• First of all, we are hard back at work and I’ve had two workshops with the Certification Process Focus Group led by Chief Bob Guthrie of the Arcadia Police Department.  It’s been a long process and we’re not done yet.  In fact, it appears at this writing that this focus group will end up being a standing committee for administration once the project is under way.  They have been making a lot of progress, but as you know, we are in unexplored territory and have no precedents.  Consequently, every new venture is somewhat tenuous and we’ve been back and forth trying to find what works and what doesn’t.  Great strides have been made in the last few months though:
    • A “base unit of measurement” has been identified as “one hour of subject specific training.”  It was the most verifiable and measurable criterion for determining a contribution toward qualification.  Other things, like a personal experience of actually doing it, are based on factors of this base unit of measurement.  For example, it was estimated that one unit of experience was worth twice one unit of being trained.
    • 14 methods of gaining the required knowledge, skills and abilities have been identified
    • Each of the 14 have been assigned a numerical point value to estimate the degree of contribution.
    • Four “domains” for the skillset focus groups (coming later this spring) have been identified.  These are; formal training, personal study, experience and discretionary.  Candidates will have broad discretion in how they gain the required knowledge but not infinitely so.  Moreover, three areas have been identified as prerequisites.  These are formal training, experience and a prepared paper.  I’ll provide more details when we ask you to approve the next step in about 6 to 8 weeks.
    • Some criteria can be repeated for additional value.  Experience, for one example, has shown that more than one experience has increased both the skill and expectations of outcome and so additional value is being added but has yet to be confidently precise.
    • Validation criteria has been developed for each of the contributing factors.
    • A rough process has been outlined for how the system will work.  For now, I’ll just say that the burden is largely upon the candidate for completion and upon CATO for validation.  It is still a very rough form.
  • We are in the process of preparing a pamphlet with worksheets for the skillset certification focus groups coming this spring.  The pamphlet will not only explain the process and some of the rationale but provide a fill-in-the-blank worksheet so that all the components will conform to the guidelines.  The current plan is to run three focus groups as a pilot project to work out the bugs.  (You’ll recall that we identified approximately 51 skillsets but some of them overlap and may be somewhat of a duplication).
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