Training Exemptions

A training exemption is an issuance of credit which exempts an individual from taking some portion of the required training established under the minimum compulsory training requirements set forth in the Regulations. All entry-level exemptions are considered “partial”; some additional training will still be required. All in-service exemptions are considered “full training alternatives”, and must include the mandated hours and subjects required to fulfill the in-service requirement for the requested registration or certification category. 

For basic eligibility, refer to 6 VAC 20-171-445 of the state regulations as well as the specific requirements found on the applications. However, each application is reviewed and credit granted based upon specific requirements for each category. Submitting an application does not guarantee that you will be approved and the fees are non-refundable regardless of approval status. Also, there are no full exemptions for any entry-level requirement; even if you receive a partial exemption, you will be required to take some additional training. 

Applicants must select a basis for qualification in one of the following areas:

  • Law Enforcement and Training
  • Private Security Experience
  • Pre-Approved Alternate Private Security Training
  • Prior Firearms Training

The training must have been taken during the 24 months immediately preceding the expiration date of the active registration and must meet or exceed the specific requirements set forth in the state regulations for your given category. Certain alternative training programs have already been pre-approved and can be found on the Training Alternatives page on our website. Additional, job-related training that may meet the requirements would be training offered by vendors, or at conferences, trade associations, by law enforcement agencies, or through accredited colleges and universities. 

Other training will be evaluated based upon individual merit. Please do not call DCJS to attempt to "pre-screen” a particular training for approval - only the provider of alternate training may submit a request for pre-approval.

  • Armored Car Personnel (03E)
  • Electronic Security Core Subjects (30E)
  • Compliance Agent training except for the pre-approved online course
  • Armed Security Officer Arrest Authority (05E) course except for pre-approved GSA Security Officer entry-level training
  • Law enforcement-based exemptions are not eligible for Electronic Security Sales Representative or Electronic Security Technicians  

The process of reviewing and processing these applications is usually a minimum of 30 days. For renewals, we strongly recommend that you apply no later than 60 days prior to your expiration date to ensure time for approval and to meet any additional training requirements you might have. No partial training exemptions will be accepted after expiration of your registration. If you have expired and wish to reinstate, you must attend certified training through one of the PSS certified training schools within the specified reinstatement period.

Only one (1) training exemption category for registration or certification may be requested per application ($25.00 fee applies). If an individual wishes to receive credit for multiple registration or certification categories, they must submit the application, fee, and required documentation for each one. For example, an individual applying for a RA (initial registration application) as an "Armed Security Officer”, they may include 01E + 07E on one application. (There are no exemptions for 05E except for pre-approved GSA training sessions.) 

You can find specific instructions on the application process in our "How to Apply” section of the website or on the instructions attachment found with the application. 

Refers to personnel records; DD214; copies of business licenses indicating ownership; law enforcement transcripts; certificates of training completion; a signed letter provided directly by a current/previous employer detailing dates of employment and job duties; college transcripts; letters of commendation; private security services registrations; certifications, and/or licenses from other states; and/or other employment, training, or experience verification documents. A resume is not considered official documentation. 

No. Individuals who have been issued a Partial Training Exemption for an entry-level category must take the additional training outlined in their approval letter from a certified PSS training school. 

In-service requests must be for full training alternative credit. No exemption for partial hours will be granted. An individual being granted an in-service exemption must have successfully completed the training within the 12 months preceding the expiration date on their Registration or Certification. 

If you receive a partial exemption, the additional training must be completed within 12 months from the date the partial training exemption was issued. You must also apply for your Registration within 12 months of the date the exemption has been granted. After 12 months, the training exemption will expire. 

If you were not eligible or your prior training did not meet the requirements, you must attend the full training programs required for your registration or certification category. There is no appeal process for training exemptions and the fees are non-refundable. 

First, review the "How to Apply” page under Training Alternatives. It may also be helpful to review the FAQs for the specific category you are applying. Another source for additional information is to review the state regulations. Finally, you may wish to view the specific applications for both entry-level and in-service exemptions to help walk you through the process. 

  1. If you were ever terminated from any law enforcement or private security business as a result of misconductor incompetence, you are not eligible for a waiver and will need to complete the full entry-level training if you wish to be registered in Virginia.
  2. If the individual receiving a partial exemption does not apply to the department for registration within 12 months from the date of issuance, the exemption shall become null and void.
  3. You may only apply for one Registration or Certification, plus firearms training exemption, on the application. For example, you can request exemptions for security officer and handgun training and qualification on one application, but you would need to complete a new application if you also were seeking exemption for private investigator.

For a list of additional training hours required for each category, please refer to the entry-level application for training exemptions - instructions page.