With the start of a promotional process for Captain, the agency is using the Individual Promotional Evaluation Matrix (IPEM).  This process was used in the recent Sergeant promotional process.  As stated, the IPEM is an assessment tool “designed to objectively evaluate an individual candidate’s verifiable Experience, Education, and Training as they relate to promotional opportunities.”  In theory, many believe this is a viable option to the traditional résumé in that the IPEM would reduce, if not eliminate the subjectivity involved with a résumé.

The candidates who are participating in the process for Captain attended briefings for the IPEM on December 4th in Phoenix.  During the morning session, much confusion surrounded a few areas of the IPEM, particularly the education portion.  After the briefing, AHPA received feedback from those who attended and others about the IPEM.  In receiving that feedback, AHPA has learned that other issues with the IPEM have been discovered.  AHPA summarized and presented feedback to DPS Senior Staff on December 13.  It was pointed out that the Captain IPEM continuity of promotion criteria from the Sergeant IPEM needs improvement.  These IPEMs serve as career templates and continuity between the criteria is needed to provide the building blocks in career development and the promotional process for Sergeants and Captains.  Additionally, all employee experiences, education, and training prior to and while working at DPS shape the employee and make an impact on their overall supervisor and leadership skills, knowledge, and abilities.  Therefore, to the best extent possible all of an employee’s experience, education, and training should be scored in the IPEM process in a fair and consistent manner.  A few highlights regarding the feedback are as follows.

Experience Section:

  • The Department Experience/Supervisory Experience section indicates it is worth “35% of Overall Score.”  What is the Department’s intent?   Is the IPEM overall score 100 % or 100 points or is there to be no ceiling on maximum points achievable for this section?
  • Verifiable military supervision and leadership experience and verifiable state and federal manager, supervisor, leader, or administrator experience adds to employees’ skills, knowledge and abilities as DPS supervisors and leaders and warrants relative experience credit on the IPEM.

Special Assignments:

  • Supervisory Specialty Assignments section, which should be 25 % of the candidate’s overall score, is also limitless in the percentage or final points.


  • Formal education is under represented a category, especially if DPS intends to increase importance and value of education in its ranks.
  • The value given to education in the Captain IPEM is less than the value it was given on the Sergeant’s IPEM.  This is inconsistent and problematic for DPS.
  • Education is capped at 10% of 100 points maximum or 10 final points regardless of the number or type of degrees earned.
  • The current point assignment is not proportionate and fundamentally unfair. More points can be gained by claiming a Bachelor’s Degree in the Education section while listing and claiming points for individual Master Degree classes in the Training section.

Police Training:

  • The category has been heavily edited compared to the Sergeant IPEM with the exclusion of military classes. Many military classes for leadership, communication, office skills, etc. are direct cross overs for police training classes or were the basis for which a corresponding police class was created.
  • The Advanced Police Training section is capped at 20% even if a candidate has over the 500 maximum total hours in each category. In other words, if an employee maximizes the Training section, the total for the section is a 100 point ceiling and 20 % of that is 20 points for the overall score and no more.

Again, these recommendations were based on feedback from members and made in the best interest of members and all participants in this a future promotional processes.

Based on the meeting with DPS Senior Staff on the 13th, changes to the IPEM would require LEMSC approval, which would mean a change to the original submission deadline of December 21.   The AHPA suggested the agency be cautious if and when changes are implemented to the IPEM.  Candidates should check the AHPA website and DPS Intranet for information as it is announced.

– AHPA Executive Board

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