There was a discussion today between another Certifier, Justin, Jane and myself regarding the role of Certifiers that I think warrants discussion.
The Certifier asserted that as Certifiers, we should be evaluating the viability/safety/design of a course as part of the criteria to receive USATF Certification.
As defined on the website: The purpose of the USATF course certification program is to produce road race courses of accurately measured distances.
I'm not saying that we don't have a role to play in this area. Justin pointed out that we are considered the "experts" with regards to road courses and I agree. I just think that evaluating the other aspects of the course as a criteria for Certification is overstepping our bounds as currently defined.
The subject matter course was familiar to the certifier so they had knowledge of possible issues with the course design but my assertion was that this is an outlier from the norm. We normally don't have intimate knowledge of the geographical areas of the courses that we're reviewing. If these criteria are expected to be part of our approval process then I could easily envision scenarios where a site visit is required in order to properly evaluate a course. I'm not sure the $25 I receive for course review would cover that.
Before anyone responds, I would ask that you take a moment to review what the "defined" purpose of the Certification process is and what the "defined" role of the Certifier is as opposed to what we may have personally developed as the definitions.