Standards and Training for Corrections (STC) Policy Changes
The Standards and Training for Corrections (STC) Program of the Board of State and Community Corrections is pleased to announce several program improvement strategies and policy changes, and propose regulation revisions. These changes are the result of a comprehensive assessment of the STC program carried out under the direction of an Executive Steering Committee (ESC) and informed by the results of a stakeholder survey.
STC convened an ESC in September 2012 to review the regulations and policies that guide the STC program in order to ensure that it continues to meet the changing and emergent needs of local agencies. The ESC reviewed STC recommendations for general improvement strategies; examined the results of a stakeholder survey completed by agency administrators, training managers and training providers; and considered additional issues that were generated through field contact and presented by STC staff
The ESC also formed two workgroups-one to review regulation issues and one to review policy issues. This comprehensive review resulted in the policy changes, proposed regulation revisions, and program improvement strategies that are described in this document.
1. TUITION POLICY - Effective July 1, 2013, any course with a tuition that is equal to or under $12.50 per instructional hour per student does not require a course budget as part of the STC course certification process. This policy change streamlines the budget process by eliminating complex budget requirements for low cost courses, provides greater flexibility by allowing justified exceptions to tuition maximums, and expands training opportunities for local agencies.
The revised tuition policy goes into effect on July 1, 2013 for all new providers and new courses. Courses that are already STC certified must be recertified after July 1, 2013 and prior to their first delivery in order to apply the new tuition policy. Providers that choose to continue utilizing the prior tuition policy have a one year grace period to certify their courses and must comply with the requirements of that policy including “actual cost” invoicing. Compliance with the new tuition policy is mandatory for all courses on and after July 1, 2014.
2. MINIMUM COURSE HOURS - The requirement that courses must be a minimum of four-hours in length for STC certification is removed. Effective July 1, 2013 courses can be certified for any length of time.
3. USE OF STC FUNDS (NON STC ELIGIBLE STAFF) - Currently, STC funds can only be used to pay costs for “eligible staff” to attend training. Effective July 1, 2013 agencies may use STC funds for training “non-eligible” staff such as on-call or temporary help staff. This policy changes the use of funds only. This policy does not increase the allocation of funds to the department and the agency must maintain compliance with STC program requirements. The use of STC funds for non-eligible staff is limited to those staff performing corrections functions or those staff performing duties in the staff training function.
4. TEST ADMINISTRATION POLICY - STC has developed a Testing Administration Policy for Core effective July 1, 2013. The purpose of this policy is to assist core providers in adhering to standardized procedures for test administration and meeting the federal uniform guidelines on employee selection practices. The policy must include the following components:
- Exam administration staff
- Exam administration procedures
- Test security
- Maintaining security in the exam room and proctor responsibilities
- Procedures for reporting and handling exam irregularities and compromises
- Accommodated exam administration
- Document retention policies
- Emergency plan
- Test development
In order to assist providers in compliance with this policy, there will be a one-year grace period. Full compliance is mandatory by July 1, 2014. For new providers or for agencies developing a new core course, this policy is in effect July 1, 2013.
5. LESSON PLAN POLICY - Effective July 1, 2013 STC-RFC courses (annual and core) must have a written lesson plan. A copy of the lesson plans must be made available to the STC field representative upon request. The purpose of this policy is to enhance the development and delivery of quality training as well as provide for a written record of a class. While there is no required format, the lesson plan must be in such detail that a substitute instructor with requisite knowledge of the subject could teach from the lesson plan without contacting the instructor for clarification.
All STC lesson plans must contain the following:
- Room Set-Up
- Instructor Material(s)/Equipment Needed
- Time for Each Section or Exercise/Activity
- Trainer’s Speaking Notes
- Handout/Classroom Materials
- Testing Type and Description of Behavior Skills Test (BST)/ Written Test Skills (WST) completion (if applicable)
The lesson plan policy goes into effect on July 1, 2013. In order to assist providers in compliance with this policy, there will be a one-year grace period. Full compliance is mandatory for classes scheduled for presentation on or after July 1, 2014. For new providers or for agencies developing a new course, this policy is in effect July 1, 2013.
Proposed Regulations Revisions
The proposed regulation changes must go through the state’s regulation revision process before they are effective. This process includes the opportunity for public comment. These changes are not anticipated to become effective until later this year.
1. Certification- The routine course certification period will be extended from one to two years. This does not change the current policy that requires modification or recertification when changes occur to the course.
2. Quarterly Reports- Quarterly reports will no longer be required unless specifically requested by STC.
3. ATP Modification Deadline- The deadline for agencies to request a modification to their annual training plans is changed from April 30th to March 31st. This change will allow the final quarterly distributions to be made in April.
PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
1. STC will offer an expanded menu of technical assistance and services to support local training outcomes.
2. STC will be a statewide resource for local agencies on best practices in the field of training and administering an effective training program.
3. STC will promote and support the delivery of quality training courses through an integrated system of training, certification and monitoring
4. STC will expand its local partnerships.
5. STC will achieve time and cost efficiencies through the implementation of a statewide Learning Management System (LMS).
6. STC will increase e-learning opportunities
7. STC will maintain current and appropriate regulations, standards, policies and procedures through a regular review process commencing in September 2013 with a job analysis of the ACO, JCO and PO positions and validation study of the supervisor and manager job competencies in order to update the selection and training standards.
The revised Policy and Procedure Manual for Participating Departments and Policy and Procedure Manual for Training Providers containing these revised policies is available on the STC Services page. The policy and procedure manual for Core Providers will be available by October 1, 2013.
If you have any questions, contact your assigned Field Representative or assigned Core Field Representative.