What you said; on a few points. I'm straying off topic, but I'll put away my soapbox quickly. Promise.Rhino1 wrote:I'd like to see HQ issue a good, side-by-side comparison of the rules changes. This would help both shooters and SO's. I thought the on-line SO exam with the last rule change was onerous. As I recall, there were 50 randomly generated questions out of possible 300. There was a time limit and 85% required to pass. With the "luck of the draw", I had a high number of esoteric questions requiring extensive thought on rule interpretation. Failed by one question. If you failed a second time, you were required to complete the entire SO certification class again. Didn't have any trouble the second time but got more realistic questions. I'd rather have 100 questions if they stay with the 85 requirement. I agree with Charles on the recertification. If next time is as difficult as last time, I'll let my SO certification lapse. I guess IDPA is loaded with plenty of certified, as opposed to local club trained, safety officers.
I'm not a lawyer but have for many years worked with rules and standards. For example, for a decade I served on a national committee that represented the U.S. opinion to the International Standards Organization on a couple of different standards, revisited annually. I am used to working with redlined documents, just like lawyers and legislators do. New text is underlined (and may be presented in a different color) and deletions are in strikethrough text. When I was committee chair, I presented one clear copy for ease of reading, but the redlined document was always, always the reference source, through every draft document, every nominated document, all the way until final version publication...and even then it's common make the last, approved redline version available for public reference.
Also--again for standards, not laws--a separate change control document accompanied every version of draft, nominated, and published documents. This document showed the section/item number and title for each substantive change, showed the redlined content from the current version of the master document, included as much explanation as necessary to explain the reason/rationale for the change, and the intended effective date.
That IDPA chose to do none of this common-practice method; version control and information was the real deal-killer for me.
I don't mind recertification testing all that much. I've been pretty used to it through much of my career. But, as to IDPA...
- Some sort of redlined version control is absolutely mandatory and must be made available for reference.
- Focus 85% or 90% of the test on what has changed, not on a pool of general questions also used by first-time certification testers. The two are not the same thing.
- Understand that the SOs are not employees of the IDPA and actually have a life: set realistic exam timing expectations. (When I opted to let my SO lapse in 2015, existing SOs were notified in waves, I believe by state/section. We were given a ridiculous deadline to complete the recert test, I believe it was 8 weeks. They were trying to balance the load hitting their servers for the testing. Texas was in the first segment to be tested, so we got the shortest time with the new rules before the clock started ticking. I was traveling extensively on business at the time and working long days and weekends. Even with well-managed redline versioning of the rules rewrite, it would have been challenging to complete the recert test by the deadline. Without a redline document, just the new rulebook to study from scratch, the expectation was stupendously ignorant.)
- Carefully construct the questions. Word (scenario/situation) problems are fine--so long as they have an unambiguous reference in the rules. I don't mind if these get tricky and require an "absolute best choice" selection. But if the question has a couple of equally, arguably-good answers and is dependent upon a subjective interpretation, throw that sucker out or change the grading scheme.
- Your SOs had the interest in growing the sport, and committed the time to take an in-person SO course and become certified. Respect and value them. Don't run them off. ("I guess IDPA is loaded with plenty of certified, as opposed to local club trained, safety officers." Precisely.)