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Top 10 Criminal Justice Instructor Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best criminal justice instructor certifications available to help individuals develop the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful instructors in the field.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications for criminal justice instructors are important in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that employers value. Certifications provide proof of an instructor’s professional qualifications, as well as their dedication to staying current with industry trends and developments. Obtaining certifications also demonstrates an instructor’s commitment to their career and their ability to take initiative. Employers may be more likely to hire certified instructors over non-certified ones, as certification shows that the instructor has taken the time to gain specialized knowledge in the field of criminal justice.

This article reviews the best certifications for criminal justice instructors and explains how they can help advance a criminal justice instructor's career.

What are Criminal Justice Instructor Certifications?

Criminal justice instructor certification is a specialized credential that demonstrates an individual's expertise in teaching criminal justice topics. It helps to ensure that instructors have the necessary knowledge and skills to teach criminal justice concepts in a variety of settings, such as universities, colleges, law enforcement agencies, and correctional facilities. The certification can also help instructors gain access to higher-level positions within the field of criminal justice.

The certification process typically involves completing courses related to criminal justice instruction and passing an exam. This exam tests an individual's knowledge on a range of topics, such as legal systems, criminology, police operations, corrections, and homeland security. In addition to coursework and exams, individuals may need to demonstrate their proficiency in teaching by submitting lesson plans or recordings of lectures.

Having criminal justice instructor certification allows instructors to demonstrate their commitment to the field and provides employers with assurance that they are qualified for teaching positions. It also serves as evidence of professional development within the field.

Pro Tip: When researching criminal justice instructor certification, make sure to look into the requirements and qualifications of the certifying body. This will help ensure that you are choosing a program that is respected and recognized in the field of criminal justice.

Related: What does a Criminal Justice Instructor do?

Top 10 Criminal Justice Instructor Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Criminal Justice Instructors today.

1. Certified Criminal Justice Instructor (CCJI)

Certified Criminal Justice Instructor (CCJI) is a professional designation for individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to teach in criminal justice settings. This certification is administered by the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC).

In order to become a CCJI, an individual must have a minimum of two years of experience teaching in criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, or related fields. The applicant must also complete the NCJTC’s Certified Criminal Justice Instructor Program (CCJIP), which consists of three courses: Introduction to Teaching in Criminal Justice; Instructional Design and Delivery; and Evaluation and Assessment. The program requires approximately 40 hours of coursework and 10 hours of practicum experience.

The cost of the program varies depending on the location and type of institution offering it. Generally, the cost is between $500-$1,000 for all three courses combined.

Once an individual has completed the program requirements, they must submit an application to NCJTC for review and approval. Upon approval, they will receive their CCJI certification and be eligible to teach in criminal justice settings throughout the United States.

2. Certified Correctional Officer Instructor (CCOI)

Certified Correctional Officer Instructor (CCOI) is a certification program designed to recognize correctional officers who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to teach other correctional officers. The CCOI certification is administered by the American Correctional Association (ACA), which sets standards for the operation of correctional facilities.

In order to become certified, applicants must meet certain requirements including having at least two years of experience as a full-time correctional officer, completing an approved instructor training course, and passing a written exam. The instructor training course typically takes about 40 hours to complete and covers topics such as teaching methods, communication skills, and legal issues related to corrections.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on the state or organization providing the instructor training course. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $400-$700 for tuition and materials. In addition, there may be fees associated with taking the written exam or registering with ACA.

Once certified, CCOIs are required to maintain their certification by participating in continuing education activities every two years. This includes attending conferences or workshops related to corrections or teaching methodology.

3. National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Instructor Certification

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Instructor Certification Program is a comprehensive training program that provides correctional professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to become an effective instructor. The program consists of two phases: a basic instructor certification course and an advanced instructor certification course. The basic certification course is designed to provide new instructors with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively teach others in a correctional setting. This course covers topics such as instructional design, classroom management, teaching techniques, and evaluation methods. The advanced certification course builds on the basic certification by focusing on more specialized topics such as curriculum development, lesson planning, and assessment strategies.

The length of time it takes to complete the NIC Instructor Certification Program depends on the individual's learning style and commitment level. Generally, the program can be completed within one year or less if the participant is able to commit sufficient time for study and practice.

To obtain NIC Instructor Certification, individuals must first complete both phases of the program. After completing each phase of the program, participants must submit an application along with a fee for each phase they have completed in order to receive their certificate from NIC.

The cost for obtaining NIC Instructor Certification varies depending on which courses are taken and how many courses are taken at once. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1000 USD for both phases combined.

4. International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) Certified Instructor

The International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) Certified Instructor Program is a professional certification program for law enforcement instructors. It is designed to recognize individuals who have met the highest standards of excellence in police instruction. The IADLEST Certified Instructor Program provides a comprehensive certification process that includes an examination, coursework, and practical experience.

The IADLEST Certified Instructor Program requires that applicants complete a minimum of 80 hours of approved training in instructional methodology, educational theory, and law enforcement topics. The program also requires applicants to pass an examination that tests their knowledge in these areas. Once certified, instructors must maintain their certification by completing at least 16 hours of continuing education every two years.

To become an IADLEST Certified Instructor, you must first submit an application packet to the IADLEST Board of Directors for review and approval. The application packet includes a completed application form, proof of current employment as a law enforcement instructor or trainer, transcripts from any college courses taken related to instruction or training, and letters of recommendation from supervisors or colleagues who can attest to your qualifications as an instructor or trainer.

Once your application has been approved by the board, you will be required to take the IADLEST Certified Instructor Examination (CIE). This exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering instructional methodology, educational theory, and law enforcement topics. You must score at least 70% on this exam in order to become certified.

The cost for the IADLEST Certified Instructor Program is $250 USD plus applicable taxes and fees. This fee covers all materials necessary for the program including the CIE exam fee and any other associated costs such as course materials or travel expenses.

5. American Correctional Association (ACA) Certified Instructor

The American Correctional Association (ACA) Certified Instructor program is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality training in the correctional field. It is an important credential for those working in corrections, as it indicates that they have met certain standards of excellence in their work.

To become ACA Certified, an individual must complete a minimum of 40 hours of approved instructor training, pass a written examination, and demonstrate proficiency in teaching methods. The instructor training includes topics such as adult learning theory, instructional design, classroom management techniques, and evaluation strategies. The written exam covers material related to the course content and assessment of student performance.

The cost of becoming ACA Certified varies depending on the provider offering the program. Generally speaking, it costs approximately $500-$1,000 for the instructor training and exam fee.

In order to become ACA Certified, individuals must first find a provider offering the program. There are several organizations that offer ACA Certified Instructor programs including universities, colleges, private companies and professional associations. Once an individual has identified a provider offering the program they can contact them directly for more information about registration fees and other requirements.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all of the requirements necessary to become ACA Certified. This includes completing all of the required instructor training courses as well as passing the written examination. After successfully completing these requirements individuals will receive their official ACA Certification card which they can use to demonstrate their achievement.

6. National Academy of Police Officers (NAPO) Certified Instructor

The National Academy of Police Officers (NAPO) Certified Instructor program is a professional development program designed to equip law enforcement officers with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively teach and lead in their respective fields. The program is designed to enhance the professional qualifications of law enforcement personnel by providing them with an opportunity to become certified instructors.

The NAPO Certified Instructor program consists of a series of courses that cover topics such as instructional methods, curriculum development, classroom management, and assessment strategies. Upon successful completion of the coursework, participants will receive a certificate indicating their successful completion of the program.

It typically takes between 8-12 weeks to complete the NAPO Certified Instructor program. The cost for the program varies depending on which state you are located in and can range from $500-$1000. To get started on becoming a NAPO Certified Instructor, contact your local police department or academy to find out if they offer this type of training.

7. Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Certified Instructor

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Certified Instructor Program is a comprehensive program that provides instructors with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach law enforcement personnel in a variety of areas. The program consists of three phases: Basic Instructor Training, Advanced Instructor Training, and Specialized Instructor Training.

Basic Instructor Training (BIT): This phase is designed to provide instructors with the fundamentals of instruction, including lesson planning, student assessment, and classroom management. It typically takes four weeks to complete this phase.

Advanced Instructor Training (AIT): This phase focuses on developing an instructor’s knowledge and skills in specific subject areas such as firearms, defensive tactics, and legal issues. It typically takes two weeks to complete this phase.

Specialized Instructor Training (SIT): This phase focuses on developing an instructor’s ability to teach specialized topics such as terrorism awareness or hazardous materials response. It typically takes one week to complete this phase.

In order to become a FLETC Certified Instructor, you must successfully complete all three phases of the program. Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a certificate from FLETC that attests to your status as a certified instructor.

The cost for the FLETC Certified Instructor Program varies depending on the location where you are taking the course. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 USD for all three phases combined.

8. American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) Certified Instructor

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) Certified Instructor program is a professional certification program that provides instructors with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively teach in the field of probation and parole. It is designed to provide a comprehensive training program for those who wish to become certified instructors in the field of probation and parole.

To become an APPA Certified Instructor, an individual must complete a minimum of 40 hours of instruction in order to receive the certification. This instruction includes topics such as adult learning theory, instructional design principles, lesson planning, teaching techniques, assessment strategies, and other related topics. Additionally, applicants must pass a written examination that covers all aspects of the instruction they have received.

In order to obtain APPA Certified Instructor status, individuals must submit an application packet that includes documentation of their completion of the 40-hour training course as well as passing scores on the written examination. The cost for this certification is $125 USD. Once approved by the APPA Board of Directors, applicants will receive their official certificate and be eligible to teach courses in probation and parole at any accredited institution or agency.

Overall, becoming an APPA Certified Instructor can take several months from start to finish depending on when you apply for your certification and how quickly you are able to complete all required coursework and examinations.

9. American Jail Association (AJA) Certified Instructor

The American Jail Association (AJA) Certified Instructor Program is a certification program for individuals who wish to become certified instructors in the field of corrections. The program is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively teach and train corrections personnel.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the AJA Certified Instructor Program. During this time, candidates must complete a series of courses that cover topics such as correctional law, security operations, communication skills, and correctional management. Candidates must also pass an examination at the end of the program in order to receive their certification.

To become an AJA Certified Instructor, individuals must first meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least three years of experience in corrections or related fields. They must also have completed a minimum of 40 hours of training in corrections-related topics within the last two years.

The cost for the AJA Certified Instructor Program varies depending on the institution offering it. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000.

10. Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) Certified Instructor

The Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) Certified Instructor program is a certification program for law enforcement professionals in the state of Oklahoma. It is designed to ensure that instructors are qualified to teach courses in their respective fields. The CLEET Certified Instructor program requires applicants to have at least three years of law enforcement experience, as well as a minimum of two years of teaching experience. Applicants must also complete an approved instructor training course, pass a written exam, and demonstrate proficiency in the subject matter they will be teaching.

It typically takes approximately four months from the time an applicant submits their application until they receive their certification. During this time, applicants must complete all required training courses and exams before being eligible for certification.

To become a CLEET Certified Instructor, applicants must submit an application packet which includes: proof of law enforcement experience, proof of teaching experience, proof of completion of the approved instructor training course, and payment for the applicable fees. Applicants must also submit to a background check prior to being certified.

The cost for becoming a CLEET Certified Instructor varies depending on the type of certification sought; however, most certifications range from $150-$200. This fee covers the cost of processing the application and conducting the background check.

Do You Really Need a Criminal Justice Instructor Certificate?

The short answer to this question is yes. A criminal justice instructor certificate is an important credential for anyone who wishes to teach or instruct in the field of criminal justice. It provides proof that the instructor has the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to teach effectively.

Criminal justice instructors must possess a high level of expertise in their chosen field. They must be able to present complex legal concepts in a clear and understandable manner, as well as explain difficult legal theories and cases accurately. Instructors need to be knowledgeable about current laws and regulations, as well as have the ability to think critically about how these laws affect society. Additionally, instructors should be able to engage students in meaningful discussions about criminal justice topics, such as juvenile delinquency, cybercrime, terrorism, and more.

A criminal justice instructor certificate also demonstrates that an individual has taken specific courses related to teaching within the criminal justice system. These courses may include instruction on ethics and professionalism; curriculum development; evaluation techniques; classroom management; instructional technology; and more. By taking these courses, instructors gain a deeper understanding of the material they will be teaching and can better prepare their students for success in their chosen field.

In conclusion, obtaining a criminal justice instructor certificate is essential for anyone wishing to pursue a career in teaching within this field. It provides evidence of an individual's knowledge and expertise in the subject matter while also demonstrating his or her commitment to providing quality educational experiences for students.

Related: Criminal Justice Instructor Resume Examples

FAQs About Criminal Justice Instructor Certifications

1. What qualifications do I need to become a criminal justice instructor?

Answer: Generally, you will need a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field. You may also need to have several years of experience in the criminal justice system and/or teaching experience. In some cases, certifications or additional training may be required.

2. How long does it take to get certified as a criminal justice instructor?

Answer: The amount of time it takes depends on the type of certification program you choose and your current qualifications. Generally, most certification programs can be completed within one year.

3. What types of courses are offered for criminal justice instructors?

Answer: Courses vary depending on the certification program chosen; however, they typically include topics such as teaching strategies, classroom management, ethics and legal issues in criminal justice education, instructional design and technology, research methods and assessment techniques.

4. How much does certification cost?

Answer: Costs vary depending on the type of program chosen; however, most programs range from $500-$1000 USD for tuition and fees. Additional costs may include books and materials needed for coursework.

5. Is online certification available for criminal justice instructors?

Answer: Yes, there are online certification programs available for criminal justice instructors that allow students to complete their coursework remotely at their own pace while still receiving instruction from experienced professionals in the field.