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Course Attendance and Failure

Information on National Fire Academy (NFA) policies for course attendance, course failure, and student substitutions and no-shows.


You are required to attend all on-campus course sessions. If you don't, you may not receive a certificate or a travel reimbursement. See: student rules – attendance.


The NFA selects substitutes from a waitlist. Your fire department can't send someone in your place without approval from the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) Admissions Office.

Requests to consider an equally qualified co-worker must be in writing from a department supervisor. The proposed student must submit an NETC Online Admissions Application. If accepted, the new person may be placed in the course (if space is available) or placed on a waitlist.

Cancellations or no-shows

You cannot attend NFA courses for 2 years if you do not show up for your course or if you do not send us a written cancellation containing a valid reason within 30 days of the course start date.

Course failure

If you fail an on-campus course, you will not be issued a travel reimbursement for that course. You can reapply for the failed course, or any other NFA course, and go through the random selection process. You don't have to successfully complete the failed course before attending another NFA course.