Methods of Instruction

Training Practical Professional Policing Skills

Take a science-based approach to your training programs.

Immerse yourself into the science behind human learning and instructional principles to build evidence-based training programs.
Maximum Class Size
Classroom Training Hours
Tuition Fee

A Focus on Trainers

The integrity of policing in our society is dependent upon ‘rightful policing’ practices. These practices reside upon the ability of police and law enforcement officers to demonstrate exceptional judgment and appropriate application of force if and when necessary. Officers must assess critical situations and decide how to best respond in a risk-effective manner in what can often be time-compressed situations.  

How individual officers respond during such incidents is heavily underpinned by how the officers were trained. This places an immense responsibility on law enforcement trainers and use of force instructors. As we continue to discover more about human performance and decision-making in complex, high-consequence, rapidly unfolding events, there is an absolute nexus between the quality of an officer’s decision-making and survivability and how the officer was trained. “An officer never ‘rises to the occasion; they fall to the level of their training.”

Bad training exists and should be categorized as education built without the foundational research and science in neurology, cognition, and motor learning principles. Training is both art and science. Therefore, the responsible law enforcement trainer’s focus and efforts necessitate creating training programs that reflect current research centered on correct skill selection, training design, and delivery for optimal learning and retention of critical police skills. 

An officer never ‘rises to the occasion’, they fall to the level of their training.

Course Overview

The Methods of Instruction – Training Practical Professional Policing Skills course fills a critical void in modern-day law enforcement training. During this intensive course, participants will be challenged by diving into paradigm-breaking scientific principles that can be immediately and directly applied to their academy or agency training program.

This learner-centric course utilizes an adult learning, problem-based approach. Individuals can expect to do a minimum of 20 hours of pre-class reading/viewing and assignments in addition to 40-hours of in-class instruction. Successful completion of this course requires the student to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the material and its application in a variety of contexts.

At the end of this course, participants will have a broad understanding of identifying critical training needs and building and instructing an evidence-based training program to address the essential skills required by law enforcement. In addition, instruction will include developing realistic, verifiable, and justifiable course training standards (CTS) to guide future teaching while protecting the agency and trainers.

The course is immensely challenging. It requires a willingness of the participant to leave behind strongly held biases and traditionalism and embrace a growth mindset.

Topics Covered

This course is delivered over a series of twelve modules with materials presented in scaffolded and interleaved methods, utilizing the same research-based learning methods participants are encouraged to use in their training programs.

In addition, each day will consist of both ‘priming’ and ‘booster’ sessions to reinforce and cement the critical aspects of the course into long-term memory. The instructor will utilize various learning tools throughout the course to create ‘desirable difficulties’ and ‘effortful retrieval’ of the the following topics:

  • Scientific Foundations for Learning
  • Skill Retention and Perishability
  • Block vs. Interleaved Training
  • Training Myths
  • Applicable Neuroscience
  • Mind Model
  • Vision, Perception, Attention, and Performance
  • Stress Arousal and Performance
  • Decision Making Models
  • Decision Training and Behavior Training
  • Implications of Memory / Applying Offline Modulators
  • Principles of Motor Learning and Performance
  • Types of Motor Movements; Motor Skill and Motor Learning Principles
  • Memory and Motor Learning
  • Role of Exercise to Enhance Learning
  • Role of Sleep and Learning
  • Mirror Motor Neurons
  • Feedback Methods: Types and Timings
  • Training ‘Specificity’
  • Contextual Interference, Effortful Retrieval, Spacing Effect, and Desirable Difficulties
  • Skill Transfer to Novel Settings
  • Skill Boosting and Priming
  • Types of Performance Errors
  • Identification and Validation of Critical Officer Skills / Gap Analysis
  • Role of Student Motivation and Instructional Techniques to Enhance Learning
  • How Imagery and Visualization Techniques Enhance Learning
  • Course Training Standards – Design and Defense


POST Credits

This Methods of Instructions course is a train-the-trainer program that provides certification for 40 hours of Continued Law Enforcement Education (CLEE) credits. This certification is recognized by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) as part of their National Certification Program (NCP) review for POST accreditation.

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Columbia Southern University

College Credits

Upon successful completion of this course, participants may qualify for three undergraduate-level college credits through our formal academic alliance with Columbia Southern University.

Columbia Southern University is a fully online institution, providing an array of programs that cover associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels across a diverse range of disciplines.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the attendance policy?

The professional nature of this program is specifically intended to target the experienced law enforcement survival skills instructor. Most of the students are actively employed in either full-time or part-time law enforcement instruction in either the state academy or agency-level training regimen. However, the rigor of this course requires a strong student commitment – pre-course study work is required and involves approximately six reading/viewing exercises and metacognition drills. Students are also expected to engage actively in in-class discussions, group work, and class presentations. Students are required to attend the course in its entirety to complete the program successfully. The instructor will address any unavoidable absences on a case-by-case basis and could result in removal from the course.

How are course participants evaluated?

Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the material presented within this course. The format for this demonstration is as follows: 

  • Class Engagement and Interaction
  • Participation in Group Work
  • Class Presentations
  • Final Exam

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

You may contact our Help Desk via phone or email with any questions you may have about this course.

Email: help@forcescience.org 

Phone: 1-800-526-9444

Course Format

This course is delivered through in-class instruction. This will include didactic instructional delivery, drills and exercises, memory retrieval exercises, individual metacognition, and dynamic group problem analysis, and class presentation.


For the class to be successful, everyone involved must contribute. This includes preparing for class by completing the pre-course reading/viewing materials on time, full class attendance, and engaging in-class discussion, group work, and class presentations.

Student Materials

Participants will be provided a digital student manual that contains all class presentations as well as the complete research bibliography and course outline. Students are not required to print the manual out prior to course attendance but may choose to do so as a matter of personal preference. Registrants should bring notepaper and pens and a laptop if that is their preferred method of taking class notes.