The Big Risks of Using Generic Software for Public Safety
If you’re looking at the options for training and learning management software applications for your public service agency, you may be asking:
What will the agency’s computing needs be next year? In five years? Or 10 years?
In a quickly changing world, it’s difficult to anticipate all changes over the next six months, let alone five or ten years. Yet you dive into research to discover there are many possible solutions, from generic to those that are geared for your industry.
While there is an endless spectrum of software and associated platforms to choose from, public safety training, learning, and management demand tailored digital solutions. How better to meet an organization’s needs than with tools designed just for them?
The concept is simple. Public safety agencies are particularly reliant on specialized, industry-specific equipment. Digital tools are no different. And it’s as important to support those behind the scenes, as it is to ensure that those who show up first on the scene are trained and ready to do the job in front of them—whatever that may be.
Where the mass-market falls short
Let’s consider all the industry-specific components that go into a public safety basic training program, whether that is law enforcement, fire, emergency medical, corrections, military, or emergency management. All public safety learners, from those in small communities to those at the federal level, experience rigorous training—using specialized tools and technologies an average person may never touch. An accountant will never need to hold a Glock 22 in a professional capacity. And a sales associate will never use a Halligan bar to breach an inward-swinging door to a home with flames lapping out the windows.
Non-specific products designed for a generalized mass market fall short. Even if the generics are in some ways configurable, they were not designed for your agency. The same is true for a Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS built for general purposes will never meet the industry-specific demands that public safety professionals need and deserve.
Why does industry-made matter?
An industry-built TMS handles the entire process of training, whether it happens in a classroom, in the field, or online. It tracks certifications, including their issue dates and expirations. And it can be customized to meet the specific needs of your organization. For example consider inventory. Do you know how many firearms you have? What kind? Where are they stored? What about laptops? Are any checked out—to whom, and for how long. An incomplete inventory record is risky, both to your organization and to any possible audits. Moreover, an accurate inventory is about meeting the highest level of professional accountability. We all want that.
Same story everywhere
Customization just makes sense, and its benefits are endless. And while not all benefits may be immediately evident, it’s time to define your needs and discover more (better) options.
Generic tools can’t manage industry-specific challenges. The expertise and robust solutions you need demand a targeted design. When it comes to public safety, there should be no compromise.