CIVIL AIR PATROL INSPECTOR GENERAL
Volume 12 Issue 2 April 2021
Col Gary J. Mayo, CAP, GLR/IG
Treat the SUI as a Learning Opportunity
…far too many units wait until they receive the 60-day notification of an upcoming inspection…
Commanders and their staffs have a tremendous opportunity to use the SUI process as a learning experience, both ongoing, and on-the-spot. Think about it from this perspective:
• The SUI is used to confirm that the minimum OPR mandated requirements are being met in a section or area of responsibility. The SUI Worksheets are like an open book test with the answers provided. We tell you what is going to be inspected; how compliance will be verified; and which regulation (down to the paragraph number) is the basis of the inspection question.
• Most inspection items have to be accomplished on an ongoing year-round basis and not during a 60-day pre-inspection scramble. Each staff duty assignment has specific roles and responsibilities which are guided by CAP regulations. As staff members are performing their jobs, use the worksheets throughout the year to ensure the key inspection items are being addressed. Do not consider these items to be the only things that need to be done, but rather the key items in the overall area of responsibility that should be accomplished on an ongoing basis. The worksheets along with other tools can also assist a person who may be new in a duty assignment in understanding their job responsibilities.
• Inspectors can provide on-the-spot learning opportunities. Inspection team members generally have extensive experience in the areas they are inspecting; many will have a master rating. They are not just there to ask questions; they can also answer questions and provide guidance and tips. Many can also share better practices or meaningful observations from prior unit inspections. They are a source of knowledge for unit staff during the inspection process.
• There is nothing in the inspection rule book that says a section inspection is closed door. While the inspection discussion may be focused on one or two section leaders, there is no reason why other staff can’t sit in, listen to the discussion, and learn. The caveat being that the commander is comfortable with this learning opportunity for the staff, and the observers are not disruptive during the inspector’s interview.