CATO Operator Role Certification

Instructions to Applicants:

Submission of Documentation for CATO Operator Role Certification

  1. Purpose: To provide those wishing to receive the CATO Operator Role Certification with instructions for submitting documents required for review by the Vetting Committee.
  2. Background. CATO has developed a process to recognize and certify competence in the SWAT operator role. This cohesive system of certification relies on a number of realistic, objectively measureable criteria that fall under three (3) Domains of Expertise: Knowledge, Personal Initiative, and Experience. For more information certification process, as well as the criteria make up each of the Domains, see Operator Certification Process.
  3. Documentation Submission and Scoring Overview. The guidelines for document submission are provided in the Candidate Submission Matrix. This matrix shows:
  • Domains, with associated Criteria
  • Whether the Criteria are Mandatory or Elective
  • Specific submission requirements for each Criteria
  • Designated Criteria that may be submitted for additional points awards

Each of the Domains designate a Mandatory Criterion which is graded on a Pass/Fail basis, with no points awarded. Applicants are then awarded points for their submission of additional documents for the designated Electives within each Domain. For each of the Domain’s Electives, applicants must achieve a minimum points award of no less than 100 points, and a maximum of no more than 200 points (for a maximum total of 600 points across the three Domains). Finally, in order to achieve certification, applicants must score a minimum of 540 points (i.e. 90%).

  1. Documentation Submission Specifics. All documentation submissions shall be accomplished via uploads to the CATO website. No hard copies of documents will be accepted.

Applicants shall separately scan all documents in PDF format (see for instructions, if needed), and then organize those documents into three separate Domain folders.

The naming convention for files is as follows: Applicant Last Name_Criteria #_Submission #. For example, Smith_K-3_1, Smith_K-3_2, etc.

The naming convention for the Domain folders shall be: Applicant First and Last Name_Knowledge; Applicant First and Last Name_Personal Initiative; and Applicant First and Last Name_Experience. For example, John Smith_Knowledge; John Smith_Personal Initiative; John Smith_Experience.

All applicants must also submit two letters of endorsement from your SWAT supervisor or commander in accordance with the format: Applicant Letter of Endorsement Template.

  1. Uploading Documents. Letters of Endorsement and the three Domain folders (with associated PDF documents) must be uploaded to the following CATO drop box:

Email any questions you may have to



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