Instructor

There are two types of instructor certifications:

Private Security Services Instructor: one who instructs in at least one category of private security subjects for a certified training school.

Firearms Instructor: one who instructs in at least one category of private security firearm subjects for a certified training school. Firearms Instructors MUST first be certified as a Private Security Services Instructor.

Initial Private Security Services Instructor Certification

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Must be 18 years of age or older.

  2. Must be United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States.

  3. Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).

  4. Complete of one of the following:

    1. Minimum of 3 years management or supervisory experience with a private security services business or with any federal, military police, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency, or in a related field; OR

    2. Minimum of 5 years general experience in a private security services business, with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, or in a related field; OR

    3. Minimum of 1 year of experience as an instructor or teacher at an accredited educational institution or agency in the subject matter for which certification is requested, or in a related field.

Training Requirements

0-40 Hours, consisting of one of the following:

  1. Successful completion of an instructor development program, which meets or exceeds standards established by DCJS within 3 years immediately preceding the date of application; OR

  2. Successful completion of an instructor development program longer than 3 years prior to the date of application and has provided instruction during the 3 years immediately preceding, or has provided instruction in a related field at an institution of higher learning; OR

  3. Complete the DCJS General Instructor Development Entry-Level Course - 40 Hours.

Experience

Official documentation verifying previous instructor experience, training, work experience, and education for those subjects in which certification is requested to include the use and handling of a firearm in the performance of duties for Firearms Instructor categories.

Submit to DCJS

  1. Online Initial Instructor Application at www.dcjs.virginia.gov/online and pay applicable non-refundable fees.
    NOTE: Criminal History Processing is part of the on-line initial application. There is a separate processing fee that will be reflected on your invoice.

  2. Schedule an appointment for fingerprints. Schedule an appointment at www.fieldprintvirginia.com or call 877-614-4634. DCJS will automatically be notified once you have been fingerprinted.

  3. Official documentation of eligibility, training, and experience. For more information, view the Official Documentation page.

Additional Forms

Criminal History Supplemental Form: The form must be uploaded with your on-line application if you have ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective orders.

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 Initial Firearms Instructor Certification

The requirements can be found in 6VAC20-173-90 of the Regulations. Instructor certifications are issued for 24 months.

Eligibility

Individual must first be certified with DCJS as a Private Security Services Instructor.

Training

0-40 hours consisting of one of the following:

  1. Successful completion of a firearm instructor development program, which meets or exceeds standards established by DCJS within 3 years immediately preceding the date of the application; OR

  2. Successful completion of a firearms instructor development program longer than 3 years prior to the date of application and has provided instruction during the 3 years immediately preceding, or has provided instruction in a related field at an institution of higher learning; OR

  3. Successful completion of an approved Firearms Instructor Development Entry-Level Course alternative. To enroll in one of the pre-approved courses, contact the school directly. Click here for a list of approved providers.

  • Official documentation that the applicant has successfully qualified, with a minimum range qualification of 85%, with each of the following: revolver, semi-automatic handgun, and shotgun. For more information, view the Official Documentation page.

Additional Forms

  • Partial Training Exemption Form

  • Criminal History Supplemental Form: The form must be uploaded with your on-line application if you have ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective orders.

Applications should be received by DCJS at least 30 days prior to expiration.

Training should be completed at least 30 days prior to expiration.

Submit to DCJS

  1. Submit the online Renewal Instructor Application at www.dcjs.virginia.gov/online and pay applicable non-refundable fees.
     
  2. Completion of appropriate in-service training:
    1. General instructor in-service training enrollment application  and applicable non-refundable fee to enroll in training conducted by DCJS.
       
    2. Firearms instructor in-service training enrollment application and applicable non-refundable fee to enroll in training conducted by DCJS.
       
    3. Waiver application  and applicable non-refundable fee, if completed in-service instructor training elsewhere. For more information, view the Training Exemptions page.
       
    4. Passing Range Scores – renewing Firearms instructors must also submit recent (within one year of renewal) passing range scores of at least 85% for revolver, semi-automatic, and shotgun.

Training Requirements

4-8 Hours, consisting of:

Training Requirements

Criminal History Supplemental Form:  The form must be uploaded with the Renewal Instructor Certification if you have been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial since your last certification or currently under protective orders.

A person certified by DCJS to provide mandated instruction in private security subjects for a certified private security services training school. 

You must possess a valid certification as an instructor. Your instructor certification will state which courses you are certified to teach. 

For information on how to apply, please visit the Instructor page.

14I Firearms Instructor In-service (4 hours) and requalification on the range with a minimum range score of 85%.

Yes. You must have a certification as an instructor and work for a certified private security services school in order to instruct private security subjects. 

Yes. You must have completed training prior to applying for certification as an instructor. For more information, please View the Apply and Renew page for Instructors

No. View the training alternatives website for a list of schools that offer entry-level and/or in-service instructor training accepted by DCJS.

Certifications are valid for 24 months. 

Most likely you will not have to take our general instructor development entry-level class. You will need to submit a partial training exemption application (PSS WA) and fee in order for us to evaluate and credit your law enforcement instructor training. You will also need to show official documentation of ongoing in-service training or experience conducting training if your entry-level training was completed more than 24 months prior to applying. After you have been notified of receiving credit for your training, you will need to submit the PSS IA initial instructor application, nonrefundable fee, and documentation of experience and/or training in the categories in which you are seeking certification to instruct. 

Submit a written request to the attention of the Training Unit to include any additional documentation to verify eligibility to teach in the requested subjects. You must have training and/or experience in the specific category in order to be eligible for instructor certification. For more information, please refer to the following portion of the Regulations Relating to Private Security: 6 VAC 20-171-100. Initial instructor application. Please note that Firearms Instructors have additional requirements. Please see the question below. 

Yes. All instructors must first be certified as private security instructors before they can be certified as firearms instructors. 

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
  • Minimum of 3 years management or supervisory experience with a private security services business or with any federal, military police, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency, or in a related field; OR
  • Have 5 years general experience in a private security services business, with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, or in a related field; OR
  • Have a minimum of one-year experience as an instructor or teacher at an accredited educational institution or agency in the subject matter for which certification is requested, or in a related field.
  • Additionally, you must submit official documentation of previous training and a minimum of 2 years work experience in the category you wish to become certified to instruct. For more information, please refer to the following portion of the Regulations Relating to Private Security: 6 VAC 20-171-100. Initial instructor application.
  • Successful completion of an instructor development program, which meets or exceeds standards established by the department within three years immediately preceding the date of the application; OR
  • Successful completion of an instructor development program longer than 3 years prior to the date of application and have provided instruction during the 3 years immediately preceding, OR
  • Has provided instruction in a related field at an institution of higher learning. OR
  • Complete the DCJS general instructor (13E) development entry-level course (PSS_GE).

Official documentation verifying previous instructor experience, training, work experience and education for those subjects in which certification is requested. 

Yes. In order to be certified as a firearms instructor, you must first become certified as a private security services instructor. See next question for details. 

  • Must first be certified with the DCJS as a general instructor.
  • Successful completion of a firearm instructor development program, which meets or exceeds standards established by the department within three years immediately preceding the date of the application; OR
  • Successful completion of a firearm instructor development program longer than 3 years prior to the date of application and has provided instruction during the 3 years immediately preceding, or has provided instruction in a related field at an institution of higher learning. OR
  • Complete the DCJS firearms instructor development entry-level course.
  • Official documentation of previous training and a minimum of 2 years work experience in the category of firearms requested.
  • Official documentation that the applicant has successfully qualified with a minimum firearm range qualification of 85% in each of the following: revolver, semi-automatic handgun; and shotgun.  If applying for a Patrol Rifle instructor designation a minimum firearm range qualification of 85% is also required.

You must complete the in-service training within 12 months immediately preceding the expiration date of your instructor certification.