Continuing Education Program News and Announcements
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December 23, 2010 - A couple of weeks ago we sent a communication addressing some of the transition issues and how they will affect EC-001 being offered in the field. I would like to address another concern, instructor qualifications for teaching EC-001. As most of you are aware with the revised EC-001 there was also a raising of the bar on the qualifications to be a Field Instructor for the course. Adding the requirement to complete the new EmComm managers course (EC-016) also raised the bar for online mentors, who have in the past already had to meet more requirements than Field Instructors. This was done because of the amount of additional material added to EC-001. In particular, we have received a lot of feedback about the new requirements to teach EC-001 in the field. Based on the feedback received and discussion here at HQ it has been decided to make a revision to the instructor and mentor qualifications to instruct this course. While the bar is still being raised, we feel it is to an appropriate level for this course.
New EC-001 Field Instructor and Mentor Qualifications:
- Completion of EC-001 (old or new version)
- Completion of FEMA IS-100, 200, 700, and 800
- 18 years old or older
- Technician class license or higher
- ARRL member
- Recommendation of Section Manager
- Online mentors must complete a training course that orients them to giving instruction in the online environment
I want to address two areas where we are raising the bar.
First, the required FEMA courses; two of these courses, IS-100 and 700, are required for the new version of EC-001. These two represent additional content that has been added to the course. The other two courses, IS-200 and 800, round out the instruction on NIMS and the Incident Command System which we feel is important for the instructor to have.
Second is the recommendation of the Section Manager. Doing this keeps the SM and SEC’s in the loop on what is going on in their Section with ARRL EmComm training. It also provides an additional endorsement to the instructor. The qualifications listed above should be seen as a minimum standard. The process for SM recommendation will be similar to the process used to recommend folks for the EC-016 course. Specific details on this will be sent out once the online processes are in place.
So what does this mean for our current instructors? You will still be able to teach the course in the field after December 31, 2010, but you will need to re-register as an instructor or a mentor and meet the qualifications specified above. We are in the process of developing a registration system that takes into account the new requirements. We will let you know when this registration system is available. You will have until June 30, 2011 to meet the new qualifications. Registered instructors and mentors who have met the specified qualifications will also be able to take the new online EC-001 at no charge. I strongly encourage all instructors to take the new course so they can see how the new material is presented.
Here is a quick breakdown of what is coming in the next few months:
- Beta testing of the new EC-001 will begin in February 2011, the goal is to have it out of the beta test and ready for release in March 2011
- Instructor supplements on new material – Starting in late January or early February 2011
- New EC-001 printed material – mid-2011
- New EC-001 instructor qualifications – must be met by June 30, 2011
- New EC-001 printed exams – Mar/Apr 2011
Throughout 2011 we will be making some changes to how EmComm courses and exams are offered in the field. The goal is to improve the quality of the courses and the consistency of the learning experience. This will require changes in procedures and roles as well as process changes at ARRL. I encourage you to offer feedback to us during this process. Your feedback is taken seriously and appreciated. As I’ve said before, I know transitions can be a pain but rest assured we’re doing our best here at HQ to make this go as smoothly as possible.
Thank you for your service.
Happy Holidays and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Mike Corey, W5MPC
Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager
November 2010 - We've been answering a number of inquires related to the transition from the existing Emergency Communications (AREC) Level 1 course to the revised course which will be called "Introduction to Emergency Communications." The new course is expected to be released online on a new online platform in early 2011. The last registrations for the current online Level 1 course were accepted in July 2010 to allow time for students to complete the course before the old online platform was retired. However, field instruction and exams for the Level 1 course will continue to be supported through December 31, 2010. We expect to beta test the new course on the new platform in January 2011 and release it for enrollment shortly thereafter. We plan to produce course books for the new course after we've had time to receive feedback on the new course content. We expect the new course books will be available by mid-year.
Here are some of the questions—and answers—that should explain what is happening through this transition period and how this transition will affect those who have supporting roles for the AREC program, including EmComm Mentors, Field Instructors and Field Examiners. Please review these FAQ’s for specific information about how this transition will affect your activities.
October 2010 - All online courses previously hosted on the WebMentor platform have been retired. We are building courses for a new platform and will be offering courses beginning in 2011. Visit back for updates and available courses in the future!
The new “Public Service and Emergency Communications Management for Radio Amateurs” course (EC-016) will continue to be offered online in its present format (since it is available through our website and is not hosted on an online learning management platform).
Click here for more information about this course.
April 2010 - The new "Public Service and Emergency Communications Management for Radio Amateurs" course is now available! Details about course prerequisites, syllabus, access to the course and the final assessment are provided in our online course catalog.