If you study effectively from the beginning and learn the material (really learn it) as you go, you won't have to cram for the test or take it more than once to pass it. And, like it or not, that's the philosophy underlying the PQG format.
Start by getting out the course volume entitled Performance Qualification Guide Certification Pamphlet. Although this pamphlet has different material in it for each rating, they're all formatted the same way and contain the same information.
Read the whole pamphlet, don't just skim it. It lays out the steps you have to take to complete the course. The PQG Job Aid on the first page is a step-by-step description of who's responsible for doing what as you work on your course. It provides an overview of the process.
|2||Assign student to the non-resident program and assign professional development coach (PDC) to coach/train student||CO and/or ESO|
|3||Review PQG certification pamphlet and establish training time line to complete all tasks||Student and PDC|
|4||Prepare PQG Monthly Tracking Sheet (MTS)||PDC|
|5||Do everything specified on MTS (complete all review exercises, perform all job aids, demonstrate to the PDC proficiency on all the objectives of each lesson, etc.)||Student|
|6||Provide feedback to student on performance. Initial/sign off successfully completed job aids, tasks, TPOs, RPQs, etc.||PDC|
|7||Track student's progress on MTS and ensure all actions in Certification Pamphlet and on RPQs have been initialed or signed off as complete.||Student and PDC|
|8||Show MTS to department head periodically for review and approval||Student, PDC, and department head|
|9||Sign MTS to acknowledge student has successfully completed all requirements of non-resident program (retain MTS in student's training record)||CO or XO|
|10||Take and pass RAT||Student|
|11||Recommend student for SWE and/or advancement||CO|
You'll note as you look through your Performance Qualification Guide Certification Pamphlet that each lesson takes up one page and is related to just one RPQ (also called a Terminal Performance Objective or TPO). Each of these pages is sometimes called a "PQG sheet". On each PQG sheet you'll see a series of steps with a reference associated with each step telling you where to find what you need to know to complete that step. The last item on each step is a blank in which your PDC puts her initials and the date she signs it.
As you complete each step, you demonstrate your knowledge of the task required in that step to your PDC. While demonstrating what you know about the task, your PDC may give you pointers, correct incorrect information or motions, etc. This process is intended to be interactive, and to allow you to learn from experts you work with. Once you've demonstrated that you've mastered the the task, your PDC will sign and date the corresponding blank space on the PQG sheet. And once you've completed all the steps on a PQG sheet (demonstrating mastery of an RPQ) your PDC will sign off that RPQ on your Record of Performance Qualifications (CG-RPQ).
This approach calls on you to read explanatory material and to perform various activities with the help of your PDC. This, in turn, ingrains the material in your mind much better than would just reading the material. The following table lays out each step in this process.
|1||Read the PQG sheet and lesson material|
|2||Practice the lesson objectives; complete the lesson review/practice exercises and practice with the job aids. Ask for help if you don't understand the material.|
|3||Take the job aid(s) (i.e., the course pamphlet containing the lesson you're working on) to your PDC.|
|4||Perform for your PDC the steps/actions listed in the lesson.|
|5||Receive feedback from your PDC and, if necessary, perform the steps/actions again.|
|6||Ask PDC to initial the last line on the corresponding PQG sheet (in the Performance Qualification Guide Certification Pamphlet).|
|7||Take the PQG sheet and the job aid(s) to your PDC.|
|8||Using the job aid(s), perform all RPQ/TPO steps listed on the PQG sheet for your PDC.|
|9||Ask your PDC to sign and date each step on the PQG sheet to verify that you have successfully performed all steps of the task and Monthly Tracking Sheet.|
|10||Ask your PDC to initial and date the corresponding RPQ on your "Record of Performance Qualification" (CG-RPQ).|
|11||Repeat steps 1 through 10 for each PQG sheet.|
|12||Take the completed Performance Qualification Guide Certification Pamphlet, Monthly Tracking Sheet, and CG-RPQ to the appropriate person in your command (XO, training officer, ESO, etc.) for appropriate action.|
If it seems steps 3 through 8 require you to do the same thing twice, you're right. Practice makes perfect, and this system calls on you to demonstrate you know how to perform an activity two separate times. After the first time, your PDC signs off the PQG sheet; after the second time, she signs off the CG-RPQ.
The normal time allotted for completing the course is 6 to 12 months.
After you've completed everything related to your course, your PDC will sign the statement in the "Remarks" section on page 2 of your CG-RPQ verifying that you've that you’ve completed your course and all performance qualifications in accordance with referenced standards. This validation is required by ALCOAST 586/05 before you can be allowed to take the RAT.