School Security Officer (SSO) Certification Program

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

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

School Security Officer SSO FAQs

Are there any waivers or extensions for the certification process?

There is no waiver for SSO certification.

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

How do I become an SSO instructor?

A. The department may approve instructors to deliver school security officer training and may revoke such approval for just cause.

B. Each person applying for instructor approval shall:

1. Be currently certified as a school security officer, employed by the department, or acting as a consultant for the department;

2. Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) or have passed the National External Diploma Program;

3. Have a minimum of:

a. Three years management or supervisory experience as a school security officer or with any federal, military police, state, county or municipal law-enforcement agency in a related field; or

b. Five years general experience as a school security officer, or with a federal, state or local law-enforcement agency in a related field;

4. Have completed:

a. A school security officer instructor course approved by the department; or

b. Have a minimum of one-year experience as an instructor or teacher in an accredited educational institution or law-enforcement agency.

C. Each person applying for instructor approval shall file with the department:

1. A properly completed application provided by the department;

2. Documentation verifying that the applicant meets the minimum eligibility requirements pursuant to this section;

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

D. The department will evaluate qualifications based upon the justification provided.

E. Upon completion of the instructor application requirements, the department may approve the instructor for a period not to exceed 24 months.

F. Each instructor shall conduct himself in a professional manner and the department may revoke instructor approval for just cause.

G. Applicants for instructor approval may submit a waiver application form for review by the department outlining previous instructor training or related experience. The department reserves the right to review each waiver application and evaluate qualifications and experience on an individual basis.

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

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

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

I am a certified SSO, what should I do?

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

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

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

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

What is the process for certification?

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

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

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

Who can become a SSO?

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

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

School Security Officer Database:

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


All forms can be submitted by email -, by fax- 804-225-3853, or by mail - 1100 Bank St, Richmond VA, 23219. Proper documentation should be submitted, along with the form, when applicable.

Training, Events, and Resources:

School Security Officer Contact

Danielle Clark, K-12 School Safety and Security Training Coordinator
Email Danielle

Carol Miller, Administrative Training Specialist (Contact for database and application process assistance)
Email Carol