Whether you measure them through individual development plans, career roles, KPIs (or any other terminology), training, education, and performance are key to readiness in the Homeland Security and public safety spheres.
Training could be considered the sum of an employee’s imparted physical skills. Evaluations of driving, shooting, and breaching a door could all fall under this banner.
Education is more about mental agility and good judgment. If a firefighter is trained on breaching doors, their education teaches them which doors they should not breach in order to avoid backdrafts and other in-field safety concerns.
Performance is how the employee puts training and education into practice.
Measuring a whole employee
Modern employees need a broad range of both training and education to be considered ready to begin their chosen profession. Homeland Security and public safety employees train extensively, sometimes for years, just to get into a trainee/rookie role.
Following that, their employers should do everything they can to track the performance of an employee: measuring how they use their ongoing training and education to carry out their defined goals.
Take firearms as an example. An officer can be a remarkable shot, while another may show immense trigger discipline—but only those who perform well enough at both (as defined by agency standards) are ultimately allowed to carry. Other skills and abilities must be evaluated in the same comprehensive way.
While measuring an employee by training, education, and performance is key to assessing readiness, following through may not be easy. That’s especially true for organizations that lack tools to give them a complete view of an individual’s performance in training and field environments.
Incomplete analysis can occur when current systems lack the capacity to track every facet of an employee’s training, education, and performance the agency wishes to watch.
Poor decision making occurs when the previous two failings stymie an organization’s attempts to move forward.
What do the right tools do?
Agencies wishing to avoid these roadblocks must weigh their current capabilities against their current and projected future needs. A system designed for the demands of modern Homeland Security and public safety agencies will take a holistic view of an employee’s education, training, and performance history (including disciplinary concerns that cast doubt on the efficacy of a given training module, for instance), or situations where the training clearly contributes to improved performance.
When agencies are slowed down by siloed information, the inability to make fully informed decisions, or other problems resulting from incomplete or poorly designed training management systems, waiting longer means moving forward with incomplete vision. It is better to remedy the problem now, with a system that can grow and evolve along with an agency. Without such insight into training, education, and performance, employee readiness and the agency’s mission can be sorely compromised.