areas. Others may be quite specific and brief. Each task is further broken down into several smaller jobs called task elements.
A TASK ELEMENT is a basic part of each task. When interviewing, you use the task elements and their related ACTION STATEMENTS to determine the interviewee's qualifications. Action statements tell you the type of information you should get from the person being interviewed. Each action statement is identified in the guides by a capital letter (A, B, C, and so forth). Capital letters are listed near the top, and how many are used varies from task to task. The first action statement in figure 1-4 is, "Describe the sequence of steps of this procedure and explain the reasons for each." A matrix is used to show how the statements relate to the task elements.
To gain familiarity with the matrix, refer to task element .01, "Perform as head chainman." Under the task element subparagraph a, you find "Select and set traverse station." If you follow this line and look to the right of this statement at the matrix, you see Xs under letters A, B, E, F, and G, indicating which action statements apply to this task element.
When interviewing, the first thing you should do is to attempt to put the interviewee at ease. A good way of doing this is to explain the purpose of the interview. For example, explain to the interviewee that the interview will cover the following:
1. what he or she is actually expected to know and to do,
2. determine what he or she can actually do so the right job can be assigned, and
3. what his or her deficiencies are so that he or she can receive proper training.
Next, explain to the interviewee that he or she should discuss the knowledge of the skill honestly. There should be no embarrassment if an individual doesn't know every item covered in the guides. Tell each interviewee what skill and skill level he or she is being interviewed for. Read the skill definition aloud to see if the person is knowledgeable of the subject.
Begin interviewing by reading aloud the task. This directs the interviewee's concentration to the right area. Then rephrase the task in your own words. For example, you could rephrase it as follows: "The first thing we will discuss in surveying is the performance of the chainman."
Now read aloud the first TASK ELEMENT (Perform as head chainman) (fig. 1-4). When you apply this task element through ACTION STATE- MENT A (Describe the sequence of steps of this procedure and explain the reasons for each), it sounds similar to the following: "Describe the sequence of steps a head chainman should take in selecting and setting traverse stations, and explain the reason for each step."
This rephrased sentence is not a question. It is a statement that directs the interviewee to tell you what he or she knows about performing the steps required and the reasons for performing them. There are no questions in the PRCP Standards and Guides; there- fore, no answers are provided. The guides point out the areas to be discussed (in terms of TASK ELEMENTS and ACTION STATEMENTS). The interviewee's replies are evaluated by the interviewer on the basis of his or her own personal experience, knowledge, and judgment.
It should be obvious now why all rating skill interviewers MUST be experienced in the skills for which they interview. The only way you can determine that the interviewee knows the task element is to thoroughly know it yourself. If you are unfamiliar with, or "rusty" in, any tasks in the guides, you must study these areas thoroughly before attempting to interview anyone. Also, if you do not understand how a particular action statement is used with a task element, you must resolve this before interviewing. One way of doing this is to discuss the problem with others who are familiar with the skill.
Discuss the task element ONLY with the action statements indicated in the columns to their right by an X in the matrix. For example, in figure 1-4, only action statements A, B, D, F, and G are used with task element .02a. In task element .03a of the same figure, only action statements A, C, F, and G are applied. As an expert in the skill, you may want to ask questions about tasks not covered by the guides. You must avoid doing this, as you would have no applicable standard against which to gauge interviewees' replies. If you feel strongly that the guides can be improved, discuss your recommendations with the PRCP coordinator.Continue Reading