28 Jul The Future of Field Training Software for Public Safety
Tomorrow, Microsoft’s newest operating system Windows 10 will be released, but it didn’t happen overnight. Enterprise level software requires planning and work years in advance. This particular iteration of the Windows operating system started development back in 2011.
With that in mind, we have started to look at what the next few years might hold for software in our industry. Modern software development is rightfully focused on the user experience delivering the outcomes of ease of use, consistency and quality, and real-time information in new ways.
Ease of Use
Software should be intuitive and uncomplicated, with a design that promotes accomplishing tasks quickly. Last year, Google completely rethought how users interacted with their Android smartphones from the ground up to improve their user experience. Similarly, to enter field training information quickly and easily means changing the paradigm of how we document our field training programs. Transforming how we enter the data from a paper process replicated on the computer to a new digitally focused interaction could simplify how this information is collected and eliminate redundancies. In the world of field training software, this means pre-populating most of the information for you, working on any browser or device, giving you hints and suggestions, and otherwise creating an environment that makes it easy to navigate and follow your agency’s standards.
Consistency and Quality
While enforcing standards and making it easy to enter information is one way to help ensure quality, more customization capabilities could allow the software to adjust specifically to your agency’s processes and procedures. Options to instantly implement recommendations from your State’s regulating body or training provider could allow you to configure your training program to the way you need it to work out of the box. With the ability to completely tailor the field training program, imagine the possibility of being able to create an on-the-job training program for different positions like supervisors, detectives, or civilian staff. Adding features like auto-save and integration with other tools you use, raising the quality of your training and employee preparedness could be accomplished with minimal time and resource investment.
Real-time field training information could reflect more than what you already entered, but also predict trends and resolve issues proactively. A Field Training Officer (FTO) should know each day what to work on and what areas the trainee is struggling with. Field Training Supervisors should be able to see all of the trainees and be notified of any potential issues. Field Training Coordinators might be able to compare your agency’s trainees and trainers, but also to compare your training program against other agencies. How could you improve your training program if you had immediate insight into where the strengths of your training programs are, and also the areas that need improvement versus others in your industry?
Have you thought about what field training software should do or how it would work in the future? The comments are open below – please share your insights.