Professional Designation Proposal

Submitted by:
Warren Poncsak, Executive Director
Roz Kelsey, Principal Project Consultant
April 6, 2010

1.0 PROJECT INTRODUCTION 

Background

The desire and need for increased professionalization within the recreation sector in Saskatchewan, and specifically within the membership of SARP, has been the focus of much discussion during the life cycle of the organization. Within the current fiscal year, a number of factors have contributed to an increasing momentum towards professional designation:

  • A curriculum review conducted by the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina
  • The results of a SARP member survey conducted in 2009 indicated significant support within the membership for a professional designation, the identification of core competencies, and the development of professional standards
  • The environmental scan conducted by the Board and Executive Director during the 2009 strategic planning process, resulted in the identification of three factors that warranted consideration in the review and revision of the current strategic plan. One of these factors identified that “Educational institutions are acknowledging the need to professionalize recreation through certification”.  

The results of both the member survey and environmental scan provided impetus for the Board to establish three strategic priorities and associated goals for the next three years. The following strategic goal underpins the rationale for this project: To develop a strategy to move toward professionalization in the recreation field.

Project Design

This project proposal provides a road map for the creation of a Professional Designation Strategy that will be build in three phases, over a three year timeline. Because the vision, components and process for professional designation are unknown at this time, the project has been designed using an adaptive project framework. This framework provides an overview of the deliverables and key activities that will be conducted within each phase. The next step will be to develop a detailed project plan for Phase I only. The results (deliverables) of Phase I will then be utilized to inform the detailed plan for Phase II, and similarly, the results of Phase II will be used to inform the plan for Phase III.  

The movement towards achieving professional designation in the recreation sector within Saskatchewan represents a profound change for the organization, members and stakeholders. We know that change always brings with it significant opportunity and significant challenge. In order to adopt a proactive stance, achieve maximum benefit and minimize the potential risk involved in this process, the project will incorporate relevant elements of change management best practices within each phase of the project. In addition, an Implementation and Transition Plan for the phase that follows completion of this project has been identified as a key deliverable of Phase III.

2.0 PROJECT OVERVIEW

2.1 Project Goal 

To create a Professional Designation Strategy that is built on a shared vision of professionalization that has been created with input from the membership and stakeholders of SARP.

2.2 Long Term Outcomes

A number of long term outcomes (impacts, benefits) are expected from the implementation of a professional designation process within the SARP membership, the communities they serve, and the stakeholders of the organization. These long term outcomes will inform a vision of professionalization that will be collaboratively built with input from the Board, members and stakeholders of SARP during this project.

2.3 Project Objectives

  • To identify the key historical factors from the SARP lifecycle that need to be considered in the development of a strategy for professional designation. 
  • To gain an increased understanding of the rationale and impact of professionalization in the recreation field.
  • To learn from the best practices of other organizations who have implemented a professional designation process.
  • To create member and stakeholder involvement in the development of a professional designation process.
  • To clarify a shared vision of professionalization (values, professionalization process components and expected outcomes) that reflects the combined input of the Board, members and stakeholders 
  • To achieve member and stakeholder awareness and engagement during the project lifecycle. 
  • To achieve effective change management throughout the lifecycle of the project
  • To ensure successful implementation of, and transition to, a professional designation process. 

2.4 Project Deliverables & Key Activities

  • Project Plan
    • Create Project Proposal 
    • Create Detailed Project Plan
  • Project Communication Plan
    • Clarify the communication target groups
    • Review project plan and annual SARP calendar and identify key opportunities for member and stakeholder contact
    • Determine and document communication methods, timelines, content and responsibilities
  • Research Report
    • Conduct literature review of professionalization in the recreation field
    • Conduct historical scan (SARP document review, member/stakeholder consultation) 
    • Conduct best practice research 
    • Summarize data and document in Research Report
  • Consultation Report
    • Conduct one-on-one interviews, focus groups and web based survey to collect board, member and stakeholder data in the following areas:
      • values underpinning professionalization
      • process and components of professionalization
      • Member needs and expected benefits
    • Consolidate and theme data
    • Create Consultation Report
  • Shared Vision of Professionalization
    • Review Board, member and stakeholder data relating to shared vision
    • Create and document a Shared Vision
    • Conduct vision validation activities (focus groups, on line consultation, interviews)
  • Professional Designation Strategy
    • Review research, consultation and shared vision data
    • Determine components of professional designation
    • Determine process for professional designation
    • Conduct validation sessions, make necessary revisions to the Strategy and document 
  • Implementation & Transition Plan
    • Identify the phases of implementation, key actions, associated challenges/opportunities, and create an action plan for successfully managing these 
    • Identify the resources, systems and processes required for the implementation of professional designation 
  • Final Project Report  
    • Compile all written pieces of the project
    • Create Final Project Report (to include Project Proposal, Communication Plan, Research Report, Consultation Report Professional Designation Strategy, Implementation & Transition Plan and project evaluation results) 

Figure 2.4: Project Deliverables & Key Actions: Phase I, Phase II, Phase III

Deliverables
Click image to enlarge

2.5 Project Scope: Phase I

The scope for each of the key project deliverables within each phase of the project has been defined as follows:

PHASE I

  • Project Plan

The first step towards the realization of a Professional Designation Strategy is the creation of the Project Proposal. The Proposal provides the necessary framework, upon which the Detailed Project Plan for each phase will be built. The Project Proposal includes; the project goal, objectives, deliverables, key activities, scope, assumptions, risks and constraints, governance and management, budget, reporting/monitoring and timelines. The Detailed Project Plan will further deconstruct the key activities, into tasks, assign resources to each, sequence activities and tasks and assign responsibilities. It will also identify the components and timing of the project evaluation.

  • Project Communication Plan

The Communication Plan will span the lifecycle of the project and is intended to keep the members and stakeholders informed and engaged in the project progress and activities. We know that awareness is a necessary factor in accepting change, and the Communication Plan will be a primary tool in building awareness and ultimately ownership in the project. Building the Communication Plan will begin with a clarification of the communication target groups, review of the project plan and annual SARP calendar for key opportunities for member/stakeholder contact, identification of key content to be communicated during the various stages of the project, and the communication methods, timelines and responsibilities 

  • Research Report

The project will involve the collection of relevant data to create a strong foundation for the rationale for professional designation, an understanding of the successful practices surrounding professional designation and the design of a professional designation process. Data collection will include literature review of current research relating to professionalization in the recreation field, best practice research involving three to five organizations, and a historical scan consisting of SARP document review and collection of member/stakeholder perceptions around significant historical factors/events. Research data will be summarized in a Research Report that will be used to inform the development of a Professional Designation Strategy.

PHASE II

  • Consultation Report

To facilitate the articulation of a shared vision of professionalization, the project will involve collection of Board, member and stakeholder input around that values that underpin professionalization, the professionalization process, components and expected benefits. Data will be collected using one or more of the following methodologies: focus groups, one-on-one interviews and web based survey. A representative sampling of the membership and stakeholders will be determined. A consultation report will be produced that includes data themes and a proposed shared vision of professionalization that incorporates values, components and expected outcomes.  

  • Shared Vision of Professionalization

Perceptions, assumptions and expectations of what “professionalization” includes can vary greatly between and amongst individuals and the leadership, membership and stakeholder groups of the organization. For this reason, it is critical that a shared “vision of professionalization” be clarified with input from all of these key groups. The “vision” of professionalization for the purposes of this project will consist of three components: the values underpinning professional designation, expected components of a professional designation process and the expected outcomes (benefits) of implementing a process of professional designation. It is essential that this vision be articulated in the early stages of the project, as this will serve as the foundation and key driver for the components and design of the process. Validation activities (focus group, online review, interviews) for the shared vision will be conducted with the Board, membership and stakeholders. The project will attempt to achieve consensus amongst Board, members and stakeholders around this shared vision of professionalization.

PHASE III

  • Professional Designation Strategy

The development of a Professional Designation Strategy will involve four key components: review of the current literature, historical scan and best practice research, previously conducted; determination and documentation of the professional designation components and process; creation of an Implementation and Transition Plan, and Board, member and stakeholder validation. Once again, consensus amongst these key groups will be the goal. Changes to the designation process that are implicated during the validation process will be considered, used as a reference point for making revisions to professionalization components and process, and presented a second time to the Board, membership and stakeholders. Implementation and ongoing management of the professional designation process is not within the scope of this project, but will be supported by the inclusion of an Implementation and Transition Plan in the Strategy.

  • Implementation & Transition Plan

The development of an Implementation & Transition Plan will facilitate a smooth transition from the project ending to the beginning of the implementation phase during year one, and throughout the entire transition process. The length of the transition period remains undefined at this point, and will be established once a better understanding of the professionalization process and associated needs has be achieved (likely at the end of Phase II). In addition, the Plan will include and identification of the phases within this period, anticipated challenges and opportunities, key actions, timelines, responsibilities, action plan, resources, and systems and processes required for the successful implementation of professional designation.

  • Final Project Report

The final project report will constitute the formal record of the project results and will essentially include all of the written pieces of the project including: the Project Proposal; Communication Plan; full Research Report with executive summary; full Consultation Report (values, process, components, member needs and expected benefits) with executive summary; Professional Designation Strategy with executive summary; Implementation and Transition Plan and Project Evaluation.

2.6 Project Assumptions, Risks & Constraints

Assumptions

  • The rationale and need for the development and implementation of a professional designation process has been established within the Board, membership and stakeholders of the organization
  • A sufficient level of support for the development and implementation of a professional designation process exists within the Board, membership sectors and key stakeholders of the organization
  • The Board will consider and ensure that sufficient resources (financial and human) are in place to implement, manage and support the professional designation process, following the end of the project period

Risks & Constraints:  

  • The diverse number of recreation sectors that SARP represents may present a challenge in coming to a consensus on vision, components and process for professional designation
  • Stakeholders, while supporting professionalization, may not support the shared vision (components and process) built during the project
  • The availability of sufficient funds to support the project over its 3 year lifecycle, during the implementation phase and for the eventual ongoing management of the process from year to year

2.7 Project Governance & Management

Realization of the project goal and deliverables will be made possible by clarifying the various roles and responsibilities of the key players involved in this project. In sorting out roles, it will be important to make a clear distinction between the strategic oversight provided by the Board, the project oversight provided by the Project Manager and the day to day management of the project activities provided by the Principal Project Consultant. In addition, clarification of the roles of other Project Consultants who provide expertise and support for the project, and those of the clients and stakeholders, will ensure that each group understands the significant role that they play. Roles and primary responsibilities of these key individuals groups are outlined in Table 2.7 on the following page.

2.8 Project Phases

The project will be conducted during the period Dec 01, 2009 to Nov 30, 2012, with the implementation of the Professional Designation Process beginning in January of 2013. The project will assume 3 Phases:

  • Phase I: Building the Foundation for Professionalization Dec 01, 2009 to Nov 30, 2010

This phase will include the creation of the Project Plan, Project Communication Plan and Research Report that summarizes the findings of the literature review, historical scan and best practice research.

  • Phase II: Member & Stakeholder Consultation Dec 01, 2010 to Nov 30, 2011

This phase will include the Board, member and stakeholder consultation and reporting, and the creation and validation of a shared vision of professionalization.

  • Phase III: Developing a Professional Designation Strategy Dec 01, 2011 to Nov 30, 2012

This phase will include the development of a Professional Designation Strategy, validation of the Strategy and the creation of an Implementation and Transition Plan.

An overview of project phases, deliverables, key activities, timelines and budget is found in Appendix A.

Table 2.7: Roles & Responsibilities

ROLE WHO PRIMARY RESPOSNBILTIES

Executive Sponsor

SARP Board of Directors

  • Approves the project proposal and any changes to project scope, deliverables and budget
  • Participates in the validation process (shared vision, professionalization components, process, and strategy)
  • Receives and reviews regular reports from the Project Manager
  • Monitors progress throughout the project lifecycle
  • Participates in the project evaluation

Project Manager

Warren Poncshak, Executive Director, SARP

  • Ensures that the project is completed on time, within budget, and within scope
  • Approves the Detailed Project Plan 
  • Oversees the work of the Principal Project Consultant
  • Oversees and tracks the Project Budget
  • Assists with project key activities 
  • Presents project reports and updates to the Board

Principal Project Consultant

Roz Kelsey, Principal Project Consultant

  • Works with the Project Manager to create the Project Proposal and Detailed Project Plan
  • Recruits and oversees the work of the Project Consultants, Research Associates, Project Team and volunteers.
  • Works with the Project Consultants, Research Associates, Project Team and volunteers to complete the key activities of the Project and realize the project deliverables
  • Prepares project reports and updates for submission to the Executive Director
  • Participates in presentations to the Board, Membership and Stakeholders 

Project Team 

Chaired by Principal Project Consultant

  • Therapeutic Recreation Rep
  • Community Recreation Rep
  • Sport Admin Rep
  • Board of Regents Rep
  • Stakeholder Rep
  • Acts as a liaison between the Project Team and the membership sector they represent
  • Facilitates participation of the member sectors in the project activities
  • Works with the Project Consultants, to create a Communication Plan for the project and support in its implementation
  • Working with the Project Consultants, creates the Implementation and Transition Plan.
  • Participates in the project evaluation

Project Clients

SARP Membership

  • Provides input to project (shared vision, components of professionalization, process for professionalization)
  • Reviews and validates consultation results
  • Participates in the project evaluation

Project Stakeholders

Key SARP Stakeholder

  • Employers of SARP Members
  • Provide input to the project (shared vision, components of professionalization, process for professionalization
  • Review and validate consultation results
  • Participates in the project evaluation

2.9 Project Reporting & Monitoring

Regular Project Reports will be submitted by the Principal Project Consultant to the Project Manager during each project phase. The Project Manager will present the Project Report at the following Board meeting. The Principal Project Consultant may be requested to assist or lead in the Project updates to the Board. The Board will monitor progress towards project deliverables and key milestones via Project Manager reporting at Board meetings. 

The project will also be monitored by the Project Manager through regular meetings with the Principal Project Consultant. Other contracted Consultants may also attend these meetings from time to time. In addition, the Principal Project Consultant will meet with the Project Team on a regular basis to oversee the project activities.  

Project reporting to the membership will be detailed in the Project Communication Plan and will be via newsletter, website, and email. An annual report and presentation will be delivered to the membership at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Annual General Meetings. Project Reports to the Board and to the membership at the AGM for each Phase are outlined in Table 2.9 to follow.

Table 2.9: Project Reporting to the Board & Membership

Phase

Report #1

Report #2

Report #3

Report #4

Report #5

Phase #1

Report: Board
Date: Apr 27/10

Report: Board
Date: Sep/10

Report: AGM
Date: Oct/10

Report: Board
Date: Nov/10

 

Topic: Project Proposal

Topic: Research Report

Topic: Project Update & Member Consultation (Shared Vision)

Topic: Board Consultation (Shared Vision) 

 

Phase #2

Report: Board
Date: Feb 2011

Report: Board
Date: June 2011

Report: Board
Date: Sep 2011

Report: AGM
Date: Oct 2011

 

Topic: Consultation Update

Topic: Consultation Report

Topic: Shared Vision Validation

Topic: Project Update; Shared Vision Validation

 

Phase #3

Report: Board
Date: Feb 2012

Report: Board
Date: April 2012

Report: Board
Date: June 2012

Report: Board
Date: Sep 2012

Report: AGM
Date: Oct 2012

Topic: Components of Professionalization

Topic: Professional Designation Process

Topic: Validation Professionalization Components & Process

Topic: Implementation & Transition Plan

Topic: Final Project Report

2.10 Project Approval
 

Name & Title

Date of Approval

Signature

Chair
Board of Directors, SARP

   

Warren Poncsak
Executive Director, SARP

   

Roz Kelsey
Project Principal Consultant

   

Appendix A: Project Key Activities, Timelines & Budget
 

PHASE

DELIVERABLE

KEY ACTIVITIES

PERIOD

BUDGET

PHASE I:

Building
the Research Foundation for Professionalization

Dec 01, 2009 to Nov 30, 2010

Project
Plan

  • Create Project Proposal

Apr/Mar 2010

$3,000

  • Create Detailed Project Plan

Apr/May 2010

Communication
Plan

  • Review project plan and identify key
    opportunities for Board, member and stakeholder contact

May/June 2010

$1,500

  • Determine and document communication methods,
    vehicles, timelines and key messages

May/June 2010

Research
Report

  • Conduct literature review of professionalization
    in recreation field

July/Aug 2010

$1,000

  • Conduct environmental scan

Jul/Aug 2010

$1,500

  • Conduct best practice research

Jul/Aug 2010

$1,000

  • Create research report

Sep 2010

$2,000

PHASE II:

Member
& Stakeholder Consultation

Dec 01, 2010 to Nov 30, 2011

Consultation
Report

  • Conduct interviews, focus groups and web based survey

Dec – Mar 2010/11

$6,000

  • Consolidate and theme data

April-June 2011

  • Create Consultation Report

Shared
Vision of Professionalization

  • Create a shared vision of professionalization
    from Board, member and stakeholder consultation data and document

July/Aug 2011

$4,000

  • Conduct shared vision validation sessions

Sep/Oct 2011

PHASE III:

Developing
a Professional Designation Strategy

Dec 01, 2011 to Nov 30, 2012

Professional
Designation Strategy

  • Review current literature, consultation data,
    shared vision

Dec/Jan 2011

$6,000

  • Determine components of professional designation

Feb 2012

  • Determine process for professional designation

Mar/April 2012

  • Conduct validation sessions and make necessary
    revisions

May/June 2012

Implementation
& Transition Plan

  • Identify length and phases, key actions,
    challenge and opportunities in implementation phase and develop action plan

Jul/Aug 2012

$2,000

  • Identify resources, systems and processes
    required for implementation

Jul/Aug 2012

Final Project
Report

  • Create Final Project Report

(to
include summary of research, consultation results, shared vision,
professional designation strategy, implementation and transition plan and
evaluation results.

Sep 2012

$2,000

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