NRA Instructor Training Courses
Since 1871, a major objective of the National Rifle Association has been to provide education and training in the safe and proper use of firearms. Knowing how to shoot is an important requirement for NRA instructors, but you will also need to know how to teach others to shoot. NRA Instructor Training Courses help you develop the additional knowledge, skills and techniques needed to organize and teach courses in the NRA Basic Firearm Training Program.
To qualify as an NRA Instructor:
Candidates must have completed the basic course in the discipline they wish to be certified to teach, e.g. NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting (Instructor Led Only), NRA Basic Rifle Shooting, etc.
Candidates must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training and/or previous shooting experience. Instructor candidates must be intimately familiar with each action type in the discipline for which they wish to be certified.
Candidates will be required to demonstrate solid and safe firearm handling skills required to be successful during an instructor training course by completing pre-course questionnaires and qualification exercises administered by the NRA Certified Training Counselor.
Candidates must satisfactorily complete an NRA Instructor Training Course in the discipline they wish to teach (e.g., NRA Basic Pistol Course), and receive the endorsement of the NRA Training Counselor conducting that training.
NRA Instructor courses are discipline specific. During the course candidates will learn NRA policies and procedures; basic public speaking skills; training methodology; use of a training team and training aids; organizing a course, building a budget; and finally preparing to teach. In addition, candidates will be provided the appropriate lesson plans and basic course student packets. Role-playing is a major part of an instructor course; therefore, the minimum class size should be at least four candidates, with 10-12 candidates being ideal. Candidates take turns working in teams, actually conducting portions of the course to other candidates who portray basic students.
Instructor training courses are conducted by NRA Training Counselors. Training Counselors are active and experienced instructors who have been certified by NRA to train experienced shooters to teach others to shoot. Training Counselors will evaluate candidates' performance based on their ability to handle the firearms with confidence, use of appropriate training aids, following the lesson plans and meeting all learning objectives, while utilizing the teaching philosophies expected of NRA Certified Instructors. Candidates can also expect to learn the NRA discipline specific instructional methods and evaluating and improving the performance of beginning shooters.
NRA Instructor Program
Thank you for your interest in the NRA Instructor Training Program. The goal of this program is to develop instructors to teach NRA Basic Firearm Training Courses according to the lesson plans and training standards of the National Rifle Association. This program is not designed to prepare you to teach other firearm training courses (such as law enforcement, security, or hunter safety courses), nor to prepare you to develop firearm training courses of your own.
The NRA Instructor Training Course is designed to teach you how to teach others to shoot using NRA lesson plans and training methods. The course is not designed to improve your shooting skills. Possession of basic firearm safety and/or shooting skills is a prerequisite for certification as an NRA instructor. You may be asked to demonstrate your firearm background through participation in pre-course assessment exercises. We highly suggest enrolling in the student level course before instructor training even when it is not a prerequisite.
A complete NRA Instructor Training Course consists of two parts. The first is basic instructor training, which consists of 6 hours of instruction. The second part is discipline-specific instructor training, which consists of an additional 5 to 14 hours of instruction per discipline. For example, an NRA Instructor Training Course in rifle, pistol, and shotgun lasts at least 40 hours.
During the NRA Instructor Training Course, you will receive from your Training Counselor the NRA Trainer’s Guide, the appropriate NRA Instructor Candidate Packet which includes the course outlines and lesson plans for the disciplines you wish to teach, the appropriate NRA basic course student packet which includes the handbook, certificates, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure and other materials used in NRA basic courses.
The NRA Training Counselor who conducts your course will make a recommendation to NRA concerning your certification based on an evaluation of your knowledge, skills, and attitude. You will be asked to demonstrate your organizational and teaching skills through participation in several practical exercises during the course of your training. You will also be asked to complete an instructor certification examination. A minimum score of 90 percent is required for certified instructor applicants (85 percent for assistant and apprentice instructor applicants). However, attendance at the course, or a passing grade on the examination, does not guarantee that you will receive the recommendation of the NRA Training Counselor.
Instructor certification is valid for one year upon initial certification. After completion of the first year, instructors may renew their instructor credentials for up to three years at a time. NRA encourages instructors to remain active and would like to see at least one basic course taught per year.
Please remember NRA Instructor Courses are performance based courses, Instructor Candidates must possess the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary for this level of training. You do not pay and automatically pass Instructor training. You pay for the opportunity to pass.
Certified instructor: 21 years of age or older
Assistant instructor: 18 years of age or older
Apprentice instructor: 13-17 years of age
NRA Assistant Instructors are individuals 18 years of age or older who assist certified instructors to gain the knowledge and experience needed to become certified instructors. Assistant instructors must complete the same instructor level course. The Assistant Instructor ratings are available in six disciplines (Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, and Muzzleloading Pistol, Muzzleloading Rifle, and Muzzleloading Shotgun). There are no Assistant Instructor ratings for Home Firearm Safety, or the Personal Protection and Reloading disciplines.
NRA Apprentice Instructors are young people 13 to 17 years old who wish to understudy a certified instructor. An NRA Certified Instructor will choose the apprentice instructor from select individuals. These individuals must possess the emotional maturity necessary to handle such a position. In addition, they must attend and successfully complete the appropriate NRA Basic Firearm Training Course prior to attending an NRA Instructor Training Course. Apprentice instructor ratings are available in the three disciplines of rifle, pistol, and shotgun. There are no Apprentice Instructor ratings for Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection, Muzzleloading, or Reloading disciplines.