New Pawn Training Courses from NPA

Pawn Training Course Manuals

The NPA is offering one free online pawn training module to each member each year. The courses, valued at $500 each, offer in-depth coverage on a number of pawn-related topics. Each course comes with a workbook, a facilitator’s guide book, and an exam with a test key.

Six online pawn training modules are now available and include the following:

Store Operations

Store operations is the set of activities and processes that help an organization run effectively, efficiently, and in line with business strategies and objectives. The expectations of how your employees operate and represent your business are determined by your store operations practices such as ethics, store appearance, security, and other day-to-day operations. This directly impacts the customer experience, in a positive way if you’re doing it right, and ultimately your bottom line.

After completing this course students should be able to:

    • Understand the background and history of pawn
    • Learn the importance of practicing appropriate personal and business ethics
    • Recognize different types of pawn customers and their motivations for pawning property
    • Learn the basics of store safety and security practices
    • Understand fundamental pawn transaction processes
    • Learn the importance of basic merchandising
    • Understand how to deliver appropriate customer service
    • Understand how to distribute media releases effectively
    • Know why loan balance growth is important and how to increase loan balances
    • Identify when it is appropriate to adjust loan amounts
Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations

Marketing, advertising and public relations are not exact sciences and can vary greatly from one organization to the next. All three areas are closely connected and require a variety of strategies and tactics that are constantly changing in order to remain effective and successfully support the organization. Having a marketing plan in place, being prepared to interact with media, and being an active, positive participant in your community are all important for a well-rounded plan. Add today’s technology into the mix, and you can quickly setup yourself up for success if handled properly.

After completing this course students should be able to:

    • Understand the differences between the functions of marketing and sales
    • Learn the importance of marketing a successful pawn business
    • Recognize how different marketing strategies resonate with various audiences
    • Create a basic marketing plan
    • Realize how online and print media differ
    • Recognize the importance of tracking results
    • Discern how public relations, advertising, and marketing differ
    • Understand how to create and distribute media releases effectively
    • Know the value and importance of community relations and engagement
    • Understand the importance of building and promoting their business’ brand
Human Resources

For small and large businesses alike, the human resources function is important for more than just processing payroll or hiring an employee. Human resources play a critical role in handling the employee focused activities of a company and in driving the company’s overall strategy and success. With the constantly changing employment environment, businesses must have a strong human resources strategy to survive.

After completing this course students should be able to:

    • Discuss the importance of ever-changing employment law compliance including Wage and Hour regulations, Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended requirements, and Equal Employment Opportunity practices (Harassment and Discrimination).
    • Understand the importance of establishing and implementing an Employee Handbook/Policy and Procedure Manual.
    • Understand and summarize the basics of screening and hiring and provide practical tips for making the right hire.
    • Demonstrate and discuss proper performance management practices to include goal setting, coaching, progressive discipline, and termination to negate employment liability.
Federal Regulations

At the federal level, there are currently 15 primary federal statutes and regulations that govern pawnbrokers and pawn transactions, including the customer protection and anti-money laundering laws that apply to other providers designated as financial institutions. In addition to these federal regulations, there are many state and local regulations that apply to pawnbrokers and/or dealers in precious metals based on where the business provides its services and the services provided. Businesses that do not comply, knowingly or unknowingly, with these regulations may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties, which can be significant.

After completing this course students should be able to:

    • Understand the federal regulations that are applicable to pawnbrokers and how they affect the way pawnbrokers conduct business
    • Learn the importance of filing Form 8300s and when it is necessary to file a Form 8300
    • Understand the history and importance of anti-money laundering legislation
    • Identify the federal regulations that are specific to military members and their dependents
    • Know how to handle a customer bankruptcy filing
    • Understand how to work with law enforcement in transaction reporting
    • Understand their rights related to police confiscations
    • Understand the requirements of the “Bound Book” Acquisition and Disposition Record
    • Distinguish the difference between the BATFE’s 4473 Form and Forms 3310.4 and 3310.12
    • Recognize a straw purchase
    • Understand the process of complying with NICS background check requirements
Product Knowledge

In the pawn business, product knowledge is power and can make or break your business. The more you know about a product, the more successful you will be when deciding to buy or loan on an item, ensuring that you are not left with a useless item in inventory. The ability to evaluate and understand products and how to use them is the key to every successful pawn store. 

After completing this course students should be able to:

    • Implement techniques to authenticate diamonds, colored gemstone, precious metals, watches, and coins
    • Recognize common counterfeiting methods
    • Use common resources to value and identify products
    • Understand how to use internet tools to gain product knowledge
    • Identify the tools used by pawnbrokers in product examination, identification, and evaluation
    • Recognize synthetic and stimulant diamonds and gemstones
    • Identify the 4 Cs of diamonds
    • Understand the importance and value of hallmarks
    • Test precious metals and understand the necessary basic safety requirements
    • Distinguish characteristics of high-end watches
    • Recognize the most common coins that pawnbrokers see
Security, Risk, and Crisis Management

Pawnbrokers typically handle cash, firearms, jewelry, precious metals, power tools, high-end electronics, vehicles, and all sorts of other luxury items. In addition, some pawn stores participate in ancillary services, such as check cashing, or may offer access to onsite ATMs. Each of these elements serves to increase risk on its own, let alone all together. With such a wide-range of concerns from a risk standpoint, it is crucial that pawnbrokers have a clear understanding not only of what they are up against, but what can be done to combat these threats.

After completing this course students should be able to:

    • Recognize the various threats to their operations
    • Understand the basics of risk mitigation security measures, incorporating physical, pre-employment screening, access controls, and more
    • Know what to do during and after in the event a robbery does occur
    • Understand the added risk for an operation that sells firearms
    • Identify the appropriate UL burglary rated safe for their needs
    • Recognize the various extents of alarm protection and understand why each is valuable
    • Learn the importance of store layout, perimeter hardening, and other security measures
    • Understand the proper procedures for opening/closing the store
    • Implement the improper initial and recurring employee training
    • Recognize the need for access controls
    • Understand the importance of conducting pre-employment criminal and credit history checks
    • Recognize the importance of having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place and how to implement it in the event of a disaster
    • Identify the three main levels of disasters and know what to do should a disaster/emergency occur
    • Understand the roles of designated members of an Emergency Management Team

For additional information or to order a module, email Info@NationalPawnbrokers.org.