The FBI Academy, dedicated to being the world’s premier law enforcement learning and research center and an advocate for law enforcement’s best practices worldwide, is operated by the Bureau’s Training Division. Situated on 547 acres within the immense Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, the FBI Academy is just one of many facets of the Training Division, whose work reaches far beyond the confines of the campus grounds.
Located about 36 miles outside Washington, D.C., the Academy is a full-service national training facility—with conference rooms and classrooms, dorms, firing ranges, a gym and pool, a library, a dining hall, and even a mock town.
While new agents are typically synonymous with the FBI Academy, the Training Division instructs many diverse groups of people, including:
- Special agents
- Intelligence analysts
- Professional staff
- Law enforcement officers
- Foreign partners
- Private sector
*The Academy offers many training programs, including:
- Firearms, which trains new agents to discharge all Bureau-issued weapons in a safe and effective manner;
- Hogan’s Alley, a training complex simulating a small town where FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) new agent trainees learn investigative techniques, firearms skills, and defensive tactics. Hogan’s Alley also houses functioning classrooms, administrative and maintenance areas, and audiovisual facilities;
- Tactical and Emergency Vehicle Operations Center (TEVOC), which teaches safe, efficient driving techniques to FBI and DEA personnel and other government and military personnel;
- Survival Skills, a program that gives new agents and law enforcement officers the skills and mindset required to identify and handle critical situations in high-risk environments;
- Law Enforcement Executive Development, which includes the Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminars (LEEDS) designed for chief executive officers of the nation’s mid-sized law enforcement agencies.
The Academy also houses the FBI Library that maintains complete and up-to-date law enforcement information from around the world and offers a variety of audiovisual materials, legal publications, government documents, periodicals, and online resources.
*All training programs are contingent upon Congressional funding.
Basic Field Training Course
New Agent Trainees (NATs) and New Intelligence Analyst Trainees (NIATs) begin their training at the FBI Academy in the Basic Field Training Course (BFTC), which features an expansive integrated curriculum.
The BFTC was developed by the Training Division to meet the Bureau’s ambitious goal of training new agent and intelligence analyst candidates in a way that will prepare them for their collaborative work in the field. Previously, NATs and NIATs had completely separate training. The BFTC replaced these two distinctly separate programs with an integrated, collaborative course that uses a dedicated field office team approach mirroring the environment that agents and analysts will experience in their field assignments.
The first BFTC NAT class began on April 19th, 2015—exactly 20 years after the Oklahoma City bombing rocked our nation—and graduated on September 11, 2015—14 years after the 9/11 attacks which changed our nation’s landscape and the FBI’s mission. The first NIAT graduation was held in late 2015.
The BFTC provides the building blocks to help agents and analysts accomplish our mission as a national security and law enforcement organization that uses, collects, and shares intelligence in everything we do.
While the BFTC integrates agent and analyst candidates where appropriate, the course also preserves the positive aspects, traditions, and specialized skills of each individual role. More information on the individual portions of NAT and NIAT training can be found below.
Driving Skills (TEVOC)
An FBI agent is driving down a lonely stretch of road when suddenly a car comes out of nowhere and slams into the agent’s side door. The agent accelerates, but the other car catches up. Then, the driver of the other car rolls down his window, pulls out a gun, and fires at the agent. Tires squeal…
Yes, it’s really happening—just not in a Hollywood movie or on the streets of America. This scenario is taking place at Quantico, Virginia at our Tactical and Emergency Vehicle Operations Center, or TEVOC. The bullets are actually paint balls, and the car chasing our agent is driven by an FBI instructor.
TEVOC teaches agents, appropriate professional support employees, and Bureau partners, including DEA and other government and military personnel, how to drive safely and effectively—both to track and catch criminals and terrorists and avoid getting harmed by them. The training prepares drivers to handle an array of dangerous situations, from maneuvering out of a common rear-end spinout to more dangerous techniques such as how to ram a threatening vehicle. Our instructors use real-life situation exercises that give drivers only seconds to recognize danger and react accordingly. TEVOC continually works to improve and update its programs—the latest initiative involves off-road situations and techniques.
It includes a high-speed 1.1-mile oval road track; a precision obstacle course to teach such skills as evasive lane changes, backing up, and emergency breaking; and a skid pan or pad where students learn counter-steering techniques. Originally designed to improve the skills of our surveillance personnel, the TEVOC program was relocated from New York to Quantico in 1994.
Specific training for specific needs
A range of FBI and government personnel sent overseas—including Bureau executives, Legal Attachés, members of protective details, and others in key positions—receive more intensive training at TEVOC. It includes advanced counter-terrorism techniques such as attack recognition and avoidance. In addition, program managers from TEVOC and Law Enforcement Training for Safety and Survival (LETSS) created a new curriculum that integrates survival training and driving techniques for Joint Terrorism Task Forces and specialty Bureau teams.
Safety is paramount
TEVOC instructors constantly remind students of safety measures. The program teaches that there are no accidents, just crashes. It puts full responsibility in the hands of the driver and emphasizes that it is every driver’s duty to be aware of themselves and others while on the road.
In 1934—a year after the Kansas City Massacre that left four law enforcement officers dead, including a Bureau agent—Congress gave FBI agents the authority to carry firearms.
In response, the FBI began a robust firearms training program, which has continuously grown and evolved through the years in order to keep pace with technology and best prepare agents and FBI police officers for the increasing dangers and threats they face while carrying out their assignments, domestically and internationally.
The mission of our Firearms Training Unit is to develop and deliver a comprehensive and consistent firearms training curriculum that provides new agent trainees, special agents, and police officers the skills needed to safely and effectively use firearms, if necessary, while performing their duties.
Our experienced firearms training instructors assigned to the Training Division also offer certification and recertification training to all FBI firearms instructors who provide training to agents in the field and in support of our state and local law enforcement partners.
Law Enforcement Executive Development
The Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar, or LEEDS, was conceived for chief executive officers of the nation’s mid-sized law enforcement agencies. Begun in 1981, the seminar has graduated more than 1,300 executives.
Designed for executive officers, this seminar enables participants to reflect upon and regroup for the next stage of their careers. Executives are provided with instruction and facilitation in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, legal issues, labor relations, media relations, social issues, and police programs. The environment of the seminar is conducive to independent thought and study. Participants have the opportunity to exchange plans, problems, and solutions with their peers; to develop new thoughts and ideas; and to share successes of their own communities. The interaction among the executives is worthwhile for them as well—some of the most productive learning takes place outside of the classroom during informal interactions.
How to Apply
Law enforcement executives interested in applying for LEEDS should contact the police training coordinator in their local FBI field office.
The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers nominated by their agency heads because of demonstrated leadership qualities…
Most of the graduates of LEEDS become members of the non-profit FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA) and continue attending annual training conferences to further their education.
In August 1975, FBI Director Clarence Kelley tasked the Management Science Unit of the FBI Academy to develop a proposal for a law enforcement executive training program. The resultant proposal was presented to the Major Cities Chiefs (MCC) at their meeting in Denver, Colorado during the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference the following month. The MCC overwhelmingly endorsed the proposal, requesting that they be allowed to further analyze and comment upon its scope and format. Kelley assented to their request.
Topical areas selected for the program included: national and international political, economic, and social trends affecting the policing function; ethics and integrity; the effects of affirmative action on hiring and promotional policies; media relations; labor relations; the future structure of police organizations; financing of police operations; training and legal issues; labor relations; and the impact of criminal activity on policing.
In addition to commissioners, chiefs, and sheriffs from many major jurisdictions, two assistant directors of the FBI—Robert E. Gebhardt of the Los Angeles Field Division and J. Wallace LaPrade of the New York Field Division—were extended invitations. FBI Training Division staff assigned to the program to facilitate and develop it also attended all cycles, and so the precedent was established with Session One of the National Executive Institute (NEI) to include Academy staff graduates as well as regular graduates who were selected and invited by virtue of their position and responsibilities as the senior executives of major law enforcement organizations.
Subsequent sessions of the NEI would see it expanded to include international colleagues, sheriffs from the largest general law enforcement service sheriffs’ departments, heads of state police organizations, chiefs of other law enforcement agencies, and our other federal and military partners. Each session of the NEI has three one-week cycles, usually held in March, June, and September.
Nominations for new participants are solicited annually by the Training Division through our local FBI offices and legal attaché offices (legats). Domestically, these usually include the chief executive officers of full-service law enforcement agencies which are the primary providers of law enforcement services to a population of 250,000 or greater and have a complement of at least 500 sworn law enforcement officers. U.S. participants from non-MCC agencies are considered as space permits. Nominees from legats are chosen law enforcement executives who meet the NEI selection criteria and who will contribute to NEI concerning their country’s contemporary law enforcement challenges. FBI field division heads are nominated and approved by FBI Headquarters to increase and enhance liaison with their local law enforcement partners. Our federal partner nominees are recommended directly by the respective federal agency.
The NEI has been variously described as the “Director’s own program” and as the crown jewel of the FBI’s executive training initiatives.
In addition to FBI special agents and intelligence analysts, the Training Division offers a wealth of training opportunities in support of the Bureau's mission to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners. Training coordinators are available in each field office to help develop solutions to our partners’ training needs. Below is a list of formal training opportunities open to law enforcement. If interested, please contact the training coordinator at the FBI field office nearest you. International law enforcement agencies should contact their closest FBI legal attaché office.
National Academy: A professional course of study for leaders and managers of state and local police, sheriffs’ departments, military police organizations, and federal law enforcement agencies from the U.S. and more than 150 partner nations. Participation is by invitation only through a nomination process. During each session, approximately 250 students take undergraduate or graduate courses in the following areas: behavioral science, forensic science, terrorism, leadership development, communications, and health and fitness.
National Executive Institute (NEI): Described as the “Director’s own program” and the crown jewel of the FBI’s executive training initiatives, the NEI was established in August 1975 when FBI Director Clarence Kelley tasked the FBI Academy with developing a proposal for a law enforcement executive training program. Topical areas selected for the program, which now trains domestic and international law enforcement leaders, included: national and international political, economic, and social trends affecting the policing function; ethics and integrity; the effects of affirmative action on hiring and promotional policies; media relations; labor relations; the future structure of police organizations; financing of police operations; training and legal issues; and the impact of criminal activity on policing. Nominations for new participants are solicited annually by the Training Division through our local FBI offices and overseas legal attaché offices.
Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminars (LEEDS): A two-week program designed for chief executive officers of the nation’s mid-sized law enforcement agencies—those having between 50 and 499 sworn officers and serving a population of 50,000 or more. Executives are provided instruction and facilitation in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, legal issues, labor relations, media relations, social issues, and police programs. Participants have the opportunity to exchange plans, problems, and solutions with their peers, develop new thoughts and ideas, and share successes.
Law Enforcement Instructor School (LEIS): An intense 40-hour practical, skill-oriented course designed to provide fundamentals in adult instruction and curriculum design. State and local law enforcement attendees participants learn and practice a variety of teaching strategies to deliver effective instruction. Participants incorporate different instructional methodologies for effective delivery to a variety of audiences in different learning environments, and engage in public speaking exercises to hone their presentation skills. The LEIS has been aligned to meet POST (Police Officer Standards and Training) Commission instructor certification requirements in many states throughout the U.S.
Leadership Fellows Program: Through this program, senior police managers and executives from around the world are offered the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills by teaching, networking with staff and students, addressing leadership issues in their sponsoring agencies, attending a variety of courses, and developing a blueprint for personal growth. The first six months of the program is in full residency where fellows work closely with Center for Police Leadership & Ethics (CPLE) instructors to develop and instruct leadership curricula, address challenges or prospective issues in their host agencies having a beneficial impact upon their return, and attend leadership development courses in accordance with their individual development plans. The second six months consists of fellows continuing to support the CPLE instructional mission domestically and internationally while serving as adjunct instructors and providing instruction in accordance with CPLE needs.
Other Training Opportunities
Active Shooter Program: After the Newtown shooting in December 2012, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI were specifically tasked by a White House working group with training law enforcement and other first responders to ensure that protocols for responding to active shooter initiatives are consistent across the country. With DOJ and its Bureau of Justice Assistance, we work with the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) program for first-responding officers. ALERRT has trained more than 114,000 law enforcement first responders, and FBI tactical instructors are cross-trained as ALERRT instructors to assist with ALERRT training throughout the nation. FBI field offices also host two-day active shooter conferences with senior state, local, tribal, and campus law enforcement executives. These conferences are followed by tabletop exercises with other first responders.
Firearms Training: The Training Division delivers a comprehensive and consistent firearms training curriculum that provides new agent trainees, special agents, and police officers the skills needed to safely and effectively use firearms, if necessary, while performing their duties. The experienced firearms training instructors assigned to the division also offer certification and recertification training to all FBI firearms instructors who provide training to agents in the field and support our state and local law enforcement partners.
Virtual Academy for Law Enforcement: A web-based means of accessing and acquiring the essential knowledge, skills, and competencies (through relevant and consistent training and materials) needed to support the worldwide criminal justice community. Thousands of training topics are available through the Virtual Academy; all that is required to access them is agency registration on the Virtual Academy website.
Education and training are part of every FBI employee’s career development, and employees have access to a variety of in-house and external training and educational opportunities provided by professional organizations, private sector vendors, academic institutions, and other government agencies.
All new employees attend a basic orientation course called “ONE”—or Onboarding New Employees—in Quantico, Virginia. And a large variety of classroom, on-the-job, and web-based training opportunities are available to professional staff members after their hiring.
*The FBI provides the following training opportunities for its professional staff:
- Annual training development plans drafted by the employee and his/her manager;
- University Education Program, providing employees the opportunity to obtain an academic degree and/or certification;
- Government Employees’ Training Act, used to fund external employee training;
- Student Loan Repayment Plan, for federally-backed loans;
- Virtual Academy, an online catalog of self-paced courses in a variety of topics;
- On-the-job training; and
- Executive Development Institute, for future executives to develop and enhance their leadership and management skills.
*Many of these opportunities are dependent on funding and must be relevant to the mission of the FBI.
In an age where crime and terrorism know no borders, our international training initiatives are more important than ever to the FBI’s work to protect the American people both here and abroad.
Specifically, these initiatives strengthen legal and police systems overseas, which means fewer attacks on the U.S. from abroad. And they build one-on-one relationships that are instrumental in helping the FBI and its international colleagues track down fugitives, share information, and turn back serious criminal and security threats in this global age.
Over the years, we’ve trained thousands of officers from all over the world. Here are some examples of those training initiatives:
- Bilateral Training Program directly supports Legal Attaché offices’ request for training of their foreign law enforcement partners in their areas of responsibilities at overseas and U.S. venues.
- International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs) teach cutting-edge leadership and investigative techniques to international police managers through an intensive program similar to the FBI National Academy, and also provide specialized classes on everything from corruption to cyber crime. The FBI heads the facility in Budapest, Hungary, and supplies instructors to the academies in Bangkok, Thailand; Gaborone, Botswana; and San Salvador, El Salvador.
- Middle Eastern Law Enforcement Training Center provides training to Dubai National Police and other officers in the region through a partnership between the government of Dubai and the FBI.
- Plan Colombia/Anti-Kidnapping Initiative provides training assistance to Colombian law enforcement in their battle against illegal drug production and organized criminal groups and terrorism.
- Pacific Training Initiative focuses on transnational crimes like terrorism and corruption for senior-level personnel from various agencies in the Pacific Rim and Asia.
- International Counter-Proliferation Program offers counter-proliferation training to our global partners in concert with the U.S. Department of Defense.
- International Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (International LEEDS) includes courses established for the FBI’s foreign law enforcement partners with limited English fluency to develop or enhance their leadership, administrative, and investigative management skills. The courses, taught at the FBI Academy, are held in the language of the attending law enforcement agency(s). Included among those sessions held at the Academy are Latin American LEEDS, Arabic Language LEEDS, Mexico LEEDS, and Brazil LEEDS.
Classrooms at ILEA Budapest are like a mini United Nations. Although the course material is presented in English, students who speak different languages wear headsets and receive simultaneous translations.
To carry out its mission, the Training Division will continue to work with other FBI operational and substantive divisions, the International Operations Division, FBI Legal Attaché offices abroad, the Department of Justice, the State Department, and U.S. embassies overseas.
Since 1935, the FBI has provided information on current law enforcement issues and research in the field to the larger policing community through the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (LEB). The LEB solicits articles written by nationally recognized authors and experts in the criminal justice field and delivers relevant, contemporary information on a broad range of law enforcement-related topics. Its audience includes criminal justice professionals, primarily law enforcement managers, but is also widely considered a valuable training tool at all levels.
- Visit the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin website