January 25, 2023 3 min read
Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)
The Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) is responsible for testing all who wish to serve as officers in the state.
To that end, Idaho POST works with departments and programs throughout the state to verify training completion and deliver the certification exam. The POST also runs its own law enforcement classes—around 16 to 17 a year—for patrol, corrections, probations, juvenile detention, and more.
Yet with so many details to manage and coordinate, Idaho POST was using a 20-year-old Blue Peak Logic software system that was not built to accommodate the needs of today’s academies and students. The POST staff had to manually type in every question and answer into their antiquated system, and most of their processes remained tied to paper.
“If we had someone taking an exam up north, they would have to mail in the bubble sheet to us. Add on time for grading, and students could be waiting a week to get their test results.
The reporting is much more user-friendly. Accessing the information we need is faster and easier.”
Idaho POST curriculum manager
Ultimately, the Blue Peak Logic software had reached end-of-life and was being discontinued. Idaho POST needed a replacement system tailored to law enforcement that would enable them to centralize the organization’s records. When the staff asked other POSTs what they used, several recommended the Acadis® Readiness Suite. “We looked at many different products that had no understanding of law enforcement education and personnel records,” said McKay. “We know that Acadis works with sensitive information. We’ve seen examples of how other clients do it. Everything Acadis offers is built for things that we do.”
In 2021, Idaho POST decided to go with Acadis and began focusing on testing processes. They now have a centralized system to support onsite and external certification testing.
Prospective officers in Idaho no longer need to wait a week to get results. Students now take exams through the system, and grading is automated. The instant feedback has been an amazing benefit for students and proctors alike.
“Having the students log in to our system through the online testing portal is huge,” said McKay. “Our training coordinators can also do the observation tests without internet access. They can take a tablet out to the firearms range, score the students on a tablet, and upload the information later rather than writing it all out.”
These improvements have also been crucial in saving the POST’s human and physical resources. “We save a forest every time we do a test,” said McKay. “Without having to print materials, it’s a lot easier, and the ability to import test questions has saved us so much time.”
As Idaho POST’s ability to test has improved, so has its ability to evaluate curriculum and test performance. For example, when reviewing the most frequently missed questions, a concentration of answers on a single incorrect choice may indicate instruction is misleading students. In contrast, evenly distributed guesses indicate a topic is not being covered enough.
Armed with this information, POST staff can make effective changes, and the Acadis system has helped them make these determinations with less hassle.
“The reporting is much more user-friendly. You know the number of test question versions and what the average score has been overall or within one academy. Accessing the information we need is faster and easier,” said McKay.
Moving forward, Idaho POST will also have more accurate, complete, and accessible records. “We’ll have the dates. We’ll have the class name. We’ll have what was tested at that time,” said McKay. “With Acadis, we can go to that particular class, and everything will be there.”
Idaho POST curriculum manager