The NWCG training curriculum is developed and supported in such a way that makes putting on a class relatively easy. To ensure the course will be recognized as an NWCG certified course it is essential that:
An organization desiring to put on a course should first determine whether there really is a need for the course. If your organization does not have a training plan tied to individual development goals, now would be a good time to start one. This will answer many of your questions regarding who needs training and when they need the training.
The second question you need to answer is whether the course you are considering is already offered somewhere else locally. A good place to start in answering this question is to ask someone knowledgeable about fire training within the local fire coordinating area, such as a representative on a Zone Fire Management Board, local coordinating group, or training officers association. NWCG courses are designed under the following guidelines:
- Lower level courses such as S-130, Firefighter Training and other 100- and 200-level courses are designed to be presented locally.
- Midlevel courses such as S-330, Task Force/Strike Team Leader and other 300- and 400-level course are usually put on at the Geographic Level.
- Advanced level courses ( 500 and 600) are typically conducted at the National Advanced Fire and Resource Institute.
If you determine there is a local need to put on a course there are a number of tasks that must be completed prior to the training course. Some of these tasks, like instructor selection, are critical if an organization wants the course to be recognized as an NWCG certified course. One person should be appointed or chosen as the Course Coordinator. The Course Coordinator is the person who organizes these tasks. They must develop a plan and follow a timeline for organizing and completing them. Some things that must be considered are:
- When and where to present the course.
- The instructional cadre and needed qualifications.
- Selection and notification of the students.
- Responsibility for purchasing and assembling student and instructors' materials.
Proper planning is critical for successful course presentation. Allowing one year in advance of the event in order to prevent missing essential details is a good reference. These essential details are thoroughly outlined in the Course Coordinator's Guide and include tasks needing completion before, during, and after course to ensure a successful course. Both the Field Manager's Course Guide and the Course Coordinator's Guide are on-line publications and are updated continually. Go to the Field Manager's Course Guide & Other Reference Materials tab under the Course Coordinator's & Instructors Guidance section and download the latest versions of these two important documents.