NRHA’s Retail Management Certification Program is designed to provide business owners with a comprehensive, 6-month, college-level educational program to develop the leadership and management capabilities of high-potential employees.

This program, which is designed specifically for independent hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards, offers a learning experience that is directly applicable to both the student and the business by contributing an immediate return on investment. The learnings from each course module can be directly applied to the business as soon as students return to their stores. 

The power of this educational program is its direct effect on the positive business performance of the participant companies. The curriculum is designed with multiple components that encourage the application of the education, including:

  • Leadership and Leading People
  • Business Strategy
  • Marketing, Sales and Customer Service
  • Operations
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Human Resources Management

Course Components

  • Three visits (to Indianapolis, IN) over the course of 6 months to NRHA Headquarters to interact with a small class of peers (up to 25) that allows students to build an industry network that will aid them in their future.
  • Practical inter-session homework assignments that relate directly to the business the student manages. Homework will focus on topics that provide opportunities to improve the business.
  • Access to a Business Coach to counsel students on how to achieve maximum value from the program. This coaching interaction will engage the student and business sponsor in a discussion of how to apply the student’s learning assignments directly to the business.
  • Access to an electronic Learning Management Platform that allows students to receive assignments and submit homework online.
  • Personal assessments that help students rate their management and problem-solving capabilities so they can personalize the training to their needs.
  • Inter-session conference calls that allow owners to participate in the student’s learning experience.
  • Multiple uses of interactive workshops during classroom sessions, designed with adult learner in mind. These workshops will utilize learning tools that encourage interaction and help students immediately relate classroom experiences to business application, such as simulations, case studies, small group exercises, role-playing and classroom discussion.
  • Roundtable-style group sharing sessions where students share "Best Practices" from their companies. 
  • A Business Improvement Project assignment throughout the 3-visit program that culminates during the last visit when students will present their plans and receive feedback on their business improvement suggestions.
  • A final “Quick-Win” assignment following the third visit where students will enact 3 things they learned during the course to provide an additional return on investment to offset the student’s tuition.
  • Business Administration Certificate awarded by NRHA.

Time Required & Schedule

The program includes three visits to Indianapolis over a six month period. Students will arrive on a Tuesday evening and depart on a Friday morning for each of the three visits to Indianapolis.

  • Tuesday Evening: Students arrive and enjoy a networking dinner.
  • Wednesday: Class sessions all day followed by a group dinner.
  • Thursday: Class sessions all day followed by a group dinner.
  • Friday: Morning departure.

Preparation before each visit requires 2 hours per course module (approximately 32 hours per visit).

Ongoing Program Involvement

The NRHA Retail Management Certification Program is a significant investment in the student’s ongoing education. Realizing this, NRHA has designed ongoing opportunities for students, sponsors and participating company representatives to continue to reap the benefits of the program. These include attending the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program “Reunion Roundtable” networking event scheduled in August at NRHA Headquarters. In addition, participating companies will continue to receive student Business Improvement Projects from students attending future classes. 

Even with all the ongoing benefits of program attendance, one of the biggest advantages to attending NRHA’s Retail Management Certification Programs is found in the relationships developed during the program. Throughout the course of study, attendees develop a strong support network with other students and advisers that will last throughout their careers. To date, students continue to rely on one another for support, idea generation, guidance and feedback on their business decisions.