School Security Officer (SSO) Certification Program

In 2001, the General Assembly authorized the Virginia Crime Commission to study School Security Officer (SSO) programs throughout Virginia. This resulted in legislation that requires all SSOs to be certified through the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) SSO Certification Program(ยง 9.1-102.44). SSO training requirements and other regulations can be found in Regulation 6 VAC 20-240.

SSO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) | SSO Database |  Forms | Training, Events, and Resources  |  Contact Information

School Security Officer SSO FAQs

Are there any waivers or extensions for the certification process?

There is no waiver for SSO certification.

If for some reason, training cannot be met in the provided 60 days, an extension request may be submitted to DCJS. The SSO point of contact must sign off on the form and indicate the reason for the extension request. Extensions may be granted in the instance of illness, military service, etc.



How do I become an SSO instructor?

To become a SSO instructor, the applicant must submit an application to DCJS and met the following criteria:

  • be currently certified as a SSO, employed by the department, or acting as a consultant,
  • possess a high-school diploma, GED, or equivalent,
  • possess 3 years management or supervisory experience as a SSO or LEO or 5 years experience as a CSO or LEO, and
  • have completed a SSO instructor course approved by DCJS or have a minimum 1 year experience as an instructor or teacher.

A SSO instructor applicant may submit a waiver request with supporting documentation, if they do not meet 1 or more of the requirements above.

SSO instructor certification is valid for 2 years. Within that time period, the instructor must complete 8 hours of training and submit documentation of training along with an application for instructor recertification

Certified SSO instructors may hold compulsory training classes by submitting a request form waiver request within 30 days of the class and must notify DCJS of any changes to the training. The instructor must test each student on each module and return the tests and rosters within 5 days to DCJS for processing. SSO instructors may also hold recertification classes and may submit a PIC request form to DCJS for approval.



I am a certified SSO, what should I do?

SSO certification is valid for 2 years. Within those 2 years, CSO’s are required to receive 16 hours of school security related training and have their point of contact submit a recertification application and accompanying documentation to DCJS. Extensions may be granted for certain circumstances (see above).

As a SSO, you will only be certified if you are employed by a school division. SSO’s can also be “decertified” byDCJS after receiving notification from the employing institution of the SSO’s:

  • conviction, guilty plea, or no contest to a felony, or
  • failure to comply with training or recertification standards, or
  • refusal or failure of a drug test, or
  • violation of any standard of conduct found in 6 VAC 20-240-40,
  • violation of any other school board policy, or
  • termination for cause.

A decertified SSO may appeal to DCJS, if written notice is received by the Director of DCJS within 30 days of decertification.



What is the process for certification?

Once hired, based on the requirements above, a SSO applicant must complete the following within 60 days:

  • First aid training, as determined by the employing institution, and
  • Compulsory minimum entry-level training (Curriculum below) and pass all portions with a 80% or higher.

After all requirements are met, the SSO’s point of contact must submit a signed SSO application form to DCJS for review and certification.Certification is valid for 2 years.



Who can become a SSO?

To become a SSO, you must be hired by a school board and meet these requirements:

  • undergo a background check to include fingerprint-based criminal history record inquiry of both the CCRE and FBI, within 30 days of hire
  • possess a high-school diploma, GED, or equivalent,
  • be at least 21 years of age, and
  • possess a valid driver’s license, if required by the job.


School Security Officer Database:

The new SSO database is now online and ready for use. It is now required that all SSO Points of Contact enter their new employees into the database, upon hiring, and maintain their records via this site. If you need login information for the database, please email James Christian.

Forms:

All forms can be submitted to James Christian by email - James.Christian@dcjs.virginia.gov, by fax- 804-786-0410, or by mail- 1100 East Bank St, Richmond VA, 23219. Proper documentation should be submitted, along with the form, when applicable.

Training, Events, and Resources:

Contact Information

Donna Michaelis 
Manager, Public Safety Training 
804.371.6506 
email Donna

James Christian
Program Specialist, School Safety Coordinator
804.786.4303
email James

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
1100 Bank Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
804.786.4000