Why Training Evaluations Are Important


Ladies and Gentlemen,
GSPCC is on its fourth year of providing law enforcement instruction. I started with teaching law enforcement test preparation seminars and leadership for first-line supervisors. Over the years we have added classes and instructors. We now offer nine classes and we have a few more in development. Our goal is to listen to your feedback and do our best to provide the training that is being sought by you.
I’m actually not writing this article to keep you updated on our progress, but to impart many of the difficulties and obstacles that this industry (law enforcement training) faces. I would say that when it comes to developing and ultimately teaching a class, one of the largest issue that we have to deal with is the diversity of the class. Not that diversity is bad, but it can be very difficult developing a class that will be completely satisfactory for every person present. Each class will have students with a wide range of job experience, education, life experience, learning styles, biases, etc, etc.
We have no control over whom departments send to each class. We, Joshua and I, love the diversity because we can draw from everyone’s experiences to help keep the narrative going and relatable. Diversity can also spur some spirited debate (often seen in our leadership classes between millennials and older officers). But, the diversity can also work against us. While a class may be very interesting and influential for the majority, it may be lacking for others who already know and understand the material. Again, there is not much that we can do about that as we have no control over whom agencies send to us. We simply put out what the course will cover and then let each agency decide who should attend.
I’m writing this particular article because I recently received an evaluation that was not exactly positive. In all actuality, these types of evaluations are the most important to us; thus, Joshua and I certainly do not dismiss them. We use them to evolve our curriculum. When we do receive a less than glowing evaluation, we juxtapose the negative with the positive to see if it is the curriculum or the student. In most cases, the overwhelming majority of the evaluations are positive. But, by doing this comparison (negative to positive), we can get a better analysis of our curriculum, teaching styles, etc, and make adjustments as needed. Constantly evolving and developing curriculum is a part of this business. As Tony Robbins says, “if you are not growing [evolving], then you are dying”.
Another issue that we see is that some people just hate filling out evaluations. Unfortunately, we have to hand them out at the end of the course. At that point, students just want to go home (we know, we were there once). Sometimes, we get very minimal input. Again, we cannot make the curriculum better unless we get a good analysis from the students that attend. If anyone has seen other methods of seeking student class evaluations other than a form at the end of the class, we would love to hear about it. You can email either of us at: tjones@gs-pcc.com or jstokel@gs-pcc.com.
Joshua and I want to take the time to thank all of the students we have met over the years and especially thank the ones that took the time to give some honest and professional feedback. We understand that our classes will have varying values for everyone in the class, but we keep swinging for the fences with every student we encounter. We want you to learn so that your career is enhanced. We love what we do and we love meeting all of you and sharing experiences along the way. Thank you to each and every officer that has attended our classes. GSPCC continues to grow in a very positive way and we have YOU to thank for that. We look forward to meeting thousands more law enforcement professionals in the years to come.
Tim & Joshua