Field Training Program

The Field Training Program is intended to facilitate a peace officer's transition from the academic setting or custody assignment to the performance of general law enforcement uniformed patrol duties of the employing agency. Although an officer graduating from the Regular Basic Course (Academy) has received thorough instruction on basic law enforcement subjects, that officer cannot be expected to immediately assume the full responsibilities of an experienced officer. Newly assigned officers must receive additional training in the field where they can learn from officers who have already gained a great deal of practical patrol experience. The Field Training Program introduces a newly assigned officer to the personnel, procedures, policies, and purposes of the individual law enforcement agency and provides the initial formal and informal training specific to the agency and the day-to-day duties of its officers. POST requires agencies to provide a minimum 10-week Field Training Program. A POST-approved Field Training Program is expected to achieve the following goals:

  • To produce a competent peace officer capable of working a solo patrol assignment in a safe, skillful, productive, and professional manner.
  • To provide standardized training to all newly assigned regular officers in the practical application of learned information.
  • To provide clear standards for rating and evaluation which give all trainees every reasonable opportunity to succeed.
  • To enhance the professionalism, job skills, and ethical standards of the law enforcement community.

POST's Field Training Program Guide provides a standardized program to guide law enforcement agencies and Field Training Officers (FTOs) in the initial orientation and field training of newly assigned patrol officers. The program is designed to assist these officers in making the transition from what they learned in the academy to performing general law enforcement uniformed patrol duties competently in the field.

This standardized program is an accumulation of the best aspects of existing field training programs. The program is designed with the following criteria in mind:

Defensible/Fair - The program achieves defensibility and fairness by proper selection of FTOs, a trainee feedback mechanism, a comprehensive list of training tasks and goals, and a standardized evaluation process.

Effective/Manageable - The program is performance-based and includes adequate documentation, minimum time completion requirements, and competency specifications.

Adaptable/Flexible - The program is adaptable to any size or type of agency. Flexibility is afforded by agencies being able to incorporate agency-specific policies and procedures.

The POST field training requirements and model guide were developed to support POST's mission, drawing upon the expertise of and input from the law enforcement community statewide.

The Field Training Officer Video Scenarios Instructor Manual was designed to accompany POST's video scenarios and provides practical exercises that allow an FTO to demonstrate a clear understanding of the evaluation and rating standards that have been covered in the FTO course.