Oct 2019 WA-Summit – Advisory Council Update

Written by: Eth Lloyd, Chairperson

2018 WA-Summit Frankfurt, Germany. Chairman Eth Lloyd, and 21 country delegates flags.

After the WA-Summit in 2018, Frankfurt various Task Forces needed to be formed to further develop the outcomes that had been agreed in Frankfurt. Additionally, the Advisory Council had to be reformed.

As Chairman I started that process late 2018. However, as these are all voluntary roles and there were various hold-ups (e.g. Delegates returning to work after time away at the WA-Summit, Christmas, etc) this has taken some time. By June 2019 all the Task Forces were formed and most regions in the world have a representative on the Advisory Council.

The Task Force Leaders were recently introduced on Twitter and Facebook and their Task Forces are working on:

1. International Credentialing – continuing work from 2015 and split into two parts:

  • Academic qualifications – led by Wendy Rapana, New Zealand
  • Industry/Professional Certifications – led by Cathy Harris, South Africa.

2.     International Networking – setting up our own LinkedIn Group – led by Silvia Salomon, Italy.

3. Skills Set Matrix – leading out of the research we conducted in early 2018 on position titles and the new topic on position descriptions – led by Vicki Faint, New Zealand.

4. Image of our profession – split into two parts:

  • Developing Templates to assist your own personal and professional development – led by Karin Helene, Sweden and Vania Alessi, Italy
  • Developing a White Paper on the discussions in Frankfurt on this topic – led by Eleni Rizikianou, Greece.

5.  Workplace Harassment – providing information and tools to assist administrative professionals in identifying and managing this in the workplace – led by Susan Engelbrecht, South Africa.

6.  Developing a new structure for the Advisory Council – developing a more responsive and resilient body to better meet the roles required in running the WA-Summit and the research being undertaken. This body to replace the Advisory Council is to be called the WA-Alliance. We have purchased the domain name “WA-Alliance”, so that in the future if we require a separate website for this body, we have ownership of that – led by Veronica Cochran, The United States of America and Eth Lloyd, New Zealand.

7.  Updating Administra – capturing requested items from the 2018 discussions within our World Action Plan – led by Eth Lloyd, New Zealand.

Those leading and participating in these Task Forces mostly are not members of the Advisory Council. As Delegates at the 2018 summit in Frankfurt, they volunteered to work on the specific topic to which they felt they wished to contribute.

However, each Task Force also includes at least one member of the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council members allocated to the Task Forces assist through their input as representatives from their region and in reporting to the Advisory Council regularly. Updates on their activities will be shared with you through social media and our newsletters over the next months.

We launched our new website on Monday 14 October 2019, it has the new domain name of “WA-Summit”. There are a few things that need finalising still, but it was important that the site was available.  A new part of the new website is that we have the facility to share a newsletter. We will use these to report on the Task Forces activities and they will also be shared on social media. We expect that these newsletters will come out approximately three-monthly, though more frequently closer to the 2020 event.

It can be very challenging for the Task Force Leaders to get the responses they require from their groups.  This is based in a variety of issues, not least the fact that everyone involved has many other commitments.  There is also an effect on geographically spread groups that individuals can believe that “they do not need to respond as the others will have”, which often leads to no response being received at all.  This can be very disheartening for the Task Force Leaders, it leads to them feeling they are working on their own and everything they share disappears into a “black hole”. 

This difficulty often happens when the initial desire to participate is overtaken by the day to day commitments of each person’s expectations from work, family and even their own professional association. The Advisory Council members on the Task Forces are being asked to work, alongside and in support of their Task Force Leader, to assist bringing their groups into contact with each other. 

The Advisory Council and the Task Force Leaders are all very aware that there are now only 10 months until the 2020 WA-Summit. That the outcomes from each Task Force need to be shared with every country from the beginning of June 2020, which is not very far away now.

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