The purpose of this protocol is to assure a common and equitable testing of all Certified Casting Instructor candidates and to provide guidance and direction for examiners conducting the required workshop and the written and performance exams.
1. Candidates. All Certified Casting Instructor candidates must be members in good standing of the FFF. Candidates must be properly registered and have paid the appropriate testing fees to the FFF before testing
2. The Certification Process. To become a Certified Casting Instructor, a candidate must attend a qualifying workshop and pass the written and performance tests.
3. The certification process, once begun, must be completed within one year. The certification process officially begins when the candidate attends the required workshop or takes the written and/or performance test. Frequently, the required workshop will be given in conjunction with the written and performance tests, and in most instances these workshops will last about one hour. The candidate may elect to take an extended workshop not associated with testing, at his/her option.
This can be the required workshop if the necessary subjects are covered. The workshop presenter will know if the workshop qualifies as a required workshop. It is not necessary to take more than one workshop.
If a candidate chooses to begin the certification process by attending an extended workshop, the candidate must complete the certification process within one year of attending the workshop.
If a candidate fails the written or the performance test
s, or both, the candidate may retake the failed exam(s) one time within this one-year period without paying an additional fee. The candidate, however, may not retake the test on the same day or at the same event.
If the candidate fails to successfully complete the requirements of the certification process within one year, the candidate must start the process anew. The one-year period may be extended by the Executive Committee if the committee determines that circumstances warrant an extension.
4. The Certified Casting Instructor Workshop. Traditionally, workshops given in conjunction with the written and performance tests last about an hour. Extended or detached workshops are often part of a more in-depth workshop that is geared toward preparing the prospective candidate to pass the written and performance tests. Candidates taking extended or detached workshops must contact the FFF office and pay the necessary fees prior to attending the workshop, if they expect it to count as a requirement.
To qualify as the ‘required workshop,’ the workshop must cover two topics:
(1) A brief history and overview of the Casting Instructor Certification Program
(2) At least one item relating to teaching skills.
The presenter(s) is given broad discretion as to the specific content of the workshop, however these topics must be covered in a meaningful manner for the workshop to qualify as a ‘required workshop.’
The FFF website contains several outlines for workshops, and a prospective presenter may wish to refer to these in formulating his or her thoughts.
The ‘required workshop’ must be presented by a CBOG or an MCI who is qualified to be a member of a testing team (see below). It is recommended but not required that the workshop be presented by two qualified presenters.
5. The Examiners. The written and the performance tests shall be administered by two MCIs or a CBOG. Before an MCI may participate in the administering of the performance test, the MCI must have observed a CBOG conduct a performance exam.
An emeritus CBOG has all of the rights of an MCI and may conduct CI exams with another MCI or another emeritus CBOG. All examiners shall observe the requirements of the Code of Conduct.
6. The Written Test. The written test shall be the most recent version approved by the Casting Board of Governors. A candidate must score a 30 (out of 36) to pass the written exam. At the conclusion of the test, the examiner(s) shall go over the exam to the extent necessary to ensure that candidates who missed questions understand the principles presented by those questions. If a question is disputed by a candidate, the candidate shall be given an opportunity to explain the answer given. If the examiner(s) is satisfied that the candidate understands the principle presented by the question and has logically arrived at the answer given, the examiner may at his or her discretion give credit for the answer given.
If the candidate does not pass the written test, the candidate may still take the performance exam.
7. Equipment will be supplied by the candidate. The rod used may not exceed 9 feet (2.72 meters) in length and be designated by the manufacturer as no greater than a 7-weight. The line used must be a floating line and designated as no greater than a 7-weight line as designated by AFFTA (American Fly Fishing Trade Association) standards (177 to 193 grains or 12 grams +/- .5 grams). The leader used must be at least 7½ feet (2.27 ters) in length with a yarn fly. The fly line shall not be marked in any manner that might assist the candidate with respect to the accuracy tasks.
8. Performance test. The candidate should accomplish the performance tasks with a degree of ease that one would expect in a competent instructor. Candidates will accomplish most tasks quickly and easily on the first attempt, with good demonstrations and, when requested, clear, concise explanations. A candidate’s demonstrations should be consistent with his or her explanations.
An examiner may ask additional questions as related to the task being performed.
The location of the performance exam shall be acceptable to the candidate and the examiner(s). The examiner(s) shall, to the extent possible, select a quiet setting with minimal outside distractions. Interruptions to the test shall be kept to an absolute minimum.
The examiner(s) will describe to the candidate the conditions of the test including all unavoidable distractions and weather conditions. The candidate shall have the option to accept or reject the test site. If a candidate rejects the test site, the performance test ends and the examiner will make a note that the candidate declined to proceed and advise the person coordinating the testing.
The examiner(s) shall make reasonable allowances for the weather conditions when evaluating a candidate’s performance.
It is not permissible for an examiner to coach a candidate through a task. Coaching a candidate during the test decreases the likelihood of an accurate evaluation of the candidate’s skill level. Once the test has been completed, the examiner(s) may help the candidate improve his or her skills.
A candidate may advise the examiner(s) of any physical condition that might affect the candidate’s performance.
The examiner(s) shall use the most current version of the performance test. The examiner(s) will judge the candidate’s performance without prejudice to style.
Certain tasks are designated rod hand only, no hauling. This means that the candidate shall not use the line hand to hold the line.
In order to pass the performance test, the candidates must pass 15 of the first 17 tasks and must pass tasks 18 through 24. Candidates are expected to accomplish most tasks quickly and easily on the first attempt, with good demonstrations and, when requested clear, concise explanations.
9. Testing Procedure. The Role of the Examiners. Whether the team consists of CBOG or MCI members, one person will be the lead examiner. The lead examiner will ‘lead’ the performance test while the second examiner follows. The second examiner is allowed to ask questions under the guidance of the lead examiner.
The Role of the Observer. Observers are allowed with the permission of the candidate and the examiner(s). Observers are not permitted to ask questions or interject in any manner. Observers must be FFF Certified Casting instructors.
Note taking. Examiners must take notes during the performance test. It is best to explain to the candidate at the beginning that this is required and not to worry as it is a necessary part of the test. The second examiner usually takes more notes than the lead examiner. The notes are for the examiner's use; these notes will form the basis of the discussions in the post-exam conference required in Section 9.
Examiner’s discussions. The use of discussions to the side may be a part of the testing procedure, but it is advised to keep these to a minimum as they can unnerve the candidate. Also explain to the candidate at the beginning that this just means the examiners (and observer) want to discuss something and not to worry. The lead examiner should proceed with the test and perhaps have this discussion at the end of a section or at the end of the test. If there is so question about a task or tasks, an examiner may leave this task and come back to it later.
10. The Conclusion of the Test. The candidate will be notified as to whether he or she passed or failed the performance test. When the performance test is administered by two MCIs they must agree that a candidate has passed the test, otherwise the performance test is failed. The examiner(s) will give the candidate a clear explanation of the test result and, if appropriate, a constructive critique of the strengths and weakness of the candidate’s performance. The notification of the result, any explanation and constructive critique should be given in a private area.
The examiner(s) shall provide the candidate with an opportunity to express his or her thoughts about the testing experience. If the candidate has successfully passed the performance test, the examiner(s) shall complete the appropriate form and explain to the candidate what steps remain to complete the certification process, including payment to the FFF. If the candidate was not successful, the examiner(s) should make recommendations for study, practice and the acquisition of information that will lead to a successful outcome in the future. Examiner(s) should be aware that if the recommendations given rise to the level of coaching, the Examiner(s) would be subject to the 6 month coaching rule found in the Code of Ethics.
The examiner(s) is responsible for conveying the test results to the individual in charge of the testing. The person in charge of coordinating the testing is responsible for conveying all test results to the FFF as well as collecting all test forms and maintaining them in an appropriate manner. This includes documentation, establishing the date and place of testing, the names of candidates tested, the names of examiners testing, the respective candidates and the results of the testing.
August 19, 2009
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