I just completed my instructor education class this evening, so now I'm certified by the NRA to teach two of their pistol courses: the Basic Pistol Shooting Course (eight hours), and the First Steps Pistol Orientation (three hours). Both of these classes are great ways for people to get introduced to handguns. The longer course covers both pistols and revolvers, and comes with a written test at the end. The shorter class covers only a single kind of handgun and is geared towards someone who just purchased their first handgun and who needs instruction in its safe use.
(These classes are in addition to my certification as a Home Firearm Safety (HFS) instructor. The HFS class is oriented towards folks who aren't regularly handling firearms, but who might come into contact with them and need to know how to be safe around them. The HFS doesn't involve any shooting—in fact, you learn how to unload guns but not how to load them.)
I had a great time learning the material. There was a good mix of regular folks as well as law enforcement professionals in my class, and the mix of backgrounds helped me learn from a variety of backgrounds. Having done a fair amount of training in my professional career, I found the NRA's materials and approach to be pretty darn good. Of course I'll have small quibbles here and there, but overall it's a solid package. In a couple of weeks I'll get the chance to teach a bunch of new shooters with the county NRA group and see how well the techniques work with real students. I can't wait!
To find an class in your area, go to http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx.