BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center hosted an Evaluations Training course for more than a dozen Guard and Reserve personnelists and unit program coordinators here, Jan. 21-31, 2020.
The course, which consisted of presentations from local subject matter experts and hands on training, was designed to provide force support squadrons, military personnel flights and command support staffs with the knowledge and insights to more efficiently process evaluations at the wing and unit levels.
“The overall goal is for us to provide as many units as possible with evaluations training, so that they can easily review and submit [complete and accurate] evaluations that adhere to AFI 36-2406,” said Staff Sgt. Joanne Skafidas, an evaluations team member at HQ ARPC and one of the course facilitators.
The in-person training provided attendees the opportunity to ask questions and solicit feedback for evaluations they are currently processing. All attendees have prior experience processing evaluations and are not new to the personnel career filed, but this training provides a personal touch.
“We could easily push the training material out to interested units but it wouldn’t be the same,” said Skafidas. “Being in class allows the members to ask questions and go through scenarios. The interaction and application of the training material is what really makes the difference in truly understanding evaluations.”
Getting answers to their questions and being able to make corrections on the spot is expected to increase the likeliness evaluations will be fully processed and back to the member in a timely manner. Because evaluations are routed through multiple technicians in multiple locations, the training also allowed attendees to see the bigger picture of how evaluations are processed.
“It gave me a better understanding of the full evals cycle from start to finish,” said Tech. Sgt. Brittany Taliaferro, a personnelist assigned to the 860th Cyber Space Operations Group, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.
Taliaferro is the evaluations technician at her unit where she fields questions and reviews evaluations for seven squadrons. The 10-day course sets her up to be more efficient at reviewing evaluations at the unit level and to be able to mitigate lower-level issues, which was the intention of the training from when it began in 2018.
“We consider these unit personnelists as an extension of our evaluations team so we focus our training on providing them a comprehensive understanding of what they should be looking for as they review each evaluation,” said Col. Ashley Heyen, director of Personnel & Total Force Services at HQ ARPC. “We then ask them to take this training and share the knowledge with their base when they return to ensure all Airmen are receiving the best evaluation of their performance possible.”
The ultimate goal of the training is for the products they receive from the field to have zero to minimal errors, said Skafidas, adding that it’s a win for everyone.
“We want to make everything easier for them," said Skafidas. “I truly believe knowledge is power and this training program gives the field that power. I want them to leave here understating and being confident in their newly gained knowledge of evaluations.”