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 interviewees 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:
what he or she is actually expected to know and
determine what he or she can actually do so the
right job can be assigned, and
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
doesnt 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 interviewees 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
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
interviewees 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.