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garfield

TEP's as Safety Officers. An idea...

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Premise: There needs to be an activity-wide policy and enforceable procedure that extends the reach of DCI's oversight, enforcement, and reporting responsibilities across the whole season and activity, in a way that's manageable with existing staff, and costs, effectively, nothing to implement and maintain.

Reality:  All drum corps operate under a system where a local "host", a TEP, produces the local, regional, or championship show.  Literally, there is no situation in the drum corps experience that does not include a show director or event host and the team that produces the event.  Situationally and circumstantially, this puts corps members, staff, and volunteers under a different watchful eye nearly every day on tour.

Reality:  TEP's sign binding contracts with DCI to host an event and all TEP's, whether drum corps host TEP or Independent TEP, pay significant fees to DCI based on the corps offered to the show and that corp's placement in the prior year.  Contracts include requirements such as facilities, showers, water/electric, line-able practice fields, etc, etc, etc. for every corps in the show, in addition to providing a stadium venue, fan & ticket management, judging, timing, and lot coordination, not to mention picking up judges at the airport and providing rooms and food for show admins.  All very important and experiential demands that DCI requires and each and every one reviewed by both DCI and the corps that stay at the host's facilities.  Demands imputed by DCI include show host reporting attendance and financial data after every show.

Presumption:  Approximately 60% of shows are corps-hosted, 30% are Independent-TEP hosted, and DCI runs the rest.

Reality: Currently, TEP's are required to tour the facilities with the corps director/tour manager upon the group arriving.  The point of the joint inspection is to demonstrate that the facilities are up to the expectation of the corps and DCI.  An additional facilities tour is held before the corps exits to demonstrate that facilities are cleaned and not damaged.

Proposal summary:  TEP's take on the role of a DCI facilitator for direct member reporting and/or immediate provision of care, a reviewer of a checklist of corps policies and procedures as developed by DCI, and a conduit of reporting findings directly to DCI.  

Impact on TEP: Minimal.  Checklist-based, with clear procedures for circumstances that DCI demands immediate action/notification.  "One more checklist" of safety checks on P&P; most TEP have drum corps in their parking lots for more than 8 hours (the majority are 16 - 20 hours); plenty of time to execute an inspection of corps under their contract.

Impact on drum corps: Minimal.  Drum corps must present certain auditable documents including logs of complaints both resolved and pending and actions taken, practice-management records demonstrating proactive facilitation in areas of member safety  & notification, along with financial reporting demonstrating capability to complete the tour. The TEP's attestation is only that the required record/document and its date were viewed and its results logged and acted on as directed, if necessary. The TEP is not responsible for the content of the records or documents.

Impact on DCI: Administrative.  A staff-member must be assigned to collect and collate all records reported, including physical forms and electronic attestations, from all TEPs throughout the season, and report anomalies and summaries for each season.  The entity responsible for crafting the guidelines, reporting requirements, oversight parameters, and punishments will need to invest in the time and expertise to develop them. 

Impact on members:  Education provided to the members such that each member knows that the TEP (and staff) of the host show is an impartial, unbiased, impassioned adult who has been instructed on how to handle most situations according to DCI's instructions, and can provide immediate safety if required.  TEP's can even offer, daily, an escape valve for a member who may feel, for whatever reason, that none of the members of his/her corps staff is going to help them.  TEP's have local facilities and local knowledge, and generally have methods to facilitate immediate and overnight care while DCI is contacted.  When TEPs are seen daily by members, no matter where they are, and that member knows that the TEP is approachable to help, a member on tour may feel less isolated and unable to take action if needed.

Cost: Technology to memorialize reports if not now available, and presentation reporting software to summarize findings.  (Viewed as almost 8th grade level complexity.)

Impact on the activity: The effort will engage more-deeply the TEP with the corps he/she hosts.  Improving DCI's relationship with TEPs by recognizing their "front-line" status and developing it as an important asset leverages DCI's supervisory reach with little cost, and improves dramatically the daily oversight functions available to the corps members, staff, and volunteers, and DCI.

 

One person's idea open to discussion.

 

 

 

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so, the TEP team must then be trained on all they need to know and look for correct? So an hour at corps arrival could turn into 2 or 3 hours? usually in the middle of the night?

 

I'm not saying the idea has no merit. But I think you miss some steps needed and required, especially to cover the TEP's legal rear end

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5 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

so, the TEP team must then be trained on all they need to know and look for correct? So an hour at corps arrival could turn into 2 or 3 hours? usually in the middle of the night?

 

I'm not saying the idea has no merit. But I think you miss some steps needed and required, especially to cover the TEP's legal rear end

No, none of this.

Read again.

 

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2 hours ago, LoveKathyG said:

What's TEP?

Sorry, Tour Event Partner (TEP) is the name DCI gives to the team hosting and producing the show.

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Credit for thinking outside the box.

When the TEP is a local third party, I see a benefit.  However, when the TEP is a corps, I see potential for conflicts of interest.

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2 hours ago, cixelsyd said:

Credit for thinking outside the box.

When the TEP is a local third party, I see a benefit.  However, when the TEP is a corps, I see potential for conflicts of interest.

Granted, I thought of this one, too.  But, if the policy is enacted correctly, I see the TEP as, again, a conduit for reporting data back to DCI.  The TEP has no room for judgement or review but is, instead, only the reporting liaison to DCI.  

I don't see a conflict of interest if a corps TEP is reporting that the P&P "checklist" is available for inspection and dated within an appropriate time-frame.   Any action that needs taken around P&P is taken by DCI, but the TEP also offers a local, personal, and unbiased "escape route" to any member who feels "trapped" on tour.

 

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5 minutes ago, garfield said:

Granted, I thought of this one, too.  But, if the policy is enacted correctly, I see the TEP as, again, a conduit for reporting data back to DCI.  The TEP has no room for judgement or review but is, instead, only the reporting liaison to DCI.  

I don't see a conflict of interest if a corps TEP is reporting that the P&P "checklist" is available for inspection and dated within an appropriate time-frame.   Any action that needs taken around P&P is taken by DCI, but the TEP also offers a local, personal, and unbiased "escape route" to any member who feels "trapped" on tour.

 

I have slept on this modest proposal ... and I like it. Good thinking!

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8 hours ago, garfield said:

No, none of this.

Read again.

 

I did read. I think there's some broad assumptions that asking questions and checking boxes gets the full truth. After all Pio was calling in daily and yet stuff came out later. I think the idea has merit. I do believe it needs to be fleshed out a lot more, and as other said, the corps being the TEP does create possible conflicts. 

Another question....at regionals, is DCI responsible for checking? Given the scope of the events, the limited personnel available and the distance corps are housed from the show site, does this all fall back on them? I ask because at Allentown, you can have corps housed 2 hours away.

Edited by Jeff Ream
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