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Become a California Highway Patrol Officer

Applicant Preparation Program

All Applicant Preparation Program participants must be in the cadet selection process for the California Highway Patrol. Those eligible to participate in this program are required to successfully pass the written portion of the examination.

The purpose of this program is to prepare applicants and their families for success during the hiring process, the Academy, and throughout their career. APP will familiarize CHP applicants with the standards and expectations of the Department, as well as provide preparation and guidance in the areas of physical fitness, Academy preparation, and ensuring families are aware of what to expect while their loved one is at the Academy and beyond. To find out more about the APP in your Division click here.


Physical Fitness
Once at the Academy, applicants will be tested mentally, physically, and emotionally on a daily basis. the physical training portion of the Academy is one of the most challenging phases of training for most cadets. Applicants must take the opportunity to prepare themselves and be in good physical condition PRIOR to reporting to the Academy. Being in good physical condition greatly improves a cadet's success rate in all aspects of Academy training.

Division recruiters will use the APP to assist applicants in preparing for the Physical Abilities Test, the Physical Fitness Evaluation, and the physical training portion of Academy training. Tracking your activity on a Monthly Fitness Log allows recruiters to assess your fitness levels and determine if you are on track to be successful in the Academy. Before participating with any Applicant Preparation Program physical activities, a participant shall read and sign the APP Release/Waiver form. The participant shall bring the signed APP Release/Waiver form with them and give it to the California Highway Patrol representative.


Academy Preparation
The California Highway Patrol is often referred to as a "paramilitary" department. This is due to the uniforms, ranks and insignias, chain of command, and long-standing traditions of the Department that resemble a military organization. this paramilitary style is especially prevalent throughout Academy training.

Being properly prepared for the Academy can help increase a cadet's overall success. Life at the Academy consists of a regulated system of academics, exercise, diet, and self-discipline. Applicants can prepare for the academic rigors of the Academy by practicing their reading and writing skills, evaluating their study habits, and studying the phonetic alphabet (located in the Pursue Your Future pamphlet). The ability to organize your time, manage multiple tasks, adapt to various situations, and manage stress are essential for survival. Maintaining proper appearance, moving with a sense of urgency, punctuality, and strict discipline are a few of the things a cadet must quickly learn. Many cadets will have difficulty adjusting to the regimentation and physical standards expected of them.


Family Matters
During this process it is important for applicants to remember that they are not the only ones preparing for a career with the CHP. Family members play a key role in the preparation and success of an applicant. Spouses, significant others and/or family members are encouraged to attend APP seminars with their applicants. Attendance will help prepare them for the reality that their applicant will be away from home (and, for the most part, out of touch) for 27 weeks during Academy training, possible relocation after the Academy, and shift work that will include working on weekends and holidays. It will also allow them to learn first-hand what their cadet will be going through on a daily basis at the Academy. This knowledge should provide them with a better understanding of how they can best support their cadet from home. High levels of stress endured by cadets while at the Academy coupled with less-than-supportive family members can lead to strains in personal relationships as well as failure during the Academy. Make sure everyone is as committed to your success as you are.