Federal Protective Service (FPS)

The Federal Protective Service centralizes training data and launches remote learning

Federal Protective Services Logo

 

About the Customer

The Federal Protective Service(FPS), the law enforcement agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is responsible for the security of more than 9,000 federal buildings and their occupants.

FPS employs nearly 1,300 federal staff nationwide, including over 900 law enforcement specialists. In addition, FPS oversees more than 15,000 contracted security officers who conduct screenings at more than 6,500 security posts.

 

Background

Before working with Acadis®, FPS’s training operations were decentralized with 11 regions and 11 different training coordinators who were each tracking training in their own way.

“Excel, Word, paper files, the circular file—you name it. They all had training records in different places,” said Anthony Surbeck, Program Manager at FPS.

With a large and distributed force, it was difficult and time-consuming to get information on specific officers and nearly impossible to get a high-level, holistic view of their officer’s training and compliance status.

 

Opportunity

Like most law enforcement organizations, FPS requires a large amount of training for its officers on a regular basis, and much of that training occurs in person.

FPS leaders recognized the need for centralized record management—especially for their field training program—and knew that a new software system would help them track field training evaluations.

 

Goals

To meet its goals, FPS’s ideal software solution would need to be able to do the following:

  • Consolidate their field training evaluation records from 11 regions across the country
  • Track 1,200 law enforcement officers and 15,000 contracted security officers
  • Help maintain the certifications and compliance requirements of both uniformed and contracted officers
  • Once COVID-19 began, quickly scale FPS’s delivery of distance learning

 

Solution Deployed

During FPS’s search for a solution, DHS headquarters informed them that the Acadis® Readiness Suite had the capabilities they were looking for. Fellow DHS agency the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) was already utilizing Acadis, and after conversations between the two, FPS knew the Acadis® Readiness Suite was the right solution for them as well.

FPS began by focusing on the person records and compliance capabilities within Acadis, but over four years, FPS has evolved to use most components of the suite. One of their most recent expansions was the Acadis Learning Management System (LMS), adopted after COVID-19 began to impact their operations.

Four years ago, FPS started with 1,200 users. They now have 28,000 person records—16,000 of which are currently active.

Most FPS users are now involved in distance learning and computer-based training modules through the Acadis LMS.

 

The Result

After four years, FPS has grown tremendously in their use of the Acadis Readiness Suite and are still seeing improvements due to their continued growth with the system.

“We’re growing into an enterprise-wide system that goes well beyond the training environment,” said Surbeck.

FPS is now able to not only track the training of their 16,000 users but also manage internal affairs cases, assess new hires, and much more. Leveraging Acadis, they’re able to put it all in one place. It’s one less thing that their training coordinators and supervisors need to worry
about maintaining, because it’s being maintained for them.

Access to documentation has never been easier
“We don’t have to ask someone for information, because we can run the reports that we would ordinarily ask them to do for us,’ said Surbeck.

FPS can now find everything they need about an individual’s training and certification status in Acadis. All of that information is centralized and attached to other sorts of elements with indicators, like certifications and all the different sort of documents that you’re able to have access to under one system. Everything is connected. Anything changed on a record at any place in the system will populate everywhere else.

We like the interconnectivity. We used to have to go to three or four separate systems to get siloed data. That’s not necessary anymore with Acadis. Everything is at your fingertips, so that improved our processes greatly.”

—Anthony Surbeck, Program Manager, Federal Protective Service (FPS)

COVID-19 and the Acadis LMS

This comprehensive awareness became even more important when many of FPS’s operations needed to move remote during the COVID-19 pandemic. FPS had not done much with their LMS prior and needed to quickly transition and scale. A major shift that could have impeded their training programs for months actually ended up being a fairly fast process.

“Our Acadis advisors do a great job of letting us know all the capabilities and how to use them. So, we had all that knowledge in our pockets before we even started,” said Surbeck.

While there was expected work required to prepare classes and onboard personnel, the technical setup was very easy given that FPS had already been using the Acadis Readiness Suite.

In the year following March 2020, FPS recorded over 86,000 individual learning events and administered and scored over 1,200 online tests through the Acadis LMS.

Continued support and innovation

While the Acadis system does a lot of heavy lifting, much of FPS’s continued success can be attributed to the people helping make it happen. Surbeck had nothing but great things to say about the Acadis customer support and help desk, which were incredibly helpful and responsive.

When FPS encounters a problem, the chances are that their Acadis team already knows about it, and a solution is already in the works.

“Everyone there makes you feel like you’re the only customer they have, even though Acadis has hundreds of other customers and lots going on at both the large and small scale.”

—Anthony Surbeck, Program Manager, Federal Protective Service (FPS)

But what makes the Acadis team truly great is their proactive approach and their industry knowledge.

“It’s been our experience that Acadis is well ahead of the curve. They anticipate what is going to occur and have open, one-on-one discussions with their customers,” said Surbeck. “From a business partner perspective, their depth of knowledge enables them to anticipate what you might need or need to know about ahead of them actually happening.”

The Acadis team also knows that it benefits customers when they’re able to collaborate, network, and share ideas. That’s why they helped to connect FPS to other federal agencies. The federal partners now get together and discuss current projects and future goals. Because of these conversations, FPS and the other agencies can potentially share resources and inform feature development.

“Invariably, we find out that our goals are aligned, and chances are if we want something, somebody else does too,” said Surbeck. Even with the growth so far, FPS is far from finished evolving and allowing Acadis to evolve alongside them.

Acadis supports FPS—wherever their people go

““We’ve already grown leaps and bounds with Acadis’s recruiting module. For example, a potential hire was sitting in Iraq, was able to scan the QR code, and take his assessment test. Everything worked exactly as we wanted it to—even more than 6,000 miles apart.”

—Anthony Surbeck, Program Manager, Federal Protective Service (FPS)