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How to Become an NFA Contract Instructor

General and administrative requirements that candidates need to meet to become National Fire Academy contract instructors.

The U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy (NFA) is always looking for high-quality candidates to be contract instructors. Offering some of the best courses in the nation, the NFA adheres to high instructional standards.



NFA instructors must have subject area experience and proven successful teaching experience. Review the individual course criteria to be certain that you meet the qualifications for each course you wish to teach. Please pay careful attention to the experience requirements for each course.

Review course criteria


Education requirements are specified for each course. All degree requirements must be satisfied from nationally and/or regionally accredited institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.


We recommend that applicants be certified through:

  • An established training organization or association.
  • Completion of an instructional methods course from a college or university.

In order to be retained, contract instructors must perform well in all aspects of their responsibilities, including classroom instruction and administration. See the Contract Instructor Bid Package PDF for specific information concerning work requirements.

How to submit an application

If you are applying as a Contract Facilitator for courses under the revised Executive Fire Officer Program, please refer to the specific facilitator criteria for application instructions. If you qualify and would like to apply, please submit your application or questions to:

The following documents are required for each application:

  • Cover letter listing the courses you want to teach.
  • Resume.
  • Documentation that clearly addresses how you meet the instructor selection criteria for each course you want to teach. Incomplete packages will not be processed. List the criteria in this order:
    1. Academic requirement.
    2. Instructional experience.
    3. Knowledge and experience with the subject.
    4. Continuing practice or education.
  • 3 references from persons who are knowledgeable about your character and your teaching ability. 1 reference letter should be from the department or agency head in your organization or certifying organization.
  • Include a current email address so we can communicate efficiently with you.

Do not include your Social Security Number and/or your date of birth on any of the documents you submit.

Email your application to Upon receipt, an NFA Training Specialist will review your application. You will receive an email notification of its status within 30 days.

Questions about submitting your application? Please email them to

Suitability determination/National Crime Information Center check

If you meet the individual course criteria, we will email you to request several pieces of personally identifiable information. This information is used to process a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) check. After a favorable finding, we will place you in an active bidding status.

To ensure your continued suitability, we will also run an NCIC check at the 6-month mark of the prior suitability date. You will be placed in an inactive status if you fail to maintain 6-month NCIC checks. This means that you are not eligible to bid on course offerings.

How will I be notified that my suitability determination/NCIC has cleared?

NFA will notify you by email. If you have a spam filter on your email, make sure that you allow emails from “” addresses.

If I have a question about suitability determination/NCIC, who should I call?

Please call the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) Security Specialist at 301-447-1513.

System for Award Management

Register in the System for Award Management (SAM) system. You must validate your registration in the SAM every year. If you have any changes to banking information, you can make those changes on your Instructor Dashboard. You can also enter your updated SAM expiration date through the “My Profile” tab on the dashboard.

For more detailed information, please see the Federal Government Federal Acquisition Regulation clause 52.204-7 PDF (Central Contracting Registration).

National Emergency Training Center parking and registration

Contract instructors traveling by shuttle bus to the NETC will be directed to Building C for registration. If you arrive in another vehicle, that vehicle is subject to search.

At registration, you will receive a temporary photo identification badge and a temporary parking permit if driving a motor vehicle. Your vehicle is subject to search at any time while on campus.

Please contact NETC Security at 301-447-1513 for questions and further information.

National Fire Academy policies for contract instructors

The NFA standard operating procedures document contains policies that all contract instructors need to be familiar with, such as:

  • Recruitment and selection.
  • Processing instructor complaints.
  • Instructor observation and evaluation.

It also includes policies related to curriculum development and delivery and student affairs.

Download the policy document