National Fire Academy student policies
Ensure you have an enjoyable and informative stay at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) by familiarizing yourself with National Fire Academy (NFA) student policies for class attendance, code of conduct and dress code.
Class attendance and cancellation policy
- You are required to attend all sessions of the course. If you do not, you may not receive a certificate, and your stipend may be denied.
- If you need to depart campus early and miss any portion of the course and/or graduation, you must make the request in writing to the NFA training specialist. The training specialist, in collaboration with the superintendent, may waive the attendance requirement in order to accommodate you with extraordinary circumstances as long as you complete all course requirements. If you receive approval for departing early, you must forward the approval to the Admissions Office so your stipend reimbursement is not limited.
Substitutions for NFA courses are made from waiting lists; your fire department can’t send someone in your place.
Cancellations or no-shows
NFA’s mission for delivery of courses is impaired significantly by cancellations and no-shows. It is very difficult and costly to recruit students at the last minute. Currently there is a two-year ban on student attendance for students who are no-shows or cancel within 30 days of the course start date without a valid reason. If you receive such a restriction, your supervisor needs to send a letter to our Admissions Office explaining the cancellation/no-show.
If you fail an on-campus course, you will not be issued a stipend 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.
Student dress code policy
It is your responsibility to use good judgment in selecting clothing that projects a professional image and is appropriate for both climate differences and classroom activities. NFA superintendents have the authority to make a determination that your clothing is inappropriate. If they do so, you will be required to change into more appropriate clothing before being allowed to continue class.
In routine classroom settings, appropriate business casual attire includes:
- Slacks or khakis (below the calf or longer); Capri pants.
- Jeans (newer, dress or fashion type without rips or tears).
- Suits or blazers.
- Shirts with collars; polo or denim shirts.
- Turtlenecks, sweaters.
- Skirts and dresses must be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee.
- Blouses and dresses – no backless or low-cut (sleeveless blouses and dresses must have 3-4 inches of material covering the shoulder).
- Denim skirts or dresses.
- Dress or casual shoes, open-toed shoes.
What you can’t wear
- Tank tops.
- T-shirts with slogans and/or without sleeves.
For more information on student policies
The student affairs section of the NFA policies document PDF ~3 MB contains information for American and foreign students on:
- Academic grievances and grade appeals
- Academic misconduct
- Admissions procedures
- Course failures or incompletes
- Course grades
- Misconduct on the NETC campus
- Use of mobile devices in the classroom
For more information on NFA student policies, please contact the Office of the Deputy Superintendent at 301-447-1083.
NFA Human Dignity Statement
The uniqueness of all individuals attending U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted or sponsored training is recognized, as well as their diversity, which can be a resource that enriches the learning environment through sharing of differing perspectives. An equal learning opportunity is provided to all course participants. This is supported by:
- Ensuring equal opportunity to all students, employees and contractors.
- Prohibiting all discrimination and harassment.
- Supporting affirmative employment policies and practices on behalf of minorities, women and persons with disabilities.
- Encouraging students, staff and contractors to communicate and behave in a manner which is sensitive to, and acknowledges, the viewpoints of others.
- Regarding diversity as a resource that enriches the learning environment through the sharing of differing perspectives, experiences and ideas.
- Removing barriers to teamwork through collaboration, problem-solving and the constructive resolution of conflicts.
- Continuing to identify and eliminate barriers to training, employment and advancement of minorities, women and persons with disabilities.
Participants, instructors and staff are expected to treat each other with respect at all times. Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and may result in removal from campus.