Learn more about current testing

COVID-19 Testing FAQs


COVID-19 Response FAQs

DISCLAIMER: All prices, timelines, and policies are subject to change by PST and participating agencies.

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Written Testing

Physical Ability Testing


Background Investigations

Written Testing

Are In-Person exams being administered?

In-person exams have resumed at our offices in Lynnwood, WA; Kent, WA; and our testing sites around Washington state. Dispatcher candidates and those LEO, CO, and FF candidates who are unable to meet the online, in-home testing requirements may schedule in-person exams. We highly encourage the online, in-home testing option all LEO, CO, and FF candidates if possible. Please see below for information on testing remotely.

We are administering exams in smaller groups in accordance with current governmental guidance and our COVID-19 Safety Policies, including requiring all staff and candidates to conduct health self-screenings, wear masks, physically distance at least six feet apart, etc.

Exam locations continue to be dependent on availability for facility rentals as we depend on schools and other facilities around the region. Please also note that when using facilities not owned by PST, we will abide by the COVID-19 policies and procedures for each location.

What are the safety protocols in place for in-person testing?

PST Staff and Candidates are required to conduct a health self-screening upon arriving at a test event. This may include a temperature check and the following questions: 1) Are you ill or caring for someone who is ill? 2) In the last 2 weeks, have you had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19? 3) In the last 3 days, have you had any symptoms of illness or change in health?

You will be required to wear a facial covering/mask that covers your mouth and nose while in the testing facility including N95 masks, multi-layered cloth masks, paper masks.

Please note that “neck gaiters” are NOT an authorized facial covering, as research has shown that they are ineffective and may actually increase the risk of transmission/exposure.

All staff and candidates are required to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times. This distance is increased to 10 feet when engaging in physical ability testing.

What is the difference between Online, In-Home Written Exam and the In-Person Written Exam?

In most cases, candidates who take the In-Person Written Exam will take the exam via test booklet and pencil. You will be able to draw and write notes on the test booklet. If you take the exam through the Remote Testing at an Approved Test Center option, you will take the exam online via a computer but be provided with scratch paper that you will turn in to your proctor at the end of your exam.

Candidates who take the Online, In-Home LEO, CO, and FF Written Exams will take the exam via a computer with a Windows operating system. Scratch paper and writing instruments are prohibited. There is a notetaking feature on the testing application that will allow you type or draw notes with your mouse (or finger/stylus if you have a touchscreen computer). This notetaking feature is similar to the Windows-based “Paint” application combined with the Windows-based "Notepad" application.

What equipment is needed to take the Online, In-Home test?

There are specific equipment requirements in order to take the Online, In-Home exam. Please see the list of requirements here:

Now that I have signed up for an Online, In-Home Exam, what do I need?

After you have placed an order for an Online, In-Home Exam, you will receive an order confirmation. The order confirmation will include the Online In-Home Testing Set-Up Guide and Manual, which you will need to review carefully. You are required to submit three documents in your PST account prior to testing. Failure to upload/sign the documents will result in you being unable to take the exam through our Online, In-Home Testing process. Documents must be received before your scheduled exam or you will forfeit your exam seat and be required to reschedule. Standard reschedule fees will apply.

You will receive the GoToMeeting (videoconferencig) Access information approximately 24 hours prior to your exam. Please check your e-mail's junk or spam inbox if you do not recieve this email prior to contacting PST. There will also be a copy saved in your "My Messages" on your PST account.

Are there Online, In-Home Written Exams available for Dispatch and Communication Officer positions?

Unfortunately there is no online version of the Dispatcher exam. You may take the Dispatch test in person at a PST test site or at an approved college testing location.

Physical Ability Testing

Are departments still requiring physical ability testing?

Each department has their own policy of the requirement for written and/or physical ability testing. Please ensure you check each agency's profile for their specific requirements.

Many agencies require physical ability testing before they receive your test scores. During the period of March-June 2020 when the PST offices were closed, many departments temporarily modified requirements to receive scores without PAT or CPAT testing. On July 15th, all departments were reverted back to their original testing requirements, which may include the physical ability testing requirement.

Is physical ability testing available for both law enforcement and firefighter candidates?

Yes, on a limited basis.

Physical ability testing for LEO & CO candidates is primarily conducted at our offices in Lynnwood, WA; Kent, WA; and Spokane, WA. You may also take your Physical Ability Test nationwide with Anytime Fitness at participating locations. For more information on this option and to schedule your assessment, visit our Remote PAT page.

We are able to conduct CPAT testing for Firefighters at our locations in Kent or Spokane, WA, or in Great Falls, MT.

How do I sign up for the Law Enforcement and Corrections Physical Ability Test?

You can sign up for a PAT administered at a PST test site through our Test & Event Calendar. If you would like to take your PAT through our partnership with Anytime Fitness clubs, please review the instructions for scheduling on our Remote PAT page.

If you completed your written exam after July 15th and a department you applied to requires the PAT, your PAT must be completed within 90 days (either before or after) your written exam.

If you completed your written exam between May 11th and July 15th, 2020 and a department you applied to requires the PAT, the deadline to complete your Physical Ability Test was November 12, 2020. At this point, you would no longer be able to take a PAT and have it apply to a written exam taken in the above date range.

How do I sign up for the Firefighter CPAT?

You can sign up for your CPAT through our Test & Event Calendar.

If you completed your written exam between May 11th and July 15th and a department you applied to requires the CPAT, you have until February 10, 2021 to complete your CPAT.

If you completed your written exam after July 15th and a department you applied to requires the CPAT, your CPAT must be completed within 180 days (either before or after) your written exam.


I have an in-person test scheduled in the future -- will this still happen?

Any tests or events on the calendar are still planned as scheduled, however the number of seats available may have been reduced to comply with current governmental regulations.

My event was cancelled by PST due to COVID and I was placed on a WAITLIST, what do I do?

UPDATE: The deadline to reschedule a PST COVID-related cancelled event HAS PASSED (Feb 21, 2021). PST has continuously offered both in-person and online, in-home testing for written and physical ability exams since July 2020. If you would like to schedule a test, please start a new test registration HERE.

Background Investigations

Is PST Investigations (PSTi) still conducting pre-employment background and workplace investigations?

Yes. Candidate, witness, and subject interviews are conducted utilizing virtual platforms.

How do I submit my PHS, PHQ, and Truthfullness Agreement when my interview is conducted virtually?

During your virtual candidate interview, the background investigator will ask the candidate to sign the PHS, PHQ, and Truthfulness Agreement. Once signed, the investigator will ask you to email the documents to them. The investigator, as a witness, will then sign and upload the documents into the candidate’s eSOPH profile.

Are investigators able to conduct onsite visits to a candidate's residence or current place of employment?

No. Investigators will use virtual platforms to conduct reference interviews and ask for any relevant employment records to be submitted and/or reviewed electronically.