This post is the first in a four-part series that will explain the new Boat Forces standardization, called STAN, assessment standards. On Sept. 19, the Office of Boat Forces announced the implementation of the new STAN framework and provided policy updates to the Boat Forces manual. Over the next week, Coast Guard All Hands will breakdown the new policy and provide in-depth analysis of how these changes will better prepare personnel and operational units for mission success. The new STAN Team assessment policy is called STAN 2.0 and goes into effect Oct. 1.
Written by Lt. Jodie Knox.
STAN 2.0 is the result of extensive feedback to the Office of Boat Forces from multiple sources, including field units and formal analyses, recommending improvements to the legacy standardization system. In Jan. 2012, recommendations were collected by Boat Forces from Coast Guard Headquarters, Force Readiness Command, area, district, sector and operational station commands. STAN 2.0 was tested by operational units and received positive feedback.
“I liked that the (new) model will be used to base scoring on severity of discrepancies. For example, a small tear in a pair of rain pants won’t be treated the same as a tear in a drysuit,” said Chief Petty Officer Matthew Avery, officer-in-charge of Aids to Navigation Team Ft. Pierce, Fla.
Here is an overview of STAN 2.0 as it impacts members, assessed units or operational commanders:
• The assessment looks and feels the same. It is still every two years, takes the same amount of time and inspects the same items. The only difference is in how the assessment results are reported to operational commanders.
• Results are reported in the familiar green, amber and red format. The separate graded inspection areas will be GAR scored and then combined for one GAR risk score for the unit overall. Check back with Coast Guard All Hands for an explanation of the risk-based method on Sept. 25.
• The biggest difference is for rescue and survival gear scoring. With the legacy system, each discrepancy resulted in a point deducted and it didn’t matter if it was a small or large one, it was the same loss of points. With the new system, each discrepancy is weighted in terms of severity of problem.
• The new system emphasizes receiving a lower score where the legacy system emphasized a higher one. Check back with Coast Guard All Hands for an explanation of the new scoring system on Sept. 26.
• The knowledge exams will be given online and will be populated with questions from an official Coast Guard testing program, called “Question Mark.” In the past, questions were generated by subject matter experts. Now all questions will come from a validated question pool.
• The first STAN 2.0 unit visit is considered an “assist visit” while units adjust to the new system. The report will still be sent to operational commanders but the first assessment places an emphasis on understanding the new framework.
• STAN 2.0 will also affect ready for operation inspections and the annual Kimball Award. RFO teams will no longer be required to conduct written exams or physical fitness evaluations and the Kimball Award will be retired from use. Check back with Coast Guard All Hands on Oct. 1 for more on the retirement of the Kimball Award and an explanation of RFO changes.
Links to STAN 2.0 inspection check sheets can be found in the STAN 2.0 ALCOAST.
This overview of STAN 2.0 likely resulted in a number of questions. Look for the following blog posts that dig further into what STAN 2.0 will look like:
• Sept. 25: Explanation of the new risk based method
• Sept. 26: Explanation of the new scoring system
• Oct. 1 : RFO impacts and retirement of the Kimball Award
If there are questions not addressed here, or in planned future posts, please leave your question as a comment below.
For any questions regarding STAN 2.0, RFO or the Kimball Award, please contact The Office of Boat Forces at (202) 372-2472 or Lt. David Ruhlig at David.P.Ruhlig@uscg.mil.