Advanced Force Science Specialist Course

Intensive 18-Week Program

Overview

Graduates of the Force Science Certification Course are eligible to apply for the Advanced Force Science Specialist Course, which is an in-depth program spanning an 18-week course of study to give students a comprehensive, functional understanding of the behavioral science elements that undergird human performance in high stress, rapidly unfolding force encounters. The course is conducted mostly online via a computer conferencing program we will arrange for you to use in tandem with a one-day orientation class held on-site at our training center in Chicago, IL.  After the online training is completed, it is followed by three days of in-person practical application exercises also conducted at the training center. Areas of exploration for the Advanced Force Science Specialist Course will be wide-ranging. They will include but are not limited to:

  • Exploration of the need for an empirical foundation upon which use-of-force training can be built and through which enhancement of investigations into officer-involved uses of force can be achieved.
  • Analysis of the influence that the type and quality of training can have on skill development and performance.
  • Study of the effect that an officer’s individual characteristics, combined with their training and experience, can have on their judgment during a force event and their memory for details of the encounter post-event. Further, students will learn how that information can be revealed and appropriately applied to investigations.
  • How to assess a deadly force encounter and determine the relevant behavioral science principles that need to be considered during the investigation to best ensure a fair, neutral, complete and fully factual investigation. Of particular focus will be the relationship between the officer’s training and the elements of their incident, including time compression issues that can surface when there is an urgent need for an immediate, effective response to a threat.
  • The implications of automaticity and other performance variables on investigations.
  • How to reverse-engineer training principles from deadly force encounters.

Prerequisite Course Requirement

Applicants must have attended and passed a Force Science Certification Course demonstrating they possess a strong working knowledge of human performance in high-stress situations. Specifically, they should have a solid command of the foundational principles relative to neurophysiology, vision, cognition, memory, decision-making, learning theory, as well as relevant principles in the disciplines of exercise physiology and kinesiology. Further, the ideal candidate will have held, or currently hold, a position that involves the investigation of officer-involved use of force and/or be in a position of influence over training practices, and curriculum. Our preference is that they have held such a position(s) after their participation in a Force Science Certification Course such that the principles taught in class could be applied directly in their work.

Purpose

Students will gain extensive knowledge of current research in human performance in high-stress encounters. Cutting-edge research from the latest publications and academic journals will be introduced, analyzed and applied throughout the course. Students will also explore a variety of training methodologies and critically examine their effect concerning an officer’s ability to retain what is taught and effectively apply that knowledge and skill in high-stress, rapidly unfolding force encounters.

Further, they will gain an understanding of subsequent implications for the investigation of an officer’s decision-making, performance in the event and their memory of what occurred. The knowledge gained will help in revealing the behavioral science elements involved in a use of force encounter and in assessing and building training based on modern research and principles of training. It also supports insight and application of this knowledge to the implementation of new tools in an investigation with an impact on supervision and oversight.

Course Content

The class will start with a brief overview of the principles of research design. This includes the design of research projects and the relation of that to data acquisition and analysis. It will consist of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The goal of this section is to help the participant become a critical consumer of research so they will understand the strengths and weaknesses of the studies reviewed in the the course and in their profession.

Selected journal articles along with research studies conducted by the Force Science Institute and a number of textbooks will be provided to students to develop an in-depth familiarization of concepts and materials related to human factors, decision making, and training.

Participants are expected to do extensive work outside of class sessions typically spending at least 300 hours in the course in both individual and group study capacities. A 18-week course outline is provided upon acceptance into the curriculum. Weekly projects are assigned that need to be completed before each weekly video conference with the instructor(s) and other students.

Assessment

Active participation in the weekly interactive video conferences with the instructor(s) and other students is required. Three complex cases will be assigned to students to review and analyze with the most current information and resources on each case being made available.

At the conclusion of the case review, participants will meet at the Force Science Institute Training Center in Chicago for a three-day round table of the cases. At this time, students will present their case analysis on each of the cases before their peers and the instructors with the goal to successfully defend their analysis.

The final assignment will entail each student submitting a detailed paper arising from the participant’s reflection on training principles that are related to addressing the performance and decision problems of officers who were involved in the cases they had just analyzed.  Detailed paper requirements and submission deadline will be provided early in the course.

Tuition

To request dates and tuition cost for the next Advanced Specialist course, please fill out the application request below. Upon acceptance, full tuition payment is required before the start of class and will cover all textbooks and course-related materials. Students are required to travel to the Force Science Training Center twice during the program; once for a one-day orientation and once at the end of the program for a three-day practical application exercise. Travel arrangements and expenses will be the responsibility of the student. Our staff is available to assist with negotiating pricing with nearby hotels and can offer travel advice to make the trips as cost-efficient as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the duration of and schedule for the course?

This is an intense, 18-week program. Exact dates will be provided upon request. The course will begin with an in-person orientation meeting with all students and our staff at the Force Science Training Center in Chicago. The training center is about five minutes from the Chicago O’Hare International Airport and twenty minutes from downtown Chicago.

Following that, students will be given their initial reading assignments in preparation for their first bi-weekly instructional meeting. Remote meetings will occur every two weeks. Each session will be conducted through an online meeting and video conferencing platform and will last approximately two hours.

What type of experience must I have to qualify and what else is required of applicants?

All students who apply for this program must have successfully completed a Force Science Certification Course. You will be asked specific questions about your background, experience, and current position within your department and a letter of recommendation from your direct supervisor or higher.

How large are the classes?

The number of students accepted for each course is extremely limited. Classes are small to facilitate a high level of student participation in the course. Those who apply and are accepted but cannot attend due to schedule conflicts will be given priority to attend the next available course.

May I miss any of the weekly remote classes?

Generally the answer is no. However, we will make every effort to accommodate unexpected changes to your schedule by arranging for a make-up session, if possible. Full participation is required to complete this course, but we will try to be as flexible as possible with scheduling anomalies, if necessary. Exact dates and times will be given to all accepted students before the start of class to allow ample time for schedule adjustments.

GDPR

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Privacy Policy

Effective date: January 06, 2019

Force Science Institute, Ltd. (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://www.forcescience.org/ website (hereinafter referred to as the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data. Our Privacy Policy for Force Science Institute, Ltd. is based on the Privacy Policy Template from Privacy Policies.

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