How to Become a Certified Instructor in Florida

Individuals may become certified in the following disciplines:

  • General Topics
  • Vehicle Operations (High Liability Topic)
  • Firearms (High Liability Topic)
  • Defensive Tactics (High Liability Topic)
  • First Aid (High Liability Topic)
  • Law Topics (Specialized Topic)
  • Speed Measurement (Specialized Topic)
  • Canine Team (Specialized Topic)
  • Breath Test (Specialized Topic)

There are three primary steps to becoming a certified instructor in Florida:

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications.
  2. Complete the required training or possess the required professional license or certification and complete the required internship including student evaluations.
  3. Become affiliated with either a Commission-approved training school or a criminal Justice employing Agency who will apply for the certifcation.

1. Meet the Minimum Qualifications established in Florida Administrative Code Rule 11B-20.


For General Topics, individuals must:
  • Not have been convicted of any felony or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or false statement. Any person who, after July 1, 1981, pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is found guilty of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or a false statement, shall not be eligible for certification as an instructor, not-withstanding suspension of sentence or withholding of adjudication.
  • Not have received a dishonorable discharge from any of the Armed Forces of the United States.

For High Liability Topics, individuals must:
  • Possess or be eligible for and apply for General Instructor Certification.
  • Complete three years experience as a certified criminal justice officer or three years experience in the topic of instruction.

For Specialized Topics, individuals must:


Law Topics
  • Possess or be eligible for and apply for General Instructor Certification or possess a juris doctorate from an accredited college or university.
  • Possess three years of criminal justice experience and a minimum of fifteen semester hours of college law courses to include both a constitutional law course and a criminal law course with a grade of “C” or above from an accredited college or university or possess a juris doctorate from an accredited college or university.

Speed Measurement
  • Possess or be eligible for and apply for General Instructor Certification
  • Possess three years experience as a speed measurement device operator

Canine Team
  • Possess or be eligible for and apply for General Instructor Certification
  • Possess three years criminal justice canine team experience
  • Provide verification on agency letterhead signed by the agency administrator or designee that there is not a sustained “excessive use-of-force” complaint against the instructor applicant involving the use of the canine at the time the canine was under his or her command

Breath Test
  • Possess or be eligible for and apply for General Instructor Certification
  • Possess three years experience as a certified breath test operator and agency inspector.
  • Possess a valid Breath Test Operator Permit and a valid Agency Inspector Permit.

2. Complete the Required Training and Internship pursuant to 11B-20, F.A.C.


If you are interested in You must complete the following

General Topics

1. Complete an Instructor Training Course -

An individual must successfully complete the Traditional Instructor Techniques Course or CMS Instructor Techniques Course through a Commission-approved training school within four years of application or complete equivalent instructor training as evaluated by the training center director.

2. Complete an Instructional Internship –

An individual must have his or her instructional abilities evaluated by a training center director or agency administrator who is currently an instructor or a designee who is currently an instructor. The instructor who monitors the applicant must complete the CJSTC Form 81.

3. Be evaluated by students –

Student evaluations must be completed by the students and reviewed with the applicant by the training center director, agency administrator or designee.

High Liability Topics

1. Complete an Instructor Training Course or Hold a Professional Certification or License –

An individual must successfully complete the applicable High-Liability Instructor Course through a Commission-approved training school within four years of application. For First Aid Instructor Certification, an individual must possess and maintain a valid CPR Instructor Certification. Also for First Aid Instructor Certification, the following individuals do not have to complete the High-Liability Instructor Course, but must provide a copy of the current qualifying professional certification or license and must maintain that certification or license to be able to instruct in First Aid:
  • Certified emergency medical technicians
  • Certified paramedics
  • Licensed physicians actively involved in emergency care with three years experience in emergency medical care
  • Licensed physician’s assistants actively involved in emergency care with three years experience in emergency medical care
  • Registered nurses or licensed practical nurses actively involved in emergency care with three years experience in emergency medical care
  • Members of the US Armed Forces on active duty and entitled to practice as an emergency medical technician or Florida paramedic
  • Full-time instructors at a vocational technical institution or an accredited college or university, who instruct medical topics in EMT, paramedic, nursing, physician, or physician assistance programs

2. Complete an Instructional Internship –

An individual must have his or her instructional abilities evaluated by a training center director or agency administrator who is currently an instructor in the high-liability topic area or a designee who is currently an instructor in the high-liability topic. The instructor who monitors the applicant must complete the CJSTC Form 81.


3. Be evaluated by students -

Student evaluations must be completed by the students and reviewed with the applicant by the training center director, agency administrator or designee.

Specialized Topics

1. Complete Instructor Training Course or Advanced Education -

An individual must successfully complete the applicable Specialized Instructor Course through a Commission-approved training school. There is not a designated instructor course required to become a Legal Topics Instructor. The applicant has only has to meet the minimum educational or degree requirements listed in the “Minimum Qualifications” listed previously. An applicant for Speed Measurement Instructor must also complete a Speed Measurement Device Instructor Field Evaluation CJSTC Form 10. An applicant for Canine Team Instructor must successfully complete the Canine Team Training Course or equivalent course in addition to the Canine Team Instructor Course.

2. Complete an Instructional Internship -

An individual must have his or her instructional abilities evaluated by a training center director or agency administrator who is currently an instructor in the specialized topic area or a designee who is currently an instructor in the specialized topic. For Legal Topics Instructor only , the instructor who monitors the applicant may be a General Topic Instructor. The instructor who monitors the applicant must complete the CJSTC Form 81.

3. Be evaluated by students -

Student evaluations must be completed by the students and reviewed with the applicant by the training center director, agency administrator or designee.

 
3. Become affiliated with a Commission-certified training school or a criminal justice employing agency as an instructor.
  • In order to hold an active instructor certification, an individual must be affiliated with either a training school or criminal justice agency. An instructor does not have to be affiliated with a particular training school or agency in order to instruct in Commission-approved training at that school or agency. Once affiliated, the instructor can teach at any school or agency in the State of Florida.

Certification Process - Obtaining an "Instructor Certificate"
 

1. To be eligible for application for an "Instructor Certificate", an applicant must:
  • Meet the minimum qualifications,
  • Complete the required training or education or possess the appropriate professional certification or license,
  • Complete the required internship(s),
  • Become affiliated with a training school or agency,
2. The individuals' affiliating training school or agency will apply for the Instructor Certificate.

3. After FDLE staff confirms all requirements are met, the officer’s certificate is issued by the FDLE Records section and mailed to the affiliating training school or agency. An individual may not instruct in a topic until their Instructor Certification Application has been approved.


For Specific Florida Administrative Code references and additional information:
 


11B-20.001 Definitions and Minimum Requirements for General Certification of Instructors

11B-20.0014 Minimum Requirements for High-Liability and Specialized Topics Instructor Certifications.

11B-20.0016 Inspection of Instructor Certification Applications

11B-20.0017 Maintenance and Duration of Instructor Certifications


For more information concerning the instructor certification process, contact the Records Section at (850) 410-8600.