NRA Certified Instructor

NRA Instructor Training Course

A major objective of the National Rifle Association (NRA) 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. The NRA Instructor Training Courses will help you develop the additional knowledge, skills and techniques needed to organize and teach courses in the NRA Basic Firearm Training Program.

The NRA Instructor Training Courses are conducted by NRA Training Counselors. The Training Counselors are active and experienced instructors who have been appointed by NRA to train experienced shooters to teach others to shoot.

NRA Instructor Training courses are posted at, or you may request a list of Training Counselors in your geographic area by contacting the NRA Training Department at 703-267-1430.

NRA Certified Instructors are expected to:

  • Conduct NRA Basic Courses in accordance with policies and procedures outlined by the NRA
  • Uphold the quality and integrity of national firearm safety and training standards established by the NRA
  • Promote firearm safety inthe shooting sports
  • Report training data to the NRA

How to qualify as an NRA Instructor

  1. 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 they wish to be certified.
  2. Candidates will be required to demonstrate solid and safe firearms handling skills required to be successful during an instructor training course by completing pre-course questionnaires and assessment exercises administered by the NRA Appointed Training Counselor.
  3. 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 Training Courses

NRA Basic Instructor Training (BIT)

The first 6 hours of the course is the NRA Basic Instructor Training (BIT), utilizing the NRA Trainer’s Guide.

During this portion, candidates will be provided with and learn:

  • NRA policies and procedures
  • Basic public speaking skills
  • Training methodology
  • How to use training teams and aids
  • How to organize a course
  • How to build a budget
  • How to prepare to teach

Discipline-specific Training

The BIT is followed by discipline-specific training and will be 5-16 additional hours, depending on the discipline.

During this portion, candidates will be provided with and learn:

  • Appropriate lesson plans and basic course student packets
  • Role playing, wherein candidates take turns working in teams and conducting portions of the course to other candidates who play the role as basic students

NRA Candidate Evaluation

NRA Training Counselors will evaluate the candidates’ performances based on their:

  • Ability to handle the firearms with confidence
  • Ability to use the appropriate training aids
  • Ability to follow the lesson plans and meet all learning objectives while utilizing the teaching philosophies learned during the BIT
  • Ability to evaluate and improve the performance of beginning shooters while utilizing NRA discipline-specific instructional methods

NRA Instructor Training Course Materials

NRA Instructor Training Course candidates will be provided with:

  • NRA Trainer’s Guide
  • Appropriate Lesson Plans and Outlines
  • Basic Course Student Handbooks
  • Certificates
  • Basic Student Examinations
  • Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program Booklet
  • Basic Firearm Training Programs Brochure
  • Gun Safety Rules Brochure
  • NRA Trainer’s Examination
  • NRA Discipline-specific Instructor Examination (minimum passing grade is 90%)

Instructor Ratings

Instructor ratings are available to conduct the following NRA courses:

  • Basic Pistol Shooting
  • Personal Protection In the Home
  • Personal Protection Outside the Home
  • Basic Shotgun Shooting
  • Basic Muzzleloading Pistol
  • Basic Muzzleloading Rifle
  • Basic Muzzleloading Shotgun
  • Home Firearm Safety
  • Metallic Cartridge Reloading
  • Shotgun Shell Reloading
  • Range Safety Officer