Standards for law enforcement firearms instructor certification courses released
The standards aim to reduce the disparity in length and content of law enforcement firearms instructor certification courses nationwide
By Jason Wuestenberg
There has been a disparity in the length and content of law enforcement firearms instructor certification courses across the nation for many years. A current trend is for training organizations to offer a 3-gun instructor certification (pistol, shotgun and rifle) in just 40 hours.
In May 2019 a national committee was created to establish recommended standards for law enforcement firearms instructor certification courses. This committee consisted of experienced firearms instructors and subject matter experts from across the country, and representatives from five law enforcement organizations that have a vested interest in firearms training and instructor certifications.
Those organizations included:
- International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST)
- National Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (NLEFIA)
- Colorado Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (CLEFIA)
- Georgia Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (GALEFI)
- Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA)
This committee finished a rough draft of a standards document in late 2019 and sent it out for peer review and comments for two months. After reviewing and discussing the comments that were received, the document was finalized in May 2020.
All committee members and associations involved approved the document in June 2020 (available in full below), which was published on June 24. This recommended standards document aims to help firearms instructor certification courses across the nation become more closely aligned and to prevent training organizations from offering more certifications for less time and money, which ultimately produces substandard instructors.
About the author
Jason Wuestenberg is the executive director of the National Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (NLEFIA). Jason retired as a sergeant from the Phoenix Police Dept (AZ) in 2017 after 22+ years of service. Jason has been a firearms instructor since 1997 and has obtained over 20 LE instructor certifications over his career. Jason served as a full-time firearms instructor for over 10 years with the last six years as a range master. Jason was a firearms subject matter expert (SME) for Arizona POST and has conducted firearms instructor development training at the state, national, and international level. Contact Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.