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Developing and Validating Training, Education & Experience Requirements (Overview)

"How many years of on-the-job experience should a police officer have before being eligible for promotion to sergeant? How many years’ experience should a firefighter possess before becoming eligible for promotion to captain? What is the minimum number of years a person should be an apprentice in an industrial trade before becoming a licensed journey worker? How many years of flying experience should a pilot possess before being eligible to become a commercial airline pilot for a major airline? Should a person possess an undergraduate degree plus two years of experience before applying for a management position? A degree plus four years of experience? Five years?

Personnel and human resource professionals regularly struggle with these types of questions for both entry-level and promotional processes. When time-in-grade or other training, experience, and education (referred to hereafter as TEE) requirements are used and generate adverse impact, they instantly become subject to validation scrutiny if challenged in arbitration or legal settings.

Because TEE requirements are frequently established using nothing other than 'best judgment' by executive and management staff, employers often find themselves in litigation situations explaining to the judge why they thought a five-year minimum time-in-grade requirement was better than a four-year requirement, or three and onehalf years – down an endless slippery slope of subjectivity.

But this does not need to be the case. There are several defensible methods for validating TEE requirements....But first, a brief tour through the various government and professional standards and criteria surrounding TEE requirements will be provided."

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