Purpose of this Blog

ARPA is committed to developing an assessment framework and system to help define, monitor and recognize outstanding performance in recreation, parks, arts, culture and community-building organizations and agencies. The development process began in May 2010 and will be complete in November 2011. This blog is intended to keep stakeholders informed and to facilitate their input and advice. If you are visiting the blog for the first time, you might be interested in starting with the initial November 2010 posts:

- Why we need this initiative?
- The Process of Creating a Service Excellence Program
- We've Reviewed Over 200 Related Assessment Tools
- The Modules and Core Organizational Competencies.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WHY do we need this initiative?

For the last two decades, every organization that depends on stakeholder support has been under increased pressure:
  • to be effective and efficient
  • to adopt best and promising practices
  • to benchmark and compare
  • to provide quality assurance
  • to be accountable, and
  • to measure performance.
Canada has many examples of accreditation processes (HIGH Five), guidelines (BC Pool Guidelines), and standards (BC Therapeutic Recreation Association Standards of Practice.  However, they are often specialized rather than comprehensive; have a tendency to minimum performance standards; and others are generic and not specific enough for recreation and parks agencies.

No approach, model or framework has generated the support to become firmly established.  Our recreation and parks 'profession' is without a clear and accepted body of practice that defines organizational competencies and/or service excellence.  Many would argue that we cannot be a profession without this work.  This Service Excellence Framework will fill this gap.

The Framework is being developed and piloted in Alberta with the support of several provincial/territorial partners of ARPA.  We strive to ensure that it will be successful and gradually adopted across Canada.

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