Standards of Conduct for Instructors

print & sign instructor policy receipt

All instructors, please read the full policy then print and e-mail your signed policy receipt to:

print & sign instructor policy receipt



Adopted February 5, 2024

The standards of conduct set forth in this document have been adopted by the New Jersey Police Training Commission (PTC) to define the expected and prohibited behavior for every person certified by the PTC to instruct in police training courses, in accordance with the provisions of the Police Training Act, (N.J.S.A. 52:17B-66 et seq) and the regulations promulgated thereunder. This code of conduct establishes the foundation of responsible instructor bearing and demeanor for those who train recruits as well as experienced officers. The Commission expects every instructor to set an example in terms of appearance, competence, courtesy, knowledge, dignity, deportment and professional bearing for the recruits/trainees entrusted to their care and control. Instructors are required to follow all requirements as outlined herein. Instructors are also responsible for maintaining compliance with all individual departmental rules, regulations, and standards of conduct while instructing at a certified academy or training center. Instructors will not post photographs or video of the training day on social media platforms, nor will they supply same to media outlets.

The Commission has established the highest standards of conduct to guide the performance of every instructor in each school. The responsibility to train officers to be respected and effective public servants is of paramount importance within the law enforcement profession. Because instructors are perceived as role models, they must exemplify a commitment to public service with honor. They must personify the law enforcement core values of honesty, integrity, courage, compassion, fairness and respect. Instructors are expected to set a positive example for the recruits/trainees to emulate. The Police Training Commission is committed to ensuring that each recruit/trainee receives comprehensive instruction from a competent, dedicated and professional cadre of instructors.



1.1 Instructors who teach in a course of instruction under the jurisdiction of the Police Training Act shall be certified by the Police Training Commission.

1.2 Individuals approved to teach physical training or defensive tactics shall maintain a level of fitness sufficient to enable them to perform the essential functions required to engage in and teach physical training and/or defensive tactics.

1.3 Instructors shall exhibit the highest standards of professional, moral, and ethical conduct while teaching recruits/trainees. Instructors will maintain the same level of professionalism when interacting with fellow instructors.

1.4 Instructors shall possess subject matter expertise in the performance objectives being taught for the training block, in accordance with the rules of the Police Training Commission, in the subject matter the instructor is responsible to present.

1.5 Instructors shall be current in all refresher training required by statute or administrative authority in order to maintain certification to teach the subject matter, as detailed in N.J.A.C. Title13.

1.6 Instructors shall present training material in accordance with the PTC-approved performance objectives in the appropriate curriculum. Instructional material or commentary that is in conflict with the curriculum requirements shall not be presented. Instructional material or commentary used for enhancement or illustrative purposes is permitted to the extent that it does not conflict with the curriculum requirements. All instructional material must be submitted to the academy director prior to the start of the class. Instructional material becomes the property of the training academy and must be maintained by the academy for a period of three years. All instructional material will be readily available for inspection by Commission Staff.

1.7 Instructors assigned to teach in a school shall be responsible to teach as scheduled by the school director.

1.8 School directors shall be responsible for assigning all instructors, for evaluating the performance of all instructors, and for enforcing the provisions of the Standards of Conduct for Instructors within their respective schools.


2.1 Instructors shall ensure the safety of recruits/trainees under their immediate control and supervision. Instructors must be constantly alert for evidence that a recruit/trainee may be experiencing a medical, physical, psychological or emotional problem that effects health and/or performance. When necessary, instructors shall intervene and take immediate action to mitigate the problem, including, if appropriate, notification to emergency medical services.

2.2 Recruits are subject to a variety of environmental conditions during the course of training, including but not necessarily limited to cold, heat, humidity, wind and precipitation. Instructors shall exercise sound judgment when conducting training under adverse environmental conditions, and shall discontinue training, or relocate to a safe area when conditions could reasonably be expected to be harmful to the recruits/trainees.

2.3 Instructors shall ensure that recruits/trainees receive adequate rest, water, and scheduled meals during all phases of training.

2.4 Instructors shall ensure that training for recruits/trainees is only conducted in safe facilities (indoors and outdoors) at locations which have been approved by the Police Training Commission. Instructors shall ensure that equipment used during training is safe, and in proper working condition.

2.5 During the course of instruction, recruits/trainees may be required to walk, run, sit, exercise, or engage in specific body position, stances or movements to learn physical conditioning and/or defensive tactics. Instructors shall not impose any physical requirement that is not justified by a specific curriculum based instructional purpose.


3.1 Instructors shall communicate with recruits/trainees in a clear, understandable and professional tone of voice that is appropriate for the type of instruction being presented.

3.2 Instructors shall not use profane, vulgar, disparaging, hostile or inappropriate threatening language or gestures when communicating with a recruit/trainee. Instructors shall not intentionally humiliate or demean a recruit/trainee.

3.3 Instructors shall only communicate criticism toward a recruit/trainee in a clear, unambiguous, constructive manner, with the goal of eliminating unacceptable performance, behavior, or action, and encouraging proper performance or demonstration of a task by a recruit/trainee. Criticism that is not performance based, and/or that includes but is not necessarily limited to references about age, gender, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, or similar protected status, is strictly prohibited. Instructors will not engage in any activity for the sole purpose of hazing a recruit.

3.4 Instructors shall refrain from physical contact with recruits/trainees unless such contact is necessary to ensure the safety of a recruit/trainee, to provide emergency first-aid, or for a legitimate instructional purpose, such as teaching a curriculum-based skill, demonstrating correct technique, or correcting improper performance of a required skill. Physical contact for non-training purposes is strictly prohibited. Whenever possible, both male and female instructors should be present to provide physical contact instruction to classes that include both male and female recruits/trainees.


4.1 Instructors shall not engage in any action, activity, business or other Conduct, inside or outside of the academy, that could reasonably be perceived by a recruit/trainee or any other person to constitute a conflict of interest, be inappropriately coercive, impose inappropriate influence, or require inappropriate compliance by a recruit/trainee.

4.2 Instructors shall not suggest, solicit, require, or accept anything of value from a recruit/trainee that could reasonably be perceived by the recruit/trainee or any other person to constitute a benefit to the instructor or someone else. This shall not preclude a school director from accepting an unsolicited gift to a school from a class of recruits/trainees, given for the purpose of expressing the collective appreciation of the class for the instructional efforts of the school cadre.

4.3 Instructors shall not suggest, solicit, require or allow a recruit/trainee to purchase any property, goods or services in which the instructor has a direct or indirect financial interest.

4.4 Instructors shall not suggest, solicit, require or allow a recruit/trainee to provide or accept a loan or anything of value that involves the instructor or any other member of the school staff.

4.5 Instructors shall not refer recruits/trainees to a specific vendor, nor refer a vendor to recruits/trainees for the purchase, procurement or rental of items used during training, unless the vendor has been authorized and approved by the school as the official source for such equipment. Inquiries from a recruit/trainee about equipment required but not provided by the school shall be referred to the employing agency.

4.6 Instructors shall not suggest, solicit, or require a recruit/trainee to endorse any product or service.


5.1 Instructors shall set an example in appearance, competence, courtesy, knowledge, dignity, deportment and professional bearing for the recruits/trainees entrusted to their care and control. Instructors shall endeavor to instill confidence and self-discipline in recruits/trainees whom they supervise.

5.2 Instructors shall maintain appropriate discipline over the recruits/trainees, is deemed appropriate for the training evaluation.

5.3 Instructors shall enforce the rules promulgated by the Police Training Commission, the school(s) where they teach, and their Department rules, regulations, and policies.

5.4 Instructors shall not engage in any action that could be reasonably perceived as providing favored or preferential treatment to one or more recruits/trainees.

5.5 Instructors shall not socialize with one or more recruits/trainees during school training hours nor during off duty hours, at the school or elsewhere, for the duration of recruit/trainee status. Socialization is any outside communications or contact, including, but not limited to, social media. This prohibition does not apply to situations where an instructor and a recruit/trainee are related. Each Instructor shall disclose any relationship with another instructor or recruit, including familial, social acquaintance, or other relationship to the Director in a written report.

5.6 Instructors shall maintain a professional appearance at all times while serving in an instructor capacity. Department uniform, business attire, or specialty instruction gear shall be worn. No jeans, leggings, flip-flops, t-shirts with messaging or advertisements, or other inappropriate attire is permitted.


6.1 Instructors shall immediately report to the school director or to the Police Training Commission any conduct or behavior by a person, including any instructor or recruit, that is illegal, unethical, or contrary to Commission Rules, school rules, these standards of conduct, or the Police Training Act or the regulations promulgated thereunder.

6.2 Instructors have the duty and responsibility to not only report this behavior, but to also intervene and prevent further improper behavior from occurring. Failure to intervene may result in a penalty, as described herein.

6.3 Any violation as outlined herein, as well as any violation of any individual departmental rules, regulations, or standards of conducts, or any violation of the Police Training Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder, shall be documented by the director of the academy, and submitted to the Police Training Commission and the instructor’s employing department.


7.1 Violations of the standards of conduct for instructors contained herein shall be investigated and resolved by the school director in consultation with the Police Training Commission staff, by action of the Police Training Commission, and/or the appropriate investigative authority.

7.2 The penalties for the discipline of an instructor who violates any provision(s) of these standards of conduct shall range from counseling to revocation of instructor certification, as determined by the Police Training Commission.


8.1 All certified instructors are required to sign a receipt indicating they have received, read, and understand this manual and agree to comply with the requirements herein.

8.2 All certified academies or training centers shall maintain records of all instructors receipt of this manual. Said receipt shall be made available to the Police Training Commission field investigators or any other staff/personnel upon request.