One of the most common questions we get from students is “How do I become a [civilian] firearms instructor”?
There are several methods of entering the security training industry with the most reliable be to actually serve in your nation’s armed forces (or law enforcement), gain training experience as an NCO (Non-commissioned officer) and ideally deploy to an active conflict zone where you will actually use your training. Teaching from personal experience is always better received.
If the military or cops are not for you, you may also attend formal civilian training programs once you become a highly proficient shooter and some countries (including Bulgaria) actually have “Sports Shooting” courses you can attend at University! National sporting associations such as the National Rifle Association in the UK or USA (same name, different organisations) also hold formal training for experienced members of their organisations.
Either way, there is no short cut and also a great deal more to being a firearms instructor than just being able to shoot well.
There is also a vast difference in these types of shooting doctrines and philosophies. You either get paid (as a serving soldier or police officer) to develop your skills to pass on to others (we refer to these individuals as “tactical firearms instructors”), or you pay to receive a set of skills from a more experienced individual/s with a background in either military/LE or sports shooting and in time, if their instruction is good enough, you too will be able to pass on their advice to your own students.
There is nothing wrong with either way of developing your skill and teaching style and by default, there are more quality firearms civilian-trained instructors than ex-military/LE instructors, but there is no way any individual who has not served in either the military or law enforcement should refer to themselves as a “tactical firearms instructor”. Despite the fact most civilian shooters do not need any kind of tactical instruction there are many, many groups and individuals that claim to “teach tactics” with zero experience at a “tactical level” let alone at an Operational or Strategic one.
Please Note: There are organisations (non-EU) that will offer to make you a firearms instructor in five to seven days with no prior experience! This is barely enough time to let a student shoot every weapon in our armoury let alone to give them the high level of skills to run a live firearms range and training with paying, novice students.
There are NO SHORT CUTS!
What makes a good firearms instructor?
It takes most instructors years to hone the many skills needed to pass on their knowledge to their students so that their students want to return to again and again for more lessons. There are also many aspects of being a successful firearms instructor which has nothing to do with weapons, ammunition or even the range itself.
A good instructor (this applies to almost any skill set) is always happy to learn something new, they have fantastic communication skills, high levels of ethics, honesty and a strong customer service ethos. The PrepYou.Eu instructors often joke we are used more as “social workers” than instructors with our civilian clients and it’s actually true. We usually form strong bonds with our students as we spend hours working with them, often on a one-on-one basis, so it is only natural that strong friendships are formed on range.
They will be able to think fast on their feet, both to diagnose and correct all levels of shooters and their shooting strengths and weaknesses as well as being able to react in an emergency incident on range that can cover almost any scenario from [attempted] suicide, GSW injury (Gun shot wound), heart attack, active shooter and even domestic disputes… yes, we have seen it all!
The PrepYou.Eu Firearms Instructor Course
This is a PASS or Fail Course.
All delegates considering applying to take this course should already be at a high level of weapon-handling competency. Please get in touch before you book if in doubt.
Our own firearms instructor course is delivered over a 3-month period with twice-weekly online lessons with homework set after each, (at least) 10 training days on ranges perfecting your core skills as a shooter, 10 days on range delivering your lessons to real students, 3 days of trauma medical training (Range Medic) as well as the all-important business skills needed to actually make a living out of your new profession that include everything from customer service, end-user marketing and course design.
Your progress will be assessed and recorded at every stage for your Certification*.
- Range Saftey Officer Training
- Range & student safety & security
- Conducting night shoots
- Advanced weapon handling (All Wpns)
- Stripping & assembling (All Wpns)
- Cleaning & weapon maintenance (All Wpns)
- Core skills development (3,500 rounds+ – All calibres)
- Range Medic (3 Days) – This is a three-day version of the Juliet9 Combat Medics Course.
- Dealing with potential criminality and POIs (People of Interest)
- Relationships with security services and law enforcement
- Range Saftey Officer Training
- Teaching & Communication
- Advanced presentation & teaching skills
- Data-driven training techniques
- Diagnosing and fixing shooter faults
- Communication with non-native-speaking students
- Communication in a crisis
- Emergency response planning
- “Actions On”
- Business & Marketing
- Customer Service Training
- Business planning
- Profit/loss forecasting
- Tax & VAT (Sales Tax)
- Taking payments
- Tried & tested sales and marketing planning
- Problems with Social Media marketing and in general
- Other platforms to acquire students
- Upselling & cross-selling
Your Training Team
This course will have delegates working with up to seven international ex-military instructors. All PrepYou.Eu instructors have a NATO military background and have been deployed on operations across the world. In addition, this course will also have Guest Instructors from our partners in Juliet9 who are currently active in training roles in Ukraine.
The Juliet9 instructors bring another dimension to this course; the need for rapid education of a civilian population in times of conflict. Juliet9 will also cover all Range Medical training.
Certification should always be considered an ongoing process in any educational role and almost all security industry qualifications require a skill refresh every 2-3 years.
This can be done during the “Instructor Camps” (See below) that will be held regularly in Bulgaria and other unique training locations around the world.
During the course, all delegates will have a “rolling report”, completed after every training day, based on the Traffic Light System (Green – Pass, Amber – Needs improvement & Red – Fail. Requires a re-take). This is shared with the student on an ongoing basis for their review.
This rolling report is the basis of your multi-media Non-Fingible Token (NFT) certificate proving your skill set and level. NFT Certificates are stored in a Meta Wallet like cryptocurrency but cannot be sold or given away to a third party, faked, deleted or hacked but more than one can be issued so as you gain more skills, we can add more certification to prove your ongoing learning. NFT certificates live on the Blockchain so can be shared like any website link, added to your CV or LinkedIn profile.
We also provide the NFT Multi-media content via our private YouTube channel to allow you to embed the content as you would any other multi-media.
On this course you will receive three NFT Certificates:
- Range Saftey Officer (Pass)
- Firearms Instructor (Pass)
- Range Medic (Pass)
Read more about NFT Certificates here.
Training Delivery & Course Dates
Each course will consist of no more than three-four delegates formed into a Firearms Instructor Cadre or FIC for short. This is to ensure the quality of instruction but also allows the students to coordinate their small group training (10 x range days & 3 Day Range Medic) together. This also allows us to run several groups concurrently and provides the opportunity for a student to re-take a module if one or more are failed (badly) and there is a need to “back squad” the student to another Cadre.
Students will be required to attend PrepYou.Eu training Centre/s in Sofia for up to 23 days.
Online Training happens twice per week at a suitable time and day for all and usually takes 1.5-2 hours each with homework set after each session to be completed before the next.
There will be regular “Instructor Camps” every 3-6 months held in Bulgaria and other locations to be announced. This will serve as an opportunity to refresh our skills together and hopefully learn some new ones from our colleagues as they themselves develop their professional teaching skills.
We are already planning the first one in South Africa in Q3 2023!
Q. What happens if I fail a module of the course?
A. You will be able to take the module up to three times to achieve a passing grade. The third and final module attempt will be audited by a third party in case of two prior failures. If you fail the third time, it may be a good point to start thinking of a new career!
Q. So I have never served in the military or police. How can I call myself a tactical firearms instructor?
A. Unless you are prepared to lie, you cannot refer to yourself as a tactical firearms instructor. If this is really important to you, consider serving… it’s not as bad as it sounds!
Q. Will my certification mean I can work anywhere I want around the world?
A. Generally no. There are no “International firearms instructor” qualifications and anyone telling you there are will be lying. It is usual to have to “localise” your qualification if working in another country and potentially the need to take a short course delivered by your local shooting range or association to legalise you. We will provide full documentation and Non-hackable video evidence of your level of training and proficiency on the range.
Q. Can I work for PrepYou.Eu?
A. Yes, there are opportunities to work directly for (or with) PrepYou.Eu in a number of ways. Firstly, you will be able to issue your own PrepYou.Eu NFT Certificates to your own students. Depending on your location we may also support you via a franchise-type business model or even a direct equity partnership.
Q. For what reason would I be “back squaded” or receive a fail on this course overall?
A. In 95% of cases, it will be for safety violations. Attitude and general demeanour are also important but we usually identify personality problems before any training commences.
Q. Does my certification ever expire or can it be cancelled?
A. Due to the method of certification via NFT, once published, it can never be deleted, edited or hacked. We do encourage all PrepYou instructors to attend the Instructor Camps to add to their certification to show an ongoing training commitment.
- All weapon hire, safety equipment and range hire
- All medical trauma training and training equipment
- Min. 3,500 Round of ammunition (all Calibres)
- Personalised instructor kit including patches, T-shirts, caps, etc
What’s Not included:
- Personal training equipment (shooter belt, ear defence, shooting glasses)
- IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)
- Transport to/from the range (pick-ups available)
- Food and beverage
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