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Certified Public-Safety Executive (CPE) Program Application


Public safety communicators operate in an ever more complex environment. 9-1-1 communication centers face challenges mastering new technologies, handling new types of data and responding to new threats to public health and security. Our community needs to develop its leadership to address these challenges and reach higher levels of professionalism and expertise. There are a number of career paths to follow: within your present organization, within the industry, or a totally different path all together.

The professional of today needs to be more flexible and creative. The APCO Certified Public- Safety Executive (CPE) Program is designed to help foster growth and develop the leaders of tomorrow. It is important for both you and the CPE program to find a good fit between program and participants. This application will help you prepare your own development plan. Please take your time to think through your responses.

The challenge is in your hands to chart your own course and take ownership of your professional development. We recommend that you:

  • Reflect on where you are in your career and how you got there.
  • Reflect on where you want your career to go.
  • Take stock of your strengths and how you can best use them.
  • Consider areas for growth and how you can address them.
  • Talk your plan over with somebody whose opinion really counts for you.
    • On-the-job colleague or supervisor
    • Significant others in your life

So, where do you see yourself going? Please consider each item and reply with candor. There are no right or wrong answers, just your answers.

To develop your plan, please complete all the items on the application form.




At a minimum, an applicant must:

  • Possess an associate’s degree or higher OR
  • Be a graduate of APCO’s Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) Program OR
  • Have a high-school diploma AND a minimum of 10 years’ experience in public safety communications at the supervisor, manager, or director level.

Admittance to the CPE Program is highly competitive, and space in the program is limited. Due to the rigor of the curriculum, preference will be given to individuals who have at least a bachelor’s degree and significant experience in public safety communications or related occupations. Not all who apply will be admitted.

The CPE admissions committee will evaluate each application using metrics related to the:

  • Applicant’s level of education
  • Applicant’s length and types of experience in the public-safety communications industry
  • Quality of the CPE application (should be well-written in complete sentences and free from grammatical and typographical errors)
  • Quality of the applicants’ responses to questions regarding:
    • Personal and professional challenges faced
    • How they have overcome those challenges
    • The current state of public safety communications
    • What challenges they believe are facing the industry
    • How participating in the CPE Program will help them address these industry challenges

NOTE: No more than two applicants from a single agency will be admitted to a CPE class at any one time.


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