©2012 Lou Reiter, Co-Director, PATC Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute (www.llrmi.com)

PATC has offered a variety of programs over the past fifteen years on conducting administrative investigations (IA/OPS) for both law enforcement and fire service personnel.  PATC has provided this type of training to more industry personnel than any other law enforcement training agency.  Students frequently attend more than one of these programs, some attending the same program every couple years to ensure that they are up-to-date with current developments in this vital task.  Five years ago students began asking if there was certification available for IA/OPS.  Upon further research in order to answer this question, we found that there is no certification or professional standards certification currently available.  PATC/LLRMI has developed a certification process to meet the needs of a professional Internal Affairs/Professional Standards officer.


What benefits will certification provide for someone in the law enforcement/fire service field who is tasked with conducting administrative investigations? 

Certification will provide:

  • Law enforcement, fire service and public risk management agencies with a training and education program that will enhance the performance of Internal Affairs/Office of Professional Standards operations.  These operations encompass administrative investigations, response to complaints alleging employee misconduct or agency dissatisfaction, employee discipline, high risk/critical task audits and preliminary risk management assessments.  It is understood that not all agencies may have a designated unit assigned to these tasks, but the training is designed to provide guidance for personnel assigned to conduct these types of investigations, supervise these investigations, oversee the process and/or adjudicate these types of investigations,

  • Encouragement and facilitation of continued education and training in these essential agency functions,

  • Employees assigned the task of conducting administrative investigations with the investigative tools necessary to conduct fair and reasonable investigations,

  • Graduates of the program with the knowledge to evaluate, modify and/or enhance their agency’s written and operational directives concerning citizen complaint processes, administrative investigations, risk management oversight, internal affairs functions and employee discipline,

  • Supervisors responsible for internal affairs/citizen complaint operations with the necessary tools to ensure that the process is conducted in a fair and reasonable manner,

  • Public risk management personnel with the essential knowledge and tools to conduct comprehensive oversight and audits of this function,

  • Successful candidates with a forum for the continued discussion of specific issues/problems being confronted in IA/OPS and disciplinary operations and a source for legal updates on administrative investigations and employee discipline,

  • Up-to-date legal and generally accepted practices foundation for employee discipline and the conduct of administrative investigations, and

  • Successful candidates will be recognized for engaging in personal and professional development in this essential public safety task.


Who should seek this certification?

  • Personnel who will be assigned to investigate citizen complaints, administrative investigations and employee misconduct allegations(whether or not specifically assigned to an Internal Affairs/Office of Professional Standards/Public Integrity unit),

  • Personnel who are or may be tasked with conducting administrative audits of the agency’s high risk/critical task operations,

  • Supervisors, managers and chief executive officers responsible for the conduct and adjudication of these types of administrative investigations,

  • Personnel assigned to public risk management functions who will be affected by the conduct of these types of administrative investigations/audits, and

  • Personnel of legal units who may be tasked with defending agency practices or disciplinary actions.


The certification program is overseen by a selected group of administrative investigation practitioners including active and retired law enforcement/fire service members, persons who have law degrees, and a representative from the National Internal Affairs Investigators Association.  These persons ensure that the program is broad enough for its members.  This group also will be tasked with the development of the qualification test, generating a list of acceptable research papers, and the review of these papers which are submitted by those seeking this professional recognition.  Several of these papers will be published in the PATC E-Newsletter.

There is no cost to challenge the certification program; other than the actual cost of the training.  The initial certification (Certified Internal Affairs Investigator/Supervisor) will need to meet one of three (3) requirements.

  • The person desiring Certification must have attended four (4) training programs involving issues of the administrative investigation task presented by LLRMI/PATC in the past five years.

  • Attendance at a NIAIA Annual Conference. Attending the conference may be substituted for one of the required courses.

  • During the year you seek the actual certification, you must attend one of the LLRMI/PATC 5-day “Special Issues and Emerging Trends in Internal Affairs” seminars.  (PATC will be scheduling one east of the Mississippi River in 2013 as well as the annual seminar conducted in Las Vegas).


After the candidate achieves the training requirements, the candidate can request the qualification test and complete a minimum 500-word research paper from the topic assigned by the advisory board.  Successful candidates will then receive the certification certificate.

Successful IA graduates will be given individual recognition at the annual IA seminar, the Internal Affairs Institute web page and PATC publications.

Recertification to maintain this industry recognition requires that you attend one (1) additional LLMRI/PATC administrative investigations training program within the next three years and the 5-day “Special Issues and Emerging Trends in Public Safety Internal Affairs” seminar during the year the certification is being renewed.  The test and research paper is not required for recertification.

There are many qualified LLRMI/PATC training programs that meet these requirements.  Some of which include the 2 ½ or 5-day IA, Administrative Investigations for Fire Service, 2 ½ or 5-day Force Investigations, Preventing Police Corruption, IA for Jail functions, Social Network Administrative Investigations, IA for Field Supervisors, Sexual Misconduct Investigations for Public Safety Agencies, and Legal Update seminars.  Additional training modules will be added in the near future.

This program is designed for both your professional and personal development.  It has been developed because many of you requested it.  We at LLRMI/PATC hope you and your agency will see the need for such professional designation.

Download Certification Brochure


Direct questions to:
Jim Alsup, Director

[email protected]

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