FitForce Training CoursesConsultant Services

There are a number of ways that FitForce and its consultant team can be of assistance to your agency. We recognize that nobody knows your agency like you do; and therein may lie some of the difficulty or resistance you've encountered in trying to move the program or elements of the program forward. Some people may become territorial and subsequently, a little less likely to change or to consider change. Others may have a limited understanding of the issues, while still others may be operating under the illusion of a misunderstanding. Our experience, over 70 person years in the field, has well prepared us to assist you as you venture forward. Some of the ways FitForce may be of assistance are listed below.

Policy Analysis

Often overlooked in the development and ongoing review process is the inclusion of an analysis of agency policies and procedures. These support and enforce many of the desired outcomes or ongoing elements of the program. For instance, we recommend an evolutionary approach to the implementation of standards. This phase-in period may last 1-3 years or more. During this period, we recommend a change in performance evaluation to include a subjective observation. This is particularly important for those agencies that need to strengthen their performance review process. An ineffectual evaluation process results in every employee receiving highest marks; those same employees may eventually require job action when the standards become mandatory. A track record of job performance, particularly as it relates to physical readiness, should be developed.

We provide these and other recommendations with our validation reports. As part of the validation study or as a separate service, we can conduct an analysis of existing policy and procedure. At the request of our clients, we have broadened the scope of this analysis to include a full legal review with our attorneys. Please contact us directly if we can discuss this process with you.

From the Field

Upon the completion of validation study for the DOE/NNSA/Office of Secure Transportation, the agency retained FitForce to assist in a complete review of their policies around physical readiness. Prior to the study, OST already had one of the most comprehensive programs we’ve come across in public safety. However, by allowing us to work with the very excellent human resources and training divisions within the agency, we collectively were able to move OST forward in their efforts to ensure their agents are physically ready to meet the challenges of their mission. The end result is very tight set of policies and procedures.

Program Review and Design

All too often we have a tendency to fly by the seat of our pants or to allow precedence or complacency to dictate the content and direction of our program. This can result in the health and fitness program becoming a black hole that resources get funneled into with little apparent benefit. The perceived soft nature of health and fitness contributes to this phenomenon. Instead, we would suggest drawing from a best practice in the private sector. Human resources professionals from industry point to a return of $3.14 for every dollar invested in an employee focused, health and fitness program. This return on investment (ROI) is an important metric which can justify and even underwrite a program eventually.
Some of the areas to consider for review are:

Whether we assist you or not, a program review should be a regularly scheduled department or agency event with the results made available to the interested parties, including those paying for the program!

Demonstrating the need for a program and or standards is therefore an essential first step. Identifying resources to address those needs is the necessary follow-on response. Over the years, we have made a number of presentations to governmental bodies, executive boards, command and administrative staff, as well as rank and file personnel on program design. The value of an outside group such as FitForce at this juncture stems from our understanding of the issues, insight into what is happening around the country in public safety physical readiness, and the objectivity we bring as a third party. We’ve outlined what a public safety physical readiness program may look like for you as well.

Curriculum Review and Development

Some areas of training to consider:

Recruit academy content should be linked to both short and long term learning objectives. For instance, the primary function of physical training in a recruit training environment is to ensure safety and performance while acquiring the skills and abilities to do the job. Does your curriculum (and practice) reflect that objective? A unique opportunity exists in the recruit environment to instill a sense of control and direction over career- and life-long health and fitness that is frequently squandered. Instead, we allow some of the worst elements of the public safety lifestyle to indoctrinate the recruits into their chosen profession.

Incumbent training is arguably the most important, and most overlooked, piece of the training agenda. In-service, roll call, specialized, and inter/intranet options have all been used to great advantage in many agencies.

From the Field

One of our clients conducts an annual review of their entire training goals and objectives as well as their success in achieving them. This has produced significant changes in the recruit curriculum over time at the same time it has resulted in continuity between entry and incumbent training. During this review we consider illness/injury rates in the academy, participation rates in the voluntary aspects of the in-service program, and questionnaire results on the expressed needs and desires of the incumbent workforce. The long-term goal is demonstrate the efficacy of the program to insurance providers and risk managers to bargain for discounted rates to the agency.

Other specific functions FitForce can provide include physical readiness testing, job analysis,and arbitration and litigation support.