IMSA Town Hall Blog 

As we continue to develop IMSA’s new certifications and accelerate toward the finish line, we’re committed to regular dialogue to keep everyone informed about our progress. Recently, IMSA hosted a Town Hall with 17 of 22 IMSA Sections represented. The attendance and engagement during the meeting can be attributed to three primary reasons.  

First, we’re doing something that will affect the lives and careers of the members we serve and it’s crucial that we are completely transparent during this process to achieve the best possible outcome.  

Second, we need to gather the Section leaders’ input and gain insight from them.  While our board members and section leaders have all been in the public safety and traffic management trenches, I haven’t. 

Third, misinformation and rumors can undermine our success. While we may not have all the answers, we will do our best to get them, and articulate them back to everyone honestly and clearly.  

That’s why the recent Town Hall (and I promise there will be more) was so important. Right off the top, our new Board President Kevin Musick, stressed the importance of uniting behind a single timeline. “We have to have the test in place, and we have to have the outline in place to make sure the certifications are done correctly,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what certification you’re talking about, whether it’s signs one, signals one. Each one of them has to be done and we must ensure that each one is appropriate for the subject matter being evaluated.” 

For us, that’s the crux of this process. With the deadline approaching to have the first five certifications completed, we’re under some pressure, but I believe we cannot let that pressure dictate the process or the quality of the exams. The value to our members is that IMSA certifications continue to be recognized and respected by the companies and agencies that hire our members.  

“Some of the sections want to have a manual, some of them want to have a PowerPoint, or some of them want to have CDs or a slide presentation,” said Musick. “I’m not saying that we’re not going to do that, I’m just saying that you can’t do that right now because we have to have the first phase of this done.” 

We were able to report during the Town Hall that with our psychometrics and instructional design partners, Change by Design, we have completed the Job Task Analysis (JTA) for the first five new certifications. The JTA explores the work our members experience every day. Surveys testing the data generated by the JTA have gone out and many have been completed and returned. Workflows have been created for those first five certifications (Traffic Signal Technician, Traffic Signal Field Technician Level II, Work Zone Temporary Traffic Control Technician, Signs & Pavement Markings Technician Level I and Roadway Lighting Technician Level I), and as of this moment, our team is in the middle of Detailed Design Document (DDD) work which, with the insight of additional subject matter experts, will determine where course work needs to be focused.  

In the midst of all of this, we’re also considering which certifications we need to design next. We recognize there may be a short period when certain certifications may expire, and we’re currently working on a solution. 

 As to where we are, I am optimistic, but realistic. We are making headway and our team is pleased with the progress we’ve made. However, we do need to be careful not to miss too many beats. With such a delicate timeline, it won’t take much to knock us off our pace and each element we fall behind on will affect the next. That said, I completely understand the concern raised in the Town Hall about course moderators not having detailed material to teach from, and I really appreciate the proposal raised on the call that the sections come together to fund viable solutions. We are currently reviewing that idea and all of the other comments and proposals raised during the meeting. For those of you who were not on the call, it was a spirited and positive discussion. That is exactly what we need because the path we are on will have profound impacts on our members and their careers for years to come.  

As I said at the beginning of this blog, we will hold more of these Town Halls over the next few months, but please don’t feel limited to those calls if you have an idea or thought. Kevin and I welcome your input at any time. Sausage making can be messy, but the end result is usually pretty great.