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Fact Sheet - ATF National Academy

March, 2016
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Fast Facts

  1. ATF special agents receive 27 weeks of training and industry operations investigators receive 10 weeks of training at the ATF National Academy, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

  2. ATF special agents investigate violations of federal firearms, explosives and arson laws, as well as the diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. IOIs do the work pertaining to licensing of the firearms and explosives industries, which ATF regulates.

  3. All of the ATF Academy’s training programs use the most widely recognized, industry-standard methods of training development practices.

The ATF National Academy, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Ga., provides basic training for criminal investigators (also known as special agents) and industry operations investigators (IOI). These professionals carry out ATF’s mission of fighting violent crime, protecting the public, and serving the nation. The Academy is accredited by the highly regarded Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation board, and its training is aligned with ATF’s overarching intelligence-led business model called Frontline.

ATF special agents investigate violations of federal firearms, explosives and arson laws, as well as the diversion of alcohol and tobacco products, where federal taxes are not being paid. ATF IOIs do the work pertaining to licensing of the firearms and explosives industries, which ATF regulates. IOIs also provide guidance and assistance to licensees on compliance and conduct-of-business issues. IOIs inspect alcohol and tobacco business records in diversion cases.

ATF Industry Operations Investigators, perform a compliance inspection at a gun store.Special agents and IOIs work together in ATF, but they receive their own specialized basic training. The first part of basic training for special agents is a 12-week Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) delivered by FLETC. Trainees learn the fundamental techniques and concepts of conducting criminal investigations. After CITP, individuals begin Special Agent Basic Training (SABT), a 15-week program for a typical class of 48 trainees. SABT builds on CITP by adding specialized training that applies to the ATF mission and jurisdiction. SABT students undergo rigorous academic, legal, physical, and practical training preparing them to carry out all of the types of investigative activities in support of ATF’s mission and jurisdiction.

Newly hired IOIs take Industry Operations Investigator Basic Training (IOIBT), a 10-week program for a typical class of 24 trainees, where they develop the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to safely conduct inspections of firearms and explosives licensees and permittees. IOIs receive extensive instruction on applicable laws and regulations; explosives and firearms identification and safe handling; report writing; research skills; and business entities. They study interviewing and sampling techniques and how to recognize trafficking and diversion schemes. Trainees learn the procedures for obtaining permits and/or licenses to import, manufacture, or sell regulated firearms and explosives.Image of students at ATF's National Academy

All of the Academy’s training programs use the most widely recognized, industry-standard methods of training development practices. Using this model, the life cycle of training development and improvements is purposeful, effective, efficient, consistent, and legally defensible. Constant evaluation ensures the training is up-to-date, relevant, and responsive to the ever-changing law enforcement environment. Over the years, increased emphasis has been placed on expanding the skills of the instructor cadre, ensuring a diverse Academy staff that possesses the requisite instructional abilities necessary to impart the curriculum.

The employees of the ATF National Academy work with scores of visiting instructors from throughout ATF to ensure that graduating special agents and investigators arrive at their first posting trained to meet current operational needs of the field, ready for on-the-job training, and guided by the Frontline business model of intelligence-led investigations. The basic skills and abilities special agents and industry operations investigators learn at the Academy prepare them to safely and effectively carry out the ATF law enforcement mission. For more information on ATF training and careers go to www.atf.gov/careers.

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Additional Resources: Special Agent Training

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