The SARTECH TRACKER levels of certification are available as addendum credentials for any SAR personnel. They are recommended for any person who functions on SAR missions as field searchers including those with specialties such as K9 and Equine. Candidates are encouraged to use one of these books for knowledge sources.
Publications that will prepare you for passing this written test are:
- Fundamentals of Mantracking: The Step-By-Step Method by "Ab" Taylor and Donald Cooper
- Foundations for Awareness, Signcutting and Tracking by Robert Speiden
- Tracking: A Blueprint for Learning How by Jack Kearney
- Fundamentals of Search and Rescue; Chapter 13 by Jones and Bartlett Publishers
All are available through the NASAR Book Store.
The SARTECH TRACKER examination consists of a written exam, tracker tool check, tracker logbook review and six practical field exams. The written exam includes one hundred (100) questions covering the candidate's knowledge of tracking. A passing grade is 70% (70 correct answers) or above. Successfully passing the SARTECH TRACKER written test assures the candidate to be certified to the SARTECH TRACK AWARE level whether the candidate does well on the practical exams or not.
Upon passing the written exam, the candidate is then required to successfully complete a six station practical exam. Should the candidate not successfully complete all of the practical exam stations, all stations will need be repeated. The re-testing may be completed at any subsequent SARTECH TRACKER evaluation. If the retesting is done within the one year of the original testing date, no additional payment to NASAR is required. However, a host organization may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of hosting their exam. If still an additional retest is needed, then the NASAR fee will be collected. (One NASAR fee covers the original exam and one retest, if needed).
The written exam includes questions from the following topics:
- The relationship between inconclusive, conclusive, collaborative sign
- The role of the Tracker within a SAR operation
- The responsibilities for the SAR Tracker
- The four categories of sign
- The expectations of the Incident Commander upon the SAR Tracker
- The four skill sets needed by the SAR Tracker
- The information needed by the Tracker once a print is found
- The importance of owning and maintaining a tracking log
- The primary types of tracking assignments
The tracker tool check includes an expectation of seeing the following:
- Tape measure
- Tracker Log Book (checking entries for weather notes, DIRT time, track sketches, maps)
- Tracking Stick
- Flagging tape
The candidate's performance of SAR tracking skills is evaluated at six practical exam stations. While each station has a targeted skill set, each will reveille some portion of the following 5 skills:
Detection (seeing), Interpretation (deduction), Recording (communication), Tactics (planning) and Trailing (following). The targets are as follows:
- Station #1: Tic-Tac-Toe: This station will reveal your levels of detection and interpretation ability.
- Station #2: Black Jack: This station will reveal your levels of recording and interpretation ability.
- Station #3: Triangles: This station will reveal your levels of interpretation and recording ability.
- Station #4: PLS Key: This station will reveal your levels of interpretation and recording ability.
- Station #5: Sign-Cut Path: This station will reveal your levels of detection and interpretation ability.
- Station #6: Solo Fox & Hound: This station will reveal your levels of trailing and tactics ability.
The SARTECH TRACKER program is an evaluation process not a learning process. Candidates demonstrate basic SAR tracking competency through written test (knowledge), practical performance of search and rescue skills and the revealed capability of this performance shows one’s ability levels. Upon successful completion of the requirements, a certificate will be issued to the person by NASAR.
Unlike the SARTECH III, II and I certificates with each level having its’ own exam, the SARTECH TRACKER Examination will break out your levels based upon how well you perform in the practical field exams. One exam can potentially give out four (4) different levels. Each is based on your display of knowledge, performed tasks and demonstrated ability:
- SARTECH TRACK AWARE
- SARTECH TRACKER III
- SARTECH TRACKER II
- SARTECH TRACKER I
This certificate does not constitute a license to practice the skills taught in a training program or to practice the knowledge and performance skills that have been evaluated. The certificate does signify that the person holding the certificate has met the requirements of established certification criteria and/or performance skill on the date indicated on the certificate.
NASAR has developed a Tracking Course using the NASAR Tracker Certification Criteria for SARTECH TRACKER. This course is NASAR Tracking Fundamentals (TRACKING). This course is designed to teach the student the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the level of SARTECH TRACK AWARE, which will be awarded upon completion of this course. Completion of this or any other NASAR sponsored courses are not required for the candidate to challenge any certification examination. The candidates training may come from any available source the candidate chooses. Candidates who successfully complete the evaluation process will receive a certificate and patch from NASAR signifying their certification level. NASAR does require a three (3) year re-certification time period to maintain credentialing.
Who Should Attend:
All Operational SAR personnel.
There are a few prerequisites required for a person to challenge the SARTECH TRACKER examination. Our history indicates persons who have had formal SAR tracking training and some experience on SAR missions successfully pass the examinations more frequently than others do. Candidates should be familiar with SARTECH II testing methodology. They must bring any tracking tools that they are trained to use for the practical exam. The practical exam is to determine how well you can perform SAR tracking tasks. It is suggested that you be a current NASAR SARTECH II.
Candidates MUST be familiar with their agency’s best practices for crime scene preservation. If they are not affiliated with a Law Enforcement Agency, they should reach out to the agencies that they routinely work with to get a clear understanding of the crime scene protocol. They should have participated in their local Crime Scene Preservation Class*. Bring documentation that this has been done or its’ equivalent to the Evaluation.
Q: What is required content of the Crime Scene Preservation Class?
A: *Crime Scene Preservation Class topics covered must include, but are not limited to the following:
- The class should teach how to preserve evidence that would otherwise be destroyed or lost.
- The class should teach how to handle both live and deceased subjects with respect to preserving evidence.
- The class should teach the methodology of "Preserving the Chain of Evidence".
- The class should teach how to be an asset to the law enforcement community when the searcher is the first on a crime scene, and not a detriment to any further investigation.
- Include an endorsement from a recognized law enforcement agency, if it is already not provided by a law enforcement agency.
- Provide a certificate of completion that details that it is a crime scene preservation or evidence preservation or crime scene behavior class.
- The certificate should at least provide a reference to the agency authorizing the class taken.
- This class should be taught by Law Enforcement personnel or Crime Scene Technicians within their area of jurisdiction.