Quinn Bill
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

GENERAL

    What is the Police Career Incentive Pay Program (PCIPP)?
    The purpose of the Police Career Incentive Pay Program (PCIPP), or Quinn Bill, enacted in 1970 by the Massachusetts legislature, is to encourage police officers in participating municipalities to earn degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice and to provide educational incentives through salary increases.

    Is there a difference between the PCIPP and the Police Career Incentive Pay Program?
    No. The terms "PCIPP" and "Police Career Incentive Pay Program" mean the same thing. These two terms are used interchangeably.


APPLYING FOR THE PCIPP

    How do I apply for the PCIPP?
    Officers must apply for the PCIPP through the Police Department in which they are employed. Some police departments complete PCIPP paperwork through their Human Resources Departments. Other police departments complete PCIPP paperwork through their Chief's Office. Officers should contact their respective police department to find out how to apply for the PCIPP.

    Do I need to apply for the PCIPP every year?
    No. Officers only need to apply for approval at each incentive level. Once an officer is approved at an incentive level, he/she will remain at that level until an upgrade is approved. If an officer is requesting an upgrade from one incentive level to another, an application for the new incentive level must be submitted along with supporting documentation of the earned educational degree. For example, an officer currently certified at the 10% level who has completed a Bachelor’s degree in an eligible program must submit an application and supporting documentation for approval at the 20% incentive level. Once the officer is certified at the 20% level, the certification will continue as long as the officer remains employed as a full-time officer at a participating police department.

    I am transferring to another police department that participates in the PCIPP. How do I transfer my PCIPP benefits?
    The officer should contact the PCIPP coordinator at the new police department. The new police department must notify the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (MDHE) that the officer has transferred. The new police department should provide written confirmation of the transfer, including the date the officer began service and the name of the last police department that the officer received PCIPP benefits. MDHE will transfer the officer's file from the previous to the new police department. MDHE will also add the officer to the roster of the new police department. However, the officer will need to complete a new application if he/she is applying to upgrade to another incentive level.

    Please note that all officers will be paid a maximum of 12 months a year. The MDHE will only reimburse the town/community for the length of time employed, regardless of the amount of benefits paid to the officer.

    What materials do I need in order to apply for the PCIPP?
    Officers must complete an application, also known as Attachment A. They must also submit official transcripts from all institutions in which course credit was earned. For example, if an officer attends School A and then transfers to School B, official transcripts must be submitted from School A and School B. If the transcript does not state that the officer's degree is conferred, the MDHE requires that the officer also submit an original letter from the institution verifying that the officer has completed all academic requirements for the degree. A copy of the diploma is also acceptable as proof of degree completion. Any officer submitting a PCIPP application for the Fiscal Year must have completed the degree requirements by September 1st of the year to be eligible for certification.

    When is the PCIPP application period?
    During each summer, MDHE sends memorandums to all PCIPP participating police departments stating that the application period is open and when the deadline is. A copy of the officer application/Attachment A is enclosed in the mailing, as well as information on the online application process.

    When is the PCIPP application deadline?
    All PCIPP approved police departments must submit their applications and supporting materials by September 1 for each Fiscal Year, unless otherwise indicated. See answer to question above.

    May PCIPP applications be submitted throughout the year?
    MDHE advises that police departments refrain from submitting applications to our offices outside of the application period. The certification process occurs once each year. Applications may only be considered during the published certification period. Officers who are not eligible for approval must wait until the next certification period to submit their credentials.


PCIPP ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS

    What is the online application process website?
    The Police Career Incentive Pay Program Administration Logon website is located at https://secure.osfa.mass.edu/police. Each police department will need a username and password to log in.

    How do I log into the online application process website?
    Departments should use their username and password to access the database. For security reasons, we recommend that departments change their password every 3 months.

    I'm having problems logging into the online application process website. The page will not load and indicates that I am not allowed access. What's wrong?
    The Police Career Incentive Pay Program Administration application no longer uses TCP port 4443. We are now using the standard 443 port, which is transparent to most firewalls. Police departments should contact Alex Gediman at (617) 727-9420 x1319 if they encounter problems accessing the website.

    I lost my login information for the online application process website? What should I do?
    Police Departments that have questions regarding log-in information should contact Kate Flanagan, Associate Director, at (617) 727-9420 x. 1318. If Kate is not available, you may contact Alex Gediman, Database Administrator, at (617) 727-9420 x. 1319.

    I am having trouble with the online application process website. Are there any other reference materials I can read?
    You may download the PCIPP Administration User Guide to assist with the online application process. The document can be downloaded at https://secure.osfa.mass.edu/police/docs/pcippuserguide.pdf.

    I am having problems opening the PCIPP Administration User Guide.
    Your computer may not have the Adobe Reader software. You must first download and install Adobe Reader software in order to view the PCIPP Administration User Guide. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader software at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

    Some officers are missing in the Manage Officer Records section. They were approved for the PCIPP last year, but they don't appear.
    The officers are listed on the Manage Officer Records section of the application, but the names may not be alphabetized. At the top of the Manage Officer Records, there are headings for different categories. Select (click) the "officer full name" heading to alphabetize the Manage Officers list. The officers will appear alphabetically. If, after completing this task, the officers are not on the list, contact Kate Flanagan, Associate Director, at (617) 727-9420 x. 1318. If Kate is not available, contact Alex Gediman, Database Administrator, at (617) 727-9420 x. 1319.

    Some officers are still listed on the Manage Officer Records section who do not belong there. They retired or left the department a long time ago.
    If an officer continues to appear on your roster after leaving the department due to retirement or any other reason, please indicate this in the notes section and include the date the officer left the department. We will delete the officer from your roster.

    How will you know when I have completed?
    After data entry process is completed, please select the “Submit to OSFA” button on the Main Menu. This will notify us that your department’s information has formally been submitted. At the time of submittal the program performs a validation check to make sure that you have entered specific required information. You will be prompted for any missing information prior to the initial technical acceptance of your department’s data. A successful initial submittal will be indicated at the top of your online Reimbursement Report with the recorded date of submittal. Further determinations will then be made before official certification is confirmed.


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

    What are the eligibility requirements for the PCIPP?
    Officers must be regular full time officers as of July 1, 2009 at a police department that participates in the PCIPP. They must also be approved and certified by the MDHE through an application process. Required materials to be submitted are listed under the FAQ: What materials do I need in order to apply for the PCIPP? Eligible institutions and credentials are also listed within this section.

    If I enrolled in a program prior to January 1, 2004, which institutions are PCIPP eligible?
    If an officer has enrolled (admitted into and begun taking courses) in a approved program prior to January 1, 2004, he/she will be eligible upon completing an approved criminal justice or law enforcement program listed on the Former (Old) Approved Programs list.

    However, officers who enrolled in a program prior to January 1, 2004 at New England Association of Schools and College (NEASC) accredited institutions may be eligible for PCIPP benefits given the following requirements:

    At the Associate Degree level, the student must have successfully completed:

    • no fewer than 18 semester hours or the equivalent in criminal justice and related cognates and
    • coursework in some of the following content areas: Administration of Justice, Corrections, Criminology, Criminal Law, ethics, Policing, and Research and Analytic Methods.

    At the Bachelor Degree level, the student must have successfully completed:

    • no fewer than 30 semester hours or the equivalent in criminal justice and related cognates and
    • coursework in all of the following content areas: Administration of Justice, Corrections, Criminology, Criminal Law, ethics, Policing, and Research and Analytic Methods.

    At the Master Degree level, the student must have successfully completed:

    • no fewer than 30 semester hours or the equivalent in graduate level criminal justice and related cognate credits and
    • coursework in all of the following content areas: Administration of Justice, Corrections, Criminology, Criminal Law, ethics, Policing, and Research and Analytic Methods.
    Officers enrolled in a NEASC-accredited law degree program or Board-approved law school who have successfully attained their Juris Doctor, and who have passed the Massachusetts Bar Exam, will be eligible for PCIPP benefits at the Master Degree level if they apply.

    I enrolled in a degree program on or after January 1, 2004 until September 1, 2009, which institutions are PCIPP eligible?
    If an officer has enrolled (admitted into and begun taking courses) in an approved program on or after January 1, 2004, the officer will be eligible if he/she attends and graduates from a program listed on the http://www.osfa.mass.edu/quinnbill/approved_schools.htm. The Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Programs list is updated regularly.

    I enrolled in a degree program after September 1, 2009. Am I eligible?
    No. According to the 2009 General Appropriations Act, regular full-time officers must have been accepted into and begun taking courses in an approved program as of September 1, 2009 to be allowed to participate in the police career incentive pay program, pursuant to G.L. c. 41, s. 108L. Any officer who enrolls after September 1, 2009, will not be eligible to participate.

    I have been accepted into an approved program, but classes start after September 1, 2009. Am I eligible?
    No. Officers must have begun taking courses as of September 1, 2009 to be eligible to participate in the program.

    I took a course as a non degree or special student prior to September 1, 2009. I have been accepted into an approved program, but classes start after September 1, 2009. Am I eligible?
    No. Officers must be formally admitted into an approved program and have begun taking courses as of September 1, 2009 to be eligible.

    I am already receiving benefits at the 10% level for my associate’s degree. Do I need to be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program as of September 1, 2009 to be eligible to receive 20% upon completion of that degree?
    No. Any regular full-time officer who is currently participating in the police career incentive pay program will be allowed to continue to participate in the program, pursuant to G.L. c. 41, s. 108L.

    I was hired on or after July 1, 2009. Is there anything I can do to become eligible?
    No. Any regular full-time member of a police department hired on or after July 1, 2009 shall not be eligible to participate in the police career incentive pay program.

    I currently am employed as a police officer in a department that does not participate in the PCIPP. Will I be eligible if I transfer into a participating department?
    No. Officers must be hired as of July 1, 2009 in a department that participates in the PCIPP to be eligible.

    I enrolled in a degree program on or after January 1, 2004. My institution isn't listed on the Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Programs list. Am I eligible for PCIPP benefits?
    No. An officer will not be eligible to receive PCIPP benefits if he/she enrolled on or after January 1, 2004, in a program that is not listed on the Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Programs list. However, the Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Programs list is updated periodically. The officer may wish to contact her/his school to find out if they are in the process of applying for approval from the Board of Higher Education as a Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Program. One should check back regularly with their institution and the PCIPP website to find out if they were approved as a Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Program.

    I enrolled in a Bachelor Degree program in Criminal Justice prior to January 1, 2004, and graduated from the program. The school is out-of-state and is not a NEASC-accredited institution. Am I eligible for PCIPP benefits?
    No. An officer that has enrolled in a Bachelor Degree program in Criminal Justice prior to January 1, 2004 must attend a NEASC-accredited institution as one of the eligibility requirements. He/she must also have met the academic requirements as listed in the response to the FAQ: If I enrolled in a program prior to January 1, 2004, which institutions are PCIPP eligible? in this section (ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS).

    I was denied PCIPP benefits, because I am missing coursework in at least one of the content areas. Can I complete this/these courses to be eligible for the PCIPP?
    No. According to the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs, an officer cannot receive PCIPP benefits if he/she has not graduated from a PCIPP approved institution with PCIPP approved curriculum. MDHE cannot give the officer PCIPP benefits based on the extra coursework that he/she received as he/she was not enrolled in an approved program while he/she took this coursework.

    I was denied PCIPP benefits, because I did not have enough semester hours in criminal justice or related cognates. Can I take a few extra courses to be eligible for the PCIPP?
    No. According to the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs, an officer cannot receive PCIPP benefits if he/she has not graduated from a PCIPP approved institution with PCIPP approved curriculum. MDHE cannot give the officer PCIPP benefits based on the extra coursework that he/she received as he/she was not enrolled in an approved program while he/she took this coursework.

    I was denied PCIPP benefits. Is there anything that I can do to become eligible for the PCIPP?
    Yes. An officer could enroll and successfully complete a degree in a PCIPP approved institution. Because the officer will be enrolling after January 1, 2004, he/she will have to select an institution on the Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Programs list. Students who enroll after January 1, 2004 and complete these programs will be eligible for PCIPP benefits. Students that enroll in a NEASC-accredited law degree program and who have successfully attained their Juris Doctor will be also be eligible for PCIPP benefits at the Master Degree level. Students that wish to receive PCIPP benefits must first apply for them through their police departments and be approved by MDHE.

    I have a Bachelor Degree in an area that is not related to Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement. However, I am enrolled in an approved Bachelor Degree program for the PCIPP. Will I qualify for partial PCIPP benefits?
    PCIPP applications are examined on a case-by-case basis. The officer may submit a PCIPP application through the police department for which he/she works. If the officer is enrolled in an approved Bachelor Degree Program for the PCIPP and has met all of the eligibility requirements for PCIPP benefits at the Associate Degree level, he/she may be eligible to receive PCIPP benefits. To find out more about the eligibility requirements, one should read all of the FAQs in this (ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS) section.

    I have a Bachelor Degree in an area that is not related to Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement. However, I am enrolled in an approved Master Degree program for the PCIPP. Will I qualify for partial PCIPP benefits?
    No. According to the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs, an officer cannot receive PCIPP benefits if he/she has not graduated from a PCIPP approved institution with PCIPP approved curriculum. If your Bachelor’s degree is in an unrelated field, you are required to successfully complete the Master’s degree program to qualify for PCIPP benefits. Master’s degree candidates are not eligible for partial PCIPP benefits.

    Where can I get a copy of the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs?
    The PCIPP coordinator at each police department should be able to provide a copy of the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs. You may also access a copy of the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs on the website: http://www.osfa.mass.edu/quinnbill/pdfs/guidelines.pdf

    I am an officer in a city/town that does not have the PCIPP. I meet all of the eligibility requirements for the PCIPP other than this. Will I qualify for the PCIPP if I apply for it?
    No. You will only be able to apply for the PCIPP if your city/town participates in the PCIPP program.

    I was denied PCIPP benefits, because I have not earned at least 25% of my credit hours at my current institution. What can I do to qualify?
    According to the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs, an officer who entered a program on or after January 1, 2004, cannot receive PCIPP benefits if less than 25% of the total credit hours were earned at the current institution. An officer is encouraged to re-apply for the Police Career Incentive Pay Program after earning at least 25% of all credit hours at the current institution.

    I was denied PCIPP benefits, because I have not earned at least 25% of my credit hours at my current institution. However, I am only applying at the 10% level for the Police Career Incentive Pay Program. Isn’t it 25% of the courses at 60 credits? Wouldn’t that mean I qualify for the benefits?
    No. According to the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs, Section D.6 reads: “The institution awards degrees only to those students who have earned at least 25 percent of the credit hours toward the degree through instruction offered by that institution. The institution endorses only those candidates for PCIPP benefits at the 60 plus level who are enrolled in a baccalaureate degree criminal justice program at the institution and who have earned at least 25 percent of the 60 plus credit hours through instruction offered by that institution.” The term 60 plus level refers to the total amount of credit hours you have earned. If you have earned less than 25% of your total credit hours at your current institution, you would not qualify for the Police Career Incentive Pay Program.

    If I enrolled in a program on or after January 1, 2004 until September 1, 2009, which institutions are PCIPP eligible?

    I enrolled in an approved institution on the Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Programs, but did not declare a Criminal Justice major. However, I have completed all of the coursework necessary for the Criminal Justice major. Would I qualify for the Police Career Incentive Pay Program?
    No. Under the Police Career Incentive Pay Program statute, “Only graduates of: (1) criminal justice or law enforcement programs that meet or exceed the guidelines for criminal justice and law enforcement programs, as set forth by the Board of Higher Education and implemented on January 1, 2004; or (2) law schools that are New England Association of School and Colleges accredited or board approved and who have passed the Massachusetts bar examination, shall be eligible for the Police Career Incentive Pay Program.” This means that only students that enroll and graduate from the approved criminal justice or law enforcement programs listed on the Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Programs are eligible for the Police Career Incentive Pay Program. Your criminal justice or law enforcement major must appear on your transcript from the Current (New) Approved Criminal Justice Programs.

    Am I eligible for PCIPP benefits at the 60 plus level if I'm currently not enrolled in the approved program?
    No. The institution endorses only those candidates for PCIPP benefits at the 60 plus level who are enrolled in a baccalaureate degree criminal justice program at the institution and who have earned at least 25 percent of the 60 plus credit hours through instruction offered by that institution. Therefore, students who are not enrolled in a baccalaureate degree criminal justice program at the time they are applying for PCIPP benefits are not eligible for the PCIPP benefits.

The Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance

454 Broadway, Suite 200
Revere, Massachusetts 02151

Phone: (617) 391-6070
Fax: (617) 727-0667

e-mail Clantha McCurdy at:
cmccurdy@osfa.mass.edu