Michigan Information

About the Exams

The entry-level written exams provided by Empco consist of several areas: detail, spelling, word usage, clarity, and grammar. The reading comprehension portion of the test consists of reading a passage and then answering a series of questions on the passage. There is also a behavioral component to the exam.

This examination is designed so that test takers without any specific training can score as well as those with extensive training or experience in the position. These tests are commonly referred to as reading and writing tests, or cognitive abilities tests. There is no requirement to have knowledge of the specific position to pass this cognitive ability exam. However, it is helpful for a candidate to understand the concepts and philosophies of the profession for which they are seeking employment in other parts of the hiring process, such as an interview.

The Law Enforcement (Police Officer/Road Patrol Deputy) exam is called the National Criminal Justice Officer Selection Inventory2 (NCJOSI²). This exam should be taken by those who are seeking a position as a sworn Police Officer or Road Patrol Deputy. The Law Enforcement exam is used by both Police Departments and Sheriff’s Offices. Your Law Enforcement test score may be used to apply for Police Officer positions for participating Police Departments, as well as Deputy/Road Patrol positions for Sheriff’s Offices. You will be given two-and-one-half (21/2) hours to complete the Law Enforcement test. Test scores for the Law Enforcement test are valid for 12 months (365 days) from the test date. For those who pass the exam, a numerical score is reported (0% – 100%). The passing score is 70%, however some agencies may require a minimum passing score above 70% for their specific agency. A score reported as FAIL on the test indicates that you did not achieve the minimum passing score of 70%. Any score of 69.99% and below will read as FAIL only. Empco does not provide a percentage score if the minimum is not reached.

The Corrections/Jail Officer exam is called the National Correctional Officer Selection Inventory (NCOSI). This exam should be taken by those who are seeking a position in the jail as a Corrections Officer for a participating Sheriff’s Offices. You will be given one-and-one-half (1½) hours to complete the Corrections test. Test scores for the Corrections test are valid for three (3) years from the test date in the state of Michigan, and 12 months (365 days) from the test date in all other states. The passing score is 70%. Scores of 69.99% and lower are considered failing.

The Firefighter exam is called the National Firefighter Selection Inventory (NFSI). This exam should be taken by those who are seeking a position within a Fire Department. You will be given two-and-one-half (21/2) hours to complete the Firefighter test. Test scores for the Firefighter test are valid for 12 months (365 days) from the test date. The passing score is 70%. Scores of 69.99% and lower are considered failing.

These tests are computer-administered. At the test site prior to beginning your exam, you will be given instructions and will view a computer-based demonstration to allow you time to acclimate yourself to the computer-based test environment. Your time will begin after you have listened to the proctor’s instructions, viewed the demonstration, and entered your information. Scrap paper and pencils are provided for each candidate to use during the exam. The use of calculators is not permitted on any exam.

To protect the integrity of our tests and the substantial investment in the tests, Empco does not permit the review of individual test questions. Requests may be made for verification of the accuracy of the scoring of an individual test. You may request your verification by sending an email to info@empco.net.

Minimum Qualifications

Each agency has different hiring criteria. However, all require you to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen (or, in some states, a resident alien), have a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, a clean criminal history, and normal (correctable) vision and hearing. Many agencies have additional minimum criteria including training and education. You should research state requirements and the individual agencies you are interested in to determine minimum qualifications and hiring criteria for those states and agencies.

Additional State Requirements and Physical Ability Exams

Each state will have their own requirements for certification in these positions. You will need to research the requirements for the state you are interested in working in. State standards may require you to complete training, take additional written exams, and demonstrate your physical fitness for the job prior to being hired or soon after. If you are applying for any of these positions, you will most likely need to demonstrate your physical fitness for the position before you are hired. Empco does not administer any of these additional written examinations or any physical ability examinations.

Michigan Requirements for Law Enforcement

If you are seeking a Law Enforcement position in the state of Michigan, you must also complete the state certification process through the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). If you have not previously been licensed in Michigan or another state, this requires you to successfully complete a separate reading and writing examination and a physical fitness performance examination. For more information regarding MCOLES, please visit https://www.michigan.gov/mcoles/.

Michigan Requirements for Local Corrections Officer

If you are seeking a Corrections/Jail Officer position in the state of Michigan, you are also required to successfully complete the Michigan Sheriffs’ Coordinating and Training Council (MSCTC) Local Corrections Officer Physical Ability Test (LCOPAT) before being hired as a Local Corrections Officer. Empco does NOT administer the LCOPAT. For more information regarding MSCTC standards and requirements, as well as testing locations for the LCOPAT, please visit http://misctc.org/standards.html.

Michigan Requirements for Firefighter

If you are seeking a Firefighter position in the state of Michigan, many agencies require successful completion of a physical abilities examination. The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is the most commonly accepted physical ability test for firefighter positions, and it is required by many agencies.

Some agencies will require you have completed your CPAT at time of application, and others will require it at time of hire. Empco test sites do not offer the CPAT exam. If you have taken and passed the CPAT in the past 12 months, you must send a copy of your driver’s license and copy of your CPAT certificate to Empco in order for it to appear in your profile. This can be sent by email to fts@empco.net, or by fax at 248-526-7274.

If an agency requires you to have completed a physical abilities exam at the time of application, your profile will not appear to those agencies unless you submit proof of successful completion to Empco to be posted to your profile. When you are logged in, click on the Select Agencies tab. You will then be able to view the physical ability test requirements for each agency, and at what point in the hiring process they require it.

Qualifying for Positions

Those agencies you have selected, and whose minimum qualifications you meet, will automatically see your profile information and passing test score. Agencies will only see your most recent, valid, passing score.

Participating agencies require you to take and pass the written exam provided by Empco. There is no substitute for these tests with participating agencies.

Typically, there is no need to take any action after you complete the tests, unless a specific agency wants you to turn in a written application prior to the deadline (but this is not required by most agencies). Your test score is available to the agencies you have selected once it has been posted. Agencies will contact you when they have an interest in talking to you. When they contact you, they will ask you to enter their formal recruiting process. This process could include an application, interviews, background check, physical, physiological and drug examinations and other traditional steps in the hiring of a Police Officer, Road Patrol Deputy, Corrections/Jail Officer, or Firefighter.

As soon as your test score has been posted (within 72 hours of taking the test), you are able to view your test score on your profile homepage. Participating agencies you have selected will have access to your passing test score on this website. Empco does not send your test score to any agencies.   The agencies have access to your profile through our system when you have an active passing score, have selected the agency, and meet their minimum qualifications.

Some agencies certify eligibility lists for longer than 12 months. If one of these agencies certifies their eligibility list during the 12 months you are active in the Empco system, you could be an active candidate on their list for longer than 12 months.

There may be additional tests in the hiring process administered by agencies. These additional tests include, but are not limited to, oral interviews, background investigations, drug tests, psychological and physical examinations.

Study Guides

Study guides and preparation materials for these exams are available from the I/O Solutions website. Empco does not sell any study guides or preparation materials directly.

Click here for the Law Enforcement (Police Officer/Road Patrol Deputy) (National Criminal Justice Officer Selection Inventory², or NCJOSI²) study guide.

Click here for the Corrections/Jail Officer (National Correctional Officer Selection Inventory, or NCOSI) study guide.

Click here for the Firefighter (National Firefighter Selection Inventory, or NFSI) study guide.

Day of Test

To be admitted to the test center, you will need to present your driver’s license and be ready to show the email confirmation you received when you scheduled your test. If you did not receive a confirmation email, be sure to check your junk mail. You may also show your scheduled test on your profile page from your phone. You will also need to know your social security number. Scrap paper will be provided for you at the test site. Do not bring a calculator; the use of calculators is not permitted on any exam.

Candidates are required to be on time for all tests. Candidates who are not present at the scheduled start of the test will be denied entry. No refunds or credits will be issued for candidates who arrive late to an exam for any reason. You will need to sign up and pay for another test. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to get to the test site and find the testing room to avoid this situation.


Candidates may take an examination up to two (2) times in a 12-month period. To retake an examination, simply log in to your Empco profile, click the Test Schedule, select a new test date, and pay a new fee. It should be noted that you will not take the same test when retesting, but a similarly reliable and valid test. In the event you retest, all scores will appear on your profile for you to view, but agencies will only be able to see your most recent score, not necessarily your highest score.  

Making Changes

Canceling/Rescheduling Exams

If you need to reschedule or cancel your upcoming test, you must do so at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled test time. To reschedule your test, log in to your Empco profile and click on the Test Schedule. Click Reschedule Test next to the test you are scheduled for. This will automatically give you a credit on your profile for the fee you paid. When you are ready to reschedule, return to the Test Schedule page and select any test, and your credit will automatically apply. Click Cancel Test to request a refund. No refunds will be given for test canceled less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled test.

Updating an Email Address

If you entered the wrong email address when you registered, or if your email address has changed, you must put in a request for Empco to change your email address (which is also your username). Send an email to info@empco.net. The email should include your name, phone number, old/incorrect email, and the new/correct email address you would like it changed to.

Correcting a Social Security Number

Your complete, correct social security must be entered correctly in the system in order to link your test score to your profile. If you enter your social security number into the system incorrectly, you will have difficulty signing into the test at the test site, and your test score will not post to your profile. The test site can help you take a test, but in order for that test score to be linked to your profile, you will need to correct your social security number with Empco. To do so, call the office at 866-367-2600. You will need to be prepared to email a copy of your driver’s license and social security card.

Special Considerations

To request an ADA accommodation, please contact Empco at 866-367-2600. Requests must be made at least two weeks prior to your preferred test date to ensure accommodations can be made. If you are requesting an accommodation, please do not sign up for a test until you have received a response from Empco. Proof of ADA necessity is required.

Participating agencies will grant a very limited number of scholarships to cover the fee for this test. Requests for a scholarship must be directed to scholarship@empco.net. The request must include: your name, the test you are looking to take (Law Enforcement (Police Officer/Road Patrol Deputy), Corrections/Jail Officer or Firefighter), the state you will be testing in, and a brief paragraph stating compelling reasons for your request. Requests must be received at least two weeks prior to the test date you want to sign up for.

Submitting a request for a scholarship does not guarantee a scholarship will be awarded to the applicant. Determinations will be made based on availability of funds and the number of requests received. Failure to follow instructions for requesting a scholarship and requests that do not follow basic spelling and grammar rules will result in an automatic denial of the scholarship request.

If you have any questions concerning the Empco system or pre-employment process, please contact Empco at 866-367-2600 or info@empco.net.

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