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.
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