The decision to hire a school safety specialist to assess your school district’s safety and provide training for your staff is a daunting one. How can you be sure that the “expert” you hire is truly an expert? Does the person’s training and experience match up with your district’s needs?
Here are 5 things you must know before hiring your next school safety specialist:
- Does the school safety specialist understand how schools function? Has he or she ever worked in schools? Schools operate much differently than law enforcement and the corporate world. There are different constraints on time and budget, and specific mandates to be met. Students are present during most workdays, allowing for limited professional development opportunities. There may be union regulations that dictate how many hours your staff is available for meetings and training. It’s important to hire someone who understands these things and is willing to work creatively with you to meet your school district’s needs.
- Does the school safety specialist have the qualifications to do the work? Did you know that consulting is a woefully unregulated profession? Someone can read books and visit websites for content, and call him or herself a consultant. Be sure you check for education and other qualifications before committing to hire your next consultant.
- Does the school safety specialist provide a one-shot training or does he/she provide follow up consultation and guidance to make sure your staff truly understands concepts and knows how to implement them? Is the consultant available for assistance and questions after the training or site visit has been completed? Are these services included with training fees, or will you hesitate to call for assistance because you’ll have to pay more for them?
- Is the school safety specialist willing to provide references? Speaking with prior clients is the best way to assess the services the specialist provides. Does the person you are considering happily provide this option and encourage you to check up on him or her?
- Does the school safety specialist differentiate him or herself from others in the field in a way that is meaningful? It can be difficult to sort through all of the consultants, trainers and school safety specialists as many offer the same or similar services. Does the person you’re considering provide something that sets him or her apart from the others? It can even be something small like value packaging or creative funding options, but this difference should provide value for you, and make your job easier.
If you’d like to hire someone who has excelled in every one of these areas and can help you effectively increase your school’s level of safety, we should have a chat. Simply contact me by phone or email to discuss your needs and the ways in which I can help: 505-313-1092 [email protected].
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