On Monday 11-18-2013 the Cosmetology Board met for hearings. This was an exhausting day and I would not wish it on my worst enemy to have to sit through a 10 hour day of this… But on to the real reason I did just that. After the Board finished with the hearings it was scheduled to have a special call meeting to go over some possible changes that may been needed to their R.F.P.
For those of you that are wondering just what is an R.F.P. “Requisition For Purposal “????? This is the legal documents which the Board has put together for companies/vendors/service providers so they can start making bids to the Board for the taking over the Written/Practical Examination for the State of Mississippi… As most of you are aware the Board of Cosmetology only signed a 2 year contract with Pearson Vue. This contract expired 9/30/2013 and the Board asked Pearson Vue if they could have a 6 month extension which would give the Board ample time to publish this R.F.P. so that all interested companies could submit bids for the contract of our Written/Practical Examination…
Now you might wonder what all is in a R.F.P. The best way I can answer that is any and everything you would want for the bidder to do for you in order to be awarded the contract….
EXAMPLES: They, our Board has requested that the examinations be given at a Community College, but if the Community College has a Cosmetology Department it can not be given in that Department or the vendor may use a Motel that is close to a Community College….
They, our Board request for testing sites to be in certain locations through out the state, very similar to what we currently have.
They, our Board requested that evaluators be Mississippi Instructors.
Now this is the good one… They did request that the Vendor use the N.I.C. written examination… Yes this is the same N.I.C. that Leisa McElreath , Cosmetology Board Vice-President, who also holds a position as the N.I.C. Board Secretary/Treasurer… Board members Dorothy Innes and Waylon Garrett aggressively raised concerns about this issue. During this back and forth both Leisa McElreath and Board President Kay Whitman could not say enough good things about N.I.C. Which made it very clear to me that they were going to choose the testing company based upon who would be using the N.I.C. Written Examination…Now you know, since I was present I had to say what everyone or most everybody was thinking CONFLICT!!! CONFLICT!!! CONFLICT!!!! With all the CONFLICT going on, Board Attorney Margarette Meeks had the Board to remove the language from using the N.I.C. test specifically to using a nationally recognized written examination… But let’s be real we know what some Board members want… THE N.I.C. WRITTEN EXAM BACK IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI!!!!!! Hint, Hint N.I.C. voted one of our Board members, Leisa McElreath to their Board…. I do believe there is a nice expense account that goes along with that position..
I have nothing again using the N.I.C. written examination, our students were tested with it for years. I just wished Leisa McElreath had not accepted the Board position with N.I.C. I feel that she has compromised the whole process. Recusing herself from the remaining process as well as the vote would be the proper thing to do.
The R.F.P. was supposed to go out today 11/27/2013 so the companies/venders/service providers would have the written documentation as to what the Board is looking for. There will be information flowing back in forth between the vendors and I.T. “information technology”, that is the states legal division that will handle the gathering process and then sometime in January 2014 the venders who are wanting to still bid on the R.F.P. will be having presentations with the Board. Once all the presentations are made then the Board will be making it’s decision probably mid February to early March 2014 with the hope they have everything in place to start testing by April 1, 2014….. Which this is when the Pearson Vue extension contract ends….
I will do my best to keep you updated through out this process. I feel that at some point in this process I am going to ask for all our school people to come together and meet with the Board. Hopefully we can do this before the final decision has been made…….