There are 7 steps to our hiring process: Application; Written Examination; Physical Fitness Test, Background Investigation; Pre-Employment Medical Examination; Psychological Screening; and Eligible for Hire. Some of the steps may have smaller elements within them.


Start the hiring process by applying online. All applicants must complete the online application, the application for Correctional Officer all applications for Correctional Officer (CO) are accepted on a continuous basis. After applying, you will receive an email notification within 7-10 business days with your written examination date.


Written Examination

The written examination is designed to evaluate applicant skills in the areas of grammar, spelling, punctuation, reading comprehension, and basic mathematics. The exam is one hour and forty-five minutes and has 56 multiple-choice questions. Candidates will receive examination results within 1-3 business days via email.


Physical Fitness Test

The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) evaluates each candidate’s strength, endurance, and agility as required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and functions expected of a CO/YCO/YCC. This test is designed to assess the probability of success in performing various physical functions at the Academy and after graduation at your assigned institution or facility.
To assess the abilities required for Correctional Peace Officer, you will be required to:

  • Run a 500-yard course (approximately) on a variety of different surfaces, including:
    • Ascending and descending one flight of stairs
    • Completing a mini obstacle course
  • Carry two (2) 45-pound hand-held weights over a distance of 50 yards and set them down;
  • Carry one (1) 45-pound weight over 75 yards and set it down;
  • Carry one (1) 30-pound weight over a final distance of 110 yards and set it down

To pass the PFT candidates must complete the course in 5 minutes and 5 seconds, or less.
The PFT tests for the same abilities required of Academy cadets and in performing various physical functions once assigned to their institution or facility.

Personal History Statement (PHS)

The PHS is an extensive document used to collect information regarding applicants past residences, acquaintances, and employment history. All candidates must submit their PHS, along with the notarized release (page 4), and other original documents upon check-in at the PFT. Candidates who are unable to provide a completed typed PHS document and notarized release along with the required documents will not be allowed to participate in the PFT and must contact their designated testing center no later than their appointment date to reschedule. Request the PHS.


Background Investigation

The background investigation process consists of a thorough background investigation into each applicant’s past and current employment, residence history, relationships, credit responsibility, criminality, computerized voice stress analysis (CVSA) and fingerprint search.

CVSA Examination/Fingerprinting (LiveScan)

As part of the Background Investigation process, all candidates will be required to submit to a CVSA examination. The CVSA examination is used to verify the truthfulness and accuracy of information submitted by candidates regarding, but not necessarily limited to; use of controlled substances, driving history, criminal history, employment history, and other suitability factors.

Candidates will be fingerprinted by Live Scan as a required part of the background investigation. Each fingerprint is scanned into a computer database at the Department of Justice and checked against criminal records nationwide. Information received may include charges that have been dismissed.


Medical Exam

This is a comprehensive physical examination conducted by licensed physicians under contract with the CDCR to evaluate a candidate’s overall physical health. It is conducted by licensed physicians under contract with CDCR to evaluate each candidate’s overall physical health including vision, color vision, hearing, blood work, Respiratory FIT mask test, and a urinalysis drug screening.

Vision Test

The Vision Test checks each candidate’s visual acuity to verify they have 20/20 vision in each eye and they meet the Departments color vision standards. If the candidate does not have 20/20 vision in each eye, a written certification is required from an optometrist or ophthalmologist indicating that vision is correctable to 20/20 in each eye.
Note: (1) If your vision is NOT 20/20 or better in each eye, or (2) if you use any type of corrective lenses, you need to print out the Peace Officer Vision Verification (OPOS 201) form and have it filled out by your eye doctor. Bring the completed form with you on your scheduled vision test date.


Psychological Exam

To evaluate a candidate’s psychological suitability, the candidate will participate in a Written Peace Officer Psychological Evaluation (POPE). This evaluation consists of a series of questions candidates respond to based upon their personal preferences. The information will be used in the Oral POPE. The written components of the Psychological Examination are typically administered two weeks after you receive your Background Investigation clearance. The psychological interview is normally scheduled about 6-8 weeks later.

After completion of the written peace officer psychological evaluation and clearance of their background investigation, candidates will be contacted via email by staff from the Psychological Screening Program to schedule their psychological screening interview. 


Eligible for Hire

After successfully completing all of the selection components, candidates are placed on the certification list, which gives them eligibility to be appointed as a Correctional Peace Officer. Generally, it takes 12 to 18 months for completion of the hiring process, but may take longer depending on process times.