Originally Posted by Pierre
Central division has a one sheet handout with twelve tasks on it that you may be asked to do. I have never seen a level III clinic that covered them well or told the candidates what to expect or if they were passable. Central division has an unwritten rule that you don't tell a candidate whether they meet the standard or not. Level III clinics focus on just good skiing, not on the test. Your best feedback is from recent candidates as you prepare for your exam.
There are video cameras in wide use now and that is your best bet for preping yourself. There are DVD's from Rocky Mountain and the likes that people use but they are only and approximation of what Central is looking for. You have the national standards but they are interperated by the examiners and they don't let out what they look for.
I spent some time with Bob Barnes in Rocky Mountain and was amazed at the amount and type of feedback that he was giving out. It was then that I knew things were drastically different in central. I have no idea what the east is like but blanket statements like the candidate will "know for sure if they are readyand if not they are not" when the examiners hold the criterion close to the chest here is bull pucky. I pretty much knew I was ready when I asked an examiner from another division.
I did not said they will know they are ready, I said they SHOULD know they are ready. As John has noted, many people go the exams unprepared to pass because they hope they MIGHT pass and expect to have a learning experience otherwise. I made my statements based on my Eastern experience and stories that the Western experiences were similar. From Barnes' feedback you should know that this SHOULD be possible in other divisions (if the feedback is amazing, it should be powerful enough to get results).
The Eastern examiners will not tell if you will pass or not. Examiners have been burned by telling people that they would/could pass and then getting an earful when the candidate did not. So now all they do is drop hints. If you can read the hints, it's not very hard to tell when they are really saying pass/not pass.
But even without any local help, good skiing is good skiing. If Central people used the resources that are availabe from National and in other divisions, they'd have a giant head start towards passing an exam in Central. It sucks that your exam prep clinics are not preparing your people to pass exams. Are they at least helping people to ski better?
It sounds like you need to start working the system. Get your friends to start participating in division and region meetings. Get lots of requests into your leadership that you need "these things" to happen to improve the exam process and note that they are already in place in the other divisions. If they don't take action, then kick their butts out of office. If the voting in Central is anything like the voting in Eastern, less than 15% of the voters vote. With that kind of voting it does not take much for a grass roots effort to succeed.
Examiners are employees of the division. If you take over division leadership, you CAN tell the examiners what they need to do for exams and fire them if they don't. The demo team members are available for consultation if the entire system needs to be revamped. They know how things got "fixed" in the other divisions. They can fill the political gap so that it does not become a "you vs us" debate.
When I started in PSIA, the Eastern division was moving to make the exams standardized among the examiners, so that your odds of passing varied very little with different examiners. The leadership explained that some examiners had to be let go because they would not get with the program. It was a risky approach and a tough job. But I, for one, am happy with the results.
Yes it hurts to lose examiners. And if you have to replace the hard working people who are running your division you'll quickly find out why there is not a long line of people competing for the jobs. But if you don't push and work hard for change, you can't complain when it does not happen.