Licensing Measurement, Regulatory Compliance, Program Quality, Quality Initiatives, ECPQIM/DMLMA: The 200th Blog Post

On the 200th RIKINotes Blog Post, I thought it would be useful to summarize the previous blog posts by the major areas of research because the research fits into neat overall buckets. The buckets build off the title of this post starting with ECPQIM/DMLMA which is shorthand for the overall model I have used to assess program quality and standards over the past 50 years. The original model actually started as a regional model I devised when I was still a psychology graduate student at Stony Brook University in New York. ECPQIM/DMLMA stands for Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model/Differential Monitoring Logic Model and Algorithm.

From there, the research avenues fall into regulatory compliance and program quality sectors. In assessing these two sectors, they can be further delineated as licensing measurement and quality initiatives. And to further drill down in these research domains there is the theory of regulatory compliance and differential monitoring within licensing measurement; with coaching/mentoring and QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement Systems) within quality initiatives.

Probably the most significant area of research and the one that has garnered the most research interest over the years has been the theory of regulatory compliance. This theory is the key to all the other areas of research because without it, several of these areas would not have occurred. For example, differential monitoring and licensing key indicators and risk assessment rules would never have come into fruition. This would have changed the ECPQIM/DMLMA modeling tremendously. But since the theory has played out in multiple studies and supported by a good deal of evidence and empirical data, it has now been used in several developing countries as their policy makers think through the best way to apply regulatory science to public policy in several different industries. That is the other wide reaching scope of the theory in that it is not pertinent only for the human services but for any industry that utilizes rules, regulations or standards.

The theory of regulatory compliance and differential monitoring form the cornerstones to human services licensing measurement, while coaching/mentoring and QRIS are the two most prominent examples of quality initiatives. The latter are more focused on the early care and education field than the human services field in general. Licensing measurement is more generic and applies throughout all human services. I have been able to fine tune several measurement strategies over the past 50 years to make measuring regulatory compliance more accurate and sensitive to changes in quality assessments. The regulatory compliance theory of diminishing returns is the paramount example and kingpin of this fine tuning.

Regulatory compliance and program quality form a delicate balance that needs to be adjusted depending upon the respective standards found in each system. This is the goal of the ECPQIM/DMLMA modeling in attempting to attain that proper balance. We want to make sure that our rules/regulations protect children but not at the expense of the best quality of services which push the envelope. I have attempted with my research to make licensing and regulatory compliance an equal partner with program quality and quality initiatives.

Hopefully you have found in the approximate 200 blog posts over the past decade helpful in this pursuit of increasing the overall quality of services for children and/or clients that you are responsible for serving. I encourage the interested reader to check out the blog posts, the introduction page to RIKIllc, and the selected publications page. All the above concepts and avenues of research have many examples on these pages.

As an aside, I did do some posting on subjects not within the context of the above organization with my excursion into meteorology and the spatial acquisition device proposal and the theory of space.  As I develop these ideas further, I will probably have some additional posts but the majority of my posting will be within the confines of the above organization since that is the focal point of the RIKI website.

Rick Fiene, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist/Regulatory Scientist, Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKIllc), National Association for Regulatory Administration, and Professor of Psychology (ret), Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Penn State University

About Dr Fiene

Dr. Rick Fiene has spent his professional career in improving the quality of child care in various states, nationally, and internationally. He has done extensive research and publishing on the key components in improving child care quality through an early childhood program quality indicator model of training, technical assistance, quality rating & improvement systems, professional development, mentoring, licensing, risk assessment, differential program monitoring, and accreditation. Dr. Fiene is a retired professor of human development & psychology (Penn State University) where he was department head and director of the Capital Area Early Childhood Research and Training Institute.
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