PAMSP training providers – Let’s try to be objective: The 2017-2018 Gap (Part 3 of 5)

In part 2 of 5, 2014-2017, the tenure of Vendor Y was coming to a close. Administratively the program was in disarray, Instructors faith lost in the Administration, but still training students actively in the field – students first. Many Instructors thought they knew what was coming next…

The 2017-2018 Gap

By the end of 2017 the existing contract was ending.

A lot of Instructors were looking forward to what came next, an opportunity to rebuild the program to its former glory.

A new contract RFP had been launched in 2017.

The 1999-2013 Program Administrator, Vendor X, was not going to bid – which came as a surprise to many current Instructors who still carried their certification. This meant that it was likely that all of the existing Instructor certifications were all up in the air – valid for only 2 years would they even be relevant in PA in a few months? Only if the next provider used their curricula.

The incumbent Administrator, Vendor Y, had replied to the 2017 RFP but did not win it – and given that it was Government contract many were afraid that they would. Other Program Administration companies refused to bid due to the punitive clauses in the contract.

The Program was in disarray, but most people didn’t know it.

Another situation that would impact Instructors in 2018, but many didn’t realize was coming, was that Program Curricula would be changing, regardless of the Administrator.

This meant that all Instructors would have to be retrained, some would not want to go through the retraining and would depart and the Program would have to find new Instructors to train from the ground up to replace them.

This was not the “fault” of a new Program Administrator, but it meant new opportunities for Motorcycle Instructors and PAMSP in 2018, no matter who won it – or a lot more work for Instructors in the field who were happy with the old curricula and wanted to maintain the status quo.

End of 2017 – A new Program Administrator

In December of 2017, in response to the RFP, a new Administration Company, Vendor Z, was selected by PennDOT to run PAMSP.

The Program Administrator’s President made the announcement on December 6th, 2017 via Facebook.

PennDOT would not make their announcement until March of 2018.

The 2018 Program Administrator was a 20 year old company out of California that a few people had heard of before and whose curricula was currently being used in the California Motorcycle Training Program. Only if you were into motorcycle training would you have recognized the name but it was certainly a move in a different direction.

The new Program Administrator would not only be bringing new management to PA – they would be bringing their curricula to PA, the first wholesale change in curricula in PAMSP’s history.

Vendor Z had developed their curriculum “backwards.” First starting with Advanced Rider Training, getting people ready for track days, then with Intermediate Rider training, getting people ready for Advanced Rider training and then focused on Beginner Rider training.

Their “Clinics” were built from the top down, consistent from Beginner to Advanced, each building on one another providing a holistic approach to rider training.

With classes due to start in March, there was little time to waste. Unlike the transition between the incoming and outgoing providers in 2013, there was none in 2017-2018.

The new Administrator wasn’t due to move into the PAMSP offices until January 28th, 2018. Student classes were due to start in just 2 months.

Without a transition, there were huge gaps in information, everything from Instructor contact information to day to day operations, lack of access to facilities, firewalls between the outgoing administration and the incoming. The student training season was soon to begin and they still had to train all of the Instructors in the new curricula before a single student could be trained.

2 months until student classes would open. A new office. 6 new Staff. No transition. No Trainers. No Site Coordinators. No Instructors. An unknown number of sites. An unknown number of functioning motorcycles. New Curricula. An unknown number of Instructors to train. An unknown number of Instructors to recruit and hire.

In the history of the Program, since it’s inception in 1985, no one had ever attempted this before, and no one with as many obstacles.

Next: PAMSP training providers –
Let’s try to be objective: December-February 2017 (Part 4 of 5)

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