USFA Announces Changes to the NFA’s Executive Fire Officer Program Selection Criteria

EMMITSBURG, Md. – U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell today announced changes to the selection criteria for senior fire executives and other qualified officers applying to the National Fire Academy’s (NFA) Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP). These changes will be implemented over the next two years.


In the past, the NFA only allowed students with bachelor’s degrees from regionally accredited colleges and universities to be considered for acceptance into the EFOP. The primary reason for the policy was to assist in selecting students with a high probability of success in a demanding curriculum, and to maintain high standards in the EFOP. A number of graduates from nationally accredited schools have applied for, and been denied, entrance consideration. A review of the current policy was initiated by Administrator Mitchell in 2012. The primary focus of the review was a comparison of regional and national accreditation and their respective relevance to, and impact upon, quality of education.


Based on numerous findings, research, U.S. Department of Education input and recommendations from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, changes to the policy and process for student evaluation for acceptance into EFOP were made.

• EFOP candidates seeking enrollment in FY 2014 must submit their application packages by June 15, 2013. Applicants are required to enclose a copy of their baccalaureate degree diploma certificate from an institution whose accreditation and status is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Other selection criteria (e.g., rank, position, responsibilities, etc.) remain in effect.
• For EFOP candidates seeking enrollment after June 15, 2013 (participation in EFOP commencing in FY 2015 and beyond), the process will change to a transcript-based system requiring the submission of an official transcript in addition to the required rank, position and responsibilities. A copy of the diploma will not be accepted.

The specific requirements and standards associated with the changes are available on the USFA’s Web site at

The NFA will provide a review of the selection process and criteria to the Board of Visitors (BOV) at the end of each year. Based on that review, the BOV may recommend additional changes.

The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan.

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