A new system designed to be the Gold Standard of UNITAFs training systems, built to compliment the tier system, which addresses those with no experience in UNITAF but who are capable in a role.
- Certification is per role whereas Tiers are per combat area
- Certifications require human verification whereas Tiers do not
- Certifications are much more difficult to achieve than Tiers
- Everyone has a Tier, but not everyone has to be certified, it's optional
- Tiers are about training and practicing where Certification is about testing and application
If a role has a Certification set-up, then users can get certified in the role by being assessed by that roles Certified Instructors. They must first meet any prerequisites for that roles Certification. Certification requires that the user is proficient in a set list of abilities. Users have a Certification Record on their dossier which tracks their progression. Once the user is certified proficient in all abilities of the role, they are Certified.
Roles without certifications use the Tier system in accordance with the current Slot Allocation Policy. Roles with certifications behave differently. If a role has a certification then certified users are treated as Tiered even if they have no tier in this area, this means being certified allows you to slot on release, irrespective of Tier to any role you are certified for (fatigue dependant).
When first implemented no roles will have certifications, but as certifications are created those roles will work as described above. This means some roles will and some roles wont. Certifications will only be applied to roles of Tier I and greater.
As mentioned, Certifications are made up of a list of Abilities. Abilities are things that someone proficient in that role would need to be able to demonstrate in order to be considered Certified. Abilities are manually verified by Certified Instructors so they must be clear in their description.
Let's use an example of AT Specialist, Medium.
Examples of abilities for this role might be;
- Hit a stationary target at 500m with an unguided launcher without optics 3 times to 100% accuracy
- Hit a moving target at 500m with an unguided launcher with optics 3 times to 75% accuracy
- Demonstrate a solid understanding of backblast and verbal warning principles
Obviously, my examples might not be great - but you get the picture. Certifications need to be simple to create, and so all that is required to make one, is a bullet point list of abilities like mine above, and once approved for a role, that's it! We'll create a Spreadsheet template to make this even easier too.
As well as being able to require other role certifications before starting one (such as Require Team Leader for Squad Leader, there can be flexibility in abilities, allowing for unconventional ones like;
- Have 50 combat hours as a Fireteam Leader
- Have 25 combat hours as a Radio Operator
This allows for great flexibility.
Having a certification for our current roles list is one step, but there are a number of examples where we can go further. Rather than have a bumper edition Certification for Platoon Leader, we can split Platoon Leader as a role for ORBATs into variations such as;
- Platoon Leader (Infantry)
- Platoon Leader (Mechanised)
- Platoon Leader (Weapons)
This means each one could have it's own certification, with Platoon Leader (Infantry) being the main one, and the specialist ones being smaller Add-Ons which have additional abilities on top. Then by requiring Platoon Leader (Infantry) for Platoon Leader (Mechanised) we can simply add Abilities for integrating APC/IFV to Certify them for the additional skills.
Similarly, things like Rotary-pilot (General) can be split as such;
- Rotary-pilot (CH-47)
- Rotary-pilot (CH-53)
- Rotary-pilot (AH-6)
You get the picture, with vehicles we can make certifications specific to the vehicle.
On the roles center, we'll still show hours grouped to the parent role, as we could end up with 100s of variations available on ORBATs. This solves another issue, of knowing what vehicle you have on an ORBAT too!
In the roles centre, when navigating to a role, a new tab on the menu called ‘Certifications’ is present, clicking it will show a list of abilities, and the related SOPs.
In the dossier, when navigating to the practice record, a new button appears on each combat area called Certifications, and should show active or in-progress Certifications (roles) of the user only. Clicking on a role row would open a progression view, showing the list of abilities, and whether they are not-rated, need improvement or are rated on the ability.
Perhaps the biggest issue is testing, the Tier system is completely passive, but substantially less effective at verifying user ability. Certifications are far more robust, but they will require human input and time.
Certifications are not training, they are in a way assessments. Some abilities need to be assessed in a test environment (for example the AT ones given above). Other abilities need to be assessed in a combat environment, such as Leadership. This means Practices are not always going to be the best place to assess Certifications.
When roles have Certifications, at least two Initial Instructors will be assigned to kick-off certification.
Instructors should have a minimum rank of SP3.
When someone becomes Certified, if they hold their Certification for 3 months, they can apply to become a Certified Instructor, after 6 months they can apply to become the Certified Chief Instructor. This means they will be able to certify other members, creating a self-policing system.
To combat corruption of the system, whereby friends of a user could certify them if they were Instructors - Instructors will be required to attend a Instructor course/induction where they are given instructions on how to assess Certifications and the rules and consequences of improper conduct. Violation can result in exclusion from becoming an Instructor.
To aid this further, multiple instructors will be required to verify a users certification.
Certifications ask almost akin to a record of a person's progress in a role, so becomes a useful page for budding Fireteam Leaders for example to use by seeing where they need to improve.
Certified Instructors can update certifications at any time, each ability can be rated as follows;
- Unrated (default)
- Needs improvement
Once an ability is rated, it cannot be re-rated for 7 days.
SOPs are linked to abilities, so each ability must be linked to a single SOP. If SOP is updated via a major update, it is possible to force a reset of Certifications based on that SOP, forcing the users to top-up, a grace period could be considered for this.