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NRA Instructor Certification

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by noforce, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. noforce

    noforce washington New Member

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    I'm kicking around the idea of getting instructor certified just to help spread the right message and maybe finance my ammo habit. Any thoughts? Anyone gone through it recently?
     
  2. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    It gets you access cheap insurance and is considered a box to check if you want to work at real training facilities AFTER you get experience in real training.

    The NRA cert process does a really poor job preparing you to teach what is currently in demand by new shooters, which is defensive oriented.

    You will probably not be making better money than just doing some overtime ( or whatever your equivalent is) the only benefit is the ability to write off some gear and ammo .

    The NRA curriculum is considered about 30 years out of date in the training industry and isn't used at any of the good programs I've been around. Even the LEO NRA training is stale and getting dumped by a lot of agencies. I sat through a bit of the NRA patrol rifle class a couple of weeks ago and was really disappointed.

    People usually reflexively jump to the NRA's defense but before you do stop and consider why they have failed to continually update the programs to meet the changing demands and if people don't complain or voice descent what motive will they have to innovate.
     
  3. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    their rules of firearm safety is outdated. But the basics are sound.
     
  4. Kid@Heart

    Kid@Heart Vancouver, USA Cynic Lifetime Supporter Diamond Supporter

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    I believe you should get a recognized certification and liability insurance prior to beginning any form of firearms training for anyone outside of your immediate family.

    However...

    If you are really considering getting into the training arena to try to pick up a little money on the side, I would recommend finding a different source of discretionary funds.

    Consider the following:

    1. Most people do not practice with their firearms. A lot of them can't even tell you what caliber, make or model they own. They won't sign up for a class. They were given the gun or inherited it or bought it "just because". Basically they are clueless.
    2. In every entry level type class I have attended, the majority of the "Clueless" folks mentioned above have signed up for it to get a Concealed Carry License. They aren't (really) interested in learning any handling skills. They just want the certificate.
    3. There are a bazillion other folks all trying to make a living off of the "Clueless, I-Want-a-Permit" crowd. They aren't really teaching firearm skills, just what is required for the Oregon-Washington-Utah-Arizona License. (Good in almost all 57 states. ;)) If you want to compete in this crowd you can, it will take a lot of hard work.
    4. You need a place to do the training. Finding a classroom where you can do firearm safety training doesn't sound difficult- it is. Most of the local venues are already spoken for.
    5. Unless you own your own shooting range, you will NOT be able to do any live fire training. You will NOT be allowed to use local gun clubs, public or private shooting ranges.

    I'm not trying to discourage you. If you REALLY want to do it, you can make money. It is just like any other small business. It takes a lot of up front planning, significant investments in time and capital, advertising, and commitment. There are a lot of folks doing this in the Northwest. VERY FEW of them are making money.

    Good Luck
     
    Sgt Nambu, oknow and whiskeybill like this.
  5. watermerc

    watermerc Eugene, OR Member

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    I am a former police officer and current security contractor. As an instructor for several companies the NRA BIT (Basic Instructor Training) is a joke. The NRA programs are so outdated. Don't bother training civilians for CHL. I've done it. It's not worth the time, effort, and money.
     
  6. David Bowman

    David Bowman Beaverton OR Archer Defense Concepts

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    The only thing an NRA Cert. buys you is a discount in your liability insurance. I am not NRA certified, so I don't know how much of a break it would get me with my agency, but it isn't worth the aggravation and time to be bored to death with outdated material that I won't use anyway. You don't need it to teach, but you will need a certificate from somewhere that says you are trained as an "instructor" to get insurance. An NRA sheepskin is probably as good as any for that, and then you can use any of the skills you have and integrate it into your curriculum.

    The things I teach are not at all NRA curriculum and I don't teach "concealed carry" classes. I make money training others. Not a ton, but as time goes on, if you are good, people who want to learn and not treat their guns like magic talismans that ward off evil will seek you out.

    Don't get into it for the write off for ammo though. The students shoot way more than you will while teaching classes. Don't be an instructor for the shooting practice, do it for the teaching practice.
     
  7. Raidingtime

    Raidingtime SE Portland Oregon Well-Known Member

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    What certification would be best to seek out? I'm hoping to become a certified instructor to begin training individuals in PSUSCC in firearm proficiency.
     
  8. watermerc

    watermerc Eugene, OR Member

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    https://sites.google.com/site/psuconcealed/

    I assume your referring to the organization I linked above. I've had a lot of civilian students tell me they want to be instructors. I'm always a little perplexed by the statement. People think they can attend an instructor program and suddenly become firearms / defensive tactics instructors. You need a to have massive amounts of generally government sponsored training and field experience to have a knowledge basis to teach from. Attending an instructor class for a few days will not give you the knowledge base needed to teach these topics.
     
  9. Raidingtime

    Raidingtime SE Portland Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Ahh you're assuming I had no firearms training while serving in the military. :rolleyes:

    Despite this, do you have any information that would be useful?
     
  10. watermerc

    watermerc Eugene, OR Member

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    Sure, I am currently an instructor for the following entities:
    Safariland Training Group - Defense Technology - http://www.safariland.com/training.html
    Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) http://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/pages/index.aspx
    Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) Expandable Baton - https://www.asp-usa.com/
    Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) Tactical Handcuffing - https://www.asp-usa.com/
    NRA – http://training.nra.org/instructors.asp

    You can sign-up for the instructor training via the included websites.
     
  11. Raidingtime

    Raidingtime SE Portland Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the list of sites. You seem to be just the right person to ask these questions!

    What we'd be looking for is basic firearm handling and defensive shooting. The people we're looking to teach firearms to are relatively new to the firearm community or have had little formal education. Former military, police, etc. don't need basic firearm instruction... typically.. in my opinion. The certification would also be used as a declaration that the group has certified individual(s) that can teach appropriately. The other reason for the instructor certification would be to save students money. It is not a surprise to many that many college students don't have a lot of extra money laying around for firearms training. Why not increase access and training to people that would otherwise be hindered? It's one of the best ways I see, in my situation, to better expose and represent the firearm community. The better we look to the public the longer we will keep our rights.

    It seems like a lot of what you sent pertains to police/swat training. The Safariland courses look interesting to say the least. Can a civilian become a DPSST instructor? It seems like the course work identifies with mainly police. I believe most people within the group do not seek a career in law enforcement. I'm also not interested in teaching basic moving drills, CQB, or any other tactical shooting skill to students because of liability risk and investment of time.

    Which one of the courses would you suggest would be most appropriate to the groups use? I was thinking having a NRA instruction certification maybe all we would need. However, I've read responses from other members that say the certification isn't as legitimate as one may think. Any input is appreciated!
     
    edison bulb likes this.
  12. watermerc

    watermerc Eugene, OR Member

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    Well there are many issues training people for use of force. It requires quite a bit of legal knowledge about use of force law. Organizations like the NRA don't even touch on the legal issues on use of force. In addition you would need to train force-on-force with Simunition. http://simunition.com/en/home.

    Long story short your asking for the impossible. There no way to quickly and cheaply train people to the level of proficiency needed. I wish I had a better answer for you but there's no quick, cheap program that covers the material needed.

    Sorry
     
  13. Raidingtime

    Raidingtime SE Portland Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Loved simunition training. Mine was only with the M9 and M4. I believe they have models for many other firearms including more typical conceal carry firearms. I don't think it's reasonable to expect CHL holders to have experienced that level of training though. How many civilians that have defended themselves with a firearm took simunitions training? I've yet to talk to a female that has had simunitions training, force on force, etc. that held a CHL. Does that make her incapable of defending herself? I don't believe so. Perhaps we disagree here.

    I think you make a good point about the legality of it though. This is why we'd want to make the certification for only "safety and basic firearm handling". Many of us are veterans and have had good instruction. We'd like to gain a certification mainly for the formality of saying there's a certified instructor within the group and to learn more about the best ways to begin the first steps of someone's firearm education.
     
  14. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    If firearms safety is your only bench mark for carrying and possibly using a firearm in self defense your missing the important parts to keeping yourself and students you may be thinking of training out of trouble.

    Can you, or teach your students to -
    articulate AOJ/OMI standards for the state you live in along with the use of deadly force and continuum of force laws
    know and articulate what the 21 foot guide line really means as has been established by court
    precedent
    understand what the ramifications of just reaching for or drawing your gun are tactically and
    legally
    understand and evaluate background and articulate the risks
    know what your average draw times really are and what that means concerning the threat's proximity and articulate the ramifications
    understand what to realistically expect a threat to do if you do shoot them and articulate the reasons why
    know the restrictions on where and when you can carry
    know what kind of legal representation you should have, the relationship you should have with them and how it's getting paid for
    what you should do post shooting, both before and after the cops get there, then when to lawyer up.
    know the ramifications of coming to aid of another person and risks associated
    what works and doesn't technique wise

    And those are just the things off the top of my head.

    If you don't understand and can't articulate those things you leave yourself open to all sorts of really bad, life destroying things. When you are up on the stand for a potential criminal case, then a civil suit, after you defended yourself you can bet that the attorneys will ask you those questions and about where you were trained, then make you look like a reckless vigilante if you can't and your only training was an NRA gun safety class.

    These are the things that take a firearm from a "Mystical Talisman", as so correctly stated by one of the above posters, to a defensive tool. You need to know how AND when and why to use it. Force on force training is a critical component of that, so yes, if you are serious about carrying a gun it should be part of your training.

    "Can a civilian become a DPSST instructor?" - The answer is yes, but as far as I can see it's rare. You would need a lot of higher level firearms experience with a demonstrable skill level like competition, a lot of training experience, at least the instructor development class from OFA and the ability to demonstrate those instructor and shoot skills on demand at what I think of as an audition. I don't have a LEO background but got hired.

    I have no problem teaching people how to shoot and teach them the techniques that will allow them to be a high level shooter if they focus and practice. I also have fun helping other people to be instructors. I shy away from teaching the use of deadly force legalities as they are complex and if you are careless, flippant or erroneous in what you are presenting you can get the student in a lot of trouble along with yourself. I have heard far to much bad and just plain stupid crap from instructors who don't treat the subject with the seriousness that the subject deserves. There is a lot of uncontrollable downstream liability in it.

    You should really take a pause and consider how military training is really going to translate into a civilian use of force setting. The environments are very dissimilar.
     
  15. Raidingtime

    Raidingtime SE Portland Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Lange,

    Since you're an instructor as well this study might be interesting to you.

    http://www.hoplofobia.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Armed-Resistance-to-Crime.pdf

    It seems like you believe many conceal carry holders are untrained and irresponsible with their use of self defense. I have not experienced this first hand. Every conceal carry holder I've talked to seems to understand the gravity of their self defense choice. Veterans are smart enough to understand the difference between military use and civilian use of firearms.
     
  16. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    I've had more than 800 people through a class that I designed and ran over 4 years, so I feel that I have a really good idea what the skill/knowledge level of the more motivated American gun owner has on average. I can tell you that from the perspective of a competitive shooter in the 70% range who has also seen what the top level people and the average LEO recruit can do it's not great. It doesn't take a lot to get much better in a hurry, but you do need to show up and train, which is actually not very common. I'm also floored by the misconceptions that I'd hear in every class along with the huge gaps in knowledge. I've also had the misfortune of running a hunter sight in event and what I saw there was enough for me to never be in the woods during hunting season again.

    I'm familiar with the information you linked. I'm also familiar with the steady stream of incidents in which someone did something stupid with their firearm. From forgetting it in the movie theater, shooting at a fleeing shop lifter to getting it taken away and being killed with it.
    Remember the two guys with permits who ended up holding each other at gun point in downtown when one chased down a shop lifter and the other one though he was mugging said shop lifter?

    All of the things I listed should be understood if you want to avoid some serious issues (legally, financial, tactically and physically) and they really don't take that much to understand but they do take training.

    As a veteran, who I am assuming based on you posts in this thread doesn't have a lot of civilian use of force training, do you understand all of the things I listed as the pertain to a civilian using deadly force? Well enough to train someone else when they will face criminal and civil penalties if they get it wrong. Do you realize that you could face civil penalties for offering that training and got part of it wrong or even if you got it right, didn't document it correctly?

    Understanding the gravity of using deadly force is one thing, being prepared to actually use it is another for everyone. Ever wonder why the military took so much time preparing you to do it? More problematic is developing the judgement about when not to use it, even when you may be justified but there is another option OR worse when using it may prevent your own injury or death but it would endanger an innocent 3rd party.

    More than a couple of people with a lot of training and experience as instructors have offered advice on how complex what you proposed really is and the problems associated with it. It's not easy or cheap and take a lot more time to do right than most realize when they first play with the idea of being an instructor. I went through what I considered and apprenticeship under an experienced instructor for 2 years before I ever lead a class. That was after a lot of other training and 8 years as a 60% competitor at the national level.

    I know that doesn't help you desire to get a program up and running in a hurry but you should seriously consider the go slow and build experience approach if you want to do things right. I like your cause and the PSU program as a concept but not doing it right could cause some serious problems for everyone involved. Reed did a similar thing and I was involved in that. It was a great success but the person spearheading it had a lot of energy along with a ton of training to be an instructor.

    Learning to shoot proficiently can be taught first (I take it for granted that any decent class structure reinforces safety at the same time). For a lot of people taking the deadly force part out also makes the class less stressful and more fun further enhancing learning.Repetition is the key to mastery of any skill. There are a lot of aspects of use of deadly force training that will slow the class and reduce repetitions. You may consider separating the two parts as it can simplify the program and make it easier to get off the ground.
     
    Raidingtime likes this.
  17. Raidingtime

    Raidingtime SE Portland Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I agree with what you said. The organization desires to take it slow. None of us claim to be experts. We understand the gravity of improperly training individuals. However, we do not wish to prevent people from protecting themselves with the use of a firearm. Further more, it's absolutely necessary to bring to light basic understanding of firearm laws, policies, and safety. We do not endorse unsafe practices.

    It would be great to get someone like yourself as a guest speaker. Would you be interested? We have a meeting the Thursday after the upcoming one. You may potentially gain some customers/clients. I would be interested but I can't speak for the rest of the group.
     
    edison bulb likes this.
  18. Derbel McDillet

    Derbel McDillet Kitsap County, WA Member

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    NRA has completely revised it's basic firearms training programs, blending E-learning with learning practical application of basic skills. About half the course is multimedia training that a student performs on his/her computer, and after passing that phase of the course, he/she attends hands-on training (approximately 5 hours) to learn and demonstrate basic proficiency (safety, gun handling, marksmanship). This new training program is just now being rolled out by the NRA.

    Name: NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting

    Short Description: The NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting is a two-part course consisting of an e-learning portion (completed online-in your own timeframe) and a hands-on practical portion conducted at a range under the guidance and supervision of an NRA-Certified Instructor. The course is intended for all adults regardless of previous shooting experience or NRA-affiliation.

    More Details: Some of the topics in the course include: gun safety rules, proper operation of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, ammunition knowledge and selection, selecting and storing a pistol, the fundamentals of shooting, and pistol inspection and maintenance. When you enroll in the online course, you create a personal identification number (PIN). When you successfully complete the course, printing your certificate activates that PIN. The activated PIN allows you to register for the instructor-led training portion of the course. Go to www.nrainstructors.org – Find a Course Near You – select NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting – and search.

    During the instructor-led-training portion of the course, an NRA Certified Instructor will validate comprehension and application of gun safety rules; range protocol; proper handling; loading and unloading procedures; application of pistol shooting fundamentals; stable shooting positions; live fire; and a final shooting qualification.

    Note : This course replaces the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting course.​
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  19. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    Did they do anything to see if the instructors actually know what they're doing? The skills varification/testing was a joke when I did the course.
     
  20. Derbel McDillet

    Derbel McDillet Kitsap County, WA Member

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    There's four exercises a student must demonstrate proficiency in during Phase II of the course: 1) Safety; 2) Fundamentals; 3) Loading, Cocking, De-cocking, and Pistol Maintenance; and 4) Shooting Positions and Shooting Qualifications.

    Student proficiency with each exercise is documented on a Performance Requirements Checklist (Appendix E) by the instructor and acknowledged by the student.

    The lesson plan is basic, straightforward and simple to follow.

    I've been shooting for almost 50 years. I recently took the updated NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting instructor course at Tacoma Rifle and Revolver Club. The Basic Instructor Training isn't nearly long enough, imo, and does very little to prepare an experienced shooter to instruct. It could've easily been a 40 hour course. The Pistol Instructor Course likewise could've been 24-32 hours instead of 16, as this would allow instructor candidates more time to better study and learn the specific procedures and skills of the NRA course, and have more time to develop instructor skills. Each Exercise should take about an hour to complete except Exercise 4, which is a couple of hours on the range, for a total of about 5 hours. However the course is proficiency based rather than time based. A student doesn't progress to the next exercise or complete the course until he/she meets the Performance Requirements.