by Mary Darragh MacLean
CIT’s Representative to RID’s PDC
I serve as CIT’s representative on RID’s Professional Development Committee (PDC). I am an adjunct professor in the federally-funded Interpreter Education program at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York. I own an interpreter referral company, Sign Language Resources, and am an active community interpreter in the New York City metropolitan area.
CIT has had a representative on this key RID committee since the program began in 1993. I joined the PDC in 2007, and joined in the committee’s primary work of overseeing the operations of the Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) and the Associate Continuing Education Tracking (ACET) program. The PDC actively recruits and processes new sponsor applications and audits of existing sponsors. There are currently 108 sponsors, who process 9,000-10,000 activities each year and nearly ¼ of a million hours of continuing education each year. These activities include sponsor-initiated workshops, academic coursework, non-RID sponsored events (PINRAs), and Independent Studies. The PDC’s mission is to ensure the integrity of the RID Certification Maintenance Program and the work with Sponsors through communication, training and audits are an essential factors in accomplishing this mission.
The audit process is extensive requiring an extensive review of each sponsors’ work every three years. The PDC works with any sponsor placed on probation, monitors sponsor questions through a group list, provide sponsor trainings at conferences, continue to update the Standards and Criteria, and respond to any motions coming from the membership at RID Conferences. Due to the complexity of this work, much is accomplished during face-to-face meetings of the committee, which took place at least once a year.
In 2009-2010, when RID moved away from face-to-face meetings, the PDC struggled to complete all of its mandates, and asked for approval from the RID Board to put new sponsor applications on hold. Eventually, audits were also suspended. This situation unfortunately continued for the next few years.
In 2013, a new set of members, chaired by Richard Laurion, began to prioritize goals for the committee and a timeline for restoring audits and the acceptance of new sponsors. The committee was successful in lobbying for a three day face-to-face meeting that took place at the RID headquarters on December 12-14, 2014. There was a great deal accomplished during this meeting and more work planned for the coming year.
The work seems a bit overwhelming with over 40 additional organizations that would like to become new sponsors. The PDC is making recommendations to the Board regarding this and other issues: how to add new sponsors without overwhelming the system that is already stretched to capacity, revamp the audit process to successfully audit all sponsors within the next two years, provide further education and support for sponsors regarding the new RID database and changes to the Standards and Criteria, and requesting a fiscal analysis of the Certification Maintenance Program to determine how to best assure the programs’ continued viability.
In addition, with the CMP being at least 20 years old, the PDC realizes it is very important to do an extensive review of the overall program and develop a strategic plan for critical improvements.
There is much to be done and the December meeting was a successful start to what will be a long-term process. I am excited to be part of this work and have much confidence in our leadership and the commitment and talent of the PDC members. I am happy to continue to serve in this capacity as your representative. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, or suggestions on how I can best represent our organization.
by Mary Darragh MacLean