APCO Offers Delivery Methods to Match Your Needs

APCO Institute courses are available as online, virtual classroom and live/in-person.

Online Courses

Online courses are a training option for those who may need to work around a busy schedule. Online courses are  led by APCO Institute adjunct instructors but offer the flexibility to be accessed and viewed at a time convenient to the student. All lessons are completed online, with 24/7 access from any internet-enable device.

Virtual Classroom

Virtual Classroom offers live instruction in real-time by APCO Institute adjunct instructors. Each course is conducted in an interactive, engaging environment online, offering a similar experience to the traditional classroom setting.  With set dates and schedules, virtual classroom courses offer a more expedient means to earn certifications versus traditional online courses. Virtual courses require that students have an internet-enabled computer with webcam, speakers and microphone for the duration of the course.

In-Person Courses

Live class options include training at APCO headquarters, at the annual conference, in your region with you as a co-host, or under contract at your agency. Individuals in your agency who have been certified as APCO Instructors for a discipline may also teach that course in your agency for only the cost of materials.

Online Course Catalog

Course Description


Ideal for training the new-hire or as a refresher for existing staff, APCO’s PST1 course covers the basics skills, knowledge and abilities every successful public safety telecommunicator needs to meet the demands of this critical work.

Students successfully passing the final exam receive APCO Institute certification demonstrating completion of a training course that meets and exceeds industry accepted national basic training standards, including the APCO/ANS 3.103.2.2015 and NFPA 1061 2014 Edition.

Building on foundational topics such as communication skills, calltaking and radio techniques, the PST course blends in the most up-to-date information on technology and work-related issues in public safety communications centers. “Hot” topics include NextGen 9-1-1, emerging technologies, continuing ed., and liability.

Topics include
  • Introduction to Your new Career
  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Telephone Communications Techniques: Call Processing
  • Telephony, Traditional Technology
  • Next Generation 9-1-1
  • Telephony: TTY
  • Telematics and Collision Notification Systems
  • Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Related technologies
  • Radio Communications Techniques
  • Radio Technology
  • Call Classifications
  • NIMS Incident Command System
  • Liability Issues
  • Preparing for your New Career (stress management)

Course Description


This course explores the basic skills and techniques of teaching. Based on the principles of adult education, the students study the dynamics of instructional delivery. Successful completion of this course provides your agency instructors with the techniques they need to apply to the Public Safety Telecommunicator 1 course.As agency instructors, they will be able to deliver the PST1 course in-house, allowing for significant reduction in your in-service training and travel costs.

Instructional media and exercises used throughout the course reinforce the knowledge attained in lecture and demonstration. In addition, each participant receives a comprehensive Public Safety Telecommunicator 1, Seventh Edition Instructor Guide Package as part of the course tuition. The Instructor Guide Package includes the Instructor Techniques textbook, course outline, lesson plans, the student text, access to PSConnect PST Instructor Community and detailed instructions on how to set up and run the course in-house for your agency.

Once certified as a PST1 Instructor, you will be registered in our online community of instructors, created just for the Public Safety Telecommunicator 1 course.This PS Connect community will give access to the teaching resources, including the companion PowerPoint, audio-visual resources, optional readings, study packages, puzzles and games.

PST1 – Instructor Technique textbook includes modules on:
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Learners and The Learning Process
  • The Role of the Instructor
  • Lesson Plans and Lesson Delivery
  • Design and Use of Instructional Media
  • Simulation Design and Use
  • Testing and Evaluation
  • Liability in Training
  • Instructor Resources
Upon successful completion of the course, your agency instructor will be able to:
  • Train your personnel in the new Public Safety Telecommunicator 1, Seventh Edition student course with these capacities:
    • Foster skill development through practical exercises
    • Develop lesson plans
    • Design and use instructional media
    • Create effective simulations
    • Create quizzes and exams based on course objectives
    • Understand the factors relating to liability in training

Course Description


APCO Institute’s new Communications Training Officer (CTO) 6th Ed. course provides comprehensive training on the roles and responsibilities of CTOs in running an agency’s one-on-one training program. The course focuses on performance-based training and management and the need for standardized training with documentation.

This CTO 6th Ed. course includes the essential elements of a CTO program based on the industry recognized “San Jose Model” while also incorporating the requirements set by the national standard for CTO programs — APCO ANS 3.101.3-2017 Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Training Officers.

Topics include
  • The Communications Training Officer: Roles and Responsibilities in Performance Management and Training
  • CTO Program Building Blocks
  • Preparing, Motivating, and Communicating with Trainees
  • Training and the Adult Learner
  • Documentation in the CTO Program
  • Tracking and Evaluating Trainee Performance
  • Liability
  • The CTO and the Future of the Workplace

Course resources include templates for the Daily Observation Report (DOR), task list, trainee tracking form, and Standardized Evaluation Guidelines.

Course Description


APCO Institute’s Communications APCO’s Agency Instructor Course offers agencies the chance to train staff members to serve as Agency Instructors able to teach specific APCO courses to staff within their ECC. Having agency instructors allows for a significant reduction in new-hire and in-service training and travel costs.

The first part of the CTO-Instructor Course will equip participants with the necessary skills to be informative and effective instructors. The second part will consist of practical exercises and the discipline-specific training they need to be certified as an instructor for the Communications Training Officer 6th Ed. course.

Participants should register for the Instructor Techniques course and indicate CTO as the discipline they want for their instructor certification. Students from all disciplines will be in the same class but will receive instruction based on their specific disciplines.

General Instructor Technique Topics

  • Instructional Techniques
  • Lesson Plans
  • Design and Use of Instructional Media
  • Simulation Design and Use
  • Testing and Evaluation
  • Liability in Training

Discipline-specific Topics for CTO 6th Ed.

  • Training Others to Train
  • Building and Maintaining a Successful CTO System
  • Comprehensive lesson plans for each module in the CTO Student Course
  • CTO Student Manual
  • Use of training documentation (DOR, SEG, task list, and tracking sheet)

Course Description


Topics covered provide the student with the knowledge and foundation to answer calls for emergency medical service and properly prioritize the response. The course also provides the student with the knowledge needed to convey proper pre-arrival instructions to the caller when needed.

Topics include
  • Canadian National Disaster Mitigation Strategy
  • Legal and Liability Issues in EMD
  • National and State Standards for EMD
  • Resource Allocation
  • Layout and Structure of the APCO Institute EMD Guidecards
  • Obtaining Information from Callers
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Chief Complaint Types
  • Quality Assurance & Recertification
  • Stress Management

The classroom setting provides practical exercises to help the new EMD become familiar with the theories and practices of EMD and students will practice with their agency’s APCO Institute EMD Guidecards in simulated EMD calls.

Completion of this course is required for enrollment in the EMD Instructor.

Note: The online EMD course requires students to attend a web seminar in week three and a practical practice conference call in week six. The week three web seminar lasts approximately one hour. The week six practical practice conference call lasts around 1.5 hours. The final practical practice is completed by a one-on-one conference call with the instructor at the end of the course.

These sessions may or may not be during the student’s regularly scheduled work time, especially if the student works overnight. Arrangements will/may have to be made at the agency level to allow the student to attend these required sessions.

Course Description


Topics covered provide the student with the knowledge and foundation to answer calls for emergency medical service and properly prioritize the response. The course also provides the student with the knowledge needed to convey proper pre-arrival instructions to the caller when needed.

Topics include
  • Canadian National Disaster Mitigation Strategy
  • Legal and Liability Issues in EMD
  • National and State Standards for EMD
  • Resource Allocation
  • Layout and Structure of the APCO Institute EMD Guidecards
  • Obtaining Information from Callers
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Chief Complaint Types
  • Quality Assurance & Recertification
  • Stress Management

The classroom setting provides practical exercises to help the new EMD become familiar with the theories and practices of EMD and students will practice with their agency’s APCO Institute EMD Guidecards in simulated EMD calls.

Completion of this course is required for enrollment in the EMD Instructor.

Note: The online EMD course requires students to attend a web seminar in week three and a practical practice conference call in week six. The week three web seminar lasts approximately one hour. The week six practical practice conference call lasts around 1.5 hours. The final practical practice is completed by a one-on-one conference call with the instructor at the end of the course.

These sessions may or may not be during the student’s regularly scheduled work time, especially if the student works overnight. Arrangements will/may have to be made at the agency level to allow the student to attend these required sessions.

Course Description


This course will assist with the implementation and management of the APCO Institute EMD Program. It is intended to provide appropriate personnel, whether administrator, communications supervisor or other management personnel, with the necessary guidelines and information required for the management of their agency’s EMD program. This includes creating and maintaining an effective quality control program as well as tips and guidelines for ensuring compliance with the APCO Institute EMD Program and the relevant national standards.

Topics include
  • Overview of an emergency medical dispatch program
  • Guidelines for implementing an EMD program
  • Overview of the APCO Institute EMD Program
  • EMD training and certification
  • EMD quality control
  • EMD compliance and ongoing maintenance

Perfect for a one-day pre-conference or post-conference course

Course Description


The APCO Institute EMD Program combines telecommunicator skills with medical knowledge. According to ASTM and NHTSA standards the APCO Institute requires that the Emergency Medical Dispatch Course be taught by instructors with medical and telecommunicator backgrounds. All EMD instructor candidates must hold a current CPR certification (AHA, ARC or equivalent) and those who wish to teach the medical portion must have, minimally, current certification as an Advanced EMT under the National Standard Curriculum as set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Any candidate that does not possess or obtain this level of training will be classified as a restricted dispatch instructor and will not be able to teach the medical portion of the courses. If one individual can fulfill both the telecommunications and medical requirements, that person may teach the entire course alone. If not, the course must be presented by two APCO EMD instructors who meet the proper qualifications. Any agency that does not have an in-house medical instructor can contact APCO for assistance with instructing the medical modules for an additional cost.

Topics include
  • Introduction to EMD
  • The Instructional Process
  • The Design/Utilization of Instructional Media
  • Legal Issues in Training
  • Utilizing Lesson Plans and Student Materials
  • Overview of the EMD Program
  • Simulation Design and Evaluation
  • Practical Skill Development
  • Student and Course Evaluations
  • Implementation Policies and Procedures

Course Description


Effective communications is a critical component of fire service operations. It provides the vital link between citizens and responders. APCO Institute’s Fire Service Communications, 2nd Edition course continues to advance fire communications training, improving service to the caller and increasing safety of the responders. This dynamic course covers the terms, techniques and protocols required for excellence in fire service call taking and dispatch. Choose a course number to learn more.

Topics include
  • History and Organization Structure of the Fire Service
  • Anatomy of Fires
  • Fire Service Apparatus and Terminology
  • Role of the Fire Service Telecommunicator
  • Information Gathering Techniques, Methods for Receiving Reports
  • Fire Dispatch Procedures, Broadcasting
  • Mutual Aid and Mutual Response Agreements
  • Fire Service Incidents
  • National Incident Management System and Incident Command System
  • Hazardous Material Incidents
  • Terrorism Incidents

The course manual contains numerous photographs and illustrations to bring the course material to life and serves as an excellent reference source once back on the job.

APCO Institute certified instructors who successfully complete this course can upgrade their instructor certificate to teach this dynamic course in-house or regionally for the cost of the course books only!!

Instructional media and exercises used throughout the course reinforce the knowledge attained in lecture and demonstration. If taught by your own APCO Institute certified instructors, it becomes an economical way to train your staff at your own pace.

Course Description


This course explores the basic skills and techniques of teaching.Based on the principles of adult education, the students study the dynamics of instructional delivery. Successful completion of this course provides your agency instructors with the techniques they need to apply to the Fire Service Communications course.As agency instructors, they will be able to deliver the FSC course either in-house or regionally, allowing for significant reduction in your in-service training and travel costs.

Instructional media and exercises used throughout the course reinforce the knowledge attained in lecture and demonstration. In addition, each participant receives a comprehensive Fire Service Communications, Second Edition Instructor Guide Package as part of the course tuition. The Instructor Guide Package includes the Instructor Techniques textbook, course outline, lesson plans, the student text, and detailed instructions on how to set up and run the course in-house for your agency.

Once certified as an FSC Instructor, your instructors will be registered in our online community of instructors, created just for the Fire Service Communications course.This PSConnect community will give access to the teaching resources, including the companion PowerPoint, audio-visual resources, optional readings, study packages, puzzles and games.

FSC – Instructor Technique textbook includes modules on:
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Learning Process
  • Lesson Plans
  • Design and Use of Instructional Media
  • Simulation Design and Use
  • Testing and Evaluation
  • Liability in Training
  • Instructor Resources
Upon successful completion of the course, your agency instructor will be able to:
  • Train your personnel in the new Fire Service Communications, Second Edition student course with these capacities:
    • Foster skill development through practical exercises
    • Develop lesson plans
    • Design and use instructional media
    • Create effective simulations
    • Create quizzes and exams based on course objectives
    • Understand the factors relating to liability in training

Course Description


Effective communications is a critical component of law enforcement service operations. The telecommunicator provides the vital link between citizens and law enforcement responders. APCO Institute’s Law Enforcement Communications, 1st Edition course is a vital component in our training selection, by improving service to the caller and increasing safety of the responders. This dynamic course covers the terms, techniques and guidelines required for excellence in law enforcement call handling and radio dispatching.

Topics include
  • The Role of Law Enforcement
  • History of Law Enforcement and Law Enforcement Communications
  • Law Enforcement Organizations, Operations, Vehicles, and Equipment
  • Classification and Prioritization of Crimes
  • Law Enforcement Telecommunicator: Overview of Role and Responsibilities
  • Law Enforcement Call Processing and Dispatch Procedures
  • Law Enforcement Incidents: Crimes against Persons/Property/Vehicle and Highway
  • Communications for Pursuits and Officer Needs Help Incidents
  • Next Generation and Emerging Communications Technology
  • Law Enforcement Communications and Counterterrorism
  • NIMS (National Incident Management System)

The course manual contains numerous photographs and illustrations to bring the course material to life and serves as an excellent reference source once back on the job. Instructional resources include study guides (with audio and video clips), role-plays and scenario-based training materials.

APCO Institute certified instructors who successfully complete this course can upgrade their instructor certificate to teach this dynamic course in-house for the cost of the course books only!!

Instructional media and exercises used throughout the course reinforce the knowledge attained in lecture and demonstration. If taught by your own APCO Institute certified instructors, it becomes an economical way to train your staff at your own pace and introduce or review agency specific policies.

Course Description


This course explores the basic skills and techniques of teaching. Based on the principles of adult education, the students study the dynamics of instructional delivery. Successful completion of this course provides your agency instructors with the techniques they need to apply to the Law Enforcement Communications course. As agency instructors they will be able to deliver the LEC course either in-house or regionally, allowing for significant reduction in your in-service training and travel costs.

Instructional media and exercises used throughout the course reinforce the knowledge attained in lecture and demonstration. In addition, each participant receives a comprehensive Law Enforcement Communications, First Edition Instructor Guide Package as part of the course tuition. The Instructor Guide Package includes the Instructor Techniques textbook, course outline, lesson plans, the student text, and detailed instructions on how to set up and run the course in-house for your agency.

Once certified as a LEC Instructor, your instructors will be registered in our online community of instructors, created just for the Law Enforcement Communications course.This PSConnect community will give access to the teaching resources, including the companion PowerPoint, audio-visual resources, optional readings, study packages, puzzles and games.

LEC – Instructor Technique textbook includes modules on:
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Learning Process
  • Lesson Plans
  • Design and Use of Instructional Media
  • Simulation Design and Use
  • Testing and Evaluation
  • Liability in Training
  • Instructor Resources
Upon successful completion of the course, your agency instructor will be able to:
  • Train your personnel in the new Law Enforcement Communications, First Edition student course with these capacities:
    • Foster skill development through practical exercises
    • Develop lesson plans
    • Design and use instructional media
    • Create effective simulations
    • Create quizzes and exams based on course objectives
    • Understand the factors relating to liability in training

Course Description


The APCO Institute Communications Center Supervisor course is designed for prospective, new or experienced communications supervisors who want to enhance their supervisory skills and knowledge.

Class lecture is supplemented by practical exercises that help students apply the lessons to their own agency policies and procedures. Students not only learn supervisory topics, but also learn how to work together in groups and cooperate to attain common goals.

Topics include
  • The Telecommunications Supervisor Role
  • Liability Issues for Supervisors
  • Policies, Procedures and Directives
  • Communication Skills
  • Self-Assessment
  • Employee Evaluation and Motivation

Course Description


Active shooter incidents are high-risk, high-stakes events that, without warning, can cause devastating consequences in just a few brief moments. For all facets of public safety, including communications, there are a host of issues that make responding to an active shooter incident more difficult than many other armed subject calls.

These types of incidents have been increasing in frequency. Shooters have a wider range of more powerful weapons available. The motivations behind these incidents continue to grow more complex. As with any other type of emergency situation, the telecommunicator plays a vital role in the response to active shooter incidents.

Telecommunicators need to be aware of the unique challenges posed by active shooter incidents and be prepared to address them well in advance. This course looks at the role of the telecommunicator through all stages of an active shooter incident.


This course is built on the experiences of frontline telecommunicators who have worked active shooter incidents. Upon their recommendation, the course is structured along the arc of events that happen before, during and after an active shooter incident. The goal of the course is to educate telecommunicators about the intricate issues and challenges posed by active shooter incidents, including preparedness for an incident, response to an incident and the role the telecommunicator plays following an incident.

Topics include
  • Overview of incidents, perpetrators and targets
  • Phases of an active shooter incident
  • Getting and handling calls reporting an incident
  • Dispatch and ongoing communications
  • Responder safety and secondary dangers
  • Handling calls from victims trapped in the incident
  • Telecommunicators’ role post-incident: rescue and extraction
  • Recovery from an incident: impact and stress, ongoing issues

Perfect for a one day pre-conference or post-conference course.

Course Description


This course examines how bullying occurs and how to combat the issue. The eight-hour course explores the nature of the problem, its impact on people and organizations, corrective actions that can be taken, and steps to foster and maintain civility in the communications center. This course aims to help students develop the skills needed to effectively practice civil behavior, as well as demonstrate different ways organizations can systematically combat bullying and cultivate civility in the workplace.

Topics include
  • Behaviors associated with bullying
  • Impact on individuals
  • Impact on communications center operations
  • Communications center management’s responsibility to act
  • Civility and incivility in the workplace
  • Overcoming incivility in the workplace and cultivating civility
  • Conflict resolution
  • Writing and implementing a civility policy

Perfect for a one day pre-conference or post-conference course.

Course Description


A Comprehensive Quality Program cannot be created overnight. A program must be thought out and prior planning efforts put into the system utilizing the methods of measurement and the analysis of results achieved. A successful Quality Program will require a systematic approach. This course will provide the necessary insight so that the proper tools and methodologies can be employed to make the Quality Program a vital and useful part of your organization.

Topics include
  • Quality
  • Quality Planning and Methodologies
  • Standards and Liability in Quality Programs
  • Building a Performance Evaluation Program
  • Feedback and Coaching
  • Surveys and Analysis

Class lecture is supplemented by practical exercises that help students apply the lessons to their own agency. Students not only learn about a Quality Program, but also learn how to implement the program within their agency.

Course Description


Crisis situations differ from the daily emergencies that today’s public safety telecommunicators handle. Hostage situations, barricaded subject incidents and suicidal callers, among others, require an advanced level of training for the telecommunicator to handle them successfully. This course will build on the knowledge, skills and abilities inherent in basic telecommunicator training programs to educate the public safety communications professional on the most effective way to receive and process calls involving crisis situations and to ensure they fulfill their role as a vital component of the overall public safety response.

Topics include
  • Overview of a crisis situation
  • Hostage situations
  • Suicidal subject situations
  • Suicide by cop
  • Crisis negotiation tools for the telecommunicator
  • Skills and characteristics of a successful telecommunicator negotiator
  • Crisis related stress management

Perfect for a one-day pre-conference or post-conference course

Course Description


Providing satisfactory customer service in the high energy, often high stress field of public safety communications, is paramount to successful performance in this profession, both for the individual telecommunicator as well as the agency they represent. This course addresses all aspects of customer service and how it impacts our industry. Although intangible, it is a critical component that must be understood and applied in excellence to every situation.

Topics include
  • Defining customer service
  • Customer attitudes and expectations
  • Customer service in public safety
  • Impact of customer service on public safety
  • Communications center customer service in action
  • Customer service and quality control
  • Investigating complaints

Perfect for a one-day pre-conference or post-conference course.

Course Description


Cybersecurity has become an ever-increasing threat for public safety. Emergency communications centers (ECCs) are a valuable and vulnerable target for bad actors of all types. As a result of their high importance and visibility within the public safety ecosystem, ECCs have been battling cyberattacks for years. Public safety is at constant risk for many types of cyberattacks. Research indicates that the frequency and intensity of cyberattacks will continue to grow.

All ECC employees need to be educated on the types of cyberattacks and related activity that occur daily in the United States. This course provides a basic overview of the critical pieces of information that all ECC employees should know – from surfing the internet to being aware of key indicators in email for possible phishing attempts. This course also provides several resources for creating an Incident Response Plan and what to do if your ECC experiences a cyberattack.

This course is built on the experiences of public safety cybersecurity experts and ECC professionals. . This course will provide ECC professionals with foundational knowledge of cyberattacks, including the anatomy of a cyberattack, signs of an ongoing cyberattack and mitigation techniques. This includes preparing for cyberattacks, response to those attacks and the type of data to protect for post-attack forensics.

Topics include
  • How Cyberattacks Work
  • Why ECCs Are a Target
  • Phishing
  • Brute Force Hacking
  • Website Drive-By
  • Pre-Hacked Software
  • Pre-Hacked Devices
  • Data Destruction
  • Data Exfiltration
  • Ransomware
  • Cryptojacking
  • Persistent Threat
  • Public Safety Cyberattack Case Studies
  • Preventing Exploitation
  • Cyber Hygiene
  • Importance of a Cyber Response Plan
  • Cybersecurity for Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1)

Course Description


The world’s first comprehensive disaster operations course designed specifically for the public safety communications professional!

This course serves to educate the public safety telecommunicator on a wide range of man-made and natural disasters, their effects on the community and its infrastructure, and the response and recovery needs of each. In addition, this course will provide telecommunicators with information on overall emergency management and homeland security and provide guidance on continuity of operations for the emergency communications center (ECC) in the face of a multitude of disaster situations.

The importance of educating today’s public safety communications professional on their role and the role of the ECC in disaster operations is greater than ever before. There is a defined role for public safety communications in every element of disaster response and recovery. As public safety’s ability and need to address disaster situations evolves, the telecommunicator needs to be familiar with all types of disasters – man-made and natural – and how those events can impact the communications function.

Topics include
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management
    • US Department of Homeland Security
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
    • Emergency Management
    • Emergency Management on the State, Local and Regional Levels
  • Natural Disasters
    • Hurricanes and typhoons
    • Tornadoes
    • Tsunamis
    • Severe weather and temperatures
    • Severe heat
    • Earthquakes
    • Floods
    • Wildland or forest fires
    • Volcanoes
    • Landslides
    • Pandemics
  • Man-made
    • Types of man-made disasters and terrorist acts

Today’s Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) face many challenges in creating and maintaining high-performing workplaces. On the inside, ECCs are managing rapid changes in the technology and staff they depend on. Outside the ECC, centers are buffeted by challenging events and changing expectations in the communities they serve. These dynamics add to the inherent stress caused by dealing with callers who are often facing life or death emergencies – stress that can result in negative workplace behavior and lead to employees feeling unaccepted, isolated and unappreciated.

In response to an APCO membership survey in late 2020, the association developed this course to address issues identified in the survey that affect diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the ECC. The survey explored many existing and emerging realities in the industry, including practices and policies, and revealed a need for more discussion, thought, and action on these issues.

APCO’s DEI course brings together members of the public safety communications industry to explore experiences and viewpoints to better understand how perceptions — both individual and institutional – can affect how employees interact with each other in the workplace. The course will also explore interventions to counter biases, microaggressions, and other negative workplace behaviors.

It will focus on behaviors, not beliefs, to recognize actions that undermine colleagues and teamwork. Based on discussions, case studies and readings we will seek best practices and next practices that will make agencies healthier and more inclusive organizations where everybody can work as their authentic selves, fully engaged, and contribute to fulfilling the agency’s mission.


This is a 2-day live course with limited enrollment. Interested individuals must complete the APCO DEI application to be considered for the class. Not everyone who applies will be accepted. There is no cost to apply.

Who should attend?

The course is especially relevant to ECC supervisors, managers, directors, communications training officers and training coordinators. However, it is open to anyone in public safety communications who is committed to fostering high-performing ECCs and building agencies that are inclusive of all who work there.

Topics include:

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion in the comm center: What does it look like?
  • Beliefs and behaviors we bring to work
  • Negative workplace behaviors
  • Readiness for positive change: personal and organizational

Course Description

The APCO Instructor Techniques Enrichment course is designed to bring anyone currently working as an agency instructor up to date with the latest tools and resources provided by the new Instructor Techniques, Second Edition.  It is ideal for instructors seeking continuing education through a refresher and enhancement course.

For instructors who trained in the First Edition, the Enrichment course will provide an overview of what’s new and what’s changed between the two editions.  For every instructor, the course provides a host of tools and resources with in-depth coverage of topics of current interest.

New topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Expanded discussion of the learning process and learning theories
  • Updated Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Generational differences among learners
  • The role of the instructor within the training program: program context
  • Classroom management
  • Achieving deeper learning
  • Expanded discussion of learning objectives
  • Expanded discussion of lesson plans (and planning)
  • Fostering student engagement

In addition to the new topics, existing sections have been rewritten, revised and updated on many points.  In this online course, students will independently review the updates and enhancements to the Instructor Techniques, 2d Edition course. At the end of the course students complete a Knowledge Check based on the new material. To successfully complete the course, the student must score 80% on the test.  The course provides 3 CDEs.

Course Description


In 2009, the Next Generation of APCO Project RETAINS announced that research had proven turnover rates for emergency communication centers (ECC) in the US were at 19%. That was an increase of 3% since 2005 and still reflected a higher turnover rate than the teaching and nursing industries – both highly publicized staffing crises.

It is common knowledge that the public safety communications industry has suffered from an inability to effectively recruit and maintain employees. This in turn has required ECCs across the country to invest millions of dollars in a vicious cycle of continuous recruitment, training new hires and overtime that merely addresses the symptoms of this issue and not the core problem.

Designed to provide guidance and information to ECC employees at every level, this course provides over 300 tips, guidelines and effective practices on subjects ranging from creating effective shift schedules to candidate recruitment and from maintaining staff to employee recognition.

Perfect for a one-day pre-conference or post-conference course.

Course Description


Stress is one of the most common words used in society today and something that each one of us will experience at some point in our life. Stress affects people of all ages, professions and life situations. However, emergency communications as a profession is inherently stressful with the various demands placed upon them by nature of the profession. Understanding these causes of stress in the profession will allow the public safety telecommunicator to recognize and mitigate some of the stressful situations that they may encounter. This course addresses how to detect stress within yourself and co-workers and provides measures to reduce its impact.

Topics include
  • What is stress
  • Signs and symptoms of stress
  • Causes of stress
  • Stress intervention
  • Critical incidents
  • Cumulative stress and post traumatic stress disorder
  • Tools for stress management

Perfect for a one-day pre-conference or post-conference course.

Course Description


The APCO Institute Fundamentals of Tactical Dispatch course is designed for telecommunicators who want to enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities so they can ultimately serve as a member of a tactical/incident dispatch team. The course uses scenarios and practical exercises to explore the issues involved in working major events and responding to major incidents. Class work focuses on sharpening the skills needed to fulfill the role and responsibilities for tactical dispatch.

Topics include:

  • The big picture: ICS, the communications unit, and tactical dispatch
  • Basic knowledge necessary for a tactical dispatcher
  • How tactical dispatchers prepare
  • Pre-deployment preparations: Situational information relevant to the assignment
  • Focus on radio communication
  • Deployment
  • Telephone systems
  • Incident types
  • Ongoing and continuing education


Classroom instruction is supplemented by practical exercises that help students apply the lessons to their own agency’s policies and procedures. Students not only learn topics relating to their individual performance but also learn how to work together in teams to manage events and incidents that require the coordination response of multiple agencies and multiple jurisdictions.

Required Free FEMA Independent
Study Courses:

Recognizing that the success of the accreditation process is dependent upon the skills of the Accreditation Manager, this online course was developed specifically for the CALEA Accreditation Manager. It is ideal for training new accreditation managers or as a refresher for existing staff. The CALEA Accreditation Manager course introduces the student to history and purpose of CALEA, the resources available to assist agencies during the accreditation process, and use of agency written directives and proofs-of-compliance.

Students successfully completing all requirements will receive certification demonstrating completion of a training course, which meets CALEA standards for Accreditation Manager training.

Topics Include:

  • Introduction to CALEA
  • Introduction to PowerDMS
  • Applying the CALEA Guide to Successful Accreditation Management
  • Use of the CALEA Standards Manual
  • Interpretation and application of CALEA standards
  • Agency Self-assessment
  • CALEA remote web-based and site-based assessments

Prerequisites:
Access to PowerDMS; provided by CALEA

Duration: 8 weeks for Public Safety Communications, Campus Security and Training Academy
Tuition: $499 per Student

Duration: 11 weeks for Law Enforcement
Tuition: $675 per Student

Upon successful completion, a joint certificate from APCO & CALEA will be issued and tracked by APCO.

This course was developed in partnership between the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®) and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).