Fact Sheet - National Academy
Basic training for special agents is a 12-week Criminal Investigator Training Program. Trainees learn the fundamental techniques and concepts of conducting criminal investigations.
IOIs take Industry Operations Investigator Basic Training, a 10-week program, where they develop the basic knowledge, skills and abilities they need to safely conduct inspections of firearms and explosives licensees and permittees.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) National Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Ga., provides basic training for 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.
ATF special agents investigate criminal 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 regulate commerce in firearms and explosives. IOIs also provide guidance and assistance to federal firearms and explosives licensees and permit holders on compliance and conduct-of-business issues.
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). Trainees learn the fundamental techniques and concepts of conducting criminal investigations. After CITP, they begin Special Agent Basic Training (SABT), a 15-week program. SABT builds on CITP by adding specialized training that applies to ATF’s jurisdiction. SABT students undergo rigorous academic, legal, physical and practical training preparing them to carry out the investigative activities in support of ATF’s mission.
Newly hired IOIs take Industry Operations Investigator Basic Training (IOIBT), a 10-week program, 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, as well as 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.
Training programs at the Academy 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 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 that a diverse Academy staff possesses the requisite instructional abilities necessary to impart the curriculum.
Academy employees work with scores of visiting instructors from throughout ATF to ensure that graduating special agents and IOIs arrive at their first posting trained to meet current operational needs of the field, ready for on-the-job training, and are guided by the Frontline business model of intelligence-led investigations. The basic skills and abilities special agents and IOIs learn at the Academy prepare them to safely and effectively carry out ATF’s law enforcement mission.
For more information on ATF training and careers, go to www.atf.gov/careers.
Additional Resources: Special Agent Training