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bbhuey
07-15-2009, 10:01 PM
Upon reading your article on the over-inflated EPR system, I reflected back upon when EPR's replaced APR's many moons ago. I recall a wise old Chief sitting down to chat about the changes and how it would affect each of us. The repeated response was this wasn't a true fix because it didn't address the root of the problem... how do you implement a system that each of the tens of thousands of raters would interpret equally?

After a decade-plus of implementation, it seems the young troops sitting in that room were correct. Its just too difficult to remove the human factor out of the "ratings war". I have personally been rating troops for 20+ years. Over the years, the implementation of the EPR has once again transformed itself to a degraded tool for the purpose it was designed for.... and it's no surprise here!!

How can the leadership expect to have a rater who was wary of giving an 8 rating versus a 9 do even better with giving a 3-4 versus a 5 ? Think of it in simplistic terms. If I rated a troop an 8 in the APR system, he's basically scoring an 89 out of 100. In the EPR system, that drops to an 80.

Now if you properly use the criteria defined in form, that's still an excellent ariman. But stack that 4 up against the 1,000 other raters who gave their airman a 5 in the same year. As a good supervisor, if I adhere to the standards, I crucify my airman's chance to compete.

How do we fix it?

Quota systems... forget it!!! It just isn't appropriate nor fair. My "4" is probably a "5" in numerous other environments.

Mandate we all adhere to the judgment scale... another impossibility!! The rating system is a personal tool by nature. Therefore eliminating the personal variances factor is an impossibility!!

I would think minimizing that factor is the only solution. Instead of basing a 1 to 5 scale, increase it to a 1-20 scale. It allows a supervisor to differentiate between his multiple ratees without taking a massive cut out of their promotion capability. I know I personnally debated on numerous occasions how "Airman A" was definately a 5 in a certain area, but was "Airman B", while not as effective as "Airman A", 20% less? I would have loved to have been able to show Airman B was an 18 in that situation. It allowed the flexibility I needed and allowed for a truer rating.

chevyman
07-15-2009, 10:22 PM
Upon reading your article on the over-inflated EPR system, I reflected back upon when EPR's replaced APR's many moons ago. I recall a wise old Chief sitting down to chat about the changes and how it would affect each of us. The repeated response was this wasn't a true fix because it didn't address the root of the problem... how do you implement a system that each of the tens of thousands of raters would interpret equally?

After a decade-plus of implementation, it seems the young troops sitting in that room were correct. Its just too difficult to remove the human factor out of the "ratings war". I have personally been rating troops for 20+ years. Over the years, the implementation of the EPR has once again transformed itself to a degraded tool for the purpose it was designed for.... and it's no surprise here!!

How can the leadership expect to have a rater who was wary of giving an 8 rating versus a 9 do even better with giving a 3-4 versus a 5 ? Think of it in simplistic terms. If I rated a troop an 8 in the APR system, he's basically scoring an 89 out of 100. In the EPR system, that drops to an 80.

Now if you properly use the criteria defined in form, that's still an excellent ariman. But stack that 4 up against the 1,000 other raters who gave their airman a 5 in the same year. As a good supervisor, if I adhere to the standards, I crucify my airman's chance to compete.

How do we fix it?

Quota systems... forget it!!! It just isn't appropriate nor fair. My "4" is probably a "5" in numerous other environments.

Mandate we all adhere to the judgment scale... another impossibility!! The rating system is a personal tool by nature. Therefore eliminating the personal variances factor is an impossibility!!

I would think minimizing that factor is the only solution. Instead of basing a 1 to 5 scale, increase it to a 1-20 scale. It allows a supervisor to differentiate between his multiple ratees without taking a massive cut out of their promotion capability. I know I personnally debated on numerous occasions how "Airman A" was definately a 5 in a certain area, but was "Airman B", while not as effective as "Airman A", 20% less? I would have loved to have been able to show Airman B was an 18 in that situation. It allowed the flexibility I needed and allowed for a truer rating.

Are we still beating this dead horse? We all know the EPR system is broken. Until somthing is done AF wide it will stay that way. Supervisiors will continue to inflate the ratings so they won't hurt thier people when promotions come around. It is the people in the system not the system itself. Do I write 5s. you bet your ass I do and I will keep doind so. I don't want screw someone because a lesser airman got a 5 and they didn't.

fufu
07-15-2009, 10:26 PM
I love how a bunch of people who benefitted from a slanted system, now want to "fix" it........... Are you kidding me? I guarantee 95% of the people saying "Fix the system", benefitted from firewall 5s their entire career............

Laughable.....

Rev Mike Large
07-15-2009, 10:34 PM
Are we still beating this dead horse? We all know the EPR system is broken. Until somthing is done AF wide it will stay that way. Supervisiors will continue to inflate the ratings so they won't hurt thier people when promotions come around. It is the people in the system not the system itself. Do I write 5s. you bet your ass I do and I will keep doind so. I don't want screw someone because a lesser airman got a 5 and they didn't.

Well all you are doing is re-stating the problem and saying something vague about how to fix it: "until something is done AF wide it will stay that way."

I give credit to bbhuey for at least offering a plausible solution backed by a reasonable argument: if you can't eliminate rating bias and variation, at least minimize its effect. Going back to a 10 (or as he suggested) 20-point scale would indeed offer raters a bit more flexibility to properly rate their people. It would of course still boil down to trusting people not to simply make 20 the new 5... in other words, we'd actually have to all agree to use the new flexibility to mark a few people down a bit (good troops between 15-17, great troops 18-19, the tops being 20 -- something like that... just off the top). Interesting post!

chevyman
07-15-2009, 10:47 PM
Well all you are doing is re-stating the problem and saying something vague about how to fix it: "until something is done AF wide it will stay that way."

I give credit to bbhuey for at least offering a plausible solution backed by a reasonable argument: if you can't eliminate rating bias and variation, at least minimize its effect. Going back to a 10 (or as he suggested) 20-point scale would indeed offer raters a bit more flexibility to properly rate their people. It would of course still boil down to trusting people not to simply make 20 the new 5... in other words, we'd actually have to all agree to use the new flexibility to mark a few people down a bit (good troops between 15-17, great troops 18-19, the tops being 20 -- something like that... just off the top). Interesting post!

No matter what rating scale is used it will get inflated. Once the scale is figured out the inflated ratings will follow closely behind. It is the people in the system. I, like alot of NCOs will not screw thier people and give low ratings.

CrustySMSgt
07-15-2009, 11:18 PM
If you minimize the weight it carries, then the advantage to earning a perfect rating is also minimized, so what's the point? If I have to be average to slightly above average to come within 5 points of someone who busts their ass all year to get the top score, then I'll skate throughout the year, use my free time to study a bit more, score 6 points higher than the guy who put in all the overtime all year, and I'll get promoted over him/her.

Call me an asshole, but if my troop ain't earning it, they aren't getting a 5. My concern is not how it will screw him or hurt his feelings... as I've said before, when I promote my average troop into a position to be my peer, and I'm stuck carrying their dead weight, then it is myself, my peers, and the Air Force I've screwed.

Aitrus
07-15-2009, 11:30 PM
I'm of the opinion that EPR scores sholdn't be factored into the overall score. Instead, only 4s and 5s will be allowed to test, 3s if approved by CC in writing, and 1/2s will be ineligible for that year. Use EPR scores as a mentoring tool instead of a promotion tool.

To make sure that the performers are recognized, make medals worth more, but tighten the requirements for an Airman's and Comm medals. Assign points for deployment and special duty medals/ribbons. Possibly assign points toward CATM scores for those career fields on the "A" firing schedule as weapons training plays a more important part of their job.

In effect, take more points out of the supervisor's hands and leave it up to the member to earn the points by performing. Not a perfect solution, but might eliminate some of the inflation.

AF Chief
07-15-2009, 11:49 PM
Call me an asshole, but if my troop ain't earning it, they aren't getting a 5. My concern is not how it will screw him or hurt his feelings... as I've said before, when I promote my average troop into a position to be my peer, and I'm stuck carrying their dead weight, then it is myself, my peers, and the Air Force I've screwed.

:golf clap:

You get what you deserve. And this is coming from a guy that has gotten a "4" in the past...

imported_a1cfox21
07-15-2009, 11:55 PM
I'm of the opinion that EPR scores sholdn't be factored into the overall score. Instead, only 4s and 5s will be allowed to test, 3s if approved by CC in writing, and 1/2s will be ineligible for that year. Use EPR scores as a mentoring tool instead of a promotion tool.

To make sure that the performers are recognized, make medals worth more, but tighten the requirements for an Airman's and Comm medals. Assign points for deployment and special duty medals/ribbons. Possibly assign points toward CATM scores for those career fields on the "A" firing schedule as weapons training plays a more important part of their job.

In effect, take more points out of the supervisor's hands and leave it up to the member to earn the points by performing. Not a perfect solution, but might eliminate some of the inflation.

This is the jist of a thread I just started regarding EPR's and Promotions. Making the whole process less subjective (like our current EPR's) will be more fair. Make each individual earn all the damn points they can in a bunch of different areas in addition to actual testing in order to get promoted.

imported_bluejacket
07-16-2009, 03:35 AM
This is the jist of a thread I just started regarding EPR's and Promotions. Making the whole process less subjective (like our current EPR's) will be more fair. Make each individual earn all the damn points they can in a bunch of different areas in addition to actual testing in order to get promoted.

To all who wish to fix this crap, try reading and UNDERSTANDING your PDG. The AF wants experience not brains. It's in your study materials.

Aitrus
07-16-2009, 02:40 PM
To all who wish to fix this crap, try reading and UNDERSTANDING your PDG. The AF wants experience not brains. It's in your study materials.

I do understand my PDG well enough to know when a system is broken, but ignored by higher ups because they either 1) don't want to listen to their mid-level enlisted folk or 2) don't want to deal with it and pass it on to the next generation.

Not saying the AF doesn't want experience. However, I do think the AF wants experience and brains in equal amounts. The AF is, after all, a technically-centralized military. Experience and brains (as opposed to brute strength, a good aim, raging hormones and a "Yes Sir, whatever you say Sir!" mentality) matters equally in how the AF conducts business.

I'm just saying let's take out an abused portion of the testing and replace it with something that isn't as easily abused. By making deployment medals and decorations worth more, you get the whole "experience doing actual work" accounted for during the promotion evaluation process.

ART
07-16-2009, 02:56 PM
Does everyone get to start an EPR thread?

How do I know when it's my turn?

Robert F. Dorr
03-12-2013, 09:31 AM
Does everyone get to start an EPR thread?

How do I know when it's my turn?

Maybe yours came and went. It's hard to decide whether the talk of change today means something new and different or whether this is, to borrow a title from a movie, The Never-Ending Story.

Brewhound
03-12-2013, 11:38 AM
I love how a bunch of people who benefitted from a slanted system, now want to "fix" it........... Are you kidding me? I guarantee 95% of the people saying "Fix the system", benefitted from firewall 5s their entire career............

Laughable.....

+100 for the truest comment of the month.

SgtS
03-12-2013, 12:10 PM
+100 for the truest comment of the month.

Yeah, for the month of July ... 2009. Does no one look at date stamps?

This is 4 year old thread zombie!

TVANSCOT
03-12-2013, 12:26 PM
There is nothing that can be done, almost all ratings systems are opinionated. There is nothing that can be done other than getting rid of it.

jondstewart
03-14-2013, 05:04 AM
There is nothing that can be done, almost all ratings systems are opinionated. There is nothing that can be done other than getting rid of it.

Just get rid of the damned system, period! Make E5-E9 the way officers do their ranks: you either meet the board or you don't! Get 3 tries at E5 4-6 years, E6 8-11, E7 12-15. 5 years the standard for E5, 10 years the standard for E6, and 13 years the standard for E7. E8 and E9 will be the way officers make full bird and General, that is, who they know and what butts they kissed

And all that BS about showing up for work and doing your job constitutes a "3". Bull and shit! Anybody that gets a 3 is usually lazy, a moron, got in trouble, or had a spiteful supervisor!

RobotChicken
03-14-2013, 05:13 AM
Just get rid of the damned system, period! Make E5-E9 the way officers do their ranks: you either meet the board or you don't! Get 3 tries at E5 4-6 years, E6 8-11, E7 12-15. 5 years the standard for E5, 10 years the standard for E6, and 13 years the standard for E7. E8 and E9 will be the way officers make full bird and General, that is, who they know and what butts they kissed

And all that BS about showing up for work and doing your job constitutes a "3". Bull and shit! Anybody that gets a 3 is usually lazy, a moron, got in trouble, or had a spiteful supervisor!

That about sums it up!! Great post 'stew'.

Pullinteeth
03-14-2013, 02:05 PM
There is nothing that can be done, almost all ratings systems are opinionated. There is nothing that can be done other than getting rid of it.

That is what some people like about OPRs...meets/does not meet... comments tell the story. Still isn't perfect-if your supervisor is lazy on the comments, that can hurt but maybe better?

Brewhound
03-14-2013, 02:16 PM
Yeah, for the month of July ... 2009. Does no one look at date stamps?

This is 4 year old thread zombie!

Sorry about that sweatgirl. I will check next time. I wouldn`t want to get your panties in a bunch again and wreck your cyber-fantasy.....My bad. xoxoxo

LogDog
03-14-2013, 08:44 PM
Just get rid of the damned system, period! Make E5-E9 the way officers do their ranks: you either meet the board or you don't! Get 3 tries at E5 4-6 years, E6 8-11, E7 12-15. 5 years the standard for E5, 10 years the standard for E6, and 13 years the standard for E7. E8 and E9 will be the way officers make full bird and General, that is, who they know and what butts they kissed
That's a lot of promotion boards. I agree with taking out the EPR points out of the equation and making it a truer reflection of how well a person performs. As for your time-in-service I agree with E-5 but make it 13 years for E-6 (not all AFSC's promote with the same numbers). For E-7 it should be 18 years. E-8s/E-9s promotions continue with the current system.


And all that BS about showing up for work and doing your job constitutes a "3". Bull and shit! Anybody that gets a 3 is usually lazy, a moron, got in trouble, or had a spiteful supervisor!
If you want an honest EPR then you have to get rid of promotion points. If a ratee is lazy then that's a reflection on the supervisor as well. Most people will do their job and no more and if they do it well then they deserve a "3" EPR. If they do more then they deserve a higher EPR.

Quixotic
03-14-2013, 09:07 PM
It's unfortunate that AF Senior Leadership can't be as decisive about EPRs as they are about TA.

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
03-14-2013, 10:16 PM
Are we still beating this dead horse? We all know the EPR system is broken. Until somthing is done AF wide it will stay that way. Supervisiors will continue to inflate the ratings so they won't hurt thier people when promotions come around. It is the people in the system not the system itself. Do I write 5s. you bet your ass I do and I will keep doind so. I don't want screw someone because a lesser airman got a 5 and they didn't.


Hey hey, someone actually being honest.

imported_DannyJ
03-15-2013, 01:13 PM
Hey hey, someone actually being honest.

I think chevy's a bit off target though. I don't think it's supervisors that are inflating the ratings, at least not in my experience, but if it is, they aren't doing their job. E9+ Roy pissed me off when he addressed the concerns about the EPR with a simple, "fix it yeself" (what a cop out), but I agree that the form itself isn't actually broken.

There needs to be strict guidance on who actually sees EPRs. It should be limited to: rater, additional rater, shirt, commander, and back to ratee (maybe the sqn EPR guy or gal to digitally route could be in there, but they don't actually need to SEE it). There needs to be a whole lot less concern about making them perfect too. Also, non-concurs should actually happen. I haven't heard of a single case of it happening. A 3 EPR should take MAYBE 5 man hours from start to ratee signature. I would be afraid to actually see the numbers if someone tracked the ridonkulous hours spent on this crap.

jondstewart
03-17-2013, 10:34 PM
One more thing, what if a person did indeed show up for work and "just do their job", BUT also aced the PT test, kept their uniform looking sharp, and reeked military bearing, would you give them a "3"? You gotta use the whole person concept! It's a cliche, but I've known few people that actually use it. Most 3's and 4's I've seen on EPR's are what I call "firewall 3's" and "firewall 4's". On today's EPR, that means the PT test is in the far right block and the rest of the ratings are 1 markdown. On the old EPR form, that means "complies with all training requirements" was the next to last block checked and for a 4 rating, all the other blocks matched in the same area, but a 3 rating they were all one down

imported_DannyJ
03-18-2013, 01:42 PM
One more thing, what if a person did indeed show up for work and "just do their job", BUT also aced the PT test, kept their uniform looking sharp, and reeked military bearing, would you give them a "3"? You gotta use the whole person concept! It's a cliche, but I've known few people that actually use it. Most 3's and 4's I've seen on EPR's are what I call "firewall 3's" and "firewall 4's". On today's EPR, that means the PT test is in the far right block and the rest of the ratings are 1 markdown. On the old EPR form, that means "complies with all training requirements" was the next to last block checked and for a 4 rating, all the other blocks matched in the same area, but a 3 rating they were all one down

In the unit I'm in right now? This guy would like be getting a mark down 5. I'd probably go along with that, but it would depend on how well they "just did their job".

sandsjames
03-18-2013, 03:05 PM
How about an AF guidline that is cut and dry.

For instance, something stating what you MUST have accomplished by each rank. EPR becomes "go/no go". If you complete all of the tasks on time you are promotable. Which tasks would be on the list would be for people much smarter than me. Some of the tasks would be waiverable depending on deployments, accessibilty, etc. Almost like we currently do with training records.

Shrike
03-18-2013, 06:26 PM
I see ol' RFD is still engaging in thread necromancy. Things don't change 'round here...