L3 Expedited Checklist!

First 2019 updates in the L3 Process! In 2018 we created 2 new projects to follow all L3 candidates after their panel (L3 Post Panel project) and Nicolette will guide you through the new path for candidates who will need a second panel.


Hey, There! My name is Nicolette Apraez, and I am one of your L3 Post Panel Leads! In this article, I’m going to briefly talk about the Post Panel process for Successful Candidates, before getting into the exciting stuff (an Expedited Checklist for “near miss” panels)!



L3PP Successful Panel

So, you’re an L3 now! Now what? Another part of the team has put together a Welcome Letter for New L3s, that will give them information about new JudgeApps permissions/forums, additional opportunities, and other information that’s good to be aware of if you are just starting out.

Most importantly, the learning doesn’t stop when you get to Level 3. New L3s are exempt from maintenance for the calendar year they advanced, meaning if you become an L3 in August 2019, you will not need to do 2019 end of year maintenance, but will be responsible for 2020 maintenance. However! Most Level 3s come out of panels with at least one Minor Deficiency, or possibly a few Area for Improvements. During your first year as a Level 3, it’s recommended that you focus on improving those areas, and take advantage of the lack of official Maintenance to reflect (maybe even write a Self-Review, ehhh?? Ehhhh?) on what you’ve done to improve, and what you plan to do to continue improving as a judge.


L3PP Failed Panel

A lot of work goes into preparing for a panel, both from the L3 Candidate, and those around them that are working to prepare, mentor, and evaluate them. As it stood until now, if a Level 3 Candidate failed their panel, EVEN by a small margin, they were required to essentially start from scratch with the L3 Process. This put a lot of strain on the candidate and their mentors, and could lead to losing what may have been a great L3 with a little work. We understand that sometimes, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. But occasionally, spending a little time to focus on the 1-2 areas that need improvement is all that is needed. The NEW Expedited Checklist is meant to speed up the Re-Application process for those L3 Candidates with “near miss” panels, and waives/reduces some parts of their new L3 Checklist based on their Panel Ratings from their first panel, allowing them to focus more of the specific areas that need help!

So! What’s considered a “near miss” panel. It can be hard to say, but after a lot of deliberation and discussion, we’ve come up with the following line on a tentative basis for 2019. These number may change once we’ve seen more data points, but for now:

Taking into consideration their Panel Rankings, consider each Major Deficiency to be worth 4 points, each Minor Deficiency to be worth 2 points, and each Area for Improvement to be worth 1 point. Candidates with 7 or fewer points are permitted to use the Expedited Checklist, while candidates with more than 7 points are required to resubmit a full checklist after a failed panel. Candidates who fail a second panel may only use the expedited checklist if they have under 7 points AND do not have any Major Deficiencies, as candidates should be showing improvement between processes, and Major Deficiencies that develop or still exist after going through the process twice likely need a longer time to fix/improve.

This currently means, for example, someone with 2 Major Deficiencies, 4 Minor Deficiencies, or 1 Major and 2 Minors (all 8 points), are all assumed to need to take a longer step back and take a good amount of time to work on all of their Deficiencies. While someone with a single Major deficiency, for example, could easily be ready for another panel in 6 months if they really focus in on that area.


The Expedited Checklist

After a failed panel, the candidates RC or L3 Recommender will sit down with them to determine if they qualify for an expedited checklist process, or whether they must go through the standard process for resubmission after a failed panel. To determine which process should be used, consider each Major Deficiency to be worth 4 points, each Minor Deficiency to be worth 2 points, and each Area for Improvement to be worth 1 point. Candidates with 7 or fewer points should use the expedited process, candidates with more than 7 points should use the full process.

The full process will work the same way our current process works: candidates will submit a new self-review, along with new recommendations as part of a complete Level 3 Checklist, undergo a pre-event interview, then participate in a panel.

The expedited process will focus on remedying the areas where the candidate was deficient, but candidates will be expected to continue shoring up their areas for improvement so they do not turn into deficiencies at the next panel. To panel again, candidates will need to submit a modified checklist. This checklist will include:

  •  Recommendations from the specified L3 Mentors for each Deficiency/AFI. These recommendations do not need to cover qualities marked as “Adequate” or “Exceptional,” but must cover all qualities marked as deficient or AFIs. A candidate may use the same mentor for multiple deficiencies.
  • Additional checklist items based on the candidate’s panel results. The remaining checklist items are listed below, along with the qualities that serve as a waiver for those requirements. While candidates are expected to continue growing themselves and their communities during this process, the expedited checklists allows judges to focus more of their energy on improving their deficiencies, without the stress of wondering if certain items have “fallen off” their checklist in the meantime:
    1. Good standing: Must be a Level 2 judge, in good standing, for at least 12 months.
      No waiver
    2. L3 Preliminary Exam: Must have scored at least 80% on a Level 3 Preliminary Exam in the last 6 months.
      Waived if candidate has passed the L3 test within one year of re-application.
    3. HJ or TL at Competitive REL: Must have acted as Head Judge or Team Leader for at least 5 Competitive (or higher) REL events, managing at least 2 other certified judges, including at least 2 such events in the last 12 months.
      Waived if the candidate is at least adequate in
      Leadership, Presence and Charisma, Teamwork, Diplomacy, and Maturity, Penalty and Policy Philosophy, Investigations, and Logistics and Tournament Operations
    4. HJ at any REL: Must have acted as Head Judge for at least 20 other events, including at least 5 such events from the last 12 months.
      Waived if the candidate is at least adequate in
      Penalty and Policy Philosophy, Investigations, and Logistics and Tournament Operations
    5. Mentoring: Must have participated extensively in the pre-certification training and mentoring of at least 2 different judges who certified for Level 1 or Level 2 in the last 12 months.
      Waived if the candidate is at least adequate in
      Development of Other Judges and Program Construction and Philosophy
    6. Communication: Must demonstrate communication skills sufficient to act as a Team Leader at large, international scale events, such as Grand Prix. Must understand English well enough to be up-to-date on official documents.
      No waiver
    7. Community: Must demonstrate participation in the judge community on a regional or global level beyond just being on staff at events (examples include mailing lists, seminars, articles, projects, etc.).
      Waived if the candidate is at least adequate in
      Leadership, Presence and Charisma, Development of Other Judges and Program Construction and Philosophy
    8. Self-review: Must have written a general (i.e. non-event-specific) self-review in the last 12 months, covering all of the Qualities of Level 3 judges listed above, graded as Strengths or as Areas for Improvement. If that self-review is more than 6 months old, your application must include a brief update indicating progress on the Qualities of Level 3 judges.
      No waiver
    9. Reviews: Must have submitted at least 6 event-specific (non-certification) reviews on other judges to JudgeApps in the last 12 months, demonstrating the ability to provide accurate and constructive feedback, on both Strengths and Areas for Improvement.
      Requirement reduced to 3 reviews if the candidate is at least adequate in
      Development of Other Judges and Teamwork, Diplomacy and Maturity
    10. TL at Magic Fests: Must hold a valid Team Lead Certification/TLTP or have received confirmation from a GP Head Judge within the last 36 months indicating success in a Team Lead position at a Grand Prix where the evaluating judge was the Head Judge.
      No waiver

A candidate in the Expedited process will be expected to participate in an abridged PEI, focused mainly on qualities marked “Deficient” or “Area for Improvement,” and skipping the initial barrage of questions intended for new PEIs. This PEI should take about a month instead of the traditional two months.

The panel will not be restricted in the topics they cover. While it’s expected that they’ll focus on the candidates’ previous deficiencies, they may discuss any topic they like.


Timeline for Expedited Checklist Resubmission

So, how long should this process take? Below you’ll find an example timeline for the L3PP- Expedited Checklist Process.

  • Panel Date – (Example date for reference: January 1st)
  • Panel Review – must be submitted within 1 month of the Panel Date (Feb 1st)
  • Post Panel “Sit-Down” – After a Cooldown of 4-6 weeks from the panel (at least 1 week after receiving the Panel Review), candidate will sit down with their RC and/or one of their Recommending L3s. This could be in person or via the internet. – Part of agreeing to write a Level 3 Recommendation includes the willingness to sit down post panel regardless if they pass or fail in order to discuss the L3 process, the Panel Review, and next steps, or whether or not the candidate would even like to continue on the L3 Advancement Track. If the candidate wishes to continue, they will go over whether or not they qualify for the Expedited Checklist. (Early/Mid Feb)
  • Finding Mentors for Deficiencies – Over the rest of the Month (Mid/Late Feb), Candidates following the expedited checklist will be charged with finding mentors (although many candidates will already have mentors in mind) to help work on each of their deficiencies/AFIs. These may include the candidates previous L3 Recommenders. Once they have gotten those agreements, they will email the L3PP-Expedited Checklist Lead with their intention to use the expedited checklist and list of the mentors that have agreed to work with the candidate. This gives us a chance to make sure there wasn’t an error counting deficiencies, and allows us to know who is working with the candidate, and will hopefully create a level of accountability for the mentors so a candidate doesn’t get told “sure I’ll work with you” and have it fall to the side. One mentor can agree to cover multiple Qualities, but each mentor must agree to write a recommendation review containing at least all Qualities they were listed as a mentor for. It is the candidates responsibility to find their own mentors, although they may reach out to the L3PP-Expedited Checklist Lead for help if they are struggling to find Subject Matter Experts for a given deficiency.
  • Recommendations/Resubmission – From that point on the candidate will work with their mentors to improve on those categories marked as AFIs or Deficiencies. Within the next four months (up to 6 months from the panel date), the L3s who have agreed to be Mentors are expected to either submit an L3 Recommendation for the candidate, send an email to the L3PP- Expedited Checklist Lead asking for a 3 month extension and explaining why they believe the candidate isn’t ready, or send an email to the L3PP-Expedited Checklist Lead if they believe the candidate won’t be ready in the near future and intends to drop as their Mentor. If the Mentor decides to drop, or becomes unresponsive, the candidate will be given a 3 month extension to either find a new Mentor for those Qualities, or transfer Qualities to another current Mentor. Once the new Recommendations have been submitted, the candidate may submit an Expedited L3 Checklist. Since the goal is to streamline the re-application process for “near-miss” candidates, Expedited checklists are only available within the first 9 months after a Panel, with the goal of re-paneling within at most a year of a Failed Panel. After 9 months, the candidate will be asked to submit the Standard Full L3 Checklist in order to re-apply.

Once the Candidate is Ready to submit their modified checklist, they will do so via a google form given to them at the start of the process.


A “Work-in-Progress”

Putting this together took a ton of work from everyone involved. Special thanks to Nate Hurley, Matteo Callegari, RC, PCs, Panel Leads, and especially Rob Castellon and the entirety of the L3 Post Panel Project. This is a new process, and since our only live data points will be Level 3 Candidates who fail their Panel, wish to continue with the L3 Advancement Process, AND meet the current bar set for using the Expedited Process, it might take us a while to work out the kinks. That being said, I’m happy to announce that this is expected to be the process for any Panels that occur in 2019. If any tweaks or changes need to be made, there will be an announcement and changes will not affect anyone who has already begun their L3 Post Panel Process.