Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Custom Training

Case Study -- TCEQ: Creating/Revising Rule Documents


Client Summary

TCEQ The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the environmental agency for the state of Texas. Within TCEQ, the Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration (OPRR), along with Office of Legal Services (OLS) are responsible for creating and revising the environmental rules which govern the state. This process requires agency experts to write complex technical documents and configure them for publication. The environmental rules are first published in the Texas Register, which is a weekly journal of state agency rulemaking for the state of Texas Once adopted; rule documents are converted to HTML and codified into the Texas Administrative Code at the Secretary of StateÆs web site.

Challenges Facing the Client

The client identified a skills gap for employees who to wrote and revised rule documents. TCEQ had recently upgraded their word processing software from WordPerfect to Microsoft Word and some employees were not completely familiar with the new application. The Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration (OPRR) included a half-dozen separate divisions, each with a slightly different process for creating rule documents. As a result, completed rule documents were often incorrectly amended or formatted. OPRR had an internal team whose job it was to review completed rule documents for approval. Rejected rule documents were returned to their respective divisions for corrections, before being re-submitted. The client needed a more simplified approach for creating and revising the rule documents, as well as training for all employees involved in the process.

How MicroAssist Helped

Initial meetings with the client helped MicroAssist develop an action plan which included the development of a customized training course for rule writers. A key issue was the MicroAssist content development teamÆs capacity to absorb and disseminate technical information from the client and convert this information into meaningful course material. A content developer worked with key experts at TCEQ to fully understand the rule making process as a precursor to creating the class content. Once the development process began, we established an open communication channel with the client, notifying them of any changes, while strictly adhering to the clientÆs schedule. TCEQÆs subject matter experts worked with our content developer to fine-tune the lessons over time, and make the document creation process much more efficient. MicroAssist delivered a dozen classes to the client over the course of three months, training a total of 113 employees. TCEQ was extremely pleased with the results and has requested that additional classes be added to the regular training rotation beginning next year.

Results

  • Simplified the process of creating and formatting rules documents and improved staff understanding of that process.
  • Improved staff understanding of Microsoft Word, and the features which aid them in creating clean rule documents.
  • Increased productivity by reducing the number of errors in rules documents, and lowering the number of rejected documents.