Created for independent retailers by independent retailers, the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program is designed specifically for employees of independent hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards. The curriculum has multiple components that encourage the application of the education.

  • Leadership
  • Applied Business Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Operations
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Human Resources Management

Course Expectations: Students

The NRHA Retail Management Certification Program is an advanced retail management and leadership development program that is designed for high-potential managers and key employees who are looking to take the next step toward retail management and ownership. The expectations for students participating in the program are:

  • Academic and Practical Experience. Students who qualify for the program will ideally have some college experience in their academic background. They will have served in a management capacity within the home improvement retail industry for at least three years or will have held a management position in another industry for at least three years. A qualified student will be expected to complete a significant amount of reading as part of this program. Their math skills must be sufficient enough to work through accounting problems and to understand straightforward inventory management logic. All of these prerequisites will be viewed together as a whole. A student who is perceived by the RMCP director to be underqualified may be asked to complete pre-work to ensure they feel comfortable in a class of their peers.
  • Pre-Visit Preparation. Students who qualify for the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program will be expected to satisfactorily complete and submit all assignments online in advance of each visit to Indianapolis. This pre-visit preparation ensures each student is able to participate in classroom discussions and breakout sessions. The more engaged the student is in class activities, the more lively the discussion and more value everyone receives from course. Failure to adequately prepare for each session will prompt a discussion with the student’s sponsor about expectations for the program. Students should expect to commit approximately two hours of prep time for each hour of class time (approximately 32 hours per visit).

Course Expectations: Sponsors

Sponsors of students enrolled in the course can be the business owner or another individual designated as the student’s mentor during the course. Sponsors should expect to participate in at least one conference call per visit with the student and (at times) with program faculty and the RMCP director. The nature of these discussions includes:

  • Sponsor expectations of how the student will apply what they have learned.
  • Assurance of the sponsor’s understanding of what the program entails.
  • Level-setting for how to implement the suggestions emerging from the program.
  • Discussions regarding the student's Business Improvement Project.

To keep sponsors abreast of course activity and student progress, following each visit to Indianapolis, sponsors will be provided with a list of talking points highlighting what the student learned in each session to aid in the one-on-one discussions of how to apply the course learnings to the business. In addition, sponsors are encouraged to attend the visit three course session (at their own expense) with their student to network with other sponsors and participate in the student Business Improvement Project presentations.