Here in California we have been watching the “Poole” case very closely and just last week the California Supreme Court ruled that evaluation notes, within the specific circumstances of Poole, are NOT a personnel file under the provisions of FBOR and therefore NOT subject to review by the employee.


Here at CSG we strive to go beyond theory and get to the rubber meets the road application. If you have heard my presentations or read related articles, you know that I advocate meaningful evaluations as a Career Survival tool.

Meaningful evaluations encourage behavior and performance that meet or exceed expectations. They also provide an opportunity to address behavior or performance failing to meet expectations. Either way, evaluations notes are an essential element of meaningful evaluations.

The Poole decision should not be an excuse to continue with what many agencies have told me are flawed evaluation systems. The fact that we’re talking about evaluations can and should be used as a leadership opportunity to assess your current evaluations and develop a consistent and fair evaluation note system designed to provide immediate feedback to your employees. Don’t wait to evaluate!

My friend Deputy Chief Mike Lopez of the Carlsbad Fire Department helped develop and implement a Performance Activity Card at his agency. The PAC is a performance based note used to document circumstances that may impact the overall evaluation.

Their policy includes how the cards are used, maintained, and purged and was vetted out by both labor and management. The CFD PAC is an excellent tool to achieve more meaningful evaluations in a fair and consistent manner.

Please contact me if you are interested in more information on PAC’s

As always, be safe!

Eric Rosoff

Career Survival Group