Once you have your simulator installed, there are still dozens of other ways we can help you continually build your training program. While obtaining the simulator certainly is a step in the right direction when it comes to having an effective training regimen, it can be overwhelming to learn everything and implement it right away. For this, VirTra has a solution – the Advanced Trainers Certification Course (ATCC).

ATCC is designed for current VirTra customers with six or more months of experience owning a VirTra simulator. Regardless of what system you own and whether you are a service member or law enforcement officer, this class will provide great benefit in helping you learn the ins and outs of the system.

This course is 5 days long running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. While the first day goes over the science behind why simulator use is effective as well as important training techniques to pass onto your agency or unit, the next four allow hands-on work with various vital tools. Some of these include V-Author®, V-VICTA™, marksmanship and even troubleshooting.

Each day allows police and military members of the class to learn from experienced instructors and subject matter experts. The instructors have had direct contact with all of the products and software and are equipped to handle questions with ease. Additionally, the class is provided with surveys for each instructor to ensure to be filled out anonymously, allowing VirTra to continuously evolve ATCC to become better.

After learning and being tested on various concepts related to advanced operations of the VirTra system, hardware and software, all attendees are able to return to their agencies or bases with newly gained knowledge to share with peers. VirTra greatly encourages current customers who have had their simulator for six months or more to consider attending one of these informative courses to considerably build their confidence in operating the system. Additionally, clients who have successfully completed all five days will receive a certification to prove they are now an Advanced VirTra Operator.

To view upcoming classes, visit our Eventbrite page here. If you would like more information on the courses or anything else VirTra-related, contact a product specialist.

Choosing a training simulator is no small task. This training technology can be expensive and there are dozens of simulation companies, so finding the best option for your department quickly becomes a complicated project.

To make searching easier, VirTra designed a simple checklist of common simulation company pitfalls for departments to utilize. The more you research, the more you will discover that companies use certain keywords, but lack information on that topic. Here is how to find these holes and ensure the simulation company you choose is actually well-rounded.

Curriculum—Certified by Whom?

It is becoming increasingly more common for simulation companies to offer certified curriculum. Sure, it’s a popular buzzword and even more important training tool. But how much does each company actually disclose about the certification process?

When shopping for a training company that offers certified curriculum, specifically ask about the certification process. Oftentimes, curriculum is ‘certified’ by the company itself or a close business partner instead of an independent third-party.

Proper training is critical, and therefore, training curriculum must be certified by a credible third-party. No instructor wants their officers training with semi-reliable resources. To the point of credibility, companies should be open and honest about their certification process. If certification information is difficult to find or the company is hesitant to disclose their certification process, this is a major red flag.

A proper example of certification is VirTra’s V-VICTA™ training curricula, each of which is certified through IADLEST’s National Certification Program, which sets the POST training standards for 36+ states. VirTra is proud to have our curriculum undergo this rigorous independent review process and we often discuss it on our website, social media, brochures and other materials.

All in all, when you find curriculum that isn’t certified by a credible third party, you need to ask why.

All About the Experts

When building curriculum, it is popular for simulation companies to collaborate with industry experts. However, if you dig a little deeper, you may find that these experts work with multiple simulation companies. What you need to find out is which simulation company the experts prioritize, or use for their research. If an expert uses a different training simulator company than the one you are looking at, you need to ask why.

Asking this question can help you figure out what the expert sees that others don’t. By taking the time to figure out why experts chose that simulator specifically may uncover that the chosen company is more realistic, responsive, science-based, stress-inducing, etc.

Where’s the Research?

Similar to their ‘certified curriculum,’ companies may boast research-based programs or scenarios. While seemingly helpful on the surface, it is worth asking for the specific research articles and reports. Thanks to the internet, ‘research’ is available on any subject and less reliable research can support virtually any standpoint, but good, credible and independent research is harder to find and less implemented than other sources.

For the most visibility, VirTra proudly showcases all utilized research, complete with the sources and additional supportive information. VirTra wants our customers to have the best training and to understand exactly how VirTra maximizes training time, skill-building and realism. In this manner, ‘research’ is not just a buzzword, it’s how we build our business.

To take a short survey to determine the best simulator for your department, try out our Simulator Configurator. For more information, or to request documents on specific research topics, contact a VirTra specialist!