Created for independent retailers by independent retailers, the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program is designed specifically for independent hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards. The curriculum has multiple components that encourages the application of the education, including:
- Applied Business Strategy
- Customer Service
- 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 as follows:
- 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 retail hardware industry for at least 3 years or will have held a significant management position in another industry for 3 years. The qualified student will be expected to do a significant amount of reading as part of this program, and their math skills must be sufficient to work through Accounting problems and understand straightforward Inventory Management logic. All of these pre-requisites will be viewed together as a whole – a student who is perceived by the Program Director to be under-qualified may be asked to complete some pre-work to make sure he/she feels comfortable in a class of his/her 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 helps ensure that each student is able to participate in class discussions and break-out sessions. The more engaged each student is in class activities, the more lively the discussion and more value everyone receive 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 2 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 RMCP faculty and the NRHA Program Director. The nature of these discussions will include:
- Sponsor expectations of how the student will apply what he or she has 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” that highlight what the student learned in each session to aid in the one-on-one discussions of how to apply the course learnings to the busienss. In addition, sponsors are encouraged to attend the Visit 3 course session (at their own expense) with their student to network with other sponsors and participate in the student Business Improvement Project competition.