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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Member Candidate and Professional Development CAP or CGAux Comparison
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capsafety
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« on: October 22, 2017, 09:12:33 PM »

I am currently taking a Master’s class related to Training & Development (from the Instructional Design perspective). One of the requirements for the class is to pick two volunteer organizations and do a comparison of the requirements for initial selection and personal development of volunteers.
I have chosen Civil Air Patrol and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

My approach and format is based on three perspectives.

People-
Initial Selection of “Tracks” by the volunteer (related to personal selection).
Initial Qualification of candidate based on organizational standards (related to probability of success).

Process-
Professional Development relevancy to current organizational missions.
Professional Development consideration for candidate KSA’s.

Environment –
Conducive environment to professional development (realism vs perception).
Realistic application of material (organizational leadership utilization of skill set).

Member participation activity curve.
Life-cycle of the volunteer thoughts?

So if you have insights you can provide please let me know. I would appreciate it.
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etodd
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 09:30:10 PM »

Quote
CAP .... requirements for initial selection

Is the candidate breathing, and did they pass the background test? Welcome aboard!

Quote
Professional Development relevancy to current organizational missions.

CAP trains for 'potential' missions even if the Squadron hasn't had a real one in years. If a squadron does a few real SARs occassionally, they still need trained APs just in case that ever comes up.
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capsafety
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 11:50:29 AM »

I was hoping for a better response but did have a chance to speak to several CGAux members and did a bit more digging on the two organizations processes.
Part of my response for the paper.

People:
CGAux – Same level of opportunity to participate with fewer “specialty” tracks. The primary reason is the CGAux does not have a Cadet component like CAP. This seems to eliminate about 60% of the “comparison to CAP”.

CGAux - members serve in a “narrower” scope in their tracks because many of the tasks, training, and opportunities are related more so than the CAP. The CGAux has had the same primary mission though it has grown in scope.

CAP  - Has a larger selection of “specialty tracks” that were developed as a result of one initial mission changing to three. The CAP started basically in Homeland Security arena and was tasked with Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education to build a foundation for future service.
CAP – Members join and pick a job they would like to do whether it is related to their profession or not. It is a new task building effort.  The training for these areas are broader in scope and have a small percentage of combining efforts or outcomes.

Process:
CGAux – The requirements for candidates seem to be much more stringent. When speaking with a CGAux HR officer I was advised it could take up to a year. The application and amount of information required initially was significantly more than expected.

CAP – The requirements for candidates are not as stringent at the beginning. The basic elements are there same as the CGAux but they generally occur “after” they become members. The time frame is significantly shorter and less involved than having to supply military service records, occupational codes, and background information before the application is submitted.

Environment:
The CGAux and CAP Professional Development opportunities seem to be close to the same from strictly an “offering” perspective. The CAP and CGAux both support PD and have various trainings for their members. This is however the only place where the similarities are comparable.

CGAux – Uses are higher level of CG material for their members to train with. The Handbooks, Maritime Training Materials, and much of the “safety related” info is from the CG. CAP in general has created most of their training based on Air Force material. 

Additional info: (Not part of paper)
One of the individuals I interviewed had been a member of CAP for 27 years and the CGAux for 10. When I asked them what they saw as the biggest difference between the two organizations they told me “perception” and “acceptance”. I asked them to clarify.

From the perception perspective they felt that CAP and the CGAux was supported equally by their parent organizations. The relationships were there and the grip and grin opportunities on paper and social media looked great. They felt the CAP was supported by the Air Force well and was shown in recent events and Board appointments. The CG was also very supportive of the CGAux and that was shown in the grip and grin opportunities in paper and social media as well. This is where the “Perception” stopped and the “Acceptance” began.

The Acceptance from the other organizations and the CG seem to be greater for the CGAux than CAP. When they were involved in missions they felt a greater level of support as a member of the CGAux than the CAP. There was still an element of the GOB network but it wasn’t as much.

My follow up question: Why do you feel that way?

They said two words: Professional Development.
You have people teaching Public Affairs that have never written a news article. They like the idea of being a Public Affairs person with no background and they have to be developed. They are developing their skill based on the organizations needs and not the story. You have a division of development where you can come into CAP as an Aerospace Officer if you are a licensed teacher as a Captain but nothing else if you have a certification in the IT world. You come into CAP with an IT certification as a SM with no initial consideration for advanced rank or specialty track consideration. If you are a Licensed Teacher there is a separate program in place just for them.

You can get higher rank as a retired officer even if your experience has nothing to do with CAP. You got out of the Air Force as a Captain working in Mechanized Support and Maintenance. CAP doesn’t have mechanized support and they don’t allow us to work on our own stuff. We have a Perception that if you are a CAP Captain then you have been in CAP and advanced to Captain and the job is separate.

Last question: How can that perception and acceptance be changed?
Don’t treat people like they are just volunteers, treat them like they are what they are “Professional Volunteers”. The Headquarters people are there to support the members and if they don’t have members they don’t have a need for a Headquarters. The CAP is the Air Force Auxiliary and the Coast Guard Auxiliary is the Coast Guard Auxiliary. A big difference in the way we are perceived as the CAP being part of the Air Force such as AUX ON / Aux Off. With the CGAux they are always the CGAux and always part of the CG. Though they are essentially the same outcome the acceptance is different.

Some of my thoughts that have been included in the paper that are separate from the questions asked. It was collected strictly for comparison purposes.

1)   The CAP has taken steps to narrow the gap between the perception and acceptance by starting to require higher levels of candidate qualifications for different positions and specialty tracks.

For example: There is an open National Staff position being advertised. The qualification requirements for this position are dramatically greater and different than they have been in the past. The field of candidates will be severely limited and the majority of the CAP members whom can meet the CAP and Professional Development requirements is going to be slim. However: This position changed because the demands have changed. If you are going to present yourself and represent the organization as a “Professional” in a given field then the “hobby” or “volunteer” perception must be eliminated. You have to be the “Professional Volunteer”. I think it is a good move for the organization.

2)   I like the quote: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”.  If you have a hanger rash and the person responsible is not held accountable for their actions then the actions will continue. If you allow a potential cadet to participate in PT when they are not a member then the Commander should be held accountable according to the standards. If the Commander tells you to make the “Safety Briefing” quick then you take away from the importance of that concept. The briefing becomes a check-off instead of engagement.

3)   A need to know applies to your audience as well. Does an individual that has nothing to do with flying need to understand “spatial” distortion symptoms. Target the training for the audience, before sending the audience for training.

4)   Create an environment where open dialogue is accepted and varying opinions are welcome. You can stagnate a process and person by rejecting those that think differently.

5)   Organizations can suffer burnout of Process and Environment just like people do.

6)   Engage the Subject Matter Experts whether they are members that have learned or professionals that have joined.




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754837
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 02:12:06 PM »

I found your information interesting.  Thanks for sharing!
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RiverAux
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 05:22:11 PM »

There is very little incentive in the CG Aux to conduct the professional development that is available.  In CAP it is almost entirely linked to promotions and since that doesn't exist very little is done.  I'd say that the closest thing that most CG Aux members have done that is like PD is take the Administrative Procedures course that is needed to serve as an elected officer (I think they just added one or more other courses that also serve that purpose). 

Now, certain administrative positions in CG Aux do have some training opportunities associated with them, but they are generally not a requirement.  For example, there is a 3-level CG Aux Public Affairs Specialist program, but it is not required in order to be able to serve in public affairs at any level.  And, of course, there are Aux equivalents to CAP ES training, but that isn't really PD. 

CG Aux has much less independence from the CG than CAP does from the AF and in some ways, mainly logistical, less support.  For example, the Aux isn't operating millions of dollars worth of CG boats or planes that need to be fueled, maintained, and administratively tracked.  With less responsibility comes less need for training to ensure that people carry out duties responsibly. 

As a former CAP squadron commander and former CG Aux flotilla commander, the people are exactly the same and if you switched the uniforms, you wouldn't know which org you were in.  The difference is night in day though in terms of complexity of operating the organization.  I'd be a Flotilla Commander again 5 times before you'd ever talk be into being a squadron commander again. 

So, with an easier to run organization there isn't quite the need to spend time and effort on providing the sort of general PD found in CAP's program.  And really, I'm not sure that the CAP PD program really adds much in the way of skills to our members and I think that it is quite likely that you could eliminate the CAP PD program and no one would notice the difference in how CAP runs. Yes, CAP is more complex to run than CG Aux, but CAP isn't all that hard in the big picture and IMHO the PD program is just there to provide justification for giving promotions and is a very pale imitation of what the AF does and probably isn't needed anyway. 
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capsafety
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Posts: 1,261

« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 08:42:42 AM »

Thanks for the responses:

The last part of the response was based on the individual doing the comparison and how they would fit into the organization as a candidate and the changes over time.

When I first joined the CAP as a SM in May of 2001 my focus was different. I was heavily involved in the Cadet Program, Aerospace Education, Public Affairs, and History. Because of my schedule I was able to attend the vast majority of my PD needs within the first 6 years. I essentially maxed out and completed all my PD in a short period of time. In 2012 I started on the road as a Safety Officer. My PD started all over from the CAP perspective, even though I work as a Safety / Emergency Management Manager. If my intent at the time had been different then my CAP outcome I am sure would be different.

My current focus has changed and I am no longer really involved in Cadet Programs, Aerospace Education, Public Affairs, or History. I have been full-time Safety so to speak since 2012.

The CGAUx seems to have a more direct path to using the skill I am currently focusing on. The Flotilla Commander is working on building their Hazardous Materials Response Group "general awareness" and has all the equipment to support a team. I have never seen the equipment but feel he has no reason to make that up.

During my search I found information that seems to support a very active and robust Incident Command focus more from the FEMA perspective and less from the CGAux. Though the structure is similar the mission emphasis is of course different.

http://www.cgaux9wr.com/programs/mt/incident-command.php

My current path and anticipated activity in CAP is strictly from the Safety perspective. I do not see myself in other positions within CAP.

My personal focus has changed: hence the reason for the classes.

I already have my MS in Emergency Management and have 4 classes to do before finishing my MS in Occupational Safety & Health.

I am now working part-time as an Adjunct Professor of Safety & Emergency Management for undergrad studies.

I will be posting more questions when the next class begins.

Thanks for the review.
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 12:20:05 PM »

James:

Nice summary comparisons of CAP and CGAux.  I also compliment you on the thoughtful commentary. 

I see some effort by CAPNHQ to move beyond 'check the box' safety.  IMHO, it'll be a tough sell and an even tougher accomplishment to achieve.  I do hope I am surprised by a culture shift. 

At least in my 12 years in CAP I've not seen much change either on the ground (aka 'in the squadrons') or during special encampments I've attended (such as Wing or national events) in the quality or consistent support for the safety message.  Reviewing comments on this board under the topical heading of safety I'm led to the conclusion that many senior (I mean long time) CAP members don't believe CAP's safety program is either worthwhile or effective.  IOW, it appears that check the box is very much the status of CAP's safety program.  Within CAP I see marked reluctance to do online reporting of minor mishaps or equipment issues, and what I perceive to be continued GOB related lapses in reporting or accountability. 

The 48 hour reporting deadline in CAPR 62-2 is a case in point.  Failure to report a minor mishap results in a tiny bit of risk of being "found out", while reporting the minor mishap late (for whatever reason) is evidently a certain cause for a black mark... with predictable results on the unit safety record.  As one senior safety manager explained it to me, "[it] wasn't reported within 48 hours, so we don't need to report [it] now".  This leads me to the conclusion that CAP's volunteer membership doesn't respond well to the command and control structure, and the very language of the regulation is a disincentive for reporting.  Thus CAP's goal of reliably capturing minor mishap data is compromised by a regulatory deadline, the perceived benefit vs risk of delay, and the perceived adverse consequences of reporting.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 01:38:42 PM »

The CGAUx seems to have a more direct path to using the skill I am currently focusing on. The Flotilla Commander is working on building their Hazardous Materials Response Group "general awareness" and has all the equipment to support a team. I have never seen the equipment but feel he has no reason to make that up.
Uh, I'm a bit dubious of this as a sanctioned program for Auxies.  There are some pollution response related qualifications in the Marine Safety PQS program, but nothing that comes close to what anyone would call a HAZMAT response team.   I would encourage Aux folks in the operations folks to take the standard HAZMAT Awareness course as it is just good info to have.  If thats what you're talking about, no problem. 

But, I know Auxies have been sent out to check on spills but would be incredibly surprised if the CG authorized us to do anything about them with "equipment" and to do anything other than report what we see.  Maybe I'm misinterpreting this second-hand info but Auxies can sometimes go off the reservation like CAP folks can -- even with the best of intentions.  Be incredibly cautious with this one....
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 02:40:45 PM »

People-
Initial Selection of “Tracks” by the volunteer (related to personal selection).
Initial Qualification of candidate based on organizational standards (related to probability of success).

Process-
Professional Development relevancy to current organizational missions.
Professional Development consideration for candidate KSA’s.

Environment –
Conducive environment to professional development (realism vs perception).
Realistic application of material (organizational leadership utilization of skill set).

Member participation activity curve.
Life-cycle of the volunteer thoughts?

So if you have insights you can provide please let me know. I would appreciate it.


Hi, Jim.
Some thoughts from my perspective, necessarily only on CAP. As a new SM back in the '80s, my unit/CC (a retired USAF officer, Joe T., not Tomasone) modeled some great behavior for me, which I've tried to emulate. I'll try to keep it focused on initial, as you say.

People:
In those days the quarterly green and white printout of the SMTLR (Senior Member Training Level Report) would show 3 specialty tracks. He stated up front that our unit would execute all 3 missions but that he expected all of us to have Operations/ES as one of the three. For the remaining two, he mentored me to pick one that the UNIT needed, and one that I was interested in developing myself (I ended up as Leadership Officer as a former experienced cadet, and picked Supply to learn something new for me). In my mind, that was a balanced approach all around: set an expectation that you're there to support the unit, and offer a chance to learn something for personal growth.


Process:
in my personal case study, Joe too the time to personally interview my young self to talk about my KSAs and discuss a match with the units needs (I really was impressed that he cared to program a half hour out of a very busy meeting schedule - lesson to me, people matter as assets and as individuals). He intentionally did it six weeks into my membership in my new unit, after encouraging me to shadow the current personnel without getting involved (float: watch, listen, learn, consider, then lets chat). His insistence as a standard process that ALL officers work towards at least a Tech rating in ES promoted broad understanding of the ES mission (while he understood that not everyone wanted to be rated or to deploy, this policy dramatically improved the units team approach to supporting those who did).


Environment:
Joe also followed a standard process of having personnel and PD discussions/mentoring not 1:1, but rather with the unit membership board there (at least one member, for accountability). He understood that public visibility and accountability is important to prevent misunderstandings or even the appearance of impropriety in discussing PD, job assignments, and promotion/advancement issues. In the years since, I've had to actually steer people AWAY from, and manage expectations of, volunteers who sought one position or another, which falls into your expectation management area. In the mission-oriented environment of CAP, balancing the mission with member interest does sometimes mean saying "no". For example, in running a pretty good local Cadet Squadron with an ES GT focus, we've had to discourage adult members wanting to join solely to learn Ground Ops - where they indicated no interest at all in working with cadets per se. When the primary environment was Cadet Programs (and in using ES as yet another venue for lead lab) we could not afford the distractive investment to "feed and care for" adult members with a single focus on their own training. Being up front about that is an important first discussions talk.


Member activity curve:
From a command perspective and with decades in now, I see a pervasive need for fault tolerance in our PD training programs for volunteers. People coming from a corporate world expecting the same style of planning and execution to work as in paid positions hit a wall at some point. The mandatory compliance training (as we've seen) backfires due to being long or too complex for lower skill set volunteers (think: computer based training that is impossible for many retirees or new cadets to access being buried in poorly designed web pages). The rigidly scheduled, same-weekend-every-time events never reach the people you need since you don't flex to capture volunteer differences in schedules. So, taking advantage of PD is easy when a member is young and with few family obligations, and can easily flex weekends (I knocked out up through level IV in my 20s). The mid career volunteer pros are the ones I feel that CAP needs to focus on accommodating better within their livelihoods, and the online PD (UCC, SLS, etc) are big improvements.


(Disclosure: I've been nudging the boss locally that we need to burn down our backlog of approvals for online PD requests, coupled with we're announcing not one but 2 UCCs in the next few months, and a brace of TLCs rotated around to target the "usual suspects", the units that perpetually have poor PD, since poor training very often translates into poor execution and higher risk in these units. I know that's not "initial" training, but we've had probably a half dozen new commanders this year with only a year in CAP - that counts, to me).


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capsafety
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 03:15:30 PM »

James:
Nice summary comparisons of CAP and CGAux.  I also compliment you on the thoughtful commentary. 
Thank You for the feedback.

James:
I see some effort by CAPNHQ to move beyond 'check the box' safety.  IMHO, it'll be a tough sell and an even tougher accomplishment to achieve.  I do hope I am surprised by a culture shift. 


I think that CAP has responded to trends in the safety industry.

I view safety as a Push/Pull System.
 
In the late 90's and around 2000 safety was seen and Pushed into the industry. The buildup of the regulatory push was strong and organizations tried to respond as best they could. I believe CAP responded as they saw the industry doing. Pushing safety through regulatory compliance and "a checklist for everything and everything a checklist". The system was balanced heavier to the regulatory side and the "pull" was not there.

Around 2008 OSHA and its administration made some major changes on the enforcement of safety, this embedded the regulatory mindset of a checklist for every activity. This was present in industry just as well. One of the biggest pushes from OSHA was "Professional Safety", companies and many organizations started requiring new safety professionals to have the academic background as well as the experience. This was not the industry, this was an OSHA thing. They did this because OSHA wanted to start holding businesses and individuals accountable at a higher level and in order to do that better they had to prove the individuals “knew what they were doing”.

As time went on from about 2009 until about 2011-2012 more and more conversations began focusing on Behavior Based Safety. This was more form the industry than it was from OSHA. OSHA was still focusing and pushing the regulatory side pretty hard, however the manufacturing industry took a new approach with BBS.

I believe that CAP is heading in the direction of a Pull Safety System because they perhaps see the relevancy of the approach in other industries. I support the BBS approach and a combination of the Push System. The most recent Safety Beacon included a request for those that feel they can contribute to safety and I believe that they are moving faster in safety now than they have in the past.
 
Uh, I'm a bit dubious of this as a sanctioned program for Auxies.  There are some pollution response related qualifications in the Marine Safety PQS program, but nothing that comes close to what anyone would call a HAZMAT response team.   I would encourage Aux folks in the operations folks to take the standard HAZMAT Awareness course as it is just good info to have.  If thats what you're talking about, no problem. 

I can understand that feeling. It would be interesting to see what he is talking about. I have seen organizations have these types of groups. They often act as support for others if they are allowed to be involved from the Decon Perspective but not allowed to enter hot zone.

Hi, Jim.
Some thoughts from my perspective, necessarily only on CAP. As a new SM back in the '80s, my unit/CC (a retired USAF officer, Joe T., not Tomasone) modeled some great behavior for me, which I've tried to emulate. I'll try to keep it focused on initial, as you say.
 

Please know this paper was strictly about Member Candidacy and Professional Development. But I agree completely that CAP has changed significantly in the last 16 years I have been a member. I truly believe that they have the member’s best interest in mind. Your scenario seems like some of my experiences as well.
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