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NEWS | March 27, 2014

Conditioning is key to inspection effectiveness

By 628th Air Base Wing The Inspector General

The Unit Effectiveness Inspection has been over for a few months now. Thank goodness we survived but now what? Do we just wait until the fall of 2015 and start scrambling for the next UEI?

No, we don't!

It's like running a marathon. You don't practice the week or so before the big run. You condition your body for months to prepare for the big day; so, when it comes you're ready. The same goes for our next UEI. I know it's not until Dec. 2015, but we need to condition ourselves now so being inspection ready means we have been, are and will continue to be mission ready.

And how do we do that?

One way is through unit Self-Assessment Programs. SAPs provide an effective means of assessing mission performance and organizational effectiveness through internal review. Use your unit SAP to prepare your organization for mission readiness and in essence you'll be preparing your unit to be inspection ready. The SAP helps gauge unit strengths, illuminate problem areas and provide feedback to leaders. Within SAP, units use the checklists in management internal control toolset as one way to assess mission readiness. Diligent completion of checklists helps in identifying the critical things you need to correct in order to better accomplish the mission. You are assessing yourself on how well you are doing your job. It is crucial to be brutally honest in your answers to your checklists and provide proof you have verified the answer and that you have had "eyes on."

Here are some tips for a successful unit SAP:
1. Read your Air Force Instructions. The instructions tell us what to do and why we do it. The checklists used for self-assessment are only tools to help prepare your organization to be compliant with the Air Force instructions that pertain to your organization.

2. Be honest. Identify your problems, tell your supervisor about them and then fix them. It is easier and less painful to correct a self-identified problem than have someone outside your organization address it.

3. Enlist outside help. If you are unfamiliar with SAP, contact your squadron's SAP manager, MICT administrator, and/or the Joint Base Charleston Inspector General office. They can offer you guidance and instruction on how to run your checklist.

4. Explain your answers. It is easy to speed through checklists with yes or no answers, but it is important to take your time and provide proof for your answers. The justifications for yes responses and explanations of no responses are what provides the proof of your program's thoroughness.

5. Document the results. It is important following an exercise or self-assessment to input all discrepancies, now called observations, into the MICT database to insure proper tracking until they are closed.

Having a viable SAP ensures each functional area and work center is inspected. It is one mechanism in which we ensure effective and efficient mission accomplishment. This is the unit's opportunity to self-identify, address and report these issues to leadership.

As part of the new Air Force Inspection System we all, from airman basic to colonel, are to: continuously evaluate our work, unit, processes, procedures, etc., and identify and address issues as they happen, and honestly report our findings to leadership.

SAP requires your due diligence in order to provide a valid assessment. In doing so, we are working and striving for continual mission readiness through self-assessment. If you're already doing this, great! You are helping your unit on its path to success. If you're not, get onboard and help your unit be mission ready.

Your friendly neighborhood Inspector General office is available for any questions you have - feel free to e-mail them to: "628 ABW/IG Inspector General" organization box.