National Credential
Credential: Certified Corrections Officer (CCO)  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: American Correctional Association (ACA)

Certified Corrections Officer (CCO) is an entry-level certification recommended for personnel who work directly with offenders, correctional officers, security officers, custodial officers, corporals, and sergeants. Applicants have at least one year of relevant experience, must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and must be able to manage offenders, control offender movement, maintain health, safety, and sanitation, use effective communication, and have knowledge about corrections, general skills, equipment control, and ethics and law.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 3 years

Certified Corrections Officer (CCO)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 11B Infantryman MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 11C Indirect Fire Infantryman MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 18B Special Forces Weapons Sergeant MOS other          
Enlisted 18F Special Forces Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant MOS some          
Enlisted 31B Military Police MOS other          
Enlisted 31E Corrections and Detention Specialist MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.     Proponent FundedFunded  
Enlisted 31K Military Working Dog Handler MOS other          
Enlisted 31Z Senior Military Police Sergeant MOS other          
Enlisted R6 Special Reaction Team (SRT) Member ASI some          
Enlisted S7 Foreign Counterintelligence (FCI) ASI other          
Enlisted T5 Target Digital Network Analyst ASI other          
Enlisted V5 Military Police Investigation ASI some          

Army Table Legend

Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Corrections Officer (CCO)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 1 year
  • Education: High School Diploma/GED
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 3 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

American Correctional Association (ACA)
206 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA  22314
Phone: (800) 222-5646
Fax: (703) 224-0179

Certified Corrections Officer (CCO)

ACA Officer applicants must have a High School Diploma or General Educational Diploma (HS/GED).

ACA Officer applicants must have at least one (1) year of work experience in present position at the officer level.

The Certified Corrections Officer (CCO) credential has the following other requirements:

  • ACA Officer applicants must agree to follow the ACA Code of Ethics.
  • ACA Officer applicants must submit a recommendation from his or her immediate supervisor which attests to the fact that they have received satisfactory or better evaluations and are a person of good character.

Certified Corrections Officer (CCO)

  • Managing Offenders (7%)
    • Conduct cell inspections/searches
    • Enforce rules and regulations
    • Establish rapport
    • Follow use-of-force continuum, as appropriate
    • Intervene in crises
    • Manage conflicts
    • Orient new arrivals on rule, procedures, etc.
    • Provide verbal and written counseling
    • Write disciplinary and incident reports
  • Control/Offender Movement (9%)
    • Enforce custody privileges/disciplinary restrictions
    • Implement emergency operational plans
    • Implement schedules for controlled offender movement
    • Issue/receive offender passes/appointment slips
    • Observe, monitor, supervise movement of offenders and their property
    • Properly identify and escort offenders, individually and in groups
    • Receive offender requests for bed, cell or unit moves and make recommendations
    • Restrict movement during scheduled physical counts of offenders
  • Maintain Health, Safety, Sanitation, and Communication (13%)
    • Develop cleaning schedule
    • Document the distribution of authorized items
    • Ensure proper labeling/handling of hazardous materials
    • Implement health/safety memos and notifications
    • Implement proper health procedures for offenders with infectious diseases
    • Inventory and distribute authorized items
    • Order/request authorized supplies/items
    • Report changes in offender behavior
    • Report security violations
    • Search offenders and their property
    • Submit health, safety, and sanitation recommendations to appropriate departments
    • Supervise cleaning of industrial areas
    • Supervise offenders’ hygiene habits
  • Knowledge of Facility Climate (1%)
    • Agency mission/purpose
    • Agency policies and procedures
    • Available training
    • Ethnic differences
    • Standards of professionalism
    • State/federal laws; e.g., EEO, Sexual Harassment
    • Stress management
    • Use of force
    • Use of weapons
    • Using equipment/tools
  • General Skills/Equipment Control (13%)
    • CPR/first aid
    • Inspect keys, tools, equipment and shadow boards
    • Inter-personal communication
    • Inventory keys, tools, and equipment at beginning and end of shift
    • Leadership
    • Log out/in keys, tools, and equipment in work areas
    • Maintain physical control of keys, tools, and equipment
    • Management
    • Non-verbal communication
    • Public relations
    • Report broken/missing keys, tools, and equipment
    • Search procedures
    • Written communication
  • Ethics/Law (17%)
    • History of courts and corrections
    • “Hands-off”/”hands-on”
    • Prison Litigation Reform Act
    • Searches and seizures
    • “Reasonable Suspicion”
    • Theories of liability
    • How lawsuits work
    • Indemnification
    • Discovery
    • Trials and appeals
    • AIDS
    • What is ethical/unethical behavior?
    • Investigating unethical behavior
    • Interviewing/confidentiality
    • Evidence/polygraph
    • Surveillance/monitoring
    • Employee rights
    • The investigative report
  • General (14%)
  • Wellness/ Safety (8%)
  • PREA (5%)
  • Leadership (10%)
  • Team Building (3%)

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Corrections Officer (CCO) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Certified Corrections Officer (CCO)

Renewal Period: 3 years

The Certified Corrections Officer (CCO) credential has the following recertification information:

  • Renewal for the CCO certification requires that certified individuals earn 40 CEUs every three years.