What is a DACUM and how can it be used in Public Safety agencies?

DACUM is an acronym for Developing A Curriculum. It is used for Occupational Job Analysis as well as designing curriculum.  We’ve conducted DACUM’s for police and fire departments, as well as supervisory and managerial skill building. It is a one to two day “storyboarding” process that provides a picture of what the worker does in terms of duties, tasks, knowledge, skills, traits, tools and future concerns.  The information is presented in graphic chart form and can include information on critical and frequently performed tasks and the training needs of workers.  A minimum of ten (10) participants is recommended for optimal input and results.

 The Process of Storyboarding

Storyboarding is a technique that illustrates the power of “Displayed Thinking,” a concept created by Mike Vance, former Director of Ideas and People Development for the Disney Corporation. Displayed Thinking has proven that people work more effectively in teams when they can see the ideas they generate.  The visual nature of storyboarding is what makes it such a powerful facilitation tool.  The DACUM workshop is highly efficient and streamlines an otherwise tedious and time-consuming process into a matter of two days.  Because of this focus, the group can develop the job profile quickly and edit and refine it in a more collaborative fashion.

The Purpose of Conducting a DACUM

To stay on the cutting edge, public and private agencies alike are realizing the benefits of conducting occupational job analyses.  The results can be utilized in a variety of ways including:

  • Evaluation and review of job descriptions
  • Recruitment and personnel selection
  • Worker performance evaluations
  • Management decisions and supervisory roles
  • Linking job skills to curriculum development
  • Worker certification and continuing professional development
  • Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act

The Facilitator

Rick Michelson is a certified Dacum workshop Facilitator and has conducted occupational job analyses for the following positions:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Latent Fingerprint Specialist
  • Fingerprint Comparison Specialist
  • Forensic Criminalists
  • Forensic Specialist (organizer)
  • Firefighter (Long Beach)
  • Marine Safety Officer ( Long Beach)

Additionally, as the Director of KSA, Ltd., Rick has utilized the Dacum methodology in training numerous firefighters and police officers in Supervisory and Management Skill building, and held workshops for Covina, Irvine, La Mesa, Las Vegas Metro, Napa, Vallejo, Merced, Modesto, Redondo Beach, Reno, and Santa Ana (to name a few).

The DACUM Workshop

The job profile development process will require a focus group with a minimum of ten (10) high-performing incumbent workers.  Since scheduling may be an issue, it is recommended that it be resolved in advance of the date(s) of the workshop.  To avoid a worker shortage and still maintain a full representation, you may wish to invite local workers in similar positions from surrounding agencies to participate.

  The Meeting Room and Materials

An adequate sized training facility with large “empty” wall space and/or whiteboard space is required to enable participants to visualize the process.  Flip-charts are necessary if white board space is not available.  To maximize efficiency, it is recommended that the agency have lunch brought in for its participants.  KSA, Ltd., will provide the audio-visuals, bottled water and writing tablets for each of the participants.

Time Requirements: Two full working days, 0800-1700.

Cost: Contact us for quotes or bids for a two day Dacum.

For a review of the DACUM’s that Rick worked on with Grossmont College, see:http://www.dacumjobprofiles.org/public-safety/index.htm

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