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Private Security FAQs

How was the Certified Crime Prevention Community developed?

In 1998 an Executive Order created the New Partnership Commission for Community Safety, charged with the responsibility of advising the Governor on new initiatives to “promote community safety, particularly youth and family safety.” The Commission worked diligently to assess the needs of localities across the Commonwealth and assist them in addressing their individual community safety issues.

The Commission asked the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to recommend programs that foster the development of community safety initiatives at the local level. DCJS proposed, and the Commission approved, the Certified Crime Prevention Community Program. Based on a study conducted by the Virginia State Crime Commission in 1993, the goal of the program is to publicly recognize and certify localities that have implemented a defined set of community safety strategies as part of a comprehensive community safety/crime prevention effort.

One of the first of its kind in the nation, the program encourages localities to develop and implement collaborative community safety plans within a flexible framework designed by the Commission. Furthermore, it provides an ongoing process by which communities can reassess and update their plans to address emerging community safety issues. To obtain certification, a locality must meet 12 core community safety elements/strategies augmented by a minimum of seven approved optional elements. DCJS runs and monitors the program.

What are the benefits of my community to become Certified Crime Prevention Communities Program?
  • The Certified Crime Prevention Community Program makes Virginia a national leader in community safety by establishing a benchmark that local communities can meet in terms of providing for the safety of their citizens. It sends a clear signal to criminals that criminal behavior will not be tolerated. We believe that this program is still unique in the nation.
     
  • Participation in the Certified Crime Prevention Community Program gives a community preference in the state criminal justice grant application process.
     
  • The Certified Crime Prevention Community designation can be used as a marketing tool to attract families, tourists, businesses, conference planners, and others interested in finding a safe location in which to live and work.
     
  • Crime Prevention Community designation can be used to seek premium reductions from insurance companies for policyholders living in a certified community. Premium reductions are already available for things such as deadbolt locks and security systems.
     
  • The Certified Crime Prevention Community designation can enhance the professionalism of city or county management and local law enforcement agencies by showing that the locality can meet rigorous standards related to community safety.
How do I request a copy of my training history?

Send an email with your name, date of birth, and contact number to etrain@dcjs.virginia.gov.

How does my agency request an exemption for federal and out-of-state dispatchers?

If your agency has hired a former dispatcher from another state or from the Federal Government and is requesting an exemption from the Virginia Compulsory Minimum Training Standards, your agency must submit an Application for Exemption from Virginia Compulsory Minimum Training Standards.

Agencies must contact DCJS Field Services for further assistance and submit the DCJS Form W-2.

Application for Exemption from Virginia Compulsory Minimum Training Standards (Form W-2)

What is the process for reinstating former Virginia dispatchers?

If your agency has reappointed a dispatcher or hired a dispatcher who was previously certified in Virginia and out of such employment less than 24 months, the former dispatcher is not required to complete the basic dispatcher academy.

If the former dispatcher has been out of such employment for more than 24 months, your agency is required to submit an Application for Exemption from Virginia Compulsory Minimum Training Standards. (DCJS Form W-2).

Agencies must contact DCJS Field Services for further assistance and submit the DCJS Form W-2.

Request for Training Extension (Form TE)

If I separate from my agency, am I allowed to keep my certification?

No, you must be employed by a Virginia criminal justice agency to be certified.

Where can I find the required forms to submit a budget amendment and/or in-line adjustment request?

The forms are built into the On-line Grants Management System (OGMS).  For instructions on how to submit a contract amendment, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources.     

What is an in-line budget adjustment?

In-Line Budget Adjustments allow grantees to move money within one budget category. In-line adjustments can be reviewed anytime during the year but must be approved by your grant monitor prior to the end of the fiscal year and prior to funds being obligated or expended. There is no limit on the number of in-line adjustments per award period.  All proposed changes must include a description, itemization (basis of computation), itemization (unit cost of each item) and appropriate justification explaining how the request is allowable and essential to the project. Please double check all figures and ensure that the narrative aligns with the proposed budget amendment. Be sure to round to the nearest dollar. The total amount of the request cannot exceed the total amount awarded. Verify the total award against the Statement of Grant Award (SOGA). If additional space is needed, upload a narrative, quotes, or invoices to support the request.  To submit a request for an in-line adjustment, please submit the request in OGMS by selecting the Contract Amendments component.  For guidance on how to adequately itemize and justify a request, go to the Victims Services Grant Management Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/victims-services/grant-management-resources.  For instructions on how to submit a contract amendment, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources.    

How do I obtain access to the grant in OGMS?

To obtain access to OGMS, you must register here:  https://ogms.dcjs.virginia.gov/.  For questions and technical assistance, contact ogmssupport@dcjs.virginia.gov. Please include your grant number and grant program area in the Subject line (Example: 20-A1234CC20 – CCCA/PSA Grant Program).

Should documents be physically or electronically maintained?

The subgrantee must authorize DCJS and its representatives, access to and the right to examine all records related to all grants.  This includes promptly providing, upon request, financial or programmatic-related documentation related to this award, including documentation of expenditures and activities performed with awarded funds.  Records must be maintained onsite physically and/or electronically.

How far back should records be maintained?

Records pertinent to the award must be retained for a period of three (3) years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. Sub-grantees must provide access, including performance measurement information, in addition to the financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and other pertinent records indicated in 2 C.F.R. 200.333. A file shall be kept on each sub-award. The file should reflect the sub-award number and should at least contain the following:

  • Supporting documentation of any expenditures pertaining to this sub-award (i.e., original receipts, invoices, etc.);
  • Documentation of employee and volunteer timesheets pertaining to the sub-award;
  • Signed copies of any contract supported by the sub-award;
  • Documentation for sub-award matching funds;
  • Indirect cost rate;
  • Property records of equipment purchased with grant funds, including serial numbers; and
  • Other pertinent information (i.e., correspondence with DCJS, budget revisions, special conditions, etc.)
If our county doesn't show the expenses of post trial and pretrial as two separate entities, but merges the two, how do we then show a split between them to report? Since in GMIS you would always show the expenses as one amount?

This will be covered in a future training.

Will the budget still be set up so that once the grant is approved, you only report line items totaled together, (total travel or personnel pretrial and Post trial) like it is in GMIS?

This will be covered in a future training.

You require the applicant to list all staff and benefits separately, but the claims will be grouped together?

Today's session is for demonstration purposes only.  Instructions on how to submit claims will be posted on the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

Claims require a detail list of expenditures.  This process is program specific.  Please follow up with the Program Coordinator after this session concludes for additional guidance.

Do we break down personnel expenses every quarter per employee instead of the total personnel spent on the grant like we did in GMIS?

Yes, the Detail of Expenditure form is asking for a line by line expense report.  You can contact your grant monitor for additional guidance.

Once I submitted the Request for Funds and Financial Reports in GMIS they had to be approved by my Finance Director. Will that still need to be done or is that now eliminated?

That is an internal process decision. If the locality wants the Finance Officer to review the requests and approve before its submitted then that is their decision.  The business flow of a person entering the request and sending for the finance officer to approve no longer exists in OGMS.

Will the claim auto populate the approved budget?

When completing the Reimbursement, OGMS will auto populate amounts from the approved budget and calculate the available balance. The system will not allow you to enter expenses in a category not approved in the budget.  For specific instructions on how to enter claims visit the OGMS Training & Resources page and/or contact your grant monitor.

Where are the goals & objectives?

The goals & objectives for the CCCA/PSA Grant are in the grant solicitation at https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/programs/fy-2022-comprehensive-community-corrections-act-pretrial-services-act

Is the programmatic Status Report the same as the current Quarterly Progress Report?

Yes. However, you must now upload it as a spreadsheet or word document. You are no longer required or allowed to convert it to a PDF.

This is my first year participating in this grant process. Where do we put the data captured in PTCC? Referrals, completions, successful closure, etc. Or does that go on another report?

That information is submitted in the quarterly status report (Quarterly Progress Report)

What is the performance statement supposed to address?

The performance statement is on the face sheet and is shared with the CJSB to demonstrate the accomplishments of the projects and supports continuation funding. For CCCA/PSA grants please include the following data elements in the following format:

I have access as I registered to get my login access, but I am not the primary grant applicant. Can I still enter the grant and see how it progresses?

Yes, you will have access to view and manage the grant if you are listed as an additional contact.

If our county administrator/city manager wants to sign hard copy, then we wouldn't fill out his name, would we? Or would we, and then attach signed copy somehow?

For the CCCA/PSA grants, the County Administrator/City Manager is required to register in OGMS and approve the submission with an electronic signature. If they also want to sign a hardcopy, you can print the application for their signature and keep it for your files.

Once the application is filled out, you just save, then get your authorized approver to log in for that grant, then they can approve from there. No actual signatures are required?

Correct. Electronic signatures are accepted for the grant application.

If more than one grant is started, can they be merged?

You cannot merge duplicate applications. You can cut and pasted from the duplicates and then withdrawal the applications that are not needed.

Please do not create more than one application.

Does only one person “start a new application?”

One person starts the application, but other registered users can edit the application before it is submitted.

If you review your application and find items that need attention, do you email that person, or do we have to keep checking to see if it was approved?

Once you submit your application, the grant monitor will review it for completeness and accuracy before accepting it as complete. If you know that you need to make corrections, use the OGMS “ask a question” function to let your monitor know you need to edit the application.

Can the application title be changed prior to submission of the application?

Yes, you can make edits until you submit the application.

Who can see the grant application pages?

All registered users in the Organization can see the application pages.

Who would you recommend that we list as an additional grantee contact?

List all staff who are responsible for managing the grant.  These users will have the ability to complete and submit reports, contract amendments, correspondence, and view grant information.

How many additional contacts can be added to a grant?

As many as you need, the system doesn't have a limit to the additional contacts.

Can more than one person in my organization work on completing the application at the same time?

Yes, if you allow others access to your application multiple users can edit and view the information.

Is there an example letter for the County Manager to delegate grant signature authorization to our Director of Finance?

Please contact your grant monitor for additional guidance or send this question to OGMSsupport@dcjs.virginia.gov

Our Project Administrator is changing next week, should the interim City Manager register and be associated with the grant or the current City Manager?

You will have to submit a contract amendment change form with the new City Manager’s information and make sure the new person registers in OGMS.  After the contract amendment is approved and the person has registered, you can associate them with the grant. For detailed instructions contact your grant monitor.

Can you select two or more individuals as primary contacts?

You can only select one person as the primary contact. For CCCA/PSA grants, this individual is the project director. Other individuals can be listed under additional contacts.  

Will the project administrator sign hard copy documents or sign through the system? Usually city attorneys also need to see and approve the form.

Electronic signatures will be accepted in OGMS. However, initially, the statement of grant award process will remain the same and you will receive an emailed copy of the Statement of Grant Award (SOGA) for the Project Administrator to sign and email back to DCJS.

Will acceptance of the award be an online process as well? Or will this be a form we will upload in the near future?

Initially, the grant award will continue to be a manual process outside of the new system.  Once all DCJS grants transition to the new system, contracts (formerly known as award letters) will be issued in OGMS.

Our County Executive (Project Administrator) usually signs off on the acceptance of the SOGA agreement. So I would need our County Executive to sign up for an OGMS account?

Yes, your County Administrator or City Manager must sign up for an OGMS account.

Can the County Administrator/City Manager designate another person to sign for him or her?

To delegate authority to someone other than the Project Administrator, the project administrator must submit a letter to grantsmgmt@dcjs.virginia.gov with the applicable application grant numbers(s) and the name, position, and contact information.  Please be sure to copy the grant monitor.

Is the Primary Contact considered to be the person who actually signs the grant applications?

Usually, the Primary Contact is the person with signature authority - The Project Administrator listed on the Statement of Grant Award (SOGA) has signatory authority on the grant.  For the CCCA/PSA grants, the primary contact is the person with the day-to-day responsibility for the grant, usually the Agency director. However, your City Manager or County Administrator must register in OGMS. If they are not registered, your application will not accepted.

Our Project Administrator is changing next week, should the interim City Manager register and be associated with the grant or the current City Manager?

You will have to submit a contract amendment change form with the new City Manager’s information and make sure the new person registers in OGMS.  After the contract amendment is approved and the person has registered, you can associate them with the grant. For detailed instructions contact your grant monitor.

Are the reimbursement periods still quarterly?

Yes, reimbursements are still done quarterly.  For reporting deadlines, please refer to the award package and/or contact your grant monitor.

Do we enter budgeted items in OGMS prior to purchasing?

The majority of grants are reimbursement only. Please contact your grant monitor for additional guidance.

Will new grant opportunities be put in OGMS?

Yes, moving forward DCJS plans to post all new funding opportunities in OGMS.

When you submit the claim reimbursement, does it go to your external contact, such as supervisor to review or approve the claim as well?

No, it will not go to another individual to be reviewed.

Where would you list any matching local funds on the budget?

The training example did not include a budget with a match. If you have a match requirement, the columns will show up on the budget and claim forms.  Please refer to the funding opportunity for detailed instructions or contact your grant monitor.

For Detail of Expenditures, we've never entered this level of breakdown in the submitted quarterly financial reports before. Is this a new requirement for all financial reporting now?

Yes, it is new. Sometimes DJCS has to revise our procedures to maintain compliance with state and federal funders.

Since we have to enter details for the claims, anyone associated with the grant will be able to see the payroll information. Is this correct?

Yes.

What falls under "special" in the salary categories with federal and state amounts?

You will only enter under special if your grant is funded by state special funds. Your contract will let you know what categories to use.  Please refer to the funding opportunity for specific instructions and/or contact your Program Coordinator.

How do you upload status reports from a state required database system?

Check with your grant monitor for reporting instructions.

In entering personnel expenditure details, should we be entering both salary and fringe per person, or just salary?

You would include both salary and fringe.  For specific instructions on how to enter claims visit the OGMS Training & Resources page and/or contact your grant monitor.

Will the claim auto populate the approved budget?

When completing the Reimbursement, OGMS will auto populate amounts from the approved budget and calculate the available balance. The system will not allow you to enter expenses in a category not approved in the budget.  For specific instructions on how to enter claims visit the OGMS Training & Resources page and/or contact your grant monitor.

Is there a way to print blank reporting forms?

You can print blank reports in the status report preview. 

Will the system timeout if it is inactive for so long? If so, how many minutes before it logs you out?

Yes, the system has a timeout session if you are inactive for 30 minutes.

Is there any way to restrict individuals associated with the grant from submitting the financial report and requesting the reimbursement?

No, you cannot restrict the access if they are associated with the grant.

Should we still be using GMIS for our reports?

Please confirm reporting instructions with your grant monitor.

If I add and/or complete a report in OGMS, will it show up for all listed users under the organization?

Anyone who is associated with the grant will be able to see the report.

Does the system's narrative deploy spell check or not?

Your browser typically will.

Will goals and objectives auto populate in the status report or do I have to re-type?

It depends on the grant program. Contact your grant monitor for additional guidance.

Can the budget be shown in more detail, or just in the high level categories?

The high level budget will show for all programs. Some grant programs may include additional forms but not all of them. The forms displayed in the training videos are example forms for demonstration purposes.

I signed in but I don’t see any grants. When will I have access to my current grants?

Only a few grant programs have been implemented in the system. Please contact your grant monitor for additional guidance.

If a new person takes over the reporting duties will the agency’s previous submissions show up in that new persons dashboard?

If the person is associated with the grant they will have access to all management capabilities. However, closed grants will not be available unless the new person was added to the grant.

Is there an example letter for the County Manager to delegate grant signature authorization to our Director of Finance?

Please contact your grant monitor for additional guidance or send this question to OGMSsupport@dcjs.virginia.gov

To be clear, the organization will decide how to send and approve reports?

Yes.

Once I submitted the Request for Funds and Financial Reports in GMIS they had to be approved by my Finance Director. Will that still need to be done or is that now eliminated?

That is an internal process decision. If the locality wants the Finance Officer to review the requests and approve before its submitted then that is their decision.  The business flow of a person entering the request and sending for the finance officer to approve no longer exists in OGMS.

So unless we've heard directly from our grant monitor, we should continue to submit our progress reports in GMIS for the next quarter?

Yes, unless told otherwise by your grant monitor or your grant is one of the following:

  • CCCA/PSA-Community Corrections & Pretrial Services Expansion Grants – Start Date 1/1/2021
  • PAPIS Pre-Release and Post-Incarceration Services Expansion Grants – Start Date 1/1/2021
  • VSTOP-Violence Against Women Grants – Start Date 1/1/2021
  • SASP-Sexual Assault Services Program Grants – Start Date 1/1/2021.
Is the grantee the locality?

The Grantee is the organization, which could be a locality. The grantee is the initial recipient of the funds from DCJS who signs the statement of grant award.

Are we required to provide invoices to DCJS when preparing the claim?

At this time, supporting documentation of expenditures is not required for all programs.   Any questions regarding your specific project or grant program can be sent to your grant monitor.

If we have an Office Supply invoice for 30 different items and a Supply Room invoice for 20 items, do we enter each invoice as a separate item for a total of 2 entries or will we have to enter all 50 items individually?

For additional guidance on reporting detail of expenditures, please refer to the OGMS  Training & Resources page and/or contact your Grant Monitor. 

Do we break down personnel expenses every quarter per employee instead of the total personnel spent on the grant like we did in GMIS?

Yes, the Detail of Expenditure form is asking for a line by line expense report.  You can contact your grant monitor for additional guidance.

Once I completed a claim can I print the report?

Yes, the print feature will show up when you preview the claim.

Is the "claim" for reimbursement the same as "drawing down funds"?

The Claims process will include the financial report and request for funds that you are used to in GMIS.  A terminology crosswalk is located at https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

Do we have an expected timeframe for program-specific training?

Programs will be scheduling their own specific training sessions. We do not have anticipated dates at this time. Check with your grant monitor for additional information.

How frequently will DCJS send out alerts until a report is submitted?

The frequency may depend on the specific grant program.

What is the authority certification?

The person with signing authority will complete this form in OGMS and sign electronically before submitting your application to DCJS (see below)

Is the Program Coordinator the same as our current Grant Monitor?

No, the program coordinator is the DCJS staff that coordinates the funding opportunity (grant program). Your grant monitor is the assigned person to assist you with your grants, monitor compliance, and provide training and technical assistance. Under some grant programs, these may be the same DCJS staff person.

I'm used to uploading a PDF document with the grant application info. Under OGMS, all I have to do is sign in and enter the grant data and submit for approval?

You will complete the application in OGMS and will not need to send a PDF. However, some funding opportunities will still require you to upload documents. Your Project Administrator will need to sign the Authority Certification.

If a match is required for your grant program, will it be available on the budget for that grant program.

Yes.  If a match is required those columns will be available in your budget.  Please refer to instructions in your funding opportunity or contact your program coordinator.

What is meant by 3 months activities?

One quarter = 3 months

Will the additional contacts be cc: on email alerts from OGMS for that specific grant application?

Yes.

Can you select two or more individuals as primary contacts?

You can only select one person as the primary contact.

The project administrator should be listed as the primary contact but other individuals can be listed under additional contacts.  

Can the font be changed in the fields?

No, the font entered can't be changed.

Can the application title be changed prior to submission of the application?

Yes, you can make edits until you submit the application.

How do we change the grant contact person information, say if the director leaves.

You would submit a contract amendment and register the new individual in OGMS.  Once the registration is complete and the contract amendment has been approved you will need to add the individual as an additional contact on the grant. For instructions on this process, please refer to the OGMS Training & Resources page.

If I withdraw a status report, will I need to resubmit the report over again?

Check with your grant monitor on using the "withdraw" function before you use it. However, If you withdraw a report you would have to start a brand new one.  You would withdraw if it was invalid or not needed.

I understand all parties register individually but how do the localities approve the application for submission?

The project administrator has signatory authority unless another person is designated to have signing authority.  The project administrator, or designated individual, will need to electronically sign the Authority Certification form in the application. 

Our organization has three DCJS grants, what will that look like in OGMS?

There is no limit to the number of users who can register under one organization. Any grant started or submitted by one of those users will now be associated with that organization. For the user to have access to the application and grant tracking they will need to be added as an additional contact. This can be done at the application level or in grant tracking after the grant has been awarded.

Do any of the budget forms auto fill in other areas? For example the itemized budget to the budget grid?

No, auto fill is not available on the application forms.  However, a specific grant program can allow you the option to copy the application under future funding opportunities. 

Will you be allowed to submit a report after the due date? Will you need to get prior approval to submit the report late?

Yes, you can still submit the report.  If you anticipate submitting a late status report, you will need to reach out to your grant monitor for instructions and complete a reporting extension contract amendment.

If our County has a financial person that monitors all the grants under the countys Federal ID and DUNs, are they still going to be the one to approve reports, etc. Is the county admiinistration still going to be the ones receiving awards or to the spec

The award will be issued to the locality.  Each locality can have multiple users register in the system to manage the award.  Each person’s role and responsibility in managing the award is determined by the locality.  The project administrator has signatory authority unless another person is assigned as a designee. 

Can we set up specific reminders to come to us directly, rather than a generic main county email?

The system will use the email address you provided during registration. The email address should be assigned to a staff person who has access to view important correspondence regarding your grant.  Alerts are system generated and will be sent to all contacts on the grant.

How many additional contacts can be added to a grant?

As many as you need, the system doesn't have a limit to the additional contacts.

Our County Executive (Project Administrator) usually signs off on the acceptance of the SOGA agreement. So I would need our County Executive to sign up for an OGMS account?

Yes, that is correct.

Will acceptance of the award be an online process as well? Or will this be a form we will upload in the near future?

Initially, the grant award will continue to be a manual process outside of the new system.  Once all DCJS grants transition to the new system, contracts (formerly known as award letters) will be issued in OGMS.

Who would you recommend that we list as an additional grantee contact?

List all staff who are responsible for managing the grant.  These users will have the ability to complete and submit reports, contract amendments, correspondence, and view grant information.

Will the project administrator sign hard copy documents or sign through the system? Usually city attorneys also need to see and approve the form.

Yes, electronic signatures will be accepted in the system. However, initially, the statement of grant award process will remain the same. You will receive an emailed copy for the Project Administrator to sign and email back to DCJS.

If other staff members are registered to enter info, can they see/add/edit the application process or only be allowed to enter victim info?

Yes, if a staff member is added as an additional contact they have access to edit the application.   In addition, you will have the option to associate staff members after the grant has been awarded.

Once submitted, can the entire application be printed as one PDF? Including the attachments?

Yes, you can print a copy of the submitted application however, the attachments would need to be printed separately.

Will all the forms on the training video be included in applications?

Not all of the forms in the training demonstration will be part of every program / funding opportunity. Forms are specific to each funding opportunity.  Please refer to the DCJS grant program funding opportunity for guidance and instructions.

 

Can more than one person in my organization work on completing the application at the same time?

Yes, if you allow others access to your application multiple users can edit and view the information

What is the difference between Cash match and In Kind match?

Refer to the DCJS grant program funding opportunity for guidance and instructions.

Will we see everyone else's Questions and Answers under Funding Opportunities?

DCJS staff can choose to answer in private or post the response for others to view.

What is the performance statement supposed to address?

The performance statement is on the face sheet and is shared with the CJSB to demonstrate the accomplishments of the projects and supports continuation funding.

Is there the ability to copy an application if denied or you want to submit to a different program?

This depends on the funding opportunity, contact your Program Coordinator for specifics.

Is everything, including application/project name editable?

Yes, you can edit and save the forms until you submit the application.

Is the Primary Contact considered to be the person who actually signs the grant applications?

This would be the person with signature authority - The Project Administrator listed on the Statement of Grant Award (SOGA) has signatory authority on the grant.  The primary contact can be the Project Administrator or a designee.  To delegate authority to someone other than the Project Administrator, please send a letter with the application grant numbers(s) to grantsmgmt@dcjs.virginia.gov and copy your grant monitor.

Our locality has passed a resolution authorizing our Deputy County Administrators and Assistant County Administrators to sign in the absence of our County Administrator. Should all of these individuals also be registered in the system?

Yes they should register and DCJS needs a copy of the resolution. Please contact your grant monitor for additional guidance.

Who’s responsible for making sure my Project Administrator registers in OGMS?

Although DCJS does include Project Administrators in most of our communications, it is the organization's responsibility to ensure all necessary people are registered in OGMS.

Does my City Manager/County Administrator/Town Manager need to register in OGMS?

Yes, the grant’s Project Administrator should register in the system.

How do I register as a project administrator?

OGMS does not allow for roles to be assigned for external users. However, when completing the application you will enter the contact information for the Project Director, Project Administrator, and Finance Officer.

How do I edit the organization information after registering?

Email your request to ogmssupport@dcjs.virginia.gov.

I am registered and see "Grantee" in the top left, but I have no open or closed awards in my list. When/how is that updated to show the grants associated with my agency?

Please contact your grant monitor for the timeline of when your specific grant program will start using OGMS.

When I try to register I can only select one program area of interest but I actually manage multiple programs. What do I do?

Selecting one program area of interest does not limit your access to apply to other program areas. Is it only for registration purposes. 

Are there separate roles for each user or will all users have the same capabilities (i.e. submission of status reports, detailed expenditures, reimbursement requests.)

OGMS does not allow for user defined roles for external users.

How do I get to the login page to register in OGMS?

Enter ogms.dcjs.virginia.gov in your URL address bar.

What if when you enter your UEI#, the SAM validation comes up inactive, but you know it is active?

Please double check the DUNS you are entering. If you still have an issue report it to ogmssupport@dcjs.virginia.gov.

What email address should I use when registering?

Any individual using OGMS will need to register. The email address you enter will receive system alerts for things such as report deadlines, status changes and correspondence from DCJS.

When completing the application, should I list our current Project Director, who will be leaving soon, or the individual who will be taking their place?

If both individuals will be working on the grant, you would include both. When the current project director leaves, you will be able to remove them from the grant after it’s been awarded.

When I tried to register, my locality was not listed in the drop down options.

Contact ogmssupport@dcjs.virginia.gov to report the missing locality.

What if you filled out the information incorrectly?

You can update your profile (personal information) once you have been approved.

Is the dashboard shared with other registered members of your organization or is it unique to you?

Each person will have their own dashboard.  If you have a shared deadline, that item will show on both dashboards.  However, each dashboard is unique to the person that is logged in.

Do I use my locality’s contact information when I register?

When you register, you will enter your personal information on the top form which is your business contact information. There is a separate organization form where you enter the contact information for the locality.

Does the temporary password expire?

No.

I cannot find my FIPS code on the drop down?

Send your locality and this issue to the ogmssupport@dcjs.virginia.gov to get your FIPs included.

What is the FIPS number?

FIPS codes are numbers which uniquely identify geographic areas. The number of digits in FIPS codes vary depending on the level of geography. State-level FIPS codes have two digits, county-level FIPS codes have five digits of which the first two are the FIPS code of the state to which the county belongs. In OGMS, the county-level FIPS code will display 3 digits.

Do I enter my agency’s name or the name of my locality for the organization?

The organization is based on the Federal ID Number associated with the DCJS grant.

Is the federal ID number the DUNS?

An employer identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS. It's used to identify the tax accounts of employers and certain others who have no employees. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers who are required to file various business tax returns.

If our Federal ID # has less numbers than required by the system, what should we do?

Add zeros to the end of your number to make it 9 digits.

Where do we get the Federal ID #?

This is your organization's Federal ID number. It is the same number you have used on face sheets when you applied for a grant in the past.

Where do we find the DUNS?

Contact your organization’s finance office.

Where do we find our UEI?

The UEI is the organization’s DUNS.

In the case of a local government with multiple DCJS grants, will everyone registered under the locality be able to see every grant?

No, users will only see the grants they are associated with so it’s important to add the necessary individuals as additional contacts.

Will one person in the organization register in OGMS and then add individual users?

No, everyone will need to register in OGMS.

Who should register in OGMS and is there a limit to the number people allowed to register from one organization?

Any individual who assists with the application and/or the management of the grant should register in OGMS. This would include Project Directors, Project Administrators, and Finance Officers. There is no limit to the number of people who can register under a single organization.

If we have funding under two grant programs, will we have to register twice?

No, you will only need to register one time.  Once you are registered, you can apply for any funding opportunity that is posted.

Do current grantees have to re-register? Will we be getting different user names then we have right now in GMIS?

Yes, everyone will need to register for a new account.  Once you register, the system will send you a series of emails with your new username and temporary password.

When can we register?

OGMS registration is open! Please note that the registration process can take 3-5 days.

Program Specific Questions

All questions about a specific grant program should be directed to your grant monitor.

Will the new system impact hard copy records retention in any way?

You will be able to print documents from OGMS.

Will we be able to access old grants from this system or will we use the old system.

At this time,  you should use GMIS to access historical data.

I’ve viewed the training videos and registered in OGMS, now what?

You will receive notifications from your specific grant program when it’s implemented in OGMS with additional information.

Can more than one person be signed into OGMS at the same time?

Yes.

Is there a written training manual available to download for additional help?

The DCJS website for OGMS training provides recorded training videos and additional materials to assist you with the system.  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

Will grants currently in progress start in the new system?

For the first phase of implementation, we are transitioning a select number of DCJS grants:

  • CCCA/PSA-Community Corrections & Pretrial Services Expansion Grants – Start Date 1/1/2021
  • PAPIS Pre-Release and Post-Incarceration Services Expansion Grants – Start Date 1/1/2021
  •  VSTOP-Violence Against Women Grants – Start Date 1/1/2021
  •  SASP-Sexual Assault Services Program Grants – Start Date 1/1/2021

Please contact your grant monitor for the timeline of when your specific grant program will start using OGMS. New grant solicitations/ funding opportunities are planned to start in the new system.  There may be exceptions so continue to check the DCJS website for all funding opportunities and guidelines.

Is OGMS completely replacing GMIS?

Yes, eventually all grant programs will be using OGMS. Please contact your grant monitor for the timeline of when your specific grant program will start using OGMS.

Could you please share the link for the training website?
Will we apply for a FY22 grant in OGMS?

Please contact your grant monitor for the timeline of when your specific grant program will start using OGMS.

Should I recommend that other people in my organization take the training now?

All grants will be moving into OGMS but at different times. Contact your grant monitor for the timeline of your specific grant program. Any individual who assists with the grant application or management should register in the system. Training sessions are available on the website so they will be able to watch at any time.

Do we continue uploading reports and amendments in GMIS for existing programs that will continue using the old system until June, 2021?

Yes, continue using GMIS for the grant programs that have not migrated to OGMS.

I submitted a quarterly report in GMIS and I have a grant that started in grant tracking. Do I need to resubmit the report in OGMS?

Yes, you will need to resubmit your progress report in OGMS.

So, for this coming year, will we be getting a paper copy of the statement of grant award package?

Initially, the statement of grant award process will remain the same. You will receive a paper copy for the Project Administrator to sign and email back to DCJS.

Can you cut and paste into these fields?

Yes.

Do the forms auto save? Or if you log off without saving you lose your data

The forms do not auto save so you must click save. You can save as you go without completing the required fields. However, you can’t mark the form as complete until all required fields are completed.

If you use the help/ask question button at the top, does that route the question to the program manager, or is it automated?

The "Online Help" button seen throughout the system provides instructional help depending on the screen you are on.  The Funding Opportunity "Ask a Question" button will send the question to the program coordinator.

Will this presentation be available on the DCJS website so we can refer to it when we submit our first reports?

Yes, both sessions will be available on our website.  The recordings will be available after all sessions have been completed.

Will the program be allowed to be on multiple computers within the same office/program?

Yes.

Is there Threat Assessment Training available?

Yes, each year VCSCS offers several training sessions on threat assessment.  The training features an overview of threat assessment, details of forming and operating a threat assessment team, the identification of threats, and legal issues, among other topics.  Visit the VCSCS Training Page to find trainings near you or request a session in your locality by completing the Training Request Form

Which changes require a signature?

Changes to the Project Director, Project Administrator, Finance Officer require signature by the Project Administrator.  The Victims Services Change in Authorized Officials Form can be accessed on the Victims Services Grants Management Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/victims-services/grant-management-resources

How do I submit grant related changes to DCJS?

All grant related changes must be submitted in OGMS via the Contract Amendment component.  For instructions on how to submit a contract amendment, visit the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

When do I need to notify DCJS of program staff changes?

In adhering to the requirements and conditions of our grants, grant recipients must submit all grant related changes no more than thirty (30) days after the change occurred.  For grant funded personnel changes or if there are changes in the Project Administrator, Project Director, and/or Finance Officer, DCJS must be notified. The Project Administrator position is the signing authority required for our grants and by accepting the grant award, he/she/they assume full responsibility for the management of all aspects of the grant and activities funded by the grant.

Therefore, DCJS requires that the Project Administrator notify us of any staff changes specifically for the Project Administrator, Project Director, and/or Finance Officer positions. For those positions, the Project Administrator’s signature is required. Grant-funded staff changes can be documented on the Program Update Form in OGMS, and do not require a signature.  To submit a change in grant funded staff or authorized officials, refer to the instructions on how to submit a contract amendment available here:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

If I am delinquent in financial and/or programmatic reporting, am I eligible for continuation funding?

In accordance with a Criminal Justice Services Board policy, applicable to all DCJS grant programs, no current recipient of funding will be considered for continuation funding if, as of the grant application due date, any of the required Financial and Progress reports for the current grant are more than 30 days overdue. For good cause, submitted in writing, DCJS may waive this provision.

If I return funds, will that reduce my award for the next year?

No.

How do I return unexpended funds to the agency?

To return unexpended funds, please make a check made payable to "Treasurer of Virginia" (note the grant number on the check or in correspondence) and send it to:

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services

1100 Bank St

12th floor, Finance Section

Richmond, VA 23219

Can I spend funds after the grant cycle is over?

All funds must be expended and/or obligated by the end of the award period. On occasion, sub- grantees may incur obligations or encumber funds toward the end of a subaward period for which payment cannot be made until after the subaward period has ended. In such cases, sub- grantees should only report the actual expenditures paid during the reporting period. Obligations made prior to the end of the subaward period, but not yet paid, can be reported on the detail of expenditures (financial report). Agencies will then have an additional 45 days to pay those obligations and report the expenditure on the final financial report.

Why was my budget amendment request denied?

The most common reasons budget requests are denied are: (1) the request was submitted after the deadline; (2) the revised budget does not agree with the narrative; (3) the request includes items that are unallowable or unreasonable according to grant guidelines; (4) the request was not submitted on the approved form or in the correct format.  Denied requests are sent back to the sub-grantee for negotiation (correction) within a specified time frame.  For instructions on how to submit a budget amendment, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

If I am not moving funds out of one budget category to another category, do I have to submit a budget amendment request in OGMS?

No. Sub-recipients that need to move funds within a budget category can submit an in-line budget adjustment request via OGMS.  For instructions, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

What forms/supporting documents are required to submit a budget amendment request and/or in-line adjustments?

All requests for budget amendments or in-line budget adjustments must be made in OGMS via the contract amendment component.  The budget amendment process requires the completion of a budget revision summary and an itemized budget grid with a narrative for the justification.  The budget revision summary requires the subgrantee to enter the current approved budget and the proposed budget.  In addition, the request form will require the grantee to indicate the increased/decreased budget categories, itemization of the request and to justify the request.  If additional space is needed, subgrantees can attach a copy of a narrative, quote or other documentation to support the request. 

Example Justification: Grant funds are requested to cover virtual training registration fees for four direct service staff to attend the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) Evidence-based Coordinated Community Response Protocols training conducted within the current award period. The target audience includes law enforcement, medical forensic staff, victim advocates, school personnel, licensed counselors, and other agency partners to develop and enhance responses to victims of crime to ensure safety and a sense of stability after victimization. (4 registrations @ $350 / participant=$1400).

How can I determine if a cost is reasonable, allocable, allowable, and necessary?

Refer to the grant guidelines and award conditions for specific guidance on allowable costs and activities.  Additionally, sub-grantees must review the approved application to ensure that the requested changes are aligned with the purpose of the funds and the project scope. According to 2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, a cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost. A cost is allocable to a particular sponsored project if the goods or services involved are chargeable or assignable to the project in accordance with the relative benefits received. For more information on cost principles, allowable costs, etc. please refer to the grant program guidelines for the specific award or contact your assigned DCJS grant monitor.

What are the required forms to submit a budget amendment request?

All requests for budget amendments or in-line budget adjustments must be made in OGMS via the contract amendment component.  The budget amendment process requires the completion of a budget revision summary and an itemized budget grid with a narrative for the justification.  The budget revision summary requires the subgrantee to enter the current approved budget and the proposed budget.  In addition, the request form will require the grantee to indicate the increased/decreased budget categories, itemization of the request and to justify the request.  If additional space is needed, subgrantees can attach a copy of a narrative, quote or other documentation to support the request. 

Example Justification: Grant funds are requested to cover virtual training registration fees for four direct service staff to attend the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) Evidence-based Coordinated Community Response Protocols training conducted within the current award period. The target audience includes law enforcement, medical forensic staff, victim advocates, school personnel, licensed counselors, and other agency partners to develop and enhance responses to victims of crime to ensure safety and a sense of stability after victimization. (4 registrations @ $350 / participant=$1400).

How many budget amendments and/or in-line budget revisions are allowed?

No more than two (2) budget amendments will be permitted during the grant period.  There is no limit on in-line budget adjustments, however in-line adjustments must be made prior to the end of the award period. 

What are the deadlines for budget amendment requests and/or in-line adjustments?

All amendment requests must be submitted at least 45 days prior to the end of the award period. Requests submitted after the project end date, or those that would require retroactive approval, will be denied, unless DCJS grants an exception based on extenuating circumstances.

What is the timeframe for approval of budget amendments and/or in-line budget revisions?

Budget amendments are reviewed by the Grant Monitor within (10) working days. The approval process can take up to (30) working days depending on whether additional revisions are requested. To check the status of a budget amendment request, logon to OGMS and select the Contract Amendments component. Once the request has been approved, the sub-recipient will be notified via email and the budget will be updated in OGMS.  Then, the grant monitor will negotiate the applicable itemized budget forms to the grantee to make the changes in the system.  Please make sure to plan accordingly as the approval of budget amendments can take up to 30 days or longer.

What is a budget amendment?

A budget amendment allows you to move any portion of your award from one budget category to another budget category. All sub-recipients must obtain approval from DCJS for any budget change prior to the obligation or expenditure of grant funds.  All budget changes must be submitted in OGMS via the Contract Amendment component.  All proposed changes must include a description, itemization (basis of computation), itemization (unit cost of each item) and appropriate justification explaining how the request is allowable and essential to the project. Please double check all figures and ensure that the narrative aligns with the proposed budget amendment. Be sure to round to the nearest dollar. The total amount of the request cannot exceed the total amount awarded. Verify the total award against the Statement of Grant Award (SOGA). If additional space is needed, upload a narrative, quotes, or invoices to support the request.  To submit a request for a budget amendment, please submit the request in OGMS by selecting the Contract Amendments component.  For guidance on how to adequately itemize and justify a request, go to the Victims Services Grant Management Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/victims-services/grant-management-resources.  For instructions on how to submit a contract amendment, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

Who should I contact for the status of pending claims in OGMS?

For questions regarding a submitted claim, open the claim and review the Alert tab.  contact your assigned DCJS grant monitor.

Why was my claim denied?

The most common reasons claims are denied are: (1) the Statement of Grant Award (SOGA) has not been signed and returned to DCJS; (2) there is a special condition/encumbrance on the award; (3) the financial and programmatic reporting requirements have not been fulfilled; (4) the amount requested exceeded what was available; (5) the amount requested exceeds the reported expenditures; (6) the award period has passed and closeout was initiated.

What is the timeframe for receiving funds?

Our agency strives to process all claims within (30) working days. To check the status of a request, please logon to OGMS and select the Claims component.  If the request meets all requirements, the payment should be deposited within 10 days. For questions, contact your assigned DCJS grant monitor.

How do I submit a request for funds?

All requests must be submitted in OGMS via the Claims component.  This component is utilized for a detail of expenditures (financial report) and reimbursements. For instructions, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

Can I request all of the awarded funds at one time?

Refer to the award conditions for specific guidance on allowances regarding payment advancements.  In general, disbursement of funds will occur on a cost reimbursement basis for actual funds expended within the reporting period. Actual expenditures should be reported quarterly and invoiced pursuant to approved line item budget categories in the grant application. Grantees will only be reimbursed for costs that have been incurred within the grant period. Grant funds, including matching funds, may only be expended and/or obligated during the grant period. All obligations must be fulfilled no later than 90 days after the end of the grant period. Requests for reimbursement shall be submitted in OGMS via the Claims component.  For instructions on how to submit a claim, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources.  For technical assistance with a claim, contact your assigned DCJS grant monitor.

How can I make revisions to a claim (request for reimbursement)?

To make revisions to a claim, open the claim and then select, Edit Claim.  Make the necessary revisions and resubmit the claim.  Please make sure to review the notes or instructions provided in the email notification from OGMS.  If you do not have the email, refer to the Alert tab in the system.  To make revisions to a claim that has been paid, contact your DCJS grant monitor for technical assistance. 

When do I mark the final financial report as final?

The final financial report should be marked as final when all grant expenditures have been reported.

When is the final financial report due?

The sub-grantee agrees to submit a final financial report and return all received and unexpended grant funds to DCJS within 45 days of the end of the grant award period.

How do I record and report match?

For awards comprised of Federal Funds and required Match, the percentage of Federal Funds expenditures must not exceed the percentage stipulated in the award, even if the full award amount is not expended.  For questions regarding match requirements, refer to the grant guidelines or award conditions.  For project specific questions, contact your assigned DCJS grant monitor.

What types of supporting documentation do I have to maintain onsite?

Sub-grantees must properly track the use of award funds and maintain adequate supporting documentation for all paid grant and match staff and volunteer time reported.  Source documentation must be retained and be available for inspection for all grant funded expenditures.  Sub-grantees may be subject to additional financial and programmatic on-site monitoring, which may be on short notice, and agrees that it will cooperate with any such monitoring.

How do I submit a claim for reimbursement?

All claims must be submitted through the On-line Grants Management System (OGMS) https://ogms.dcjs.virginia.gov/ in the Claims component.  Reported expenditures may not exceed approved budgeted amounts within budget categories. You may only charge to the award allowable costs incurred during the grant award period. For instructions on how to submit a claim, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:   https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources.  For questions regarding a submitted claim, contact your assigned DCJS grant monitor.

Who do I contact for technical support with OGMS?

For technical assistance contact ogmssuport@dcjs.virginia.gov. For questions regarding your DCJS grant(s) contact your assigned DCJS grant monitor.

What happens when a staff person leaves the agency? Should I remove them from OGMS and if so, how?

Yes, users who are no longer affiliated with the organization should be removed from the system.  All grant related changes must be submitted in OGMS via the Contract Amendment component.  For instructions on how to submit a contract amendment, visit the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources.    

Can multiple people manage the grant award(s) in OGMS?

Yes, multiple users can simultaneously manage applications and awards.  There is no limit on the number of users you can have or the number of persons working in the grant at the same time performing different functions.  All users must be registered.  DCJS recommends that organizations incorporate written protocols for managing the award into the organization’s financial management procedures.  To access instructions on how to manage different aspects of the award, go to the OGMS Training & Resources page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/grants/ogms-training-resources

How do I gain access to OGMS?

To access the On-line Grants Management System (OGMS) click here:  https://ogms.dcjs.virginia.gov/.   If you are a new user, you must register to gain access to the system.  Please allow 3-5 business days for registration approval. Once approved, you will receive login credentials.  Contact your DCJS grant monitor to request access to manage your DCJS award(s).  For technical support with OGMS, contact:  ogmssupport@dcjs.virginia.gov

What is a financial statement review?

A financial statement review is conducted by an independent auditor, but is narrower in scope and less rigorous with respect to the level of examination and analysis than a financial statement audit. The auditor examines the organization’s financial statements and determines whether they are consistent with generally accepted accounting principles.  The auditor’s report is intended to provide a limited level of assurance that the financial statements are free of misrepresentations.

What are the objectives of a single audit?

Single audits serve multiple purposes.  In general, besides reporting on the fair representation of the financial statements, they are implemented to determine if the entity has complied with direct and material compliance requirements for each major federal program. They are used as a report card by federal funding agencies and pass-through entities to address problems and also used to provide assurance regarding compliance and information about a non-federal entity’s internal control over compliance.

Am I required to complete a single audit?

If the sub-grantee is a local government or non-profit organization and expends $750,000 or more in federal awards (from all sources) during its fiscal year, the sub-grantee is required to submit the appropriate single or program specific audit in accordance with the provisions outlined in 2CFR Part 200 Subpart F.  The subgrantee agrees to forward a copy to DCJS of the subgrantee’s scheduled financial statement audit for the fiscal year that covers the grant award period. 

How do I properly document matching funds?

The system of policies and procedures for valuing, documenting, recording, processing, and reporting in-kind match is similar to the process used for tracking all organizational expenditures.  The first step in establishing a match tracking system is the development of a match budget. This projected budget outlines how much is cash and how much is in-kind. Creating cost centers to report cash match provides a straightforward tracking method.

Grant recipients must maintain records that clearly show the source, the amount, and the period during which the match was allocated. In-kind contributions are determined at their fair market value. The basis for determining the value of personal services, materials, and equipment must be documented and to the extent feasible, supported by the same methods used by the grantee for its own paid employees.  Volunteer services used as in-kind match are allowable and recommended. Volunteer services may be professional or technical services, consultants, or skilled/unskilled labor assisting on the project. Records must be maintained documenting all volunteer services used as in-kind match.

For additional guidance on the value of volunteer time, go to www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time.  Non-compliance with documenting in-kind match amounts may result in a requirement to provide cash match, a reduction to the grant award, and/or other grant conditions.

What is in-kind match?

In-kind match is typically in the form of the value of personnel, goods, and services, including direct and indirect costs.  Some examples include:  volunteered professional services, materials/equipment, space and facilities, non-federally funded program activities, etc.  Sub-grantees must document the contributed resource of value for all forms of in-kind match.  For specific guidance regarding match requirements, please refer to the Victims Services Grant section online and select the specific grant program. 

What is cash match?

Cash match is either the grantee organization’s own funds (general revenue) or cash donations from non-federal third parties (i.e. partner organizations), or by non-federal grants.  A cash match contribution is an actual cash contribution.  Cash used as match may be obtained from other state (non-DCJS), local, program income, or private sources.  Cash funds cannot be derived from federal sources.  Once funds are committed to match for this project, they cannot be used for match in other areas.

 

What can we use to meet our match?

All matching funds on awarded grants must be:

  1. Verifiable in program/organization records and provided for in the approved budget;
  2. Derived from non-federal funding sources;
  3. Not used as matching funds in other areas;
  4. VOCA-allowable costs;
  5. Necessary and reasonable for efficient accomplishment of project objectives;
  6. In compliance with all federal and state guidelines; AND
  7. Of an appropriate percentage.
Why are matching funds required for some grants and not others?

Matching funds are the non-federal share of costs that the grantee or the sub-grantee are required to contribute to accomplish the purposes of the grant. The primary reason is to share the costs of various government programs across jurisdictions or with the private sector.  Funders sometimes structure match requirements to promote sustainability of projects past the life of the grant program.

How do I determine the Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC)?

To calculate indirect costs, you must first determine the Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) amount of your budget. Indirect costs that can be requested are not based on the entire project budget, but on the MTDC amount. Use the MTDC Worksheet https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/content/mtdc-worksheet to calculate your MTDC amount. The Worksheet will also calculate the amount of indirect costs that you can request.  the MTDC Worksheet must be completed each quarter, based on actual expenses.  The actual MTDC amount will determine the amount of Indirect Costs to be reimbursed for that quarter. In other words, the amount of Indirect Costs reimbursed should/will vary from quarter to quarter. The amount of Indirect Costs requested for reimbursement each quarter cannot simply be the total for the year divided by four; the amount must be based on actual MTDC amounts.  The MTDC Worksheet should be emailed to grantsmgmt@dcjs.virginia.gov each quarter.

What is the Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC)?

Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) is the base to which indirect costs rates are applied.  MTDC includes direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each subaward.  MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for rent, tuition remission, participants support costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000. 

How can I request indirect costs?

You do not have to request indirect costs, but if you choose to, it is allowable.  You have two options when requesting indirect costs: using a formal Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (ICRA) or using a “De Minimis” rate.  The ICRA is a formal rate agreement that an organization has applied for and received from the federal cognizant agency (DCJS does not approve ICRAs).  Organizations must have a letter or other documentation that lists the federally-negotiated rate. The “De Minimis” rate can be used by organizations that have never had a federally-approved Indirect Cost Rate Agreement.  Organizations can use a rate of up to 10% of the Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) of their budget for indirect costs.

What is an indirect cost rate?

An indirect cost rate is a tool for determining the proportion of indirect costs each program should bear. It is the ratio (expressed as a percentage) of the indirect costs to a direct cost base. Organizations who wish to request indirect costs, that already have a negotiated rate with a federal cognizant agency, must use that negotiated rate in the grant application request, if indirect costs are requested. If the negotiated rate is expired, the applicant can apply for a one-time extension of up to four years without further negotiation. Application for an extension has to be made through the cognizant federal agency that initially negotiated the indirect cost rate. Non-federal organizations that have never had a negotiated indirect cost rate, and governmental departments or agencies that receive less than $35 million in direct federal funding per year and do not have a negotiated rate, may use the 10% de minimis indirect cost rate based on the organization’s modified total direct costs (MTDC).

What are indirect costs?

Indirect costs are those that have been incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be readily identified with a particular final cost objective. Direct cost of minor amounts may be treated as indirect costs under the conditions described in §200.413 Direct costs paragraph (d).  After direct costs have been determined and assigned directly to awards or other work as appropriate, indirect costs are those remaining to be allocated to benefitting cost objectives. A cost may not be allocated to a federal award as an indirect cost if any other cost incurred for the same purpose, in like circumstances, has been assigned to a federal award as a direct cost.  Indirect costs are frequently referred to as overhead expenses.  Examples of indirect costs are: accounting and legal expenses, administrative salaries, office expenses, rent, security expenses, utilities, and telecommunications. 

What are direct costs?

Direct costs are "those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy." For example, the salary of a direct service provider or the purchase of specific supplies for a specific project are direct costs.

They must be:

  • Allowable (as described by federal cost principles and according to federal regulations and grant guidelines)
  • Reasonable (what a prudent person would spend);
  • Allocable (limited to that portion of expenses directly benefiting the project and consistently treated as direct charges).
What are the standards for financial systems?

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Grants Financial Guide, all sub-recipients are required to establish and maintain adequate accounting systems and financial records and to accurately account for funds awarded to them.  Recipients must have a financial management system in place that is able to record and report on the receipt, obligation, and expenditure of grant funds. Accounting systems should be able to account for award funds separately (no comingling of funds).  An adequate accounting system allows recipients to maintain documentation to support all receipts and expenditures and obligations of federal funds.  Keep detailed accounting records and documentation to track all of the following information:

  • Federal funds awarded
  • Federal funds drawn down
  • Matching funds of State, local, and private organizations, when applicable
  • Program income
  • Sub-awards (amount, purpose, award conditions, and current status)
  • Contracts expensed against the award
  • Expenditures

Please consult Subpart D of 2 C.F.R. Part 200, including 2 C.F.R. § 200.302, for more information.

How can I request extensions for grant requirements (i.e. special conditions, project implementation, financial and/or programmatic reports)?

Within 60 days of the starting date of the grant, the sub-grantee must initiate the project funded. If not, the sub-grantee must report to DCJS, in writing, the steps taken to initiate the project, the reasons for the delay, and the expected starting date. If the project is not operational within 90 days of the start date, the sub-grantee must obtain approval in writing from DCJS for a new implementation date or DCJS may cancel and terminate the project and redistribute the funds.

Sub-grantees can request up to two (2) report extensions during the award period. To submit a request, logon to OGMS, select the Contract Amendments component and choose Reporting Extension.  Provide the reasons for the delay in reporting as well as an anticipated date of when the report will be filed. All requests must be submitted before the reporting deadline.

What is the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan (EEOP)?

As a recipient of Department of Justice funding, all sub-recipients must comply with the requirements regarding Equal Employment Opportunity Plans (EEOP).  In certain cases, sub-recipients must develop an EEOP.  Your organization is required to submit a Certification Report and/or the Utilization Report section of your plan to the Office of Civil Rights.  Further guidance can be found at https://ojp.gov/about/ocr/eeop.htm . The Certification form required by OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/pdfs/cert.pdf .

What is the Civil Rights Compliance Training Requirement?

The Office on Civil Rights (OCR) offers civil rights training to assist sub-recipients in meeting their federal civil rights obligations. The online training, which consists of six segments and self-tests, provides an overview of applicable non-discrimination laws and the general civil rights obligations that are tied to grants awarded by the Department of Justice.  The civil rights training modules offered through OCR can be accessed at https://ojp.gov/about/ocr/assistance.htm.  The sub-grantee must review these training modules at least once per grant cycle and must view the civil rights overview, standard assurances modules, and the module on obligations to provide services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals.

What is the System for Award Management (SAM) and why is it required?

The System for Award Management (SAM) (https://www.sam.gov) is a federal government website that serves as a central registration point for government contractors.  Sub-grantees must register in SAM in order to receive an award, and must maintain an active registration for the entire period of the award. 

What is the turnaround time for approval of special conditions?

Typically, all submission of special conditions/encumbrances are reviewed within ten (10) working days. If the submission meets all requirements, the Grant Monitor will mark the item as compliant and remove the encumbrance (payment hold). Sub-recipients receive notice of approval via email. If the submission does not meet with approval, the Grant Monitor will contact the sub-recipient to request additional information.

How will I know when my special conditions have been met?

To check the status of special conditions/encumbrances, logon to OGMS and select the Encumbrances component. Follow the specific instructions on each encumbrance. If you have questions about the status, contact your Grant Monitor.

What are special conditions/encumbrances and do they have to be completed before I can access grant funds?

A special condition is an item included in the Grant Award Package that requires the grantee to accomplish certain tasks or meet certain requirements within a particular period of time in order to comply with the terms of the grant. It is important that you review the special conditions carefully and check OGMS to see if there are any encumbrances as some might require action before funds will be disbursed.

What is the grant period of performance?

The Uniform Guidance in 2 CFR 200.77 defines "period of performance" as the time during which the non-Federal entity (sub-grantee) may incur new obligations to carry out the work authorized under the Federal award.  The period of performance represents the one-year period for which the award was made.  The Grant Award Package (Statement of Grant Award) provides the award period for each grant (eg. July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020).

Does the award have to be signed/returned before I can access grant funds?

The award acceptance must be received prior to funds being disbursed. To check the status of the award acceptance, logon to OGMS:  https://ogms.dcjs.virginia.gov/

How do I accept my agency’s award?

Print and read the Grant Award Package and Special Conditions in their entirety.  To accept the terms and conditions of the award, the Project Administrator must sign the award acceptance and email it to grantsmgmt@dcjs.virginia.gov.  The award acceptance, also known as the Statement of Grant Award (SOGA), must be received by DCJS within the initial 60 days of the award period.  

How far back should records be maintained?

Records pertinent to the award must be retained for a period of three (3) years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. Sub-grantees must provide access, including performance measurement information, in addition to the financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and other pertinent records indicated in 2 C.F.R. 200.333.

A file shall be kept on each sub-award. The file should reflect the sub-award number and should at least contain the following:

  1. Supporting documentation of any expenditures pertaining to this sub-award (i.e., original receipts, invoices, etc.);
  2. Documentation of employee and volunteer timesheets pertaining to the sub-award;
  3. Signed copies of any contract supported by the sub-award;
  4. Documentation for sub-award matching funds;
  5. Indirect cost rate;
  6. Property records of equipment purchased with grant funds, including serial numbers; and
  7. Other pertinent information (i.e., correspondence with DCJS, budget revisions, special conditions, etc.)
How often are site visits conducted?

For sub-grantees determined to be high risk, DCJS staff will conduct an on-site monitoring visit annually. For sub-grantees determined to be medium risk, DCJS staff will conduct on-site monitoring every two years.  For sub-grantees determined to be low risk, DCJS staff will conduct a site visit every four years.  Site visits can take place more frequently depending upon identified fiscal or programmatic deficiencies or other indicators of non-compliance.

What can I expect during a DCJS site visit?

Prior to the site visits, the Grant Monitor will send a formal notification letter at least 30 calendar days before the visit to confirm dates and scope of review; provide details of documentation needed for the review; specify expected timeframe for the review; and ensure key officials are available during the visit.  The Grant Monitor will also provide the sub-grantee with the Items for Review Checklist (located on the Victims Services page:  https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/victims-services/forms) and request that supporting documentation be compiled by the start of the visit. 

During the review, the Grant Monitor will complete the sub-grantee Monitoring Tool and address noted concerns with the sub-grantee. The Grant Monitor will track each step followed during the review process, document conversations with sub-grantee staff, and inspect the progress of the project/program.  At the end of the on-site monitoring visit, the Grant Monitor will meet with key officials to present the tentative findings noted from the financial review.  After the on-site monitoring visit, the Grant Monitor will issue a Post-Review Letter to the sub-grantee within 60 calendar days documenting recommendations for corrective action and requiring the submission of a corrective action plan within 45 calendar days by the sub-grantee, if necessary.

What is an on-site monitoring visit?

Monitoring is the process of reviewing, with staff of a grant-funded project, the project’s implementation, activities, performance, and expenditures to determine if it is operating as proposed in the approved grant application and in accordance with grant requirements and conditions, as well as any applicable regulatory requirements, and to identify any technical assistance needs of the grant recipient.  Monitoring may include review of the fiscal and programmatic aspects of a grant-funded project.  The term “monitoring” is used to describe both the broad overall system of reviewing and tracking the use of federal and state funds, and the more specific day-to-day review processes to assure that a particular sub-grantee complies with federal or state rules and regulations, and is meeting the goals and objectives of the grant.

What is the role of a DCJS Grant Monitor?

Grant Monitors:

  • Review quarterly financial and programmatic reports required by DCJS.
  • Follow-up with sub-grantees and ensure that sub-grantees take timely and appropriate action on all deficiencies pertaining to the grant award detected through audits, on- site monitoring visits, desk reviews, and other monitoring activities.
  • Conduct trainings and/or provide technical assistance for sub-grantees to help administer the grant.
  • Evaluate any newly revealed information that may affect sub-grantees’ risk score and modify the monitoring plan as necessary.
  • Perform pre-award review based on the questionnaire to determine the fitness of sub- grantees to receive new grant funds, or perform a risk assessment.
  • Coordinate with the DCJS Grants Management Section for the issuance of management decisions for audit findings relating to DCJS grant funding.
  • Conduct on-site monitoring visits of sub-grantees to ensure financial and programmatic compliance.
What is the role of Grants Administration?

Grants Administration Staff will:

  1. Ensure entity is not debarred (see Debarred or Suspended Procedure and Policy) prior to award and periodically during the award period.
  2. Analyze audit findings for sub-grantees that are required under 2 CFR § 200.332 (f) to have a completed audit.
  3. Verify that audits are conducted for sub-grantees that are required under 2 CFR § 200.332 (f) to be audited (“when it is expected that the sub-grantee’s Federal awards expended during the respective fiscal year equaled or exceeded the $750,000 threshold set forth in 2 CFR §200.501 Audit requirements”).
  4. Conduct fiscal desk reviews and on-site monitoring visits based on requests from the grant monitors or coordinators.
  5. Conduct in-depth financial reviews of programs identified during the fiscal desk reviews and on-site monitoring visits as needing further review.
  6. Determine corrective action required of the sub-grantee if there are concerns in the audit finding, fiscal desk reviews, or on-site monitoring visits. Work with the Grant Monitor to communicate concerns to the sub-grantee and monitor compliance with corrective action plans.
  7. Issue management decisions for audit findings relating to DCJS grant funding.
  8. Enter sub-sub-grantee into FFATA if an award is over $25,000 (see FFATA Policy).
What does the risk level indicate about the sub-recipient?

When material risk is identified in a sub-recipient’s organization or project, 2 CFR 200.331 requires pass-through entities to implement risk management tools to ensure proper accountability, compliance with program requirements, and achievement of performance goals.  Examples of available risk management tools include:

  • Providing sub-recipients with training and technical assistance on program related matters.
  • More frequent monitoring of programmatic aims or invoices.
  • More frequent communication with PI.
  • On-site review of the sub-recipient’s program operations.
  • Stringent review of audits and prompt action when instances of non-compliance are identified.
  • Enforcement action for non-compliance, including temporary withholding of payments, disallowing a cost when all or part of the cost is non-compliant, wholly or partially suspending or terminating the sub-award, withholding further funds from the project, or any other legally available remedies.
How does the agency determine sub-recipient risk?

The risk assessment takes into consideration the following financial and programmatic factors:

  1. Total dollar amount of grant award
  2. Timeliness of financial reporting to DCJS
  3. Results of a Single-Audit
  4. Date of most recent site visit
  5. Timeliness of programmatic progress reporting to DCJS
  6. Turnover of DCJS-funded key staff
  7. Duration of sub-grantee’s grant experience.
  8. Other issues of non-compliance and recurring or unresolved issues

A weighted numeric value is assigned to each factor, with higher numbers indicating higher risk.  Based on the total risk score, sub-grantees will be placed in the risk categories of high, moderate, or low.  A score of six or lower is low risk.  A score of seven to thirteen is medium risk.  A score of 14 or greater is high risk. A sub-grantee's risk level may be adjusted to a higher level based on additional information that DCJS is aware of, including results of other grant monitoring from partner agencies, financial instability, results from previous site visits, recurring or unresolved issues, concerns about internal controls, and financial management issues.  These concerns should be documented on the Grant Monitoring Risk Assessment Tool.  A completed copy of the risk assessment will be kept in the sub-grantee’s file. 

What is a sub-recipient risk assessment?

A risk assessment is completed by the Grant Monitor before the grant award period begins and/or annually to inform the monitoring plan for the following fiscal year. Grant Monitors will complete a risk assessment using the Grant Monitoring Risk Assessment, which meets the required elements in 2 CFR 200.331(b), to evaluate each sub-grantee’s risk of non-compliance with federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the award to determine the appropriate level and schedule of sub-grantee monitoring.

What are the Department of Criminal Justice Services’s (DCJS) responsibilities as an awarding agency?

The Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) ensures that sub-grantees comply with all grant conditions.  The department develops a risk-based monitoring plan, and conducts fiscal and programmatic monitoring on all sub-grantees, including enhanced monitoring of sub-grantees determined to be medium and high risk.

The Director of DCJS has the authority, under Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, Code of Virginia (§§9-100 through 186.14), to implement policies needed for the operation of the Agency.  Grant Monitors and the Grants Administration Staff are responsible for monitoring the activities of sub-grantees to ensure that awards are used for authorized purposes and comply with 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.303 and 200.331, along with other federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the awards.  The DCJS grant solicitation, subsequent application, and statement of grant award (SOGA) contain all of the required information listed in 2 C.F.R. § 200.331(a).

If I fail one section in the academy, can I go back to the next academy to make it up?
  1. All criminal justice officers (law enforcement, jail, court security, civil process, DOC correctional officers are required to complete the compulsory minimum training standards within 12 months of the date of hire or appointment. (6VAC20-20-40)
     
  2. Your agency and/or academy policy will determine whether or not you can repeat failed training if it can be completed within the 12 months.
     
  3. There are no training extensions available for class failures.

 

I am a field training officer and also a certified general instructor. Can I count hours conducting field training toward my general instructorship required hours?
  1. Yes.  General instructors who are also field training officers may count field training hours toward the required general instructor hours.  Documentation must be submitted to the academy of record.

 

I changed agencies, is my instructorship still valid?
  1. Employment related instructorship reinstatement
    1. Instructor certification expires when the certified instructor is no longer employed by the agency that requested the certification.
       
    2. Upon reemployment with a Virginia criminal justice agency or certified academy, the agency or academy may request the instructorship be reinstated by submitting an Instructor Reinstatement Form (IC-2) with the agency administrator’s signature and the academy director’s signature to DCJS for approval.

 

 

My instructorship expired last year. What do I need to do to become a certified instructor again?
  1. Expired certification
    1. If the instructorship has been expired less than 12 months, the agency or academy may request the instructorship be reinstated by submitting an Instructor Reinstatement Form (IC-2) with the agency administrator’s signature and the academy director’s signature to DCJS form approval.
       
    2. The expired instructor must complete an approved instructor recertification course through a certified academy and complete a subsequent apprenticeship.
       
    3. If the instructorship is expired due to lack of the 8 hour instruction requirement, the reinstatement apprenticeship shall include the remaining hours of the required instruction in addition to the minimal 4 hours apprenticeship (2 hours for speed measurement).
       
    4. All instructorship certifications expired for more than 12 months shall not be eligible for reinstatement.  A new instructor development course would be required.

 

I am not currently employed with an agency and my in-service is running out at the end of the year. Can I go to an academy and pay for training to keep my certification?
  1. No.  All DCJS certifications require employment with a criminal justice agency.  In-service training is only recorded for those employed with the function associated with the training.

 

If I hire an officer currently employed with another agency, do I have to do another background investigation?
  1. Yes.  Background investigations including fingerprint-based criminal history records inquiries to both the Central Criminal Records Exchange and the FBI are required for all new hires of law enforcement officers, deputy sheriffs and jail officers.  (§ 15.2-1705)

 

If I can’t get my in-service hours in before my due date, is there a grace period before I lose my law enforcement certification?
  1. No, in-service training is required to be completed within the 2 year period following your last in-service completion.  Certifications expire on the due date.
     
  2. Officers who fail to comply with in-service training within the 2 years shall forfeit his office, upon receipt of notice. Such forfeiture shall create a vacancy in the office and all pay and allowances shall cease. (§ 9.1-115) 
     
  3. Failure to comply with mandated training requirements is grounds for decertification as a law enforcement or jail officer.  (§ 15.2-1707 (A)(v))

 

Can I pay my own way through an academy without being employed by a criminal justice agency?
  1. Certified criminal justice academies may allow individual to attend mandated entry level training programs who are not currently employed by a Virginia criminal justice agency as defined in §9.1-101.  Details to include tuition must be obtained by contacting the individual academy.  This training is solely based upon a private contract between the academy and the individual seeking the training.
     
  2. This training does not guarantee an offer of employment by a Virginia criminal justice agency. 
     
  3. Successful completion of the pre-employment training is valid for up to 24 months from the date of completion of the pre-employment training program.

 

What are the steps that a recruit officer/deputy has to follow to be certified by DCJS?
  1. Be employed as an officer with a Virginia criminal justice agency under DCJS purview that has authority/ability to perform duties associated with the function.   (The agency is required to report to DCJS all officers assigned to specific functions through the records management system)
     
  2. Complete the Virginia compulsory minimum training standards in basic training through a DCJS certified criminal justice academy
     
  3. Successfully pass the law enforcement certification exam (for law enforcement certification only). (§ 15.2-1706)
     
  4. Complete field training requirements
    1. Law enforcement officers must complete at least 100 hours of field training in conjunction with answering calls for law enforcement service
       
    2. All compulsory minimum training standards to include field training must be completed within the 12 months training period from date of hire and reported to DCJS.

 

What happens if I do not instruct the required hours in a 3 year period as required by DCJS?
  1. The academy director must verify each instructor has taught a minimum of 8 hours per instructorship from initial certification or last recertification date to be eligible for recertification.  If the hours have not been met, the instructorship will not be recertified without going through the instructorship reinstatement process.
     
  2. If the instructorship expires due to lack of the 8 hour instruction requirement, the reinstatement apprenticeship shall include the remaining hours of the required instruction in addition to the minimum of 4 hour apprenticeship (2 hours for speed measurement).

 

What happens if I do not get my apprenticeship for an Instructor certification completed in the allotted 12 months?
  1. If the apprenticeship is not completed within 12 months of completion of the instructor development training, the officer would have to repeat the basic requirements for the instructorship.
What if I get injured and cannot qualify with my firearm?
  1. The Chief of Police, Sheriff or Agency Administrator may request a Training Extension of the time limit for completion of in-service training under the following conditions 6VAC20-20-40 (if submitted prior to the training due date):
    1. Illness,
       
    2. Injury,
       
    3. Military service,
       
    4. Special duty assignment required and performed in the public interest,
       
    5. Administrative leave involving the determination or worker’s compensation or disability retirement issues, full-time educational leave or suspension pending investigation or adjudication of a crime; or
       
    6. Any other reason documented by the agency administrator.
       
    7. Failing to pass in-service compulsory minimum training standards and requirements within specified time limits is NOT a valid reason for a training extension.

 

Do I need to be Certified General Instructor prior to being certified as a specialty instructor i.e. CT, Firearms, Driving
  1. DCJS requires successful completion of the General Instructor Development training course; certification is not required. (6VAC20-80-20)

 

When we hire a new officer/deputy how much time do we have to get them certified?
  1. All officers are required to satisfactorily complete the compulsory minimum training standards and requirements within 12 months of the date of appointment as an officer.  (6VAC20-20-40)

 

When do we have to enter our newly hired Officers/Deputies in the TREX system?
  1. New officers/deputies must be reported to DCJS through the records management system within ten (10) days of employment or appointment.

 

I was a Federal agent for 20 years what do I need to do to become LE certified in Virginia?
  1. There is no complete exemption or lateral for former federal officers seeking law enforcement certification in Virginia. Applications for partial training waivers are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, reviewing prior training and experience as a law enforcement officer.  Partial training waivers are only available for certified officers separated from a law enforcement agency as a certified officer for less than 2 years.
    1. Applicant officer must have at least 5 years continuous previous experience as a certified law enforcement officer; and
       
    2. Be out of such employment for less than 2 years.  (§ 9.1-116)
       
  2. The training requirements for prior federal officers are based upon a comparison of the officer’s prior training and experience.  Virginia law enforcement certification is for local law enforcement, which is significantly different than federal agents.  The training requirements will include at a minimum, training in the high liability areas to including legal issues, patrol techniques, defensive tactics, use of force, weapons use and driver training.  This training includes successful completion of the Virginia Certification Exam and a minimum of 100 hours of field training in conjunction with answering law enforcement calls for service with the employing Virginia agency.
     
  3. These exemptions are only available at the request of a Virginia law enforcement agency and would not be available to you on a pre-employment basis.  There are also some Virginia agencies that will not accept any exemptions and do mandate the completion of the entire basic academy regardless of the certification status of the officer. (§ 9.1-116)
I was an officer in another state what do I need to do to become certified in VA? Is there an abbreviated school?
  1. There is no complete exemption or lateral for out-of-state officers in Virginia. DCJS reviews applications for partial training waivers on a case-by-case basis based upon prior training and experience as a law enforcement officer.
    1. Applicant officer must have at least 5 years continuous previous experience as a certified law enforcement officer; and
       
    2. Be out of such employment for less than 2 years.  (§ 9.1-116)
       
  2. The training requirements for those with prior out-of-state experience include training in the high liability areas such as (but not limited to) legal issues, some patrol techniques, defensive tactics, use of force, weapons use and driver training.  You will also be required to pass the Virginia Certification Exam and complete a minimum of 100 hours of field training in conjunction with answering calls for law enforcement service with the Virginia agency that employs you.
     
  3. These exemptions are only available at the request of a Virginia criminal justice agency and would not be available to you on a pre-employment basis.  There are also some Virginia agencies that will not accept any exemptions and do mandate the completion of the entire basic academy regardless of the certification status of the officer.
I have been out of Virginia LE employment for a few years, what do I need to do to become recertified?
  1. Law enforcement officer certification reinstatement:
    1. A fully certified law enforcement officer may reinstate his/her LE certification by returning to law enforcement employment within 24 months and completing 40 hours of law enforcement in-service training within 120 days of hire.  Jail officers must complete 24 hours jail in-service and court security/civil process officers must complete 16 hours in-service.
       
    2. Former Virginia certified law enforcement officers, jail officers, court security/civil process officers who have been out of such employment for more than 24 months may be eligible for a partial training waiver upon return to employment as a law enforcement officer:
      1. Applicant officer must have at least 5 years continuous previous experience as a certified law enforcement officer; and/or
         
      2. Applicant must be out of such employment for less than 5 years.
         
    3. The final decision on the waiver and details of the training requirements is based upon the reason and number of years since separation from law enforcement service. (6VAC20-20-30)
       
    4. This reinstatement procedure is only for former officers certified in Virginia.
I am a former law enforcement officer in Virginia. How long does my certification last after I leave employment?
  1. All DCJS certifications expire on the date of departure from a criminal justice agency.  Employment is required for certification.
     
  2. This includes all types of criminal justice certifications under DCJS purview (jail officer, DOC correctional officer, etc.).
     
  3. See FAQ 2. for reinstatement procedures for former Virginia Certified law enforcement officers.

 

What is a background investigation?

A background investigation is separate and distinct from a state or local criminal record check. It must include other inquiries into the person's life, such as LInX (separate from the criminal record check), reference checks, employment checks, a review of school records, and/or an in-depth personal interview.   

How do I contact Fieldprint, Inc. to make an appointment?

Please visit https://fieldprintvirginia.com or call 877-614-4364 to make an appointment to be fingerprinted for a Criminal History records check.

Once I have met all of the requirements, how long will it take for me to receive my credential?

You will receive a Temporary Registration Letter for emailed or mailed to you.  Once your criminal history background check is approved, your DMV Wallet Card will print and it will take about 7-14 business days to receive it.

What if I need to add a firearm endorsement?

If adding a firearm endorsement to your current registration, you must submit an on-line Firearm Endorsement Application at http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/online and pay the appropriate fee. Firearm endorsements expire annually on the same month as the registration. If your registration has been issued for two years expiring in the month of December, the firearm endorsement will expire in December annually even if it was added only 4 months prior to that date.

What happens if registrations are not renewed prior to expiration or reinstated within 60 days following the expiration date?

The individual registration will expire and you must complete all initial application requirements. This includes submittal of a new registration application, entry-level training requirements, Criminal History Processing form and required fees.

If I fax my application in will it be processed quicker?

No. DCJS does not accept paper applications. You must submit application and payment online and upload required documentations if applicable.

What are threat assessment teams?

Higher Education

Virginia Code states that each public institution of higher educations must establish a threat assessment team that includes representatives from law enforcement, mental health professions, student affairs, human resources, and if available higher education counsel. The purpose of the team is to implement assessment, intervention, and action policies such as recognition of threatening behaviors and threat reporting mechanisms.  The teams are also required to establish relationships with local and state law enforcement and mental health agencies to assist in assessment and intervention.

Pre-K-12

Per Virginia Code, all Virginia pre-k-12 public schools must be covered by a threat assessment team and each school board must adopt policies for the assessment of individuals and students whose behavior may pose a threat to the safety of the school. Each team must include persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, school administration, and law enforcement. The team should work to provide guidance to students, faculty, and staff on recognizing threatening behavior, identify members of the school community to whom threats should be reported, implement threat assessment policies and procedures, and report data on threat assessments to VCSCS.  For a quick overview of threat assessment in Virginia’s pre-K-12 schools, check out the VCSCS video: An Overview of Threat Assessment Prevention.

What is threat assessment?

A threat assessment is a fact-based process emphasizing an appraisal of observed (or reasonably observable) behaviors to identify potentially dangerous or violent situations, to investigate/assess them, and to manage/address them.

The goal of threat assessment is to determine if the subject is on a pathway to violence.  The overall goal of threat assessment is to ensure the safety of all involved.  

What if I have more questions?

We are here to answer any questions you may have. You can contact our Customer Service Unit at 804-786-4700. You may also email us at ora.info@dcjs.virginia.gov

Where can I find the legislation information behind the new photo-identification card?

To review the legislation change refer to §9.1-102.1 of the Code of Virginia by clicking here.

My photo-identification card was lost or destroyed. How do I obtain a new one?

To obtain a duplicate ID, you may submit and pay for a Duplicate Replacement Application by creating and logging into your online account here or by submitting the paper application and applicable fee to our office for processing. If your current registration was issued prior to July 1, 2017 but you would like to obtain the new photo ID prior to your next renewal, you can also submit the Duplicate/Replacement Registration Application and applicable fee for that purpose.

How long will it take to receive my new photo-identification card?

Please allow 7-14 business days to receive your card once all registration requirements have been satisfied.

What are the new fee schedules?

The new fee schedules only apply to Private Security Registrants. The fee schedule will be effective July 1, 2017 and is as follows:

  • Renewal Registration Application Fee: $34.00
     
  • Initial Registration Application Fee: $39.00
     
  • Reinstatement Fee: $17.00
     
  • Additional Registration Category Fee: $34.00
     
  • Replacement Registration ID Fee: $34.00
     
  • Firearm Endorsement Fee (renewal or additional category): $24.00
What if I live outside of Virginia?

No problem! If there is no photo on file, you will be issued a letter that serves as your approved registration – no card is needed. However, if you still want a photo-identification card your letter will provide instructions on what is needed to obtain a card.

Please note: you will be required to visit a Virginia DMV to take a photo. 

How do I submit my picture?

DCJS has partnered with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to make this process easy and convenient for you. If you already have a photo on file with the DMV, you don’t need to do anything! If there is no photo on file, you will be issued a letter that serves as your approved registration. This letter will also instruct you on what to do in order to have your photo taken so a card can be issued to you.

How do I get a photo-identification card?

You will be issued a new photo-identification card if you submit an application on or after July 1, 2017 that would result in the issuance of a new credential. Examples are:

  • Initial Registration Applications
     
  • Renewal Applications (including firearm endorsement renewals)
     
  • Additional Category Applications
     
  • Firearm Endorsement Applications
     
  • Replacement Registration Applications

Please note: If you submit your application prior to July 1, 2017, you will not be issued a photo-identification card. To take advantage of the new photo-identification card, submit your registration renewal application on or after July 1st. If you are not yet due for renewal you can submit a replacement/duplicate registration application and fee on or after July 1, 2017.

Who all will get a photo-identification card?

All Private Security Services Registrants will be able to obtain the new photo-identification card. This includes:

  • Armored Car Personnel
  • Canine Handlers (Detector and Security)
  • Central Station Dispatchers*
    • See FAQ below ("What if I live outside of Virginia?")
  • Electronic Security Technicians
  • Electronic Security Technician Assistants
  • Electronic Security Sales Representatives
  • Locksmiths
  • Personal Protection Specialists (Armed and Unarmed)
  • Private Investigators\
  • Security Officers (Armed and Unarmed)

Please note: this does not include Compliance Agents or Instructors who are certified by our Department.

When does the new photo-identification card’s go into effect?

Effective July 1, 2017, Private Security Services Registrants shall be issued a photo-identification card.

Can I make changes to my online application after the payment has been submitted?

No, you will not be able to make any changes or modify an application once the payment has been made. If you need assistance with removing a category that you may have selected in error, you will need to contact the Department at 804-786-4700 or via email PSS@dcjs.virginia.gov

Can I verify a registration, license, or certification online?
Who do I contact for additional services?

Businesses: PSS@dcjs.virginia.gov

Compliance Agent Online: Distance.learning@dcjs.virginia.gov

Training Schools: PSSTraining@dcjs.virginia.gov

Registrants: PSS@dcjs.virginia.gov

Tow Truck Drivers: towing@DCJS.virginia.gov

Bail Bondsman: BB@dcjs.virginia.gov

Bail Enforcement Agents: BEA@dcjs.virginia.gov

Special Conservator of the Peace (SCOP): SCOP@dcjs.virginia.gov

Administrator for Online Regulatory Licensing System: PrivateSecurityOnline@DCJS.virginia.gov

I submitted my application and paid online, mailed in all of the supplemental documentation (that was required), and have not received my registration, license or certification. What should I do?

You may check your application status on our web site at https://www.cms.dcjs.virginia.gov/GLSuiteWeb/Clients/VADCJS/Public/ApplicationStatus/Search.aspx

PLEASE NOTE: Once all requirements have been met, DCJS will mail your registration, license, or certification to the address of record.  

How long do I have to submit any supplemental documentation that is required to support my online application?

You will have a total of 30 days to conclude the application process after the date you submit your online application and payment.  If you do not submit the required documentation within the 30 day timeframe, your application will become incomplete and will be cancelled.

Can I receive a refund for any application that I submitted and paid for online?

No. All registration, licensing, and certification fees are non-refundable.

Can I begin the application process online and come back to that application at a later date?

Yes.  If you must leave an application during processing, you may come back to it at a later date, but the application can only remain incomplete for 30 days before it is discarded in the system.  

If I submit an application online, should I still mail in a paper application?

No.  As of October 1, 2018, DCJS no longer accepts paper applications.

Can I submit my application online if I need to submit fingerprints?

Yes.  It is strongly encouraged that you submit your application before submitting fingerprints in order to receive the Fieldprint code needed to schedule your fingerprint appointment. The code is on the receipt page in bold letters.

How do I submit the supplemental documents that may be required to complete my online application?

In the section of the online application where supplemental documents are requested, there is an upload feature for you to submit those documents. Please pay close attention to these sections and upload the documents before submitting the completed application.

Can I begin work as soon as I have completed the online process?

No.  Individuals are required to have their registration, license or certification on their person (or posted) prior to carrying out the registered, licensed or certified activities.  The submission and payment of an application online does not grant authority to provide services.

Can I change my name online?

No.  A name change request must be accompanied by a copy of a marriage license, divorce decree, court order, or other official document that verifies the name change.  Please review the required documentation on the bottom of the following attachment:  Acceptable Documents for Verifying Leagal Presence / Name Change

Can I request a duplicate of a current registration, license, or certificate online?

Yes.  There is a fee required for a duplicate that may be paid by credit card during the online process.  

Can I renew my current DCJS registration, license, or certification online?

Yes. A registration, license, or certification may be renewed online during the renewal cycle. The renewal cycle begins 90 days before the expiration date of your credential.

Do I have to create separate login’s for an individual registration, business license, and/or school certification?

Yes.  You must create a separate login for each credential as an individual registration, a business license, and/or school certification are separate under the Virginia Administrative Code.

I forgot my password. How do I retrieve it?

Click on the link “Forgot Password” on the login page. This will prompt you to enter the answers to the security questions that you answered when you created your account. Once the questions have been answered, the login page will appear. You will receive an email with a temporary password. Use the temporary password to login and then change the password to one you can remember.

For assistance or troubleshooting your online account, you may contact a System Administrator at privatesecurityonline@dcjs.virginia.gov.

What do I need to login for the first time?

First, you need to create an account using your Social Security Number. This also requires a valid email address and the creation of a password. It is important that you write down the email, password, and answers to the security questions that you used to create your account. Your account will allow you to login at any time to view and make changes to your registration, license, or certification.

What type of payments does the online system accept?

Currently, only major credit cards are accepted: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

What are the advantages of using the online system?

Online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.  (Occasionally, the services may be unavailable during maintenance or system outages.)

What web browsers are compatible with the online system?
  • Internet Explorer
  • Chrome
  • Safari

*** No mobile platforms are compatible at this time.

What services are available online?
  • Submit Private Security Services, SCOP, Bail Bondsman, and Bail Enforcement Agents Applications including Initial, Renewal, and Additional Categories
  • Submit Firearm Endorsement Applications including Initial and Renewal
  • Submit Private Security Compliance Agent Certification including Initial and Renewal
  • Submit Private Security Services Business License Applications including Initial, Renewal, and Additional Categories
  • Submit Instructor Certification Applications including Initial, Renewal, and Additional Categories
  • Submit Training School Applications including Initial, Renewal, and Additional Categories
  • Submit Tow Truck Initial and Renewal Applications
  • Make Employer Bulk Payments for their Employees Registration, License, or Certification
  • Request Duplicate/Replacement Registration, License, or Certificate
  • Find a Training School
  • Find Online Training Information
  • Find DCJS Compliance Agent/Instructor In-classroom Training
  • Request Training Forms
  • Perform Individual, Business License, and Training School Verifications
  • Check Application Status
I have a complaint against a tow and recovery operator (the business) and/or a tow truck driver. What can I do?

A consumer aggrieved may file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General utilizing the link below.  
http://www.oag.state.va.us/files/ConsumerProtection/Towing_Complaint_Form.pdf

Can I verify a Tow Truck Driver Registration online?
Are the registration fees refundable?

No.  All registration and form fees are nonrefundable. 

I have lost or damaged my Tow Truck Driver Registration Document, in addition to my address changing. How may I replace my card and change my address of record?

Changing an address or requesting a duplicate registration can be done by logging into your online account.  A change of address should be submitted within ten days of your change of address.  This assists us in our communications with applicants and registrants.

Are all convicted felons denied from obtaining a registration with the Department?

Persons that have been convicted of a felony are not automatically denied a Tow Truck Driver registration.  To review the criminal history background check requirements, please visit Section 17.1-805.C. of the Code of Virginia utilizing this link.   http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/17.1-805/

What might cause a delay in the processing of my Tow Truck Driver Registration Application?

A delay in processing may result from submitting an incomplete application or if the applicant delays getting their fingerprints submitted through Fieldprint. If the applicant completed their fingerprints at Fieldprint prior to submitting their online application, they must contact DCJS to move their application forward.

Can I submit a paper application?

As of October 1, 2018, DCJS no longer accepts paper applications. Applications must be submitted through the online application portal

Why do I need to be fingerprinted at each renewal cycle?

The criminal history background check process is handled through the Virginia State Police and FBI using your fingerprints. In compliance with state and federal guidelines, fingerprints must be destroyed after processed.

Can we submit one check or one credit card for the payment of multiple tow truck drivers?

Checks and money orders are not accepted.  A credit card may be used for the bulk processing of payments for multiple applicants. 

Can I renew my expired registration card?

If your registration has expired, you must submit an Initial Application to obtain a new Tow Truck Driver Registration.

How long does it take to process a completed Tow Truck Registration Application?

Once DCJS receives a completed application, we have to await the results of the Federal criminal history check before making a licensing decision. This can take up to 60 days.

Once I submit a Tow Truck Driver Registration Application, can I operate/drive a tow truck?

Submission of an application does not grant authority to drive a tow truck.  Tow truck drivers are required to have their tow truck driver registration document in their possession when driving a tow truck.  

How do I apply for a Tow Truck Driver Registration?

Apply for a Tow Truck Driver Registration through our online application portal.  The total cost for the online application portion is $112. Once the online application is completed, you will receive instructions on how to have your fingerprints scanned through Fieldprint to complete the criminal background check.

How can I find out if a business is licensed?

Visit our website to view our searchable database of current licensed businesses. 

How can I find a certified training school?

Visit our website to view our searchable database of training schools. 

What is the purpose of the law and regulations relating to private security services?

The purpose is to secure the public safety and welfare against incompetent, unqualified, unscrupulous or unfit persons engaging in private security services. 

What is "official documentation"?

Some private security credentials require the submittal of official documentation for the purpose of eligibility.  This 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.

 
What reciprocity agreements are in effect?

Currently the only reciprocity agreement that is available is for private investigators. The states that qualify are North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Florida. It only applies if an investigation originates in the investigator's home state and carries over to one of the agreement states. That allows the investigator to enter the reciprocity state to pursue the investigation for a period of 30 days. If an investigation should take longer than the 30 days allotted, DCJS must be notified.

How can I avoid paying the additional category fee?

There is no additional charge for adding or dropping categories on your renewal application at time of renewal.

Can I add categories to my current registration?

Yes. You must submit the Additional Registration Category Application on-line at http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/online, pay the appropriate fee, and complete all required training. This will NOT change the expiration date of your current registration. For example: if your registration expires in four months and you recently completed training for a new category and submit the application, your new category will expire on the same day as your current registration card, or four months from now.

Can I be registered in more than one category?

You may apply for registration in as many categories as you wish provided you have completed the necessary training for each category. Your application cannot be processed until all training requirements for each category marked has been completed. 

What is considered to be subcontracting?

If your business cannot provide all security services requested by your client, you may subcontract those services to another licensed private security services business. If you choose to do this, keep in mind that a 1099 cannot be issued to the subcontractor. 

What are considered to be Private Security Services in the Commonwealth of Virginia?

"Private security services business" means any person engaged in the business of providing, or who undertakes to provide, armored car personnel, security officers, personal protection specialists, private investigators, couriers, security canine handlers, security canine teams, detector canine handlers, detector canine teams, alarm respondents, locksmiths, central station dispatchers, electronic security employees, electronic security sales representatives or electronic security technicians and their assistants to another person under contract, express or implied.

My school/business insurance lapsed but I have a new policy. Can I reinstate?

Yes, as long as you are able to provide current liability insurance at the time of reinstatement.  You must be non-operational until you are reinstated.  If you are in violation of this requirement and provide unlicensed, uninsured services, you may face monetary sanctions up to $2500.00 per day of uninsured activity or be denied the ability to reinstate or reapply for a license or certification.

Can I work during the reinstatement period?

No, you are not authorized to work during the reinstatement period. 

I just passed the 60 days. Can I still reinstate?

No. The regulations do not permit DCJS to reinstate renewal applications received after the 60 day reinstatement period has expired. 

What credentials are not eligible for reinstatement?

Bail Bondsmen Licenses, Bail Enforcement Licenses and Firearm Endorsements must be renewed with all applicable training completed prior to the expiration date or initial application requirements must be met to include initial fees, fingerprint submittal and entry-level training requirements.  Firearm endorsement requalification may be completed only within the 90 days immediately preceding the expiration of the active endorsement.

When should registration/business license/instructor/training school renewals be received by the Department?

All renewals must be received at least 30 days prior to expiration. 

What happens if registrations are not renewed prior to expiration or reinstated within 60 days following the expiration date?

The individual must complete all initial requirements, including training. 

I did not receive my renewal reminder/training letter/renewal application; can I get an extension?

No. Timely renewal of applications for licenses, registrations, and certifications are the responsibility of the individual businesses, training schools, instructors, compliance agents, and individual personnel. DCJS normally sends out a reminder as a courtesy to the last known mailing address or email address, but due to current technical difficulties the Department is unable to send individual reminders. The Department is working to address this issue. 

To ensure that you renew timely, remember the expiration date is listed directly on your credential, and it is your responsibility to submit for renewal 30 days in advance of the expiration.  Should you fail to renew prior to the expiration, you may apply for reinstatement during the immediate 60 days after your expiration date with the exception of firearm endorsement expirations which must be renewed by the expiration.  There are limited reasons in which an individual may request an extension, for more information on extensions, see the Extension FAQ.

I did not renew my registration, license, or certification prior to my expiration date, can I reinstate?

Yes, provided that a renewal application is received within 60 days after expiration date along with a reinstatement fee that is 50% above and beyond the renewal fee. After 60 days, the applicant must meet all initial requirements to include submission of fingerprints, initial applications with fees and completion of entry-level training.  Provisions are not available for reinstatement for Bail Bondsmen and Bail Enforcement Agents.

I took NRA firearms training; do I have to take firearms training from a DCJS-certified school?

An exemption may be granted provided the training meets or exceeds the requirements in the state regulations and qualification occurred on a DCJS approved firearm course. You must submit the partial training exemption application, fee and documentation to see if your training qualifies.

I am a former law enforcement official. Can I get an exemption from firearms training?

Yes, however, your training must have occurred within the past 12 months from a criminal justice agency, academy or correctional department within Virginia if applying for an initial firearm endorsement or within the 90 days immediately proceding the expiration date of an active firearm endorsement. You must submit the waiver application, fee and documentation to see if your training qualifies.

I have military training; can I get an exemption from firearms training?

No. Firearms training exemptions can only be given to those who have completed qualification within the past 12 months at a criminal justice agency, academy or correctional department within Virginia for initial firearm endorsement applications, or within the 90 days immediately preceding the expiration of an active firearm endorsement. You must submit the waiver application, fee and documentation to see if your training qualifies.

Can anyone take the advanced handgun course?

Yes, provided they have successfully completed an entry-level handgun course (07E) or the security officer handgun course (75E) from a DCJS-certified training school.

I qualified with a 9mm pistol but my company has issued .38 revolvers. Do I need to qualify with revolvers as well?

Yes. You must qualify with each type of action and caliber of firearm that you will carry. 

Will a firearms endorsement allow me to carry concealed?

No. Unless otherwise exempted by law, to carry concealed in the course of his/her duties, an individual must have in his/her possession a valid registration with a firearms endorsement; permission of employer; and a valid concealed handgun permit.

Locksmiths and employees of an Electronic Security Services Business with the exception of alarm respondents are exempt from the requirement to have a firearm endorsement when such person carries with him a valid concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

I already have a concealed weapon permit. Do I need a firearm endorsement from DJCS?

If you carry or have access to a firearm during the course of your duties in certain registered categories, you must have a firearm endorsement issued by DCJS to carry a firearm. This includes successful completion of training and submittal of the firearms endorsement application and fee.

Locksmiths and employees of an Electronic Security Services Business with the exception of alarm respondents are exempt from the requirement to have a firearm endorsement when such person carries with him a valid concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

Will the firing range or training school provide a handgun if I do not possess one?

You must contact the individual range or school for that information. 

When must I complete firearms training?

Firearms training must be completed before the firearms endorsement will be issued. After that, firearms retraining must be completed annually but only within the 90 days immediately preceding the expiration date of the active endorsement.  If training is not completed by the expiration date, entry level training will be required to reapply for an endorsement. 

Can any registered category be armed?

Yes for certain Private Security Services registration categories.  Armed security officers and Armored Car Personnel are required to have a firearm endorsement on their registration.  Private Investigators, Personal Protection Specialists, Security/Detector Canine Handlers, Alarm Respondents must have a firearm endorsement only if they will have access to a firearm in the performance of their duties. 

Bail Bondsmen, Bail Enforcement Agents and Special Conservators of the Peace licensure and registrations may also be armed if there is access to a firearm in the performance of their duties as well.

In order to be armed, you must submit the firearms endorsement application with fee, complete required firearms training, fulfill all other requirements and be eligible to carry a firearm. Certain criminal convictions and other barriers such as individuals currently under protective orders could make an applicant ineligible for a firearm endorsement.

How do I apply for and/or renew my firearms endorsement?

Please see the Programs section of our website for details. 

What is a firearms endorsement?

A firearms endorsement is a verification on a valid registration card to show that an individual has successfully completed the annual firearms training and has met the requirements as set forth in the regulations.  Armed registrations are issued for a two year period but the firearm endorsement will expire annually on the same month as the month of expiration of the Registration.  If a registration expires in December every two years, the firearm endorsement will expire each year in December.

 
Who is considered "armed"?

The term "armed" refers to certain private security registrants, bail bondsmen, bail enforcement agent, or SCOP who carries or has immediate access to a firearm in the performance of his duties.

Armed Private Security Services registration categories.  Armed security officers and Armored Car Personnel are required to have a firearm endorsement on their registration.  Private Investigators, Personal Protection Specialists, Security/Detector Canine Handlers, Alarm Respondents must have a firearm endorsement only if they will have access to a firearm in the performance of their duties. 

Locksmiths and employees of an Electronic Security Services Business with the exception of alarm respondents are exempt from the requirement to have a firearm endorsement when such person carries with him a valid concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

What types of documentation must accompany an extension request?

Physician's note, military or government orders or documentation of emergency temporary assignment.

Can I work during the extension period?

No. The private security services person, business, or training school shall be non-operational during the period of extension unless given an exemption by the Department in an emergency situation.

My license, registration, or certification has already expired. Can I get an extension?

No. Extension requests can only be submitted prior to the expiration of the license, registration or certification.This restriction may be waived based on the Department's individual evaluation of circumstances that justifiy a waiver. 

Who can request a renewal extension?

Businesses, training schools and individual registrants or certified personnel can request a renewal extension. 

I didn't receive my renewal reminder/training letter/renewal application; can I get an extension?

No. Timely renewal of applications for licenses, registrations, and certifications are the responsibility of the individual businesses, training schools, instructors, compliance agents, and individual personnel, although DCJS sends out renewal reminders as a courtesy to the last known mailing address. 

I will be out longer than I thought. Can I get another extension?

Yes. Additional renewal extensions may be approved upon written request of the person, business, or training school, provided an extension request is submitted with additional supporting documentation. The total time for renewal extension, including additional extensions, shall not exceed 12 months beyond the original expiration date.

The extension form says "projected date of ability to come into compliance." What does that mean?

The estimated date of when you will be able to fulfill all renewal requirements. The date can be extended if you are given new military orders or if your physical recovery is progressing slower than originally predicted. 

What are the reasons an extension may be granted?

The following are the only circumstances for which extensions may be granted:

  • Extended illness;
  • Extended injury;
  • Military or foreign service; or
  • Any emergency temporary assignment of private security personnel for purposes of (i) natural disaster, (ii) homeland security or (iii) documented threat by the private security services business or training school for which the personnel is employed.
How can I request a renewal extension?

You must submit the extension request form. It must be received prior to the expiration date with official documentation (include a copy of the physician's record of the injury or illness or a copy of the government orders) justifying the reason for the request and a projected date when the individual, business, or training school will be in compliance. The private security services business, individual or school must be non-operational during the period of extension.

How can I found out if anyone has made a complaint against my business, training school or registrant?

You can request that information in a written request to the Security Services Section of DCJS.

How can I found out if anyone has made a complaint against a business, training school or registrant?

You can request that information in a written request to the Security Services Section of DCJS.

What is an informal fact-finding conference?

An informal fact-finding conference is the first step in the appeal process if the respondent disagrees with the DCJS's decision to deny or sanction. This hearing is conducted to allow the respondent to dispute evidence or introduce evidence of mitigating circumstances. 

If I disagree with the decision made by DCJS, what can I do?

You may appeal the decision by submitting a written request for an informal fact-finding conference. The decisions may continue to be appealed through a formal hearing, a Criminal Justice Services Board hearing, and finally the Circuit Court. 

Where does the money collected from sanctions go?

By state law, all monetary penalties imposed as a sanction shall be deposited into the state treasury to the credit of the State Literary Fund. The Department of Criminal Justice Services does not benefit from monetary penalties.

Can DCJS suspend a license, registration, or certification if a fee payment is returned for non-sufficient funds?

Yes and this suspension is exempt from the Administrative Process Act. 

I am unhappy with the fees I was charged by a private security services business. Can I file a complaint with DCJS?

DCJS does not regulate the fees charged by a private security business. We do require the business to maintain documentary evidence of terms between the client and the business. You can file a complaint if you feel the business did not meet its agreement with you. 

I am unhappy with the results of an investigation conducted by a private investigator that I hired. Can I file a complaint with DCJS?

Yes, you should provide written information identifying the licensed private security business and the name of the investigator you contracted with to handle your investigation. You must provide information that can establish a violation of theVirginia Code or Adminstrative Code (regulations) governing private security.  Fee disputes will not be investigated unless the terms of the contract were not fulfilled.

 
Can I file a complaint over the telephone?

A complaint may be filed via telephone only if the complaint alleges activities which constitute a life-threatening situation, or have resulted in personal injury/loss to the public or to a consumer, or which may result in imminent harm or personal injury, and that provides sufficient detailed information for DCJS to conduct an investigation. 

Can I make an anonymous complaint?

Yes, however,  you must provide enough detail for DCJS to conduct an investigation. If you wish to remain anonymous, you cannot reveal your identity to anyone with DCJS and/or connected with this investigation. If we know your identity, we cannot refuse to provide it if requested. 

How do I file a complaint?

Complaints may be submitted: (1) In writing, or on a form provided by DCJS, signed by the complainant; (2) In writing, submitted anonymously, providing sufficient detailed information for DCJS to conduct an investigation; or (3) Via telephone, providing the complaint alleges activities which constitute a life-threatening situation, or have resulted in personal injury/loss to the public or to a consumer, or which may result in imminent harm or personal injury, and that provides sufficient detailed information for DCJS to conduct an investigation. . 

Are the results of investigations made public?

The results of a complaint investigated by DCJS are available to the public. 

What happens if a case is founded?

When an investigation is completed and violations of the Code of Virginia or Administrative Code (regulations) are founded, the respondent is notified by Consent Order. The Consent Order is a written, binding agreement that explains the violations and what the sanction may be. The sanction can range from probation to revocation to monetary penalty up to $2,500 per violation or any combination thereof. The sanction guidelines were endorsed by the Criminal Justice Service Board and take into consideration whether the offense is a 1st, 2nd or 3rd incident. The penalties become more severe if violations are repeated.

What happens if a case is unfounded?

After an investigation is completed and determined unfounded, the complainant and respondent are notified by mail that the investigation is closed and was unfounded. 

Do the recipients of the complaint have the right to know who complained?

The respondent in a complaint has the right to know the source of the complaint. The respondent will be informed if the complaint is submitted anonymously. Once DCJS knows the identity of the complainant, we cannot withhold that information from the respondent.

Are disciplinary actions public or private?

Public and they are available upon request. 

Are complaints public or private?

Investigations conducted in response to a complaint become a matter of public record when the investigation and adjudication is completed. 

Does DCJS accept any home-study courses, distance learning courses or online training?

Some courses are accepted. Please see a list of accepted courses on this website. 

Does DCJS accept any conferences or seminars?

Some events are accepted. Please see a list of accepted conferences and seminars on this website. 

Do I have to take training from a DCJS-certified school?

There are some alternatives. Please see a list of accepted alternatives on this website. 

If I have a degree in criminal justice from an accredited college or university, do I need to take training?

Yes, although how much training is determined on a case-by-case basis. You must submit the waiver application (PSS_WA) and fee along with documentation concerning the school, course syllabus, your grade and instructor credentials. 

If a course was taken in criminal justice at a college or university, do I need to receive training?

Yes, although how much training is determined on a case-by-case basis. You must submit the partial training exemption application and fee along with documentation concerning the school, course syllabus, your grade and instructor credentials.

Do I have to take the entire entry-level training course for my registered category?

Most likely, yes. If you have previous training and/or experience for the category in which you wish to register, you may qualify for a waiver (partial training exemption). For information on how to apply for a waiver, please see the "how to apply" section. 

The website said "space available" and I mailed my application immediately. However, I was not scheduled for the date I requested. What happened?

Individuals are scheduled in the order that their applications with payment are received. Applications are received every day for scheduling. This website is updated nightly.

I'm submitting my application this week, can you reserve a seat for me in the next DCJS class?

No. Individuals are scheduled in the order that their applications with payment are received. We cannot reserve seats in a class. 

If I fax my enrollment application, will it be processed quicker?

No, DCJS cannot accept faxed applications. In order for applications to be processed, they must be filled out correctly and submitted with proper payment and official documentation, if applicable. 

DCJS doesn't have a training class in my area and I expire in 30 days. What can I do?

We try to schedule training all over the state. All of our training dates/locations are posted on this website about one year in advance. We try to accommodate everyone, but you will need to take training prior to your expiration date in order to remain current. Sometimes, that means taking training in a location that is farther away than you would like. For other options, please see a list of accepted alternatives on our website. 

DCJS scheduled me for a class that is far from where I live. Do I have to attend?

Most likely, yes. Individuals are scheduled in the order that their applications with payment are received. If the training you requested was already full, you were scheduled for the next available training date prior to your expiration date. Apply early to reserve the training you wish to attend. If it is prior to your expiration date, we will try to put you in a training that is closer to you. For other options, please see a list of accepted alternatives on our website. 

Why didn't I get the training date/location I requested from DCJS?

Individuals are scheduled in the order that their applications with payment are received. If the training you requested was already full, you were scheduled for the next available training date prior to your expiration date

Does DCJS schedule individuals for training?

We schedule individuals for training conducted by DCJS such as compliance agent and general instructor development. For all other training in any registered category, you must contact the appropriate school and register for their training directly. 

I was registered with DCJS a few years ago. Do I need to start all over?

Yes, DCJS cannot accept training that is more than 12 months old so you will need to start over with entry-level training. 

I have attended an alternative training program and I would like to apply for a partial training exemption for possible credit. How far in advance of my expiration date should I submit this application (PSS_WA)?

Partial training exemptions are evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis and are not guaranteed for credit unless pre-approved. Therefore, to ensure that you have ample time to attend additional training if required, you should submit the partial training exemption application at least 90 days prior to your expiration date. However, if you have attended a pre-approved training alternative listed on our website, you should submit your application at least 30 days prior to your expiration date. 

If I take training early will I "lose time" on my expiration date?

No. Expiration dates are based on application date. You can complete training at any time during the 24 months prior to expiration and your registration will be renewed for 2 years from your current expiration date.

For armed registrations, firearm retraining/requalification will only be credited if completed within the 90 days immediately preceding the expiration date of the endorsement.

How often do I need to receive in-service training?

You must receive training once during each 24 month period of registration or certification and prior to the expiration date of the credential.

Ffirearms training must be completed annually as firearms endorsements are only issued on a one-year basis.  Firearms retraining/requalification will only be credited if it is completed with the last 90 days prior to the firearm endorsement expiration date.

How long do individuals have to submit an initial application to DCJS after completion of entry-level training?

For training to be credited, an application must be submitted within 12 months of the completion date. 

What do I do with my training completion form?

The training completion form is for your records only. Your employer's compliance agent should keep a copy in your employee file. Do not send it to DCJS. The school will submit a roster to us verifying your training. 

How is DCJS notified that I have completed my training?

Training is required to be reported to DCJS by the certified training school. Individuals should not send a training completion form to the DCJS. You can verify submission of training through the school you attended. Remember that training is not the only requirement for certification and/or registration. You must also meet all other application requirements prior to your credentials being issued by DCJS. 

Where can I receive training?

View our searchable directory of training schools. You can search by the course you wish to take. 

I have completed entry-level training within the 90 days; turned in my fingerprint card; and submitted my fingerprint fee. However, I have not submitted my registration application. Can I continue working up to 120 days?

The current regulation [6 VAC 20-171-120.D] specifies that an individual seeking registration as an unarmed security officer, alarm respondent, central station dispatcher, electronic security sales representative, electronic security technician, or electronic security technician's assistant may be employed for a period not to exceed 90 consecutive days in any categories listed above while completing the compulsory minimum training standards, provided the individual is not employed in excess of 120 days without having been issued a registration form the DCJS.  In essence, you have 90 days to complete the required training and your temporary registration letter will allow you to continue to work, however, you must then be properly registered with a valid Photo ID card in hand, no later than the 120th day of beginning employment.  

Do I have to be trained before I can work?

That depends upon which category you wish to work. A central station dispatcher, electronic security sales representative, electronic security technician, electronic security technician's assistant and an unarmed security officer can work for ninety consecutive days while completing the compulsory minimum training requirements provided their fingerprints were submitted on or before their date of hire. All other categories must have completed all required training and have a current registration in order to work in a registered category. 

What are the in-service training requirements?

Please see the individual registration category in the Programs section of our website for details. 

What are the entry-level training requirements?

Please see the individual registration category in the Programs section of our website for details. 

Is DCJS automatically notified by the insurance provider when I renew my insurance?

No, this is not always true. The fact that DCJS is a Certificate Holder should insure that notice is given if the policy is cancelled for any reason, but does not necessarily mean that the insurance company will send a certificate of insurance to DCJS each time the policy is renewed. 

Must a private security business or training school secure liability insurance or a surety bond?

Yes, the insurance or bond must be secured, in an amount fixed by DCJS, before the license or certification will be operative. The liability or surety bond must be maintained as long as the licensee or certificate holder is licensed or certified by DCJS. 

What happens if my insurance expires?

The license or school certification immediately becomes null and void and the business or school may not provide regulated services without the required liability coverage.  Each day of uninsured activity would be construed as an individual violation of the requirement to maintain current liability coverage and could result in sanctions to include monetary fines up to $2500.00 per day or suspension or revocation of the license or certification.

Special Conservator of the Peace Registrations immediately become null and void and the Special Conservator may not provide regulated services.

How do I verify that I have insurance?

Submit a Certificate of Insurance, reflecting the Department of Criminal Justice Services as Certificate Holder and in the prescribed amount.  This information must be submitted when applying for an initial or renewal license or school certification.  The licensed business or training school is required to maintain the liability in the prescribed amount at all times. 

Can I be issued a training school certification without bond or insurance?

No, the Code of Virginia states that a surety bond or general liability insurance is a requirement to be certified as a training school and that the bond or insurance must be maintained as long as the school is certified by DCJS. 

Can I be issued a registration as a Special Conservator of the Peace without it?

No, the Code of Virginia states that a surety bond or general liability insurance is a requirement to be registered as a Special Conservator of the Peace and that the bond or insurance must be maintained as long and the Special Conservator of the Peace is registered by DCJS. 

Can I be issued a business license without a bond or general liability insurance?

No, the Code of Virginia states that a surety bond or general liability insurance is a requirement for licensure and that the bond or insurance must be maintained as long as the business is licensed by DCJS.

What happens if my insurance lapses?

The license, registration or certification is immediately null and void. The business, school or Special Conservator of the Peace will have to complete an initial application and meet all initial application requirements. 

How much insurance do I need?

Private Security Services Businesses and Training Schools require: 

  • A surety bond in the amount of $100,000 executed by a surety company authorized to do business in Virginia, or
  • A certificate of insurance reflecting the department as a certificate holder, showing a policy of comprehensive general liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $100,000 per individual occurrence and $300,000 general aggregate issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Virginia

Special Conservators of the Peace require: 

  • A surety bond or cash bond in the amount not to be less than $10,000 executed by a surety company authorized to do business in Virginia, or
     
  • A certificate of insurance reflecting the department as a certificate holder, showing a policy of comprehensive general liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $10,000 issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Virginia.
Does DCJS have a list of providers that I must use?

No, but you must use a company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth. 

Where can I get insurance?

Insurance may be obtained from any surety company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Who needs insurance?

Every person licensed as a private security services business, certified as a private security services training school or registered as a Special Conservator of the Peace must have insurance or a surety bond. 

Who is notified if I have a criminal history?

You are immediately notified of the results of the National Criminal History Search if a conviction is reported that would deny you eligibility for applying for a credential. This notification is delivered by mail to your last known mailing address.  If your private security services business employer is known, the compliance agent of that business is only notified that your application has been denied.

My fingerprints are already on file, but when I submitted a new application I was told to submit them again. Why do I need to send them in again?

Whenever you submit an initial application  for a credentialyou must submit for a new criminal history records search with a new fingerprint application, fingerprint cards and fee unless you submitted fingerprints within the previous 120 days. 

If fingerprints were submitted within the last 120 days it must have been for the purpose of applying for another credential within the same regulatory program. For example you applied for a registration with the Private Security Services Program and you now wish to apply for a Private Security Services compliance agent certification. 

If you are applying under one of the other regulatory programs, Bail Bondsmen, Bail Enforcement Agents, Special Conservators of the Peace or a Tow Truck Driver Authorization, you must submit new fingerprint cards, application and fee.  The criminal history eligibility requirements are different for each program.

How long does it take to run the criminal history background search?

A criminal history is normally returned within 30 days after the submission of fingerprints to the Virginia State Police. However, it may take longer if the fingerprints are unclassifiable. 

I am changing employers. Should I send in a new registration application? Do I need to be fingerprinted again?

A registration is issued to an individual person and not the employer. Provided your registration is valid, you will not need to submit fingerprints again unless you are registered as armored car personnel. 

What is the one registration category that must submit fingerprints with their renewal registration application?

Armored car personnel are required to submit fingerprints each renewal period for a criminal history check. This is a federal requirement regarding the inter-state travel of armored cars. 

What does it mean when individual's fingerprints are found to be "unclassifiable"? What happens now?

When the fingerprints are submitted to the Virginia State Police (VSP), they determine if the prints are classifiable or unclassifiable. If they are classifiable, the criminal history is returned to the DCJS. If the fingerprints are unclassifiable, the VSP notifies the DCJS and the applicant is notified to submit another fingerprint card. The second submission is at no cost or penalty to the applicant if returned within 30 days.

For what reasons may DCJS deny a registration, license or certification?

The Criminal Justice Services Board, through DCJS, is obligated to secure the public safety and welfare against incompetent, unqualified, unscrupulous, or unfit persons engaging in the activities of private security services. An individual with a criminal history involving a conviction of a felony or certain misdemeanors may be denied licensure, registration or certification. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude (lying, stealing, cheating); assault and battery; damage to real or personal property; controlled substances (drugs) or imitation controlled substances; prohibited sexual behavior; or firearms offenses or any felony may have their application denied.  Bail Bondsmen, Bail Enforcement Agents, and SCOP should see their specific FAQ's relating to this question. 

The business license application/training school certification application states that all principals and supervisors must submit fingerprints. Who are they?
  1. "Principal" means any sole proprietor, individual listed as an officer or director with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, board member of the association, or partner of a licensed firm or applicant for licensure.
  2. "Supervisor" means any natural person who directly or indirectly supervises registered or certified private security services business personnel.
What does the term "date of hire" mean?

This term refers to the date any employee of a private security services business or training school performs services regulated or required to be regulated by DCJS. 

Is there a criminal penalty for making a false statement in the personal descriptive information on the fingerprint card?

Yes, it is a class 5 felony. 

I have been fingerprinted while I was working as a law enforcement official. Why do I need to submit fingerprints to DCJS Private Security Services Section?

Current and /former law enforcement officials who have been fingerprinted by a federal, state or local law enforcement agency do not register the results with DCJS. Since the criminal history information cannot be distributed to any other source, we cannot obtain the criminal history from a previous employer. Additionally, while one's fingerprints do not change, a criminal history may.

Who needs to submit fingerprints to DCJS?

Fingerprints must be submitted by anyone wishing to receive a credential for any program regulated by the Private Security Services Section at DCJS. 

How do I submit fingerprints to DCJS?

Please see the fingerprints page of our website for details. 

Can I send in the documentation for waivers and/or compliance agent applications to have it approved BEFORE I send in the fee?

No. Applications and/or documentation received without proper fees cannot be processed and will be returned. 

I paid for one of my applications but not the other. Why haven't I been issued the one that has been paid?

No licenses, certifications or registrations will be issued until all outstanding fees or monetary penalties owed to DCJS are paid in full. 

What happens if my check was returned for insufficient funds?

DCJS may suspend the registration, license, certification, or authority it has granted any person, licensee or registrant.

What is the reinstatement fee?

For any Private Security or SCOP programs, a reinstatement fee must be submitted for renewal applications receivedwithin 60 days after a license, registration or certification has expired. The reinstatement fee is 50% above and beyond the renewal fee and must be submitted with all appropriate paperwork before your renewal will be issued.   Bail Bondsmen and Bail Enforcement Agents do not have provisions for reinstatement.

What is this fee for?

All fees are listed on each application. Go to the Forms & Applications page to view and/or download the applications.  In addition a full schedule of fees is available in the regulations 6VAC20-171-20.

I changed my mind about becoming involved in private security. Can I get a refund?

No. All fees are non-refundable. 

What do the application fees cover?

These fees reflect the costs of handling, issuance, and production associated with administering and processing applications for licensing, registration, certification and other administrative requests for services relating to programs regulated by the Private Security Services Section. 

Can I appeal a denial based on criminal history?

If you are denied licensure, registration or certification you will be notified by mail. You can appeal that denial by submitting a written request for an Informal Fact Finding Conference under the Administrative Process Act.  The letter of denial will explain how to submit this request. 

Who is notified if I have a criminal history?

If you have a criminal history that leads to the denial of your application, you will receive a denial letter that states why you were denied. Additionally, the compliance agent for the business you were employed by is notified that you are ineligible to work in the private security industry. 

My case was nolle prossed or dismissed. Do I have a conviction?

No. 

I plead no contest (nolo contendere). Is that considered a conviction?

If you plead "nolo contendere" (no contest) you stated that while you do not wish to plead guilty you agree that the prosecutor has sufficient evidence that the court would find you guilty. This is considered the same as pleading guilty as far as the conviction is concerned. Offering an "Alford Plea" is also considered a guilty plea. 

I was not sent to jail so do I have a conviction on my record?

If you were arrested for a criminal offense and appeared in court, a decision was made as to your guilt or innocence. If you paid court cost, a fine or served community service and/or were sentenced to jail, you were convicted. Sometimes the court will defer judgment until you have completed some requirement and then dismiss the charge. If you are unsure whether you were convicted or not, you should list the charge and we will make a determination when the criminal history is returned. 

I was only convicted of a misdemeanor. Will DCJS deny my registration?

The Director of DCJS has established criminal history guidelines for the Private Security Services Section to use when reviewing criminal histories. The Code of Virginia requires denial of a license, registration or certification for specific violations listed under §9.1-139K of the Code. Should you be denied a license, registration or certification, you can appeal that denial by submitting a written request for an Informal Fact Finding Conference under the Administrative Process Act.  The letter of denial will explain how to submit this request.

What is required of a licensee who sells or otherwise transfers the ownership of a monitoring agreement of an electronic security customer?

The business must notify the end user in writing within 30 days of the transfer of monitoring services. The agreement can only be transferred to another electronic security company licensed to do business in Virginia. 

How Do I Apply and Renew an Electronic Security Businesses License?

For information on how to apply for a business license, please visit the Business page.

Are electronic security businesses different than other private security services businesses?

Are electronic security businesses different than other private security services businesses?
No. They must apply for a business license and adhere to all administrative requirements and standards of conduct for any private security services business. For more information on private security businesses, please see the "business" FAQ

What is an "electronic security technician's assistant"?

A natural person who works as a laborer under the supervision of the electronic security technician in the course of his normal duties, but who may not make connections to any electronic security equipment. 

What is an "electronic security technician"?

A natural person who installs, services, maintains or repairs electronic security equipment.

What is an "electronic security sales representative"?

A natural person who sells electronic security equipment on behalf of an electronic security business to the end user. 

What is "electronic security equipment"?

Electronic or mechanical alarm signaling devices including: burglar alarms, holdup alarms, or cameras used to detect intrusion, concealment or theft to safeguard and protect persons and property. This shall not include tags, labels, and other devices that are attached or affixed to items offered for sale, library books, and other protected articles as part of an electronic article surveillance and theft detection and deterrence system. 

What is an "electronic security employee"?

A natural person who is employed by an electronic security business in any capacity which may give him/her access to information concerning the design, extent, status, password, contact list, or location of an end user's electronic security equipment. 

What is an "electronic security business"?

Any person who engages in the business of or undertakes to: (i) sell; (ii) install, service, maintain, design or consult in the design of any electronic security equipment to an end user; (iii) respond to or cause a response to electronic security equipment for an end user; or (iv) have access to confidential information concerning the design, extent, status, password, contact list, or location of an end user's electronic security equipment. 

What does the term "date of hire" mean?

This term refers to the date any employee of a private security services business or training school performs services regulated or required to be regulated by DCJS. 

Can a compliance agent work for more than one employer?

Yes, please note, some employers may prohibit such actions when acting in a dual capacity between private security services businesses, as it may be considered a conflict of interest.  You should check with your employer's policy for more clarification.

Can a private security services business be issued an initial license without a compliance agent?

No, a compliance agent must be designated in writing on forms provided by DCJS. 

Can compliance agents reinstate?

Yes, but they only have 60 days to complete training provided they submit a renewal application, renewal fee and reinstatement fee.

When must compliance agent in-service training be completed?

This training must be completed within 12 months preceding the expiration date. 

What must a business do upon termination of the sole remaining compliance agent?

The business must notify the department in writing within 10 calendar days and provide the name of the individual responsible for the licensee's adherence to applicable administrative requirements and standards of conduct during the period of replacement. A new certified compliance agent must be designated within 90 days following the sole compliance agent's termination.

How long must a licensee maintain appropriate documentation to verify compliance of its employees with DCJS regulations?

Documents must be maintained after employment is terminated for a period of not less than 3 years. 

If a certified compliance agent is employed solely for the purpose of being designated as such for a licensee, must he/she maintain a valid registration in a category that the business offers as a service?

No, the compliance agent does not have to be trained and registered in any category unless he/she is actually providing regulated services in addition to compliance agent duties. 

I need to complete compliance agent training before my certification expires in 30 days. You do not have a training class in my area in that time. What can I do?

We try to schedule training all over Virginia. All of our training dates/locations are posted on the website about one year in advance. We try to accommodate everyone, but you will need to take training prior to your expiration date in order to remain current. Sometimes, that means attending a training in a location that is farther away than you would like. However, you now have the option of completing training online. Go to the Training Alternatives webpage for details. 

I applied for compliance agent in-service training and was scheduled for a class that is far from where I live. Do I have to attend?

Individuals are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. If the training you requested was already full, you were scheduled for the next available training date prior to your expiration date. Apply early to reserve the training you wish to attend. If it is prior to your expiration date, we will try to put you in a training that is closer to you. However, you now have the option of completing your training online. Go to the Training Alternatives webpage for details. 

I applied for compliance agent training. Why didn't I get the training date-location I requested?

Individuals are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. If the training you requested was already full, you were scheduled for the next available training date prior to your expiration date. 

What is "official documentation" regarding compliance agents?

The term "official documentation" 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. 

How do I apply for certification or renew certification as a compliance agent?

Please visit the Compliance Agent page of our website for details. 

What does DCJS consider a "related field"?

Employment in a related field is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Such fields may include loss prevention or assets protection for a proprietary business; electrical work if applying for an electronic security business; military experience and/or other employment or experience that relates to security functions. 

What are the qualifications for becoming a compliance agent?
  1. Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  2. Be a United States Citizen or legal resident alien of the United States
  3. File a properly completed application and fingerprints
  4. Pay the nonrefundable certification fee
  5. Satisfactory completion of department regulatory compliance entry-level training 
What are the duties of the compliance agent?

Compliance agents ensure that the licensee and all employees conform to all application requirements, administrative requirements and standards of conduct pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations.  In addition, the agent ensures that all regulated employees carry proper credentials while on duty. Compliance agents also maintain documentation for all employees, or persons otherwise utilized, that verifies compliance with requirements pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations.

What is a compliance agent?

A natural person employed by a licensed private security services business to assure the compliance of the private security services business and its personnel with the Code of Virginia and the state regulations relating to private security services. 

There has been a change in the type of owners/entity after receiving my business license. What do I have to do?

Contact the Licensing Coordinator immediately to verify if any additional requirements need to be met. Any new officers will need to submit fingerprints and if there is an entity change it may require initial licensing requirements. 

How long after I submit the application will it take before I receive my license?

It can take up to 30 days to be issued a business license depending on when all requirements are met. 

How can I find out if a business is licensed?
Does DCJS need to be notified if a change in a business' ownership or principals does not result in the creation of a new legal entity?

Yes, DCJS needs written notification within 30 days of such a change. Written notification should include fingerprint cards and social security numbers of the new owners or principals. 

Can a private security services business be issued an initial license without a compliance agent?

No, a compliance agent must be designated in writing on forms provided by DCJS. 

What must a business do upon termination of the sole remaining compliance agent?

The business must notify the department in writing within 10 calendar days and provide the name of the individual responsible for the licensee's adherence to applicable administrative requirements and standards of conduct during the period of replacement. 

A new certified compliance agent must be designated within 90 days following the sole compliance agent's termination.

What are the duties of the compliance agent?

Compliance agents ensure that the licensee and all employees conform to all application requirements, administrative requirements and standards of conduct pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations.  In addition, the agent ensures that all regulated employees carry a state issued photo identification.  Compliance agents also maintain documentation for all employees, or persons otherwise utilized, that verifies compliance with requirements pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations. 

How long must a licensee maintain appropriate documentation to verify compliance of its employees with state regulations?

Documents must be maintained after employment is terminated for a period of not less than 3 years. 

What happens if my business fails to maintain at all times current liability coverage in at least the minimum amount prescribed by the Regulations?

The license immediately becomes null and void and the business may not provide regulated services without the required liability coverage.  Each day of uninsured activity would be construed as an individual violation of the requirement to maintain current liability coverage and could result in sanctions to include monetary fines up to $2500.00 per day or suspension or revocation of the license.

When should DCJS receive business license renewals?

Renewals should be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to their expiration. 

I didn't receive my renewal reminder. Can I get an extension?

No. Timely renewal of applications for licenses, registrations, and certifications are the responsibility of the individual businesses, training schools, instructors, compliance agents, and individual personnel. DCJS normally sends out a reminder as a courtesy to the last known mailing address or email address, but due to current technical difficulties the Department is unable to send individual reminders. The Department is working to address this issue. 

To ensure that you renew timely, remember the expiration date is listed directly on your credential, and it is your responsibility to submit for renewal 30 days in advance of the expiration.  Should you fail to renew prior to the expiration, you may apply for reinstatement during the immediate 60 days after your expiration date.   There are limited reasons in which an individual may request an extension, for more information on extensions, see the Extension FAQ.

How does a change in ownership affect licensure?

If a new legal entity is created a new private security services license must be obtained.

If a certified compliance agent is employed solely for the purpose of being designated as such for a licensee, must the certified compliance agent maintain a valid registration in a category that the business offers as a service?

No, the compliance agent does not have to be trained and registered in any category unless he/she is actually providing regulated services in addition to compliance agent duties. 

Can a business have more than one compliance agent?

Yes, a business is required to maintain one compliance agent but may designate as many compliance agents as needed.  If a company has more then one compliance agent it must advise DCJS of the primary agent for contact purposes.

What is a compliance agent?

This is an individual designated by the business and certified by DCJS whose responsibilities are to ensure that the licensee and all employees conform to all application requirements, administrative requirements and standards of conduct pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations. Compliance agents also maintain documentation for all employees, or persons, that verifies compliance with requirements pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the state regulations. 

Can I solicit for business while I'm waiting for approval of my business license?

No, you can only solicit business once issued a private security services business license.

What is the business license category fee?

A $50.00 fee for each additional category of service over one category that the licensee provides. 

Is there a criminal penalty for operating a private security services business without a license?

Yes, it is a Class I misdemeanor to engage in the private security services business without a license. 

Can a business be issued a temporary business license?

Yes, it may be issued while waiting the results of the state and national fingerprint search. In addition, all other requirements must be met. 

When can a business begin providing private security services in Virginia?

The business may begin providing this service only after they have been issued a private security services business license. 

What is considered to be subcontracting?

If your business cannot provide all security services requested by your client, you may subcontract those services to another licensed private security services business.  If you choose to do this, keep in mind that a 1099 cannot be issued to the subcontractor. 

What is proprietary or "in-house"?

Exclusively owned or private. For example: Kings Dominion Amusement Park employs personnel for their security needs. Kings Dominion is a proprietary business and their security employees are "in-house" proprietary security personnel. Additionally, "loss prevention" or "assets protection" for stores such as Kmart or Target are individuals employed by the company and therefore are not required to be registered with DCJS. 

Does my business have to be licensed?

A company is required to be licensed if it is engaged in the business of providing, or who undertakes to provide, armored car personnel, security officers, personal protection specialists, private investigators, couriers, security canine handlers, alarm respondents, central station dispatchers, electronic security employees, electronic security sales representatives or electronic security technicians and their assistants to another person under contract, expressed or implied. 

Who is considered a "principal" of a company?

Any sole proprietor, individual listed as an officer or director with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, board member of the association, or partner of a licensed firm or applicant for licensure may be considered a "principal" of a company. This person(s) must submit fingerprints with the business license application. 

What must I put my DCJS business license number on?

You must display your business license number on business advertising material, display advertisements in telephone directories, letterhead, business cards, local newspaper advertising, contracts, and any electronic medium, including the Internet, social media, and digital advertising. 

What is the business license number?

The official number issued to a private security services business licensed by DCJS. The number will be 11- followed by 4 digits – (11-1234). 

How do I renew a business license?

Please visit the Business page of our website for details. 

How do I apply for a business license?

Please Business page of our website for details. 

What is an "electronic security business"?

Any person who engages in the business of or undertakes to (i) sell, (ii) install, service, maintain, design or consult in the design of any electronic security equipment to an end user; (iii) respond to or cause a response to electronic security equipment for an end user; or (iv) have access to confidential information concerning the design, extent, status, password, contact list, or location of an end user's electronic security equipment. 

What is a "private security services business"?

Any person engaged in the business of providing, or who undertakes to provide, armored car personnel, security officers, personal protection specialists, private investigators, couriers, security canine handlers, security canine teams, detector canine handlers, detector canine teams, alarm respondents, locksmiths, central station dispatchers, electronic security employees, electronic security sales representatives or electronic security technicians and their assistants to another person under contract, expressed or implied.

 
Please see the "Training Director" and "Instructor" sections of this FAQ for additional information.
I didn't receive my renewal reminder. Can I get an extension?

No. Timely renewal of applications for licenses, registrations, and certifications are the responsibility of the individual businesses, training schools, instructors, compliance agents, and individual personnel. DCJS normally sends out a reminder as a courtesy to the last known mailing address or email address, but due to current technical difficulties the Department is unable to send individual reminders. The Department is working to address this issue. 

To ensure that you renew timely, remember the expiration date is listed directly on your credential, and it is your responsibility to submit for renewal 30 days in advance of the expiration.  Should you fail to renew prior to the expiration, you may apply for reinstatement during the immediate 60 days after the certification expiration date.  There are limited reasons in which an individual may request an extension, for more information on extensions, see the Extension FAQ.

When should DCJS receive training school certification renewals?

Renewals should be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to their expiration. 

How long is a training school certification valid?

Training school certifications are valid for 24 months. 

Can a private security services training school be issued an initial certification without a training director?

No, a training director must be designated in writing on forms provided by DCJS. 

What must a training school do upon termination of the training director?

The school must submit the name of a new training director who is eligible for certification within 90 days following the sole training director's termination. 

What happens if a training school fails to maintain, at all times, current liability coverage in at least the minimum amount prescribed by the state regulations?

The certification immediately becomes null and void and the school may not provide regulated services without the required liability coverage.  Each day of uninsured activity would be construed as an individual violation of the requirement to maintain current liability coverage and could result in sanctions to include monetary fines up to $2500.00 per day or suspension or revocation of the certification.

On what types of documentation must training schools include their certification number?

The certification number must be included on business advertising material, display advertisements in telephone directories, letterhead, business cards, local newspaper advertising, and contracts. 

What is the training school ID number?

The official number issued to a private security services training school certified by DCJS. The number will be 88 followed by 4 digits (88-1234). 

Can DCJS grant a temporary exemption from the requirements for licensure, certification, or registration?

For a period of no more than 30 days, DCJS may grant a temportary exemption only in situations deemed to be an emergency by DCJS. 

When can a school begin conducting private security services classes in Virginia?

A school can begin only after they have been issued a private security services training school certification or temporary certification. 

How Do I Apply and Renew an Training School certification?

For information on how to apply, please visit the Training School page.

What type of license/registration/certification must I have?

You must possess a valid certification as a certified training school before you can offer classes. Classes must be taught by instructors certified to instruct in the categories for which the school offers instruction. 

Can the director be the sole instructor?

Yes. 

Is a training school required to have an assistant director?

No. It is not required by DCJS. 

How many assistant training directors can a single school have?

A single school can have four assistant training directors. 

What is electronic roster submittal?

Each training director/assistant training director has the authority to submit a training school roster to the DCJS electronically through our on-line system.

What is a certified training school?

A training school that is certified by DCJS for the specific purpose of training private security services business personnel in at least one category of the compulsory minimum training standards. 

Please see the "instructor" and "school" sections of this FAQ for additional information.
How can I get authorization for a subject matter specialist or guest lecturer?

Please see the Subject Matter Specialist section of this FAQ and/or the Apply and Renew section for details. 

Can I be a training director for more than one school at the same time?

No, but you are not restricted from providing training for more than one certified training school as an instructor. 

I am just going to be the director. Do I need to be certified as an instructor?

Yes. The training director must be currently certified as an instructor even if he/she does not provide instruction. 

Do I have to be trained before I can work?

Yes. You must have a current, valid certification as an instructor, which requires ongoing training. At this time, there is no additional training required for a school director designation. 

Do I have to have a certification before I can work?

Yes. You must have a certification as an instructor and work for a certified private security services school in order to instruct private security services regulated subjects or perform the functions of a school director. 

What type of license/registration/certification must I have?

You must be certified as an instructor and designated by an owner or principal of the certified training school. Currently, there is no certification as training director or assistant training director. 

What is an assistant training director?

A certified instructor designated by a private security training school director to submit training school session notifications and training rosters and perform administrative duties in lieu of the director. 

What is a training school director?

A person designated by a principal of a certified private security services training school to assure the compliance of the private security services training school with all applicable requirements as provided in the Code of Virginia and the state regulations.

Is a certified instructor required to be present during a guest lecturer's instruction?

Yes. 

Is a certified instructor required to be present during a subject matter specialist's instruction?

No.

What type of documentation should I provide with a subject matter specialist/guest lecturer application?

Official documentation verifying previous training, work experience, and education for those subjects in which authorization to instruct is requested. 

Can a subject matter specialist conduct firearms training?

No. A certified firearms instructor is required to instruct all portions of any firearms courses including range qualifications. 

Can a subject matter specialist or guest lecturer work for more than one employer?

This question must be answered by an individual company's policy because it is not regulated by DCJS. 

What are some examples of the topics a subject matter specialist can teach?

You may wish to have an attorney instruct the basic law portion of 02E private investigator entry-level training. You may wish to have a law enforcement officer discuss arrest techniques in the 05E armed security officer arrest authority class. 

How long is a subject matter specialist or guest lecturer authorization valid?

The authorization is valid for 24 months.

How Do I Apply and Renew an a Subject Matter Specialist or Guest Lecturer Authorization

For information on how to apply, please visit the Subject Matter Specialist/Guest Lecturer page.

How do I let DCJS know that I plan on using a subject matter specialist or guest lecturer to present material in one of my training classes?

Submit the Subject Matter Specialist/Guest Lecturer form and documentation of the individual's experience. You must receive written authorization from DCJS prior to allowing the individual to provide instruction.

How do I apply to be a subject matter specialist or guest lecturer?

The certified training school that wishes to utilize your expertise must apply on your behalf. You cannot be authorized as a subject matter specialist in general and solicit services to a school.  The school will need to submit a Subject Matter Specialist/Guest Lecturer form with your signature. The application must specifiy which area(s) of training the request addresses. A subject matter specialist or guest lecturer may only present portions of certified training sessions and not a course in its entirety.

What type of license/registration/certification must I have?

The school must possess written authorization from DCJS to instruct the portions of mandated subjects that you wish to teach.

What is a guest lecturer?

A person providing mandated instruction in specific portions of private security subjects, with a certified instructor present, for a certified private security services training school.     

What is a subject matter specialist?

A person authorized by the department to provide mandated instruction in specific portions of private security regulated programs, without a certified instructor present, for a certified private security services training school. 

What happens if an instructor's certification is not renewed prior to its expiration or reinstated within 60 days following its expiration date?

The individual must complete all initial requirements including training. 

When must I complete in-service training?

You must complete the in-service training within 12 months immediately preceding the expiration date of your instructor certification. 

What are the requirements for becoming a firearms instructor?
  • Must first be certified with the DCJS as a general instructor.
  • Successful completion of a firearm instructor development program, which meets or exceeds standards established by the department within three years immediately preceding the date of the application; OR
  • Successful completion of a firearm instructor development program longer than 3 years prior to the date of application and has provided instruction during the 3 years immediately preceding, or has provided instruction in a related field at an institution of higher learning. OR
  • Complete the DCJS firearms instructor development entry-level course.
  • Official documentation of previous training and a minimum of 2 years work experience in the category of firearms requested.
  • Official documentation that the applicant has successfully qualified with a minimum firearm range qualification of 85% in each of the following: revolver, semi-automatic handgun; and shotgun.  If applying for a Patrol Rifle instructor designation a minimum firearm range qualification of 85% is also required.
Are there additional requirements for becoming a certified private security firearms instructor?

Yes. In order to be certified as a firearms instructor, you must first become certified as a private security services instructor. See next question for details. 

What type of documentation should I provide with my initial instructor application?

Official documentation verifying previous instructor experience, training, work experience and education for those subjects in which certification is requested. 

What type of training must I have to become an instructor?
  • Successful completion of an instructor development program, which meets or exceeds standards established by the department within three years immediately preceding the date of the application; OR
  • Successful completion of an instructor development program longer than 3 years prior to the date of application and have provided instruction during the 3 years immediately preceding, OR
  • Has provided instruction in a related field at an institution of higher learning. OR
  • Complete the DCJS general instructor (13E) development entry-level course (PSS_GE).
What type of experience must I possess to become an instructor?
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
  • Minimum of 3 years management or supervisory experience with a private security services business or with any federal, military police, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency, or in a related field; OR
  • Have 5 years general experience in a private security services business, with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, or in a related field; OR
  • Have a minimum of one-year experience as an instructor or teacher at an accredited educational institution or agency in the subject matter for which certification is requested, or in a related field.
  • Additionally, you must submit official documentation of previous training and a minimum of 2 years work experience in the category you wish to become certified to instruct. For more information, please refer to the following portion of the Regulations Relating to Private Security: 6 VAC 20-171-100. Initial instructor application.
I only want to teach firearms; do I have to be certified as a private security services instructor?

Yes. All instructors must first be certified as private security instructors before they can be certified as firearms instructors. 

How can I add additional categories to my current instructor certification?

Submit a written request to the attention of the Training Unit to include any additional documentation to verify eligibility to teach in the requested subjects. You must have training and/or experience in the specific category in order to be eligible for instructor certification. For more information, please refer to the following portion of the Regulations Relating to Private Security: 6 VAC 20-171-100. Initial instructor application. Please note that Firearms Instructors have additional requirements. Please see the question below. 

I am already an instructor through DCJS for law enforcement. How do I become an instructor for private security services?

Most likely you will not have to take our general instructor development entry-level class. You will need to submit a partial training exemption application (PSS WA) and fee in order for us to evaluate and credit your law enforcement instructor training. You will also need to show official documentation of ongoing in-service training or experience conducting training if your entry-level training was completed more than 24 months prior to applying. After you have been notified of receiving credit for your training, you will need to submit the PSS IA initial instructor application, nonrefundable fee, and documentation of experience and/or training in the categories in which you are seeking certification to instruct. 

How long is an instructor certification valid?

Certifications are valid for 24 months. 

Do I have to take the DCJS course to be an instructor?

No. View the training alternatives website for a list of schools that offer entry-level and/or in-service instructor training accepted by DCJS.

Do I have to be trained before I can work?

Yes. You must have completed training prior to applying for certification as an instructor. For more information, please View the Apply and Renew page for Instructors

Do I have to have a certification before I can work?

Yes. You must have a certification as an instructor and work for a certified private security services school in order to instruct private security subjects. 

What are the in-service training requirements for a firearms instructor?

14I Firearms Instructor In-service (4 hours) and requalification on the range with a minimum range score of 85%.

What are the in-service training requirements for a private security services instructor?

13I General Instructor In-service (4 Hours) 

What are the entry-level training requirements for a private security services instructor?

13E General Instructor Development (40 hours) 

How Do I Apply and Renew an Instructor certification?

For information on how to apply, please visit the Instructor page.

What type of license/registration/certification must I have?

You must possess a valid certification as an instructor. Your instructor certification will state which courses you are certified to teach. 

What is a private security services instructor?

A person certified by DCJS to provide mandated instruction in private security subjects for a certified private security services training school. 

If I am approved for an exemption, how much additional training will be required?

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

Additional Information:
  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.
Where do I go for more information?

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. 

I was denied a partial training exemption, what do I do next?

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. 

When will an approved exemption expire?

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. 

I received a partial training exemption for entry-level requirements. Can I apply for another exemption instead of taking the additional training in my letter of approval?

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. 

What is "official documentation"?

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. 

How do I apply for a partial training exemption?

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. 

How many categories may I apply for on one application?

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.) 

When should I apply for a partial training exemption?

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.

What categories of training are not eligible for exemption?
  • 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  
For in-service training credit, what kind of training is eligible?

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.

 
How do I know if I am eligible?

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
What is a training exemption?

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. 

Do I have to be a current bail enforcement agent in order to begin the licensure process?

No. You can begin the licensure process and take training without previously being a bail enforcement agent 

I am former law enforcement. Do I need to take training?

You may be approved for partial exemption of training if you meet the exemption requirements pursuant to 6 VAC 20-260-140. Some training requirements will still apply. 

How long is a Bail Enforcement Agent license valid?

The license is valid for 24 months. Licenses must be renewed prior to licensure expiration to include completion of in-service training. 

Does being a Bail Enforcement Agent allow me to carry a concealed weapon?

No, persons who carry or have access to a firearm while on duty must have a firearm endorsement as described under 6 VAC 20-260-80 of the state regulations. If carrying a handgun concealed, the person must also have a valid concealed handgun permit, and the written permission of his employer pursuant to 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia. 

What criminal history would be a basis for denial as a bail enforcement agent?

Persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last five year; a misdemeanor that is similar to brandishing a firearm or stalking, or any felony within the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States, who have not been pardoned, or whose civil rights have not been restored, or persons currently the subject of a protective order. 

Where will the approved training be taught?

For a searchable directory of training schools click the following link: https://www.cms.dcjs.virginia.gov/GLSuiteWeb/Clients/VADCJS/Public/Verification/Business/Search.aspx.

Will there be any exemption of training standards for previous training and/or experience as a bail enforcement agent?
  1. Persons previously employed as law-enforcement officers for a local, state or federal government who have not terminated or been terminated from said employment more than five years prior to the application date must submit official documentation of the following with the application for partial exemption of the entry-level training requirements.
    1. Completion of law-enforcement entry level training; and
    2. Five continuous years of law-enforcement employment provided such employment as a law-enforcement officer was not terminated due to misconduct or incompetence.
  2. Persons having previous bail enforcement agent training and five years continuous experience must submit official documentation of the following with the application for partial exemption:
  3. Completion of previous bail enforcement agent training, which has been approved by the department and which meets or exceeds the compulsory minimum training standards promulgated by the board; and
  4. Five years continuous experience in bail recovery provided such experience did not end more than twelve months prior to submittal of licensure application.
What training is required in order to obtain a license?

The compulsory minimum entry-level training hour requirement excluding examinations and practical exercises is 40 hours. The course code for DCJS is SC44. To see the topical outline or find a certified school, check the following links:

Will existing Bail Enforcement Agent be "grandfathered" from licensure requirements?

No provision was included in the law to exempt current bail enforcement agents from the new licensure requirements.

If I have a misdemeanor conviction can it be waived by the department in order for me to obtain a license?

A misdemeanor conviction may be waived for good cause shown, so long as the conviction was not for one of the following or a substantially similar misdemeanor: carrying a concealed weapon, assault and battery, sexual battery, a drug offense, driving under the influence, discharging a firearm, a sex offense, or larceny. 

What would make a person ineligible to be a Bail Enforcement Agent?
  • Persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last five years; a misdemeanor that is similar to brandishing a firearm or stalking, or any felony within the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States, who have not been pardoned, or whose civil rights have not been restored, or persons currently the subject of a protective order
  • Employee of a local or regional jail; sheriff's office; state or local police department; an office of an attorney for the Commonwealth; Department of Corrections, Department of Criminal Justice Services, or a local community corrections agency.
What are the minimum requirements for eligibility as a Bail Enforcement Agent?
  • Be a minimum of 21 years of age;
  • Be a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States;
  • Have received a high school diploma or GED; and
  • Have successfully completed the Bail Enforcement Agent Entry-Level Training (44E)
What are the Licensure Requirements for a Bail Enforcement Agent?
  • Initial Bail Enforcement Agent application and $200.00 nonrefundable licensure fee.
  • Complete the 40-hour entry-level training at a DCJS certified training school.
  • Fingerprint card, Fingerprint Processing Application and applicable non-refundable fee. For more information, view the Fingerprints page.

For those who will have access to a firearm, they must complete the requirements for a Firearms Endorsement. For more information, view the Firearms Endorsement page. 

Who is exempted from this law?

This law shall not apply to a licensed bail bondsman or law enforcement officer. 

What is bail recovery?

Bail recovery means an act whereby a person arrests a bailee with the object of surrendering the bailee to the appropriate court, jail, or police department, for the purpose of discharging the bailee’s surety from liability on his bond. “Bail recovery” shall include investigating, surveilling or locating a bailee in preparation for an imminent arrest, with such object and for such purpose. 

What is a Bail Enforcement Agent?

A bail enforcement agent also known as a “bounty hunter” means any individual engaged in bail recovery. 

What if the bail bondsman has a show cause hearing and knows that the defendant is back in jail?

The property bail bondsman must include the outstanding amount on every monthly report until the court releases the bond. 

What if the bail bondsman has perfected a bail piece and is waiting for the courts to release the bond?

The property bail bondsman must include the outstanding amount on every monthly report until the court releases the bond. 

What if the defendant is found guilty and the courts will not release the bond until the sentencing of the defendant?

The property bail bondsman must include the outstanding amount on every monthly report until the court releases the bond. 

What if the courts have deferred a case and will drop the charges if the defendant meets stipulations?

The property bail bondsman must include the outstanding amount on every monthly report until the court releases the bond. 

What if a different case number is assigned to each charge; therefore one defendant could have unlimited case numbers for one bond?

Consecutively you need to enter each case number on each row of the report. Put the bond amount on the top one. On the others in the bond amount column put the following words: "See case number #" (include the case number of the total amount). 

What if the Case numbers are not available when a perfecting a bond?

If you cannot locate a case number at the time of the reporting period, use the words "Unable to obtain" in the case number field. The next month you should be able to locate the case number by working with the clerks or on the Internet courtroom case information site. 

Can a bonding company submit one report per company, which includes all agents bonds?

No. Each licensed bail bondsman is required by statute to submit a monthly outstanding bond report. 

When must the outstanding monthly bond report be submitted to the department?

The form must be submitted to the department by the 5th of the month. 

I own the property that is used for my bail bonding business. Must each one of my agents obtain a property bail bondsman license?

Yes, each agent is defined as a property bail bondsman and must have a bail bondsman license in order to provide bail-bonding services in the Commonwealth.

In addition to the general licensure requirements, what other requirements must be met to obtain a property bail bondsman license?
  1. Additionally, prior to the issuance of a property bail bondsman license, each property bail bondsman applicant shall provide the following:
    1. Proof of collateral with a minimum equity of $200,000 on their bonds and
    2. Proof of collateral with a minimum equity of $200,000 on the bonds of each of their agents.

    3. The Department shall specifically approve any collateral that is not in the form of real estate, cash, or certificates of deposit issued by a FDIC-insured financial institution before it may be used as collateral.

  2. If the property used as collateral is real estate, such real estate shall be located in the Commonwealth. In addition, the property bail bondsman applicant shall submit to the Department:

    1. A true copy of the current real estate tax assessment thereof, certified by the appropriate assessing officer of the locality wherein such property is located or, at the option of the property bail bondsman, an appraisal of the fair market value of the real estate, which appraisal shall have been prepared by a licensed real estate appraiser, within one year of its submission.
    2. An affidavit by the property bail bondsman applicant that states, to the best of such person's knowledge, the amount of equity in the real estate and the amounts due under any obligations secured by liens or similar encumbrances against the real estate, including any delinquent taxes, as of the date of the submission. At its discretion, the Department may require additional documentation to verify these amounts.   This form can be accessed here.


  3. If the property used as collateral consists of cash or certificates of deposit, the property bail bondsman applicant shall submit to the Department verification of the amounts, and the names of the financial institution in which they are held.

In addition to the general licensure requirements, what other requirements must be met to obtain a surety bail bondsman license?
  • Submit proof of current licensing as a property and casualty insurance agent validated by the State Corporation Commission.
     
  • Submit copies of each qualifying power of attorney that will be used to provide surety. All qualifying powers of attorney filed with DCJS shall contain the name and contact information for both the surety agent and the registered agent of the issuing company. In the event an applicant for a surety bail bondsman license is unable to obtain a qualifying power of attorney prior to the issuance of his license.
I already was licensed through the State Corporation Commission as a bail bondsman, or maintain a certification from a judge; do I need to register with DCJS?

Yes. Effective July 1, 2005 all previous bail bondsman credentials are null and void and in order to continue providing bail-bonding services, you must obtain a license from DCJS.

Are you issued a Surety Bail Bondsman before you obtain Power of Attorney?

No, you will be issued a temporary licensure letter affording you thirty days to submit the power of attorney to the Department. This licensure letter does not authorize you to bond. 

In order to do bail recovery must I also obtain a bail enforcement agent license?

Licensed bail bondsmen are exempt from the bail enforcement law and do not need to obtain a bail enforcement license in order to provide bail recovery. 

Do I have to be a current bail bondsman in order to begin the licensure process?

No. You can begin the licensure process and take training without previously being a bail bondsman.

I am former law enforcement; do I need to take training?

Yes. All individuals must take the entry-level training to become licensed. 

How long is a Bail Bondsman license good for?

They are valid for 24 months. Licenses must be renewed prior to licensure expiration to include completion of in-service training. 

Does being a Bail Bondsman allow me to carry a concealed weapon?

No. Persons who carry or have access to a firearm while on duty must have a firearm endorsement as described under 6 VAC 20-250-90 of the Regulations. If carrying a concealed handgun, the person must also have a valid concealed handgun permit, and the written permission of his employer pursuant to §18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia. 

What criminal history would be a basis for denial as a bail bondsman?

Persons who have been convicted of a felony within the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States, who have not been pardoned, or whose civil rights have not been restored. 

Where will the approved training be taught?

The following link will help you find an approved training facility: https://www.cms.dcjs.virginia.gov/GLSuiteWeb/Clients/VADCJS/Public/Verification/Business/Search.aspx

Will there be any exemption of training standards for previous training and/or experience as a bail bondsman?

No provision was included in the law to provide training exemptions under the new licensure requirements. 

What training is required in order to obtain a license?

The compulsory minimum entry-level training hour requirement excluding examinations and practical exercises, is 40 hours.  The course code for DCJS is 40E.  To see the topical outline or find a certified school, check the following links:

If I am an attorney can I be registered as a bail bondsman?

An attorney may be a licensed bondsman provided he does not provide bail for any person if he is also an attorney representing that person. 

What would make a person ineligible to be a bail bondsman?
  • Persons who have been convicted of a felony within the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States, who have not been pardoned, or whose civil rights have not been restored;
  • Employee, spouse of an employee or residing in the same household of an employee of a local or regional jail; sheriff's office; state or local police department; persons appointed as conservators of the peace pursuant to Article 4.1 (§9.1-150.1 et seq.) of this chapter; an office of an attorney for the Commonwealth; Department of Corrections, Department of Criminal Justice Services, or a local community corrections agency.
What are the minimum requirements for eligibility as a bail bondsman?
  1. Be a minimum of 18 years of age;
  2. Be a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States
  3. Have received a high school diploma or GED; and
  4. Complete training and pass the bail bondsman exam at a DCJS certified training school.
Will the industry be represented on the Private Security Services Advisory Board (PSSAB)?

Yes. The PSSAB shall have one member who is a licensed bail bondsman.

What are the licensing requirements for a Bail Bondsman?

The main requirements for both surety and property are as follows, please review the additional requirements listed under the surety or property questions. You must submit the following to the department:

  • Initial Bail Bondsman License and $900.00 nonrefundable licensure fee.
  • Nonrefundable Category fee
    • Property Bail Bondsman- $250
    • Agent Bail Bondsman- $100   
    • Surety Bail Bondsman- $100
  • Complete the 40-hour entry-level training and pass the bail bondsman exam as prescribed by the Board.
  • Fingerprint card, fingerprint processing application and applicable non-refundable fee. For more information, view the Fingerprints page.

For those who will have access to a firearm, they must complete the requirements for a Firearms Endorsement. For more information, view the Firearms Endorsement page. 

Who is exempted from this law?

This law shall not apply to a person who does not receive profit or consideration for his services. 

What kind of bail bondsman must be licensed?

Property, Surety, and Agent bail bondsmen must be licensed. 

Can I be more than one type of Bail Bondsman?

Yes. You may carry more than one licensing category, but you must meet all the eligibility criteria for both categories before a license will be issued or renewed. 

What is a Bail Bondsman?

A bail bondsman is any person who is licensed by DCJS who engages in the business of bail bonding and is thereby authorized to conduct business in all courts of the Commonwealth.

What are the in-service training requirements?

4 hours -- 01I security officer core subjects (4 hours) 

What are the entry-level training requirements?

18 hours -- 01E security officer core subjects (18 hours) 

Do I have to be trained before I can work?

No. An unarmed security officer can work for 90 consecutive days while completing the compulsory minimum training requirements, provided their fingerprints were submitted on or before their date of hire. 

Do I have to have a registration before I can work?

No. An unarmed security officer can work for 90 consecutive days while completing the compulsory minimum training requirements, provided your fingerprints were submitted on or before their date of hire and your employer provides you with a 90 day authorization document.  This document along with a photo ID must be carried on duty while performing regulated services until a temporary or permanent registration is issued.

How Do I Apply and Renew an Unarmed Security Officer Registration

For information on how to apply, please visit the  Unarmed Security Officer page.

What type of license/registration/certification must I have?

You must possess a valid registration in this category. 

What is an unarmed security officer?

A person who performs the function of observation, detection, reporting, or notification of appropriate authorities or designated agents regarding persons or property on the premises he is contracted to protect, and who does not carry or have access to a firearm in the performance of his duties. 

Can I petition multiple jurisdictions?

Yes, but you must petition each Circuit Court in each jurisdiction requesting Special Conservator of the Peace authority separately.

Do all appointments grant the same powers?

No. The courts decide the jurisdiction and scope of powers they grant to each individual.

If I don't get an appointment, can my registration fees be refunded?

No. All fees are non-refundable.

How do I get an appointment as a SCOP?

First, you will need to register with DCJS. Once DCJS sends you a temporary registration letter making you eligible to seek appointment, you must then petition the Circuit Court for appointment.   The temporary registration letter only allows an individual to become eligible to seek appointment.  Once the individual files their appointment order with the department, the department will send a final registration letter and a photo identification card will be issued.

Where do I get an appointment as a SCOP?

You seek appointment in the jurisdiction where you will be providing Special Conservator of the Peace Services.

Do I have to be a current SCOP in order to begin the registration process?

No. You can begin the registration process and take training without previously being a SCOP, however you must be employed by an authorized applicant pursuant to 19.2-13 (A). 

How are jurisdictions decided?

Jurisdictions are decided by the Circuit Court where you are petitioning.

What are the compulsory minimum training standards for a Special Conservator of the Peace?

The compulsory minimum entry-level training hour requirement by category, excluding examinations, practical exercises and range qualification, shall be:

  • Unarmed special conservator of the peace - 24 hours
  • Armed special conservator of the peace - 40 hours

The compulsory minimum in-service training hour requirement by category, excluding examinations, practical exercises and range qualification, for a Special Conservator of the Peace shall be 8 hours.

  • Unarmed special conservator of the peace - 8 hours
  • Armed special conservator of the peace - 10-12 hours
I am former law enforcement. Do I need to take training?

Yes. All individuals must take some training to become registered. However, you may qualify for a partial exemption. The partial exemption application (PSS_WA), fee and documentation must be submitted before a partial exemption will be granted. The amount of training waived depends on your training and/or experience. 

How long is a SCOP registration valid?

They are valid for 12 months. Registrations must be renewed every year to include completion of in-service training.

Are there term limits for a SCOP?

Yes. Appointments are limited up to 4 years.

Where can I obtain the required insurance for SCOP's?

You can obtain insurance from an insurance company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

If I fail the drug/alcohol testing, can I request an Informal Fact Finding Conference?

Yes, you may appeal with a request for an Informal Fact Finding Conference through the Administrative Process Act.

How are results of the drug test reported to DCJS?

Each week First Lab provides the results of the drug test to DCJS.

Where do I complete the requirement for drug testing?

You must contact FirstSource Solutions at 1-800-732-3784.

What are the registration requirements for a Special Conservator of the Peace?

Each person applying for registration shall