What does it mean to be non-compliant?
The legislature, by statute, requires that licensees complete certain mandated courses, or minimum course hours, sometimes within a certain time frame. Licensees are non-compliant when they fail to complete said course, or courses, in the required time frame. Most non-compliance cases stem from a failure to complete the required courses within Training Units (2yrs) or Training Cycles (4yrs). Some mandates, however, are based on your date of licensing. Be sure to check our website for complete legislative mandate requirements.
How does non-compliance affect currently un-appointed officers?
If you are not currently appointed to an agency, your license will go inactive, at midnight on the last date of the Training Unit, Training Cycle, or other time unit applied to the course(s). There is no negative connotation to the license going inactive, but it does require that you go through a reactivation process before you may be appointed again.
How does non-compliance affect appointed officers?
If you were appointed at an agency at midnight of the last day of the time frame required for the training to be completed, you will be identified as non-compliant and will face disciplinary action through the TCOLE non-compliance process.
What kind of discipline can I expect from being non-compliant?
If you are appointed and non-compliant, your license will be suspended for 90 days. However, this type administrative disciplinary action is not implemented until after the notification process has been completed. Your agency and you (provided we have your current address) will be notified of your non-compliance. You will be given a specified amount of time, usually 60 days, to complete the training that was missed. If you are successful, your suspension may be mitigated to a written reprimand in your TCOLE file. If you are not successful, or chose not to try, your license will be suspended. Multiple written reprimands will result in a suspension. A suspension means that you cannot work in that licensing capacity during the suspension. Continuing to work as a licensee during the suspension is a criminal offense that TCOLE may actively pursue.
What if the non-compliance is in error?
Both you and your agency will be allowed to supply proof of compliance or extenuating circumstances (long-term physical injury/illness to licensee or military deployment, only). If credit was not received for a course that was taken, it may be reported, but the following must be considered; 1) courses may be reported for up to 30 days after completion without penalty to the submitting agency, 2) courses submitted for training credit after 30 days and up to 1 year after completion of instruction will be accepted, but will count against the submitting agency, 3) courses completed beyond that 1 year deadline will not be accepted. The only exception to 3) are mandated courses like Cultural Diversity, Crisis Intervention Training, Special Investigating topics, etc.
The Commission takes no disciplinary action against a licensee until non-compliance is confirmed. Occasionally, TCLEDDS records (our database) may erroneously list a compliant licensee as non-compliant. When and if that happens, you may rest assured the error will be rectified as soon as possible and no action will be taken against the licenseee.
I am a Deputy Constable who didn’t take the mandated Civil Process Course, so what happens now?
You are obviously subject to the above-mentioned non-compliance processes. If, however, your Constable is willing to certify in writing that serving civil process is not part of your assigned duties, the Constable may request an exception by submitting a training roster under course #3102. It must be pointed out that all training rosters are an official government document with serious consequences for false entry.
Why wasn’t I notified, in advance, if I was going to be non-compliant?
3 to 4 months prior to the end of a Training Unit/Training Cycle, TCOLE sends written notification to Texas agencies of any personnel who have not yet reached compliance. This information is intended to be passed on to individual licensees in order to prevent non-compliance. Approximately 18,000 licensees received warnings in April of 2017 for the Unit/Cycle ending 08/31/17. Furthermore, the Unit/Cycle was extended an additional 30 days ( to 09/30/17) due to disaster relief efforts on the Texas Coast.
What can I do to prevent non-compliance?
There are several things you can do to stay current and avoid non-compliance:
· Make sure you enter your correct mailing address in your MyTCOLE account. Do not use your agency address as it is subject to change, sometimes abruptly. Use a reliable, long-term address which will ensure you receive the personal notification we will send to you.
· Keep track of what courses you are required to complete well in advance of the training unit deadline. Although many courses are available online and may be taken at any time, some are required to be taken in a classroom and may not be scheduled at your convenience. In other words, you may not be able to find them towards the end of the training unit or cycle!
· Check your MyTCOLE account regularly, to ensure you have received credit for courses taken. If you’re one of the few people who still don’t have a MyTCOLE account- GET ONE!
If I’m not quite clear on the procedural steps or I don’t have access to a computer is there a number I can call to speak to a real person after receiving one of these non-compliance letters?
Yes, the non-compliance letter will have the name and telephone number of the investigator assigned to your case. If the investigator is temporarily unavailable and your call goes to voicemail, please leave a clear message with your full name, PID number, agency name and your daytime telephone number. You may also call your field service agent or a member of our headquarters staff for assistance.