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Online Certification Takes Training "Off the Road"

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: November/December 2014 Pages: 13-16
Becky Lewis
Date Published
December 2014
4 pages
This article describes how Minnesota has converted its Breath Alcohol Certification (BrAC) training to an online system with assistance from a program funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

Using funding from NIJ - the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice - RTI International developed the original concepts for the online training and then customized training for several States, starting with New Hampshire in 2009. This program can potentially impact every State, since every State has legislated regulations for officers who conduct breath-testing analyses. The online training packages mirror the basics of onsite training. There is a lecture component that covers changes in procedures and the law, an assessment test, and a practical demonstration of instrument use. Each State training package follows the same framework, but with each subsequent use, the simulated instrument test can become more complex. Prior to the use of the online training, officers in Minnesota had to travel to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's Forensic Science Laboratory for BrAC training several times a year. This required officers to pack up their instruments and leave the office for a week. Departments had expenses for lodging and overtime to cover for their absence. Working with the online-training developer, State law enforcement administrative agencies can guide changes and updates in training methods and content.