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Fall 2020 SWE Frequently Asked Questions

26 May 2020

This is additional detailed guidance for the upcoming Fall 2020 SWE cycles for both the Reserve and Active Servicewide Exams.  This information is provided as an addendum to the COVID FAQs. Please check back frequently for changes to FAQs during this rapidly changing period.

LAMS WAIVERS:

Here is the link to the LAMS waiver guide on the PPC-ADV portal page: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Portals/10/CG-1/PPC/ADV/LAMS Waiver Guidance.pdf.  PPC-ADV is sensitive to the difficulties of attending necessary schools during this challenging time and is working closely with partners throughout the fleet to minimize negative impacts of the cancelled LAMS courses.

Will LAMS course waivers be blanket approved due to the cancellation of LAMS classes this fall?

There is currently no plan to issue a blanket waiver for missed LAMS classes due to the ongoing COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts.  Commands will submit waiver requests as prescribed in the LAMS deadline waiver guidance publication linked above.  Commands must outline the extenuating circumstances which prevented the member from attending LAMS.

For the Fall Active and Reserve SWE cycles, an additional process may be used where the CO may approve the LAMS waiver locally and notify PPC-ADV via the trouble ticket process listed in the above mentioned guide as well.  Commanding Officers should consider waivers based upon similar extenuating circumstances such as a scheduled but cancelled LAMS class.

LAMS waivers are intended for situations where a class was scheduled or attempted to be scheduled and was not able to be completed by the SED.  Waivers are not intended for members who have shown no intention to attend a class.

What if I cannot attend a class prior to being considered for advancement?

No determination has been made.  The current LAMS waiver process is intended to allow participation in the SWE due to unforeseen circumstances with the understanding that LAMS will be completed prior to advancement.

SWE ADMINISTRATION:

Here is the link to the SWE Officer Handbook: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Portals/10/CG-1/PPC/ADV/SWE%20Guide.pdf

How will administration of the SWE be affected by COVID-19 with safety and social distancing impacts?

The SWE Officer Handbook provides guidance on who may or may not proctor an exam and who may act as a monitor.  There is no restriction on how many different locations may be concurrently used during the exam.  For units with large numbers of members participating in the exam who may not be able to test everyone in one location, additional SWE Officers may be used to stand up multiple locations for test administration.  In short, it is possible for a number of exam locations to be used at a large unit.  Units can contact PPC-ADV for additional guidance.  Waivers of who may temporarily act as a SWE Officer may be submitted to PPC-ADV and will be considered on a case by case scenario (e.g. E8s serving as OIC and E9s not serving as OICs).

Current policy states:

“Servicewide exams may only be received, stored, and proctored by command designated SWE Officers who are commissioned Officers, Master Chief Petty Officers serving as Officer-in-Charge (OIC), or civilians GS9 or above. If additional personnel are needed to assist the SWE Officer(s), monitors in the grade of E6 or above or GS5 or above may be used. Monitors may not proctor exams or have access to SWE booklet content. E6 and above active duty members may only act as monitors during exams for ranks equal to or below their current pay grade.”

Are there any plans to expand the dates for administration of the exam?

            Not at this time, however, this is an option being considered as we continue to progress. The SWE Announcement message will provide guidance on test administration and these FAQs will be updated as necessary.

Can SWE Officers stagger members into the examination to avoid overcrowding?

Yes, there is nothing preventing a SWE Officer from authorizing a member or members to arrive late; depending on the number of proctors available and local conditions.

Are there any changes coming to the substitute examination guidance policy if a member feels unsafe testing in a confined space with other members?

Not at this time, as conditions progress with COVID-19, this issue will be re-addressed. For members eligible to return to normal working conditions, the testing regimen will remain as listed in the SWE Officer Handbook.  Substitute examinations will not be approved unless the existing conditions outlined in the SWE Officer Handbook are met. For members with a documented medical history or condition who are at high risk as certified by medical authorities, every effort will be made to test on the prescribed date. Mitigation efforts such as individual testing locations may be approved and commands may contact PPC-ADV for additional guidance in this scenario.