Washington Police Academy Requirements

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Joining a police academy is a milestone on the path to becoming a police officer. The Washington police academy requirements are intended to set a high standard for potential officers. Below are all the requirements and disqualifying factors. Be aware that there is a lot of competition for police jobs so going above the minimum requirements is advised. Washington police academy requirements consist of, in part, the following:

Age Requirement

Washington police academy age requirements state that applicants must be a minimum 21 years of age. Applicants may complete an application and proceed in the hiring process at 20.5 years of age if they will be 21 by the starting date of the next academy class.

Residency and Citizenship Requirement

Applicants must be a resident of Washington and possess a valid Virginia driver’s license upon appointment as a State Police Cadet.

Applicants must be a United States citizen at the time of initial application.

Educational Requirement

Washington Police Academy requirements for education state that the applicants must possess a high school diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED) time of application. Correspondence or mail-order high school diplomas are not accepted.

*All military veterans must have an HONORABLE DISCHARGE documented by a DD-214.

Automatic Disqualification Factors

Applicants are advised that the Washington State Police will automatically disqualify any applicant who does not meet the general requirements as detailed below.  In addition, the following information is provided regarding our criteria for automatic disqualification:

  • Falsification, omission, or misrepresentation of any information during the completion of the Polygraph Screening Booklet, the Polygraph Examination, the Formal Application for Employment, and any other documents/processes associated with the Cadet Selection Procedures.
  • Substance abuse/use within a prescribed time frame and/or that is beyond what is considered experimental by the Washington State Police.
  • Criminal arrests/behavior which would not reflect well on the Washington State Police.

The core purpose of the Washington State Police is to seek justice, preserve peace, and improve the quality of life for all.  As such, the Department has established the core values of Honor, Service, Integrity, Respect, Trust, Courage, and Duty, and is seeking applicants who possess these traits and conduct themselves accordingly.  Certain issues within a person’s background have been identified which will result in automatic disqualification, including but not limited to:  criminal conduct (actual arrest and/or admission of behavior whether or not arrested) and substance abuse.

A preliminary determination will be made by the Washington State Police based upon information supplied; therefore, applicants must be forthright and honest in documenting their conduct.  Be advised that this preliminary determination is not binding as it is made based upon information provided by the applicant only.  Should an applicant continue in the selection process, the conduct will then be discussed and documented with a Washington State Police Officer.

Applicants are advised that all information provided to the Washington State Police is to contain no misrepresentation, falsification, omissions, or concealment of material fact and that, upon submission of any official document (on-line or otherwise), applicants swear or affirm that all information provided is true, complete, and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.  Applicants are further advised that all information provided is subject to later investigation.

Physical Abilities Test

Law enforcement officers have unique job functions, some of which can be physically demanding and dangerous. An officer’s capability to perform those functions can affect personal and public safety. Training for the required skills is often more vigorous and demanding than the day-to-day job functions that the officer faces. Physical fitness underlies an officer’s ability to perform many of the frequent and critical job tasks as well as the demanded training of skills. The minimum fitness standards identified below are the requisite levels for an officer to effectively learn the frequent and critical job motor skills. Higher levels of fitness are associated with better performance of physical job tasks required by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA).

The PAT is comprised of four tests:

>¾ 300-Meter Run

>¾ Maximum Push-Ups (no time limit)

>¾ Sit-Ups (One Minute)

>¾ 1.5-Mile Run / Walk



Purpose: This test measures anaerobic capacity used in high intensity baton and defensive tactics training, and is important for performing short intense bursts of effort such as foot pursuits, rescues and use of force situations.

Score in seconds: 56 – 71 Mean: 62.5.



Purpose: This test measures the muscular strength/endurance of the upper body muscles in the shoulders, chest, and back of the upper arms (the triceps) used in high intensity self defense and arrest simulation training. This is important for use of force involving pushing motion breaking one’s fall to the ground, use of the baton, etc.

Score in repetitions: 21 – 35 Mean: 28.



Purpose: This test measures the muscular strength/endurance of the abdominal muscles, which are used in self-defense and high intensity arrest-simulation training. Further these muscles are important for performing tasks that involve the use of force, and it helps maintain good posture and minimize lower back problems.

Score in repetitions: 30 – 38 Mean: 34.



Purpose: This test is a measure of cardio-respiratory endurance (or aerobic capacity) used in extended control and defensive tactics training. This is important for performing tasks involving stamina and endurance (pursuits, searches, prolonged use of force situations, etc.) and for minimizing the risk of cardiovascular health problems.

Score: 13:35 – 14:31 Mean: 14:02.



The Physical Ability Test score for each test item is recorded and added on the individual participant’s sheet. The passing score is 160, with the range of scores for each test between 30 and 50.

Example: The below measures are merely for illustration and are only approximate values.

¾ Sit-Ups 34 = 40 Points.

¾ Push-Ups 38 = 50 Points (Note that 34 and above receives the same maximum points)

¾ 1.5-Mile Run 14:31 = 30 Points.

¾ 300 Meter Dash 60 sec. = 45 Points.

¾ Total Test battery score is 200 points.

The participant who scores below the 30-point level has failed the test but will be allowed to continue on the other test items with the option of re-test on any of the following: sit-ups and push-ups. The participant who scores above the 50-point level on a given test item will not be awarded more than that 50 points to apply towards the other test items.


The eligibility requirements are subject to change at any time.