Professional Competencies and TrendScanning

ACE Communities has developed a leadership competency framework that places emphasis on vision, big picture thinking, planning and the change agent function. Many of these elements are also incorporated into the ARPA Vocational Competencies for Recreation and Parks Practitioners, along with capabilities related to leisure education, programming, facility/parks planning and management, community development and all aspects of management.
None of these competencies can be learned at some fixed time in the past and be relied upon as the communities we serve change around us. As leaders and professionals, we must monitor related trends, predictions and prescriptions. Otherwise, we will:

  • miss emerging opportunities;
  • create facilities based on yesterday’s demand patterns that will lose relevance over their 50 to 100 year lifespan;
  • and generally run the risk of simply backing into the future by cleaning up historical patterns and problems.
  • In a dynamic operating environment, the ability to manage with foresight is the ultimate leadership competency. The list below illustrates the connection between ACE/ARPA leadership competencies and the types of trends captured in this blog

    Competency 1: Leisure Education
  • trends in leisure time availability
  • trends in consumer target categories (e.g. those with leisure time and discretionary income, those with time but limited funds, those with limited time and funds)
  • trends in the determinants of leisure (age, income, education, cultural background)
  • broad trends in leisure interests and demand patterns

    Competency 2: Program and Events
  • leisure activity trends – separate sections on participation in specific activities, fitness, sport, arts/culture, park visitation, and outdoor recreation
  • tourism trends – understanding recreation away from home, our growing awareness of emerging demand patterns and their implications for local behaviour and demand

    Competency 3: Community Development
  • changing composition and nature of communities (both geographical and communities of interest)
  • influence of the digital age and social networking on community and service provision
  • shifts in perceptions of rights and responsibilities – changing view of citizenship
  • shifts in voluntarism
  • shifts in government support for the non-profit sector
  • general trends in non-profit capacity

    Competency 4: Human Resource Management
  • management/leadership trends
  • shifts in the motivation of volunteers and volunteer supervision
  • general trends in employee attitudes and values

    Competency 5: Diversity
  • trends in cultural composition of the communities we serve
  • disability trends
  • the shifting family
  • income trends – economically disadvantaged
  • monitoring gender and sexual orientation – interests, needs, opportunities

    Competency 6: Resource Development
  • trends in government budgets related to recreation, fitness, sport, arts, culture, tourism and parks
  • trends in government grants to community, arts, culture, recreation, sport, parks and environment activities and groups
  • fundraising and fund development trends

    Competency 7: Marketing and Communications
  • general trends in consumer behaviour that may have implications
  • predictions related to market segments (often taken from tourism literature)
  • trends in how consumers prefer to get their information

    Competency 8: Recreation Facility Management
  • participation information related to facility demand in the future
  • trends in facility management (e.g. emerging technology, emerging best practices)
  • implications of socio-demographic shifts for facility demand and design

    Competency 9: Parks Management
  • participation information related to park demand in the future
  • trends in parks and protected area management
  • implications of changing communities and modern planning practices (e.g. density) for urban parks, open spaces and corridors.


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Rebs said...

Your article is really very helpful. Competency Framework Design is an important model to be revised.

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