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I was quite interested to read in the October 2005 issue of Measurement News that there is a proposed admendment to the the organizational structure of the certification system in the US. Canada's current certification system used the RRTC as a model when it was restructured in 1999. The certification process works now, and the number of courses certified annually has more than quadrupled: from less than 15 annually in all years prior to 1999 to more than 60 in both 2004 and 2005. Without an experienced measurer at the helm, we wouldn't have a system for certification that works.

We do share some of the concerns expressed by Mr. Lucas in his amendment, namely:

- Many courses are not certified. Some regions haven't a single certified course.

- Some regions lack experienced measurers, and someone has to be brought in to perform validations, often at considerable expense.

- There are simply not enough measurers for all the courses that need to measured.

National and provincial/state sport governing bodies should have an interest in training measurers in their area. Ideally, the local sport-governing should have the contacts and resources to find suitable candidates, organize a measurement seminar and bring in a measurer to teach it, if necessary. Course measurement is time-consuming and appeals to a small number of people due to the skills involved; simply putting on seminars doesn't guarantee that measurers will populate the Earth.

Certification should be left to the experts. How can a region/province/state have a certifier before it has an experienced measurer?
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Appreciate your comments about our proposed USATF By-Laws Amendment. You captured one of the important dilemmas we faced with here in the states, lack of qualified measurers.

Associations are required to maintain a pool of Certified Officials. Officials now referee track, field, combined, race walking, and LDR events. There are regular officials trainings happening across the country. 53 of 57 associations met their accreditation standard for officials. Why couldn’t the RRTC look to the officials as a model to begin a comprehensive program to certify and develop new course measurers?

The USATF official’s model has several important distinctions. They have 5 graduated levels of ranking, Each level has clear criteria of accomplishment. Perspective officials know exactly what is required. On the other hand, how many experienced measurers out there currently never get the chance to ascend thru the ranks of RRTC simply because there is no criteria?

After conducting a recent measuring clinic in the Albany area in April, 3 attending measurers have since gone on to measure 3 new courses. Sure these numbers might seem a little insignificant initially, but generally measurers who have committed the time to attend a clinic, buy a Jones Counter, and then measure one course, are very likely to measure another. It is in these regular clinic efforts and with a little follow-up communication willingness to answer questions on the part of the RRTC representatives that will develop future “qualified “ measurers. The Long Island association has invited me down to conduct a clinic this Sunday – let you know the results later.
I am failing to see how changing the organization of RRTC will help bring new measurers into the game.

I am also failing to see how having "levels" of measurers would help anything.

If the local association is at all interested, they promote course measurement and are in contact with the certifier(s) who share territory with them.

I think it's fair to say that most of us who certify more than one state would be willing to give one of them up if we felt comfortable handing it over to someone else- and if that someone else was interested and able to take over the workload.

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