• What is the Georgia Public Safety Screening Service (GPS3)?
The Georgia Public Safety Screening Service (GPS3) is a center created to serve public safety agencies within the State of Georgia by providing a means of listing job vacancies and maintaining a registry of “qualified applicants” for consideration by police, sheriff, fire and correction agencies. We also work with several Technical Colleges, Reinhardt University and other academic institutions who have been authorized to deliver the Georgia Basic Law Enforcement Certification Course to complete the required background investigation.
• What is the purpose of the GPS3?
Seeking a job and conducting background investigations require a lot of time and effort. GPS3 saves money by providing a single source screening process to prospective applicants and allows contracted public safety agencies to access “qualified applicant” information.
• What fees are associated with the process?
Applicants are required to pay a non-refundable fee after meeting eligibility requirements established by state law; eligibility may be established by GPS3 staff, public service agency or pre-service staff. If you are determined to be eligible, payment is made when you provide supporting documents during your initial appointment with one of our staff and the background process begins.
• “Non-certified” applicants (Pre-Service) currently working through a Technical College, Reinhardt University, or other academic institution for enrollment in a Basic Law Enforcement Certification Course will pay no more than $300 depending on the components of the background investigation requested by the administration of the Technical College, Reinhardt University, or other academic institution.
Fees cover the costs associated with all screening components related to Phase I which are discussed below. Additional fees (not to exceed $400) for Phase 2 of the process will be paid ONLY AFTER being given a conditional job/placement offer by an agency, or an institution responsible for delivery of the Basic Law Enforcement Certification Course.
These fees DO NOT cover any of the costs associated with enrollment (e.g. tuition, application fees) associated with the Technical College, Reinhardt University, other academic institutions, or the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.
• What does the background screening process consist of?
The process is divided into two (2) phases; Phase 1 is designed to validate your application, pre-employment questionnaire and other documents you provide. A preliminary interview will be scheduled at which time waivers and release forms will be signed. Generally, contact will be made with previous employers, personal references, and other inquiries will be made into your background. Additional assessments may be conducted to assess your Social, Listening, Observational and Writing skills.
Phase 2 consists of polygraph examination, medical examination, drug screening and psychological testing; these occur after you have interviewed with an agency or an institution responsible for the delivery of the Basic Law Enforcement Certification Course and a conditional job/position offer has been extended.
• I am not a certified officer in the State of Georgia; what do I do next?
A - Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 35-8-9 requires that in addition to the pre-employment standards set forth in O.C.G.A. 35-8-8, each candidate shall satisfactorily complete a basic training course prior to appointment as a peace officer. The basic course shall be completed at any school certified by the council which provides the course requirements and methods of instruction as established by council.
Recently, the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (GAPOSTC) and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) implemented a new approach for delivering the basic law enforcement training course in the State of Georgia. This new training and delivery system allows individuals to apply to a Technical College, Reinhardt University, or other academic institutions certified by GAPOSTC and if accepted, participate in an academy environment that upon completion provides the Basic Law Enforcement Certification and college credit hours towards an associate degree in criminal justice; this is a 17-18 week course.
In addition, Georgia law requires that ALL “non-certified” candidates successfully complete a job related academy entrance examination; as such, Georgia POST Council has adopted the ASSET, or COMPASS test as the official POST entrance examination. This test is administered at any Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) location and Reinhardt University. The institution administering the test may charge a fee of $15-$25 to take this exam. Candidates who do not pass will be ineligible to retake the test for a period of 30 days after an unsuccessful attempt.
If an individual can prove successful completion of other college admission tests (SAT, ACT or CPE) they will be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of the POST Entrance Examination.
• Where can I take the ASSET/COMPASS Exam?
If you are working with a Technical College, Reinhardt University, or other academic institution authorized by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council to deliver the Basic Law Enforcement Certification Course, it is likely you will take this exam at the college to determine your eligibility prior to being referred to GPS3. If not, the exam may be administered at our office.
• I have passed the ASSET/COMPASS, what’s next?
After passing the exam, you will likely be given information by the administration of the Technical College, Reinhardt University, or other academic institution that will direct you on what steps you need to take to be fingerprinted; this is a crucial step in the background investigation process and is required by state law.
You should then register with GPS3 through our website, www.gps3.net; you will find an APPLICANT tab at the bottom of the page. When completing the single page form, be sure to enter the name of the Technical College, Reinhardt University, or other academic institution that you are attempting to enroll in.
Additionally, you need to access the “Applicant Information Packet” that will provide detailed information regarding the process and you need to complete the “Pre-Screening Questionnaire.”
• What do I need to bring with me to the initial appointment?
Our website provides you with a link to the Applicant Information Packet. This packet contains important information you need to know in order to prepare for the pre-employment interview conducted by one of our background investigators. You are strongly encouraged to access and print the document for reference.
• What if I am traveling from out of town?
Appointments can be scheduled to minimize your travel time and needs. While it makes for a longer day, if you give us sufficient notice we can work with you to complete most of the screening process in a single day. This requires preparation on your part as well as ours for a satisfactory outcome!
• What if I cannot keep an appointment?
Appointments are made on a first come-first serve basis following your registration. If a conflict arises, please contact us as soon as you know -- we will work with you to reschedule the appointment on a one time basis. If you fail to show up without notice for a schedule appointment, you will be withdrawn from the process and depending on where you are in the process additional fees may be charged to “reactivate” your file. You should anticipate a minimum of 1 hour for your initial appointment with GPS3 staff.
• Why is the screening process so involved?
Employment with a public safety agency whether it be police, fire or corrections is demanding work with the potential for very serious consequences. Agencies seek to hire the most qualified and capable person and in doing so, are very careful in making a final selection. A thorough background investigation/screening process is an essential part of the selection process since past behaviors are indicative of how a person will behave in the future.
• How long does the GPS3 process take?
The time required to complete an initial (Phase 1) screening will vary from applicant-to-applicant. Those with more complex backgrounds (lived or worked in many places) may take longer than someone who has lived and worked in only one place. Our goal is to complete the initial screening within 30-60 days. There is no incentive for us to move slowly on an applicant’s file and you are encouraged to assist us by being prompt for appointments, and responding in a timely manner for requests for information or documentation.
• What if I am arrested during the process?
In the event you are arrested, charged, or indicted for any crime or criminal offense (including traffic offenses) in the State of Georgia, any other state in the United States, or outside the United States, whether the crime or criminal offense is a felony or misdemeanor, you are REQUIRED to report each and all of the events and the circumstances to GPS3 staff within five (5) business days of the occurrence;
Failure to do so may result in your removal from the process.