The PennDOT PAMSP “Free for All”

In April of 2020 PennDOT cancelled the PAMSP (PA Motorcycle Safety Program) contract for convenience. The program was already on suspension (first at site level, then contract level for COVID) before a few weeks later PennDOT, for the first time in +30yrs, cancelled the contract held by a single vendor they had awarded in 2017 and would not end for 2 more years.

A few weeks ago (July 2nd, 2020) PennDOT, in order to address the breach of statutory requirements violated in cancelling the contract, issued an “emergency contract” (here) via the PA “eMarketplace” to offer a “to administer a pilot Motorcycle Safety Training Program” for Pennsylvania.

Essentially the “emergency contract” is a 4-month contract (August 2020 to December 2020) that requests bids from 3rd party training providers to run anything, anywhere with anyone concurrently across PA, as long as they had approval from PennDOT…

From an Administration perspective PennDOT would go from a single contract, a single administrator & a single curriculum Commonwealth-wide to as many contracts, administrators & curricula as they can approve. Not “convenient” from an overhead perspective, or for consistency, etc.

What’s happening behind the scenes?

  • Dealers who have already started offering non-licensing training now have to re-tool to consider the PennDOT contract in order to offer licensing courses.
  • Vendors from all over the country are now working to assemble bid responses to meet with PennDOT deadline.
  • Instructors across the Commonwealth are receiving email and text messages from various vendor representatives asking if they are interested in teaching various curricula not currently offered in PA.

Basically, a free for all.

If you are a current or past Instructor expect a call, text or email out of the blue asking if you want to teach (and receive rapid certification in what is not currently offered in PA) with a new provider. It’s not spam, it’s the fall out from the confusion that PennDOT has created and which the Legislature is permitting to continue with zero oversight or accountability.

If you are thinking what this holds for 2021 there are only a few options. One option is going back to single Commonwealth-wide curricula & administrator. Another option the “3rd party” model that has been rushed out the door in 2020. In any case you’ll only find out when it’s announced and if you are an Instructor you still face an uncertain future.

In 2021 many Instructors will be faced with the decision to teach, or not.
Just as they have done many times in the past 10 years due to avoidable disruptions in the Program.

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