For years we have had a very rigid in-service schedule that requires all guards participate in one of 3 offered times a week. I currently have a policy in place that says if you cannot attend an in-service in that week you must give me 2 days notice. If no notice is given you are written up. What I have been struggling with is what to do with the people who do give appropriate notice. I feel like there are some people I never see at in-services due to their class schedules, other jobs and summer travel plans. I have been toying with the idea of having a bank of assignments they could complete to make up their in-services so they don’t just get a free pass. Does anyone else have something in place for this situation? Due to a super tight budget I cannot take the time to do one on one make ups, so I need something that is not time consuming to me.
How many guards do you have Robin? 3 times a week would be way too extreme for my staff as we do IST's once a month. If they miss 2 in a row they get taken off the schedule.
I have around 55 lifeguards. Most of them take summer classes and have other jobs that we have to work around. I give them 3 different time slots that they can pick from in a week. We do in-services every other week.
We written training assignments that we provide our staff in addition to regular training. That could be an option. Another could be quick training (5-10minute) assignments done by a Lifeguard Training instructor or senior staff member. This could CPR, or water extrication with CPR or just rescue breathing. It could also be a team training (2-3 person team). Good ABC's are better than advanced care, and repetition doesn't hurt.
Our philosophy is that you may miss training, but you WILL make it up at another time. I think the fact that you already give them three options is very generous on your part. They should be able to make at least one of them especially if you offer them at different times of day on the different days you offer it and if you give them months notice of the dates (make an annual training schedule and hand it out). I could see if it were scheduled Mon, Wed or Fri at 7pm that a class or other job might keep them from attending one or the other, but if one day its a morning then an afternoon another day and the final one in the evening, I can't believe they canot make one of them. To me it has to be made up and I think Pete DeQuincy offers some creative solutions. I guess my fear has always been that the person that chronically misses training may be on deck during a critical incident and if something goes wrong the lawyers may focus on the lack of attendance at in-service training as a contributing cause to the incident. Have a make up and then follow Jakes advice, misss more than one or two without make up then take them off the schedule.