This month we published two articles that I thought would be helpful to share with you that reflect some of the required changes outlined in the final report from the agency’s sunset review process.
- The elimination of branch office licenses.
- The transfer of responsibility from TREC to each licensed education provider to ensure that instructors of approved qualifying and continuing education courses meet the qualification criteria set by the Commission. In short, TREC will no longer be issuing instructor licenses. We are communicating with education providers and instructors regularly about this change and have updated our website to explain the details.
If you have a branch office, are an education provider, or are a course instructor, these requirements are changing the way you do business. Pay close attention to integrate these changes.
In addition, a few major items have occupied significant time, energy and focus for the agency staff in the last year. The most important of these is customer service improvements, especially in our contact center. This category also includes tracking and reporting of actual time spent processing various applications. I am very happy to report to you that in June our average call hold time for TREC and for TALCB were under 3 minutes! A dramatic improvement over the worst quarterly average of about 18.5 minutes almost 18 months ago! Today about 87% of all callers connect with staff and do not use our automated call-back feature.
Another major item was required improvements in the agency’s budget forecasting, controls, and reserve fund policies. Beginning in November of 2018, budgeting and reserve policies were updated and fee reductions were proposed to better align revenues with expenses. In February, budgets were amended and policies updated to reflect this ongoing process and fee reductions were approved and became effective March 1 of this year. Other miscellaneous fees are being recommended to be cut going forward, in addition to the elimination of fees related to branch offices and instructor licensing. All of these combined are designed to collect only the fees we need and in amounts we can justify.
Reserve funds that had previously been restricted for potential construction projects have been repurposed to include a much broader range of potential uses to advance technology initiatives and other customer service improvements. Updating our aging technology to create new customer service tools is apparent in automated license history displays, continuing education detail, application progress tracking and other service enhancements. All are available for TREC today and planned soon for TALCB.
We will never stop looking for ways to improve the services we provide and reducing costs to make us more efficient. Please stay engaged and offer us your input on any options we present. Aim high!