There is little doubt that the implementation of the system used by CAMS to grade its many officials, the National Officiating Program, has been one of the most controversial and poorly-handled pieces of rule making in many years.

Despite having been introduced years ago with the intention of grading CAMS volunteers by recognizing the amount of previous experience they have had or the level of qualifications they possess, the system is still misunderstood by a large majority of CAMS officials.

Announced with good intentions, the CAMS National Officiating Program (NOP) appears to have more holes in it than a rusty bucket, and recent changes to the levels of grading have done little except confuse licence holders further. No only is the method used of grading officials a real bone of contention, but the actual registration of officials has been hampered by inefficiency and misinformation.

There have been many instances where intending officials have completed their training program either on line or at training days only to have their application lost or their application ignored. People who have sent paperwork to the CAMS office months, even years, ago, are still waiting for a reply.

CAMS car clubs around the country constantly discuss the confusion associated with the operation of the NOP and the interpretation of the rules. Unfortunately, because most people do not understand the levels of grading, many are simply allowing their once-high gradings to lapse.

In addition, there is a great level of disquiet from CAMS members who have had many years of officiating experience at the highest levels and who find themselves downgraded simply because they have not held a position at that level for several years. Prior learning experience, in many cases, is being ignored The introduction of the gold, silver and bronze levels of licensing has only served to dumb-down the officiating qualifications that have been achieved by many over years of participation in CAMS events.

All the posturing by CAMS about giving the new system time to work is falling on deaf ears. Those many devoted CAMS officials who give of their time year after year to help run events are simply adopting the attitude that they are no longer willing to go cap-in-hand to CAMS for a licence upgrade when prior learning experience should rate them higher automatically.

It is high time that CAMS started listening to their life-blood, the dedicated officials without whom no events would run, and who are becoming increasingly disgruntled with the current system. Until they do, there is going to be a great deal of animosity between our governing body and its members.

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