How to improve training
1. Performance evaluations are critical to the development of your trainee. Well executed performance evaluations provide:
a. Feedback to the trainee so he can improve his job performance;
b. The department a means for insuring that the trainee has a minimum standard of training;
d. Documentation that the administrator can use in defending subsequent retention decisions.
2. Performance Evaluation is defined as a standardized, comprehensive process for determining the trainee’s ability to perform specific tasks under actual conditions so that performance problems can be identified and corrected through constructive feedback and remedial training. As such it provides the agency with the following:
a. A way to measure the trainee’s ability to perform specific tasks.
b. The ability to determine if the department’s training objectives have been met.
c. A measurement of the overall effectiveness of the training program.
d. Identification of behavior and performance problems.
e. The ability to provide the trainee with feedback that will reinforce the learning process.
f. The ability to provide the Field Training Officer with feedback on his own performance that will help him gauge his effectiveness with the trainee.
3. Standardized Evaluation Guides – These are based on key job task elements common to police and are similar throughout the nation. The following are performance dimensions that can be used to evaluate the recruit’s behavior:
a. General appearance.
b. Acceptance of feedback.
c. Attitude toward police work.
d. Knowledge of department policies and procedures.
e. Knowledge of police services.
f. Knowledge of professional standards.
g. Driving skills under both stress and normal conditions.
h. Orientation and response time to calls.
i. Routine reports/forms – accuracy, completeness, organization, details, grammar, neatness, and appropriate time used.
j. Field performance – non-stress and stress conditions.
k. Investigative skill.
l. Problem solving.
m. Self initiated action.
n. Officer safety.
o. Control of conflict (non-physical).
p. Control of conflict (physical).
q. Weapons awareness/maintenance
r. Radio procedures
s. Customer service
t. Relations with other staff
u. Relations and cultural diversity
4. Numerical Rating Guides – Trainees are rated in each category on a 1 to 7 scale that contains descriptive elements for each rating. Ratings of 1, 2, and 3 are Unacceptable ratings, 4 is Acceptable, and 5, 6, and 7 are Good, Excellent, and Superior ratings. A rating of 4 means that the trainee is performing in that category at the same level expected of a veteran, adequately trained employee.
5. Common Rating Errors:
a. Personal bias – This is self-explanatory.
b. Halo effect – This is the tendency to put a positive spin on the ratings of the trainee no matter what the behavior is.
c. Central tendency – This is the tendency to make all of your ratings cluster around the middle of the scale and never to stray far from the median rating.
6. Considerations to Improve Rating Accuracy:
a. Train the Field Training Officer.
b. Thoroughly understand the rating instrument.
c. Promptly rate the employee after the performance.
d. Rotate the trainee among Field Training Officers.
e. Regularly review the performance of the Field Training Officers.
7. The Daily Observation Report (DOR) – This is the permanent record of the trainee’s progress. It provides information on his successes, identified deficiencies, and remedial efforts to address those deficiencies. It should be completed on a daily basis by the Field Training Officer. It contains several sections including:
a. Basic information such as the date, trainee’s name, assignment, etc.
b. Ratings of 1 to 7 in each evaluation category including documentation and explanation for any very low or very high ratings.
c. Daily incident section listing the major calls or activities carried out by the trainee during that day.
d. Performance documentation including FTO comments on particular issues and documentation of remedial training efforts.