The proposed research is designed to develop a comprehensive series of awards to recognize the achievement of individuals who have studied and mastered specific topical ACRP Reports, related Syntheses, webcasts, and other materials. Participants are recognized through a system of badges, medallions, and certificates. This program loosely emulates the iconic Boy Scout/Girl Scout Merit Badge programs.
Currently, there is no incentive for individuals to engage in a serious review of any of the vast number of reports, syntheses, or other material published by ACRP over the past 12 years. Even in those instances where a person had a need or other occasion to study an ACRP document, there is no forum to recognize the accomplishment of even a minimum level of mastery of the subject matter.
The proposed project is designed to set up a formal program to encourage airport professionals of all levels (including students) to study ACRP materials and provide a way to document the achievement of a level of competency in the topic. A series of awards would be created that the participant can use to add to their record of qualifications and experience for career advancement opportunities. Their organization will benefit by adding subject matter experts to their staff as a resource for addressing specific related issues.
The ACRP Badge and Medallion Award Program (Badge Program) would provide a means to encourage meaningful study of ACRP applied research material. The achievement of a certain measurable level of competency and mastery is rewarding through a series of awards. Badges are awarded for demonstrating mastery in specific topical subjects. For example, a participant who successfully completes an assessment of their basic understanding of safety management systems for airports after reviewing ACRP Report No. 1 Safety Management Systems for Airports (Volumes 1 & 2) would receive a Level 1 SMS Badge. Subsequent reviews of other SMS-related material would result in additional topical badges.
The requirements for a Badge award could consist of:
1. Review of the ACRP Report
2. Review of the ACRP webcast (if available)
3. Successful completion of an objective test of the topic material
4. Submission of a memorandum (minimum 500 words) discussing the practical application of the subject matter (case study). The memo would be graded by a volunteer subject matter expert against an established rubric.
Medallions are awarded for the achievement of a minimum number of badges in relevant subject matter. For example, an Airport Safety Medallion would be awarded to an individual who has achieved five (5) badges from safety-oriented ACRP materials such as:
- Airport Safety Risk Management Panel Activities and Outcomes
- Lessons Learned from Airport Safety Management Systems Pilot Studies
- A Guidebook for Safety Risk Management for Airports
- Safety Management Systems for Airports, Volume 1: Overview
- Safety Management Systems for Airports, Volume 2: Guidebook
- Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices
- Airport Self-Inspection Practices
- Legal Issues Related to Implementation and Operation of SMS for Airports
- Research Roadmap on Safety Issues
- Collecting and Sharing of Operations and Safety Data
An expansion of the concept could the awarding of a Certificate based on the participant's contribution to a structured critique of ACRP material and detailed recommendations for the revision, expansion, update, etc. of the various documents. The achievement of badges, medallions, certificates, etc., are logged into the participant's portfolio for retrieval as a transcript certified by ACRP (or perhaps an academic partner).
Benefits of an ACRP Badge and Medallion program include:
• Greatly enhanced visibility and outreach to practitioners including entry level and emerging airport professionals, students, and other interested individuals
• Development of organizational SMEs on specific topics. For example, airport management could encourage their staff to participate in the program and develop a master matrix of SMEs with the goal of establishing competencies in most all airport activities and functions (including some that could be considered esoteric).
• Evidence of continuing education activities by participants for promotion and career development opportunities (i.e., enhanced resumes). Some may be able to use the program for career path transitions.
• Foster stronger relationships with practitioners by developing a more formal relationship with participants
• Enhanced resource material and curricula for aviation academic programs
• Develop a formal feedback mechanism for maintaining the currency and relevancy of the ACRP research
The proposed research will based on a rigorous evaluation of ACRP publications and the development of the assessment tools to measure the level of mastery of subject matter. The project would be comprised of several distinct elements:
Task 1. Literature Review
Perform a comprehensive review of ACRP publications and other resource material to identify current and relevant subject matter with the depth and breadth appropriate for inclusion in the badge program.
Task 2. Organize and Develop ACRP Subject Matter
Broad topical areas of ARCP research and other material will be categorized and evaluated for inclusion as subject matter topics. Topics will be organized to align to various major subject areas.
Task 3. Develop Subject Matter Syllabus
A syllabus for each subject matter topic will developed to include:
- Goal - (Introduce/Reinforce/Master) Subject Matter topic
- General Learning Outcome(s)
- Specific Learning Outcome(s)
- Metrics for Achievement of Goal/Objectives
Task 4. Develop Specific Assessment Tools
A series of objective and subjective questions will be developed to assess the participants' mastery of the subject matter material.
Task 5. Develop ACRP Distributive Learning Management System (LMS)
A self-contained system to distribute ACRP and other relevant material, to host automated and peer-graded assessments, and to facilitate, track, and store each participant's progress of achievement will be developed using an open-source learning management system platform such as Moodle. Opportunities for collaboration among participants will be identified as well as other state-of-the-practices to encourage the development of peer-to-peer networking among various interests that can be facilitated through the LMS. Transcripts of participant's accomplishments can also be prepared through the system and certified the appropriate ACRP or other responsible party.
Task 6. Develop Badge and Medallion Graphics and Other Materials
The successful assessment of a participant's subject matter mastery is recognized by the awarding of an iconic badge that can be publicly displayed. Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond Level medallions will be developed to recognize the achievement of broader topic areas.
Task 7. Prepare Implementation Program
The plan for the implementation of the ACRP Badge and Medallion Program will be prepared to ensure that broad awareness and industry acceptance of the program's objectives and to gain a strong level of initial participation.
It is estimated that the research will require 1,500 hours (187 days) to develop the Badge and Medallion Program, including (1) review of ACRP material; (2) development of subject syllabi and assessment tools; (3) setup of the learning management system (4) prepare badge and medallion graphics and; (4) prepare for the implementation of the program. Using a composite fully-loaded labor rate of $150 per hour, labor costs are estimated to total $225,000. Costs for travel, survey distribution, and other expenses is estimated at $25,000. Total estimate cost for the proposed research is $250,000.
The proposed research is expected to be conducted over a period of approximately 18 months. Allowances for project panel review of draft progress, interim, and final reports are included in this timeframe.
The proposed research is based in part by the needs to develop a qualified and capable workforce for the airport industry that were identified by the research from the following ACRP Projects.
ACRP Synthesis 18: Aviation Workforce Development Practices
Phase I - Identifying and Evaluating Airport Workforce Requirements (including the results published in Web-Only Document 28)
Phase II - Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity (published as ACRP Report 186).
ACRP 06-06 – Cultivating Talent in the Airport Environment (in progress)
ACRP 06-07 – Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals (in progress)
ACRP Synthesis 103 - Promoting Aviation Career Education in High Schools and Community Colleges
ACRP Project 01-34 - Developing Innovative Strategies for Aviation Education and Participation (published as ACRP Report 202)