We strongly believe in the value of independent / 3rd party / outside examination of operation. Many agencies call these assessments audits, reviews, or examinations. Each lifeguard agency has a different approach to their assessment system and these outside reviews are a great way to identify the status of an operation at a given moment, provide guidance, and identify areas for focus.
We have also seen and personally experienced outside assessments that don’t really bring much value to the operation or to the employees. Some assessments may only reach a handful of employees, or simply be confirming what the managers or operators already know, or be conducted by someone with minimal experience. These assessments tend to be a one size fits all approach and are not custom to the operation.
When we think about audits, we talk about purpose. What is your purpose for receiving an audit? As an operator for over 20 years, the answer to what my purpose was became a little muddled…we have always had audits, I want to make sure my staff was performing at a high level and their skills were test ready…
But…I just knew there could and should be more to the process. As we began to think, dream, and listen we realized that audits were:
- Not challenging operations to improve (even if they were already at a high level)
- Not useful to the majority of lifeguards on staff (especially large operations)
- Not testing skills like an actual emergency
- Not based on recent accident, drownings, or current litigation cases
- Not what the client wanted
So, we ask you to think what kind of value your current audits are providing to you and what is your purpose for receiving them?
This entire discovery process led us to ask ourselves a lot of “what if” questions and “why” questions and led us in part to the creation of the iCORE program. iCORE is designed to layer on top of any existing lifeguard program (current audits and all), but aims to provide a different kind of value to operators. Check out more about iCORE here.