This is a continuation of a discussion that began with the idea of non-member measurers paying an annual membership fee, but just the part of that discussion that branched off into some ways to improve our processes via harnessing the Internet for all measurers.
Expectedly and justifiably so, questions have arisen about whether some version of web submission would work. In no particular order, I will offer my thoughts about some of these concerns:
Maps: there would never be a requirement for electronic maps. There would be a requirement to create (draw) maps to simple standards and scan them to minimal standards. It is then easy to upload scanned maps into the form.
Measurement data: it would not be difficult to establish required fields, and then leave the remainder for a narrative page. For instance, the form would require recording the total number of counts for each measurement. The form would automatically calculate the % difference in the measurement and display the result. For any measuring data that defies a "cookie-cutter" form, we provide a space for the measurer to type in a brief narrative of the measuring techniques and practices he/she employed, along with the minimum measuring data set in support of the methodology. This is what I used to do when I submitted course to John Sissala. I used a macro-enabled Word form to record all the necessary data. I then completed the narrative section to fully explain how the numbers were obtained. John and I both liked this system.
Application Review/Checks and Balances - the basic concept: when the calibration data, measuring data, measuring narrative, certificate application, and map are then all completed and submitted on line, the system generates an email notice to the applicable Regional Certifier indicating that a new certification application is waiting for him/her in our dedicated database. The Regional then signs in to the database at his/her leisure and opens all the new submissions for review, makes any corrections, and then hits "Submit". Gene is then notified similarly, and reviews the work as necessary. When he is satisfied, he hits "Submit", and the certificate blank is automatically populated. He then reviews the certificate for accuracy. If all is well, he or the system forwards the scanned or software-generated map to the USATF Webmaster for posting.