There are more than 20 such institutions in Minnesota.  The students must also complete a Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB) approved First Responder level or higher certification.
  2. Clinical Skills course.  This is approximately 10 weeks in length and is offered in Several Locations throughout the state.
  3. Successful completion of the POST licensing test. 
  4. Individual may be hired by a law enforcement agency.

The Vocational-Technical Route

  1. Completion of a two-year POST-certified law enforcement program that includes both academic and clinical skills training.
  2. Successful completion of the POST licensing test.
  3. Individual may be hired by a law enforcement agency.

Selection Standards for Hiring New Peace Officers

The POST Board requires that local agencies apply certain minimum selection standards when hiring new peace officers.  The authority to establish these standards is contained in the state statutes.  The following is a summary of the POST selection standards.

  • Applicant is a citizen of the United States.
  • Applicant possesses a valid Minnesota driver's license.
  • Applicant completes a comprehensive written application.
  • Applicant must not ever have been convicted of a felony.
  • Applicant must not ever have been convicted under Minnesota Statutes, section 609.224, 609.2242, 609.231, 609.2325, 609.233, 609.2335, 609.234, 609.324, 609.465, 609.466, 609.52, or 609.72, subdivision 3; As well as never been convicted under any state or federal narcotics or controlled substance laws or any similar law of another state or federal law.
  • Applicant must submit to a thorough background investigation.
  • Applicant must pass a thorough physical examination.
  • Applicant must pass a psychological examination by a licensed psychologist.
  • Applicant must pass a physical strength and agility exam to measure job-related skills.
  • Applicant must pass a written examination to demonstrate mental skills.
  • Applicant must pass an oral examination to demonstrate job-related communication skills.
  • Applicant, then, is eligible for licensing.

Note that the hiring agency may apply any additional standards of its own over and above the POST selection standards.  It is generally up to the hiring agency to determine what mental and physical standards its own personnel will have.


The Department of Criminal Justice Studies highly recommends that those who do not meet the minimum selection standards explore other career options.



Requirements from the Department of Criminal Justice

I know that prior to receiving approval from the Department of Criminal Justice to complete a clinical skills program; I must be eligible to complete an associate and/or a baccalaureate degree.

Licensure requirements can be found at the Criminal Justice Undergraduate Catalog

Both undergraduate and graduate students must have appropriate certification in the following:

  • The students must also complete a Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB) approved First Responder level or higher certification.

For more information please visit

Revised 6-16-10


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