The World Administrators Alliance (WA-Alliance) is a formal membership structure (a Non-Profit Trade (profession) Association) with a Governing Council (Council) which replaced the former WA-Summit Advisory Council.
The Advisory Council was an informal body that managed the WA-Summit event and the between summits research.
The new WA-Alliance Council as a formal membership body is able to be more responsive, resilient, is better able to advocate for Administrative Professionals globally, and manage the between Summit research/tasks.
The WA-Alliance is responsible for the WA-Summit.
The WA-Alliance has a formalised membership body incorporating:
The term “administrators” speaks to the scope of practices and activities surrounding our roles as well as those essential to conducting business. For those in the administrative profession a significant issue is the 160+ titles both within countries and across the globe. Each country usually has its own preferred titles (for example: Personal or Executive Assistant, Office, Business or Management Assistant). These titles can appear intimidating to those who undertake general administration, for example administrative assistant, filing clerk, receptionist, etc, who do not hold such titles. However, whatever the title and tasks, the core of all these roles is administration. To administration, a range of other tasks from reception to accounts to full strategic partner reporting to a C-suite manager are added.
If we look at a another profession having one word to describe a role for example:
It is very hard to be heard as a cohesive group internationally if we do not have a single word which generally encompasses our work. Be proud of the overarching title as well as our own personal position title.
The new structure, WA-Alliance, needed to differentiate from the WA-Summit event so we ran a survey with the 2018 Delegates and chose a different but linked name. Some responses we received in our survey on the name choice are:
These responses mirror the thinking of the Task Force who worked on replacing the former WA-Summit Advisory Council.
The World Administrators Summit (WA-Summit) is the 2-day working meeting of administrative professionals held every 2 years. The purpose of this global meeting is to “… guide, influence and positively develop the profession”.
This meeting is focused on discussing topics of importance to all administrative professionals around the world. The topics are gathered through a global survey of those working in the profession, seeking matters that are reflective of the critical issues facing all administrative/office professionals.
The topics discussed lead to an Outcomes document and feed into Administra The World Action Plan which is for administrative professional associations/networks and individuals. Administra is a set of guidelines and not rules.
The 12th WA-Summit On-Line will be held on 15 and 22 October 2022, 1pm – 5pm CET.
Each country may have no more than five Delegates. Formally appointed Delegates from every country in the world may attend.
Most Delegates come from the professional association or network in that country for example: International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), the International Management Assistants (IMA), in the UK the PA Hub, or the Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand Inc (AAPNZ). However some countries do not have an administrative professional association or network, or their association/network does not wish to participate. Then an individual may apply to be a country Delegate.
The Delegate Credentialing Form (in both Word and PDF) must be fully and properly completed before being submitted to the Chairman of the WA-Alliance Council for acceptance and all criteria must be met, including sending through a photograph.
Each country may have five Delegates.
It is up to each Association/Network how they select their Delegates. However, it can be helpful to hear how others have done this.
However, being a Delegate is a very good role for an Immediate Past President who brings experience, knowledge and understanding to the role but does not have the same responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Association/Network.
We strongly suggest that at least one of those five Delegates is part of a succession plan so that information about the WA-Summit and WA-Alliance is gathered, developed and continues through the professional body rather than stopping with those who attend each two years.
Many countries only have one or two Delegates and that is perfectly fine as well. Again it is worth noting the importance of succession for each country so knowledge is not lost to the Association/Network.
Associations/Networks have their own methods of sharing information with their members. However, when it comes to information about the WA-Summit and the WA-Alliance it can sometimes, incorrectly, be seen as information specifically for those who run the association/network, therefore not of great interest or importance to the members of that association.
The information from the WA-Alliance and the WA-Summit is really important and valuable to every individual administrative/office professional. The topics being discussed should be discussed widely among Associations’/Networks’ members as it is their thoughts, experiences, and views, collected through a survey, which have led to those topics being selected.
Once the topics have been selected and the Agenda formed, the Delegates are asked to research those topics within their own associations and networks. Members should also ask their Association/Network leaders for information on the topics and seek to provide input.
Please note that each country is also asked to report on a specific goal from Administra. This goal will be advised when the Agenda is sent out. Country Delegates should follow the same process listed below to gather information within their own country as regards that goal, so their report is representative of their country’s views.
The main aim is to ensure that all Delegates bring a well informed, truly representative opinion on the topics to the discussions at the summit. Associations/Networks can do this in a many ways, often using a combination of approaches. They can:
After consultation, the Delegates within a country need to meet, discuss the information they have gathered, and determine how they are going to contribute to the discussions or vote on a specific matter. The Delegates discussing and agreeing is critical as where voting is required, each country has only one vote, the Delegation Leader for a country is the only person who can vote.
Once the summit has completed, a document is prepared setting out the outcomes reached at the discussions. The outcomes reached at the WA-Summit, or further research undertaken by Task Forces under the guidance of the WA-Alliance, are aimed at supporting the individual administrative/office professional in their day-to-day working life.
The “Outcomes” documents can be found on our website and the link is shared with; all Delegates, all associations/networks, and it is requested that they share it with all their members and wider networks.
The WA-Summit is an international platform where peer-to-peer discussions are held on relevant topics which impact those working in the administrative profession. Hear from Delegates who attended the 10th WA-Summit in 2018 (Why Attend?).
It provides an opportunity for each individual administrative professional to be heard and contribute to the recognition of their work as a profession. For the individual their participation is called for through responding to surveys and ensuring their country is present to represent their views.
The discussions at a WA-Summit lead to outcomes which includes research to support those outcomes such as: the reports from the 2021 discussions:
The 10th WA-Summit 2018 in Frankfurt – 22 countries participated with 41 Delegates.
Due to Covid-19 the 11th WA-Summit was had to be split into two parts:
You can see the countries names on the Delegates Page .
The members of the WA-Alliance will come from around the world. They need to apply, meet the criteria of the WA-Alliance and then pay a membership fee. You can see more about this on the WA-Alliance website.
You can check out these three documents which were the initial communications and a structure diagram, setting out the initial intent of moving from an information structure to a formal body.
The Members of the WA-Alliance Council provide wide geographical representation, are elected for a two year term, and were nominated and voted on by the Members of the WA-Alliance at the inaugural Annual General Meeting.
The WA-Alliance is global with Council members from several countries – currently Netherlands, USA, Canada, UK, Trinidad & Tobago, New Zealand and Australia.
The United States of America was chosen as the country to register the WA-Alliance primarily as the USA’s Non-Profit Trade Association is aimed at organisations founded and funded by associations and/or organisations representing a specific industry (trade); in this case administrators.
It is recognised that many countries in the world will have some law which the WA-Alliance could have registered under, but it was felt the USA best suited the needs of the WA-Alliance, especially for international monetary transactions.
The WA-Summit Advisory Council had been a loose voluntary body, usually “based” in the country where the Chairman of the Advisory Council resided. With the WA-Alliance being registered as a Non-Profit Trade Association in the USA, it will have a stable base. However no single country (including the USA) will have control over the WA-Alliance.
The WA-Alliance required funding to cover initial set-up and on-going costs, for example:
Previously many of the above costs were funded through the personal generosity of the individuals involved. With a paid membership base the WA-Alliance Council can now budget and cover many of the costs required. The WA-Alliance requires an ongoing diverse funding model likely to include sponsorships, business partners, association membership, etc.
Could there be a travel fund from the WA-Alliance to support those who could not otherwise attend the WA-Summit?
This is a great idea and is something that the new WA-Alliance Council will try to work towards for the future. The desire is that every country should be able to send at least one Delegate to every WA-Summit every two years.
Will the change to the WA-Alliance impact on an individuals relationship with IAAP?
There is no plan or intention to affect the relationships of any individual with their own country professional association, be it IAAP or any of the others around the world. Nor will it affect any certifications or credentials you gain through your own association
IAAP’s CAP exam – will there be a global credential to match up with this?
The WA-Summit in Frankfurt, 2018, agreed to have a task force to work on a Skills Set Matrix. This matrix is to incorporate the data gathered by the International Credentialing Team between 2015 and 2021. The Global Skills Matrix (GSM – rebranded) is now freely available to all. The credentialing side of this huge task we were advised required considerably more work and so that has been put aside in the short-medium term, to ensure that the Global Skills Matrix could be launched in September 2021.
The GSM has been very well received by companies, HR personnel, recruiters, trainers, associations/networks and individual administrative professionals around the world. Read the Testimonials and Endorsements (scroll down) on our website. This is a document which has the potential to change how you and your role are seen and recognised, to potentially change your working life.
As the WA-Summit is a non-profit making event and is run by dedicated volunteers, sponsorship is very important. The aim of sponsorship is to keep the cost of the WA-Summit registration down so that each country can afford to attend and can consider sending their full complement of three delegates. Without sponsorship this would not be possible. Sponsors get coverage in the countries that attend, in 2021 that was 27 countries from around the world. They also get exposure through both the WA-Summit and the WA-Alliance website and through our long-term business partnership with Executive Support Magazine.