From the Board – January, 2017: Brenda Pichette

Brenda Pichette, Chair, Canadian Certification Task Force

Happy New Year! I start this new year filled with optimism: optimistic that we really have seen a marked improvement in the Federal Government’s commitment to “listen to Canadians”; optimistic that the value of our profession as P2 Practitioners is truly on the rise; optimistic that IAP2 has the highest membership it has ever had; optimistic that the current Board of IAP2 Canada is a strong group of individuals that are invested in the future of the P2 profession.

I have served as a Board member for 3 years now. This Board “shows up”,” dives in” and “stays at it” (words borrowed from President Obama’s farewell speech).

I have volunteered at the local chapter level, served on the Canada Board with a solid focus on professional development and certification, I work on the International Certification Task Force and chair the Canadian Certification Task Force.

I ask myself, Why do I do all this, spend all this time?

Every day, every month, every year I have learned something new. I have heard so many of my IAP2 colleagues say they are so glad they found IAP2. So glad they found a network of people who share their values, and passion to do good P2. We know we can do more to advocate for meaningful public engagement in this country, where citizens’ voices truly have an impact on decisions that affect them, their families, their communities.

P2 professionals embrace the importance of creating space for voices to be heard through meaningful public engagement. We are committed to design a process that will work for all involved. We want to listen to the missing voices. We are the practitioners, the theorists, the researchers and, ultimately, the people who make and hold space for other people’s voices to be heard in our society. We need to listen carefully and compassionately.

We hear the words all the time: “We will have an open and transparent process, we will be accountable.” We need to do a better job working with and educating our decision makers. We must help them to understand that engagement has to be meaningful for our stakeholders and of value to us. No more engaging stakeholders, just to check a box on a project plan. We have to move past the design-announce-defend approach to P2. As we align our strengths, manage our weaknesses and remain open to change our practice will grow, we will improve, we can improve the profile of our profession and the value of the p2 process.  That’s why I spend all this time, I am passionate about improving the profile of our profession.

The IAP2 Canada Board is, too! We have made solid commitments to building a Certification Program for our profession. The first pilot took place this past November. We learned a lot! Revisions and updating are in the works. Stay tuned for an announcement for the next Assessment Centre.

Your Board is working hard to build learning opportunities for our membership. The Training Committee is hard at work, clearly establishing our needs as a profession and developing new programs to meet those needs. If all goes well we will have some new programs available this fall.

I ask myself on a regular basis, “Can we deliver wholehearted P2? Can we move beyond lip service to authentic P2?” I say yes. Let’s continue to grow our membership, spread the word about our Core Values, promote our Profession and learn together how we can improve our work. Just watch us grow! We are truly committed to serving our membership. We can all look better together!

Best Wishes for the best possible outcomes this year.

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