Governance Task Force Minutes and Overview

    Welcome to 2019.  The holidays are behind us, and we have work ahead of us to be ready for our Region 7 Spring Forum on March 8th in Portland and for our Annual Conference in early June.

    Attached are the minutes received to date for Governance Task Force.  Please share with your chapter members and ask that they read and questions / comments be shared with you and brought to the Forum as well as to the attention of our Region 7 Governance Task Force Rep;

          Dave Whitlock, SR/WA, or phone (406) 253-3116.
    What do you and your chapter members think will help make this Association more effective and valuable for its members?  Now is the time to get involved and communicate!

    Dee Oakland, SR/WA

    Origins and Progress of the Governance Project to Sept. 30th, 2018.

    The Governance Project got its start during 2015-2016, when a Bylaws Working Group took on the ambitious task of reviewing the Association's International bylaws and suggested some changes. The proposed bylaw amendments were presented at region forums in the spring of 2016. The resulting feedback gathered at those forums from members and chapter leaders, as well as recommendations and concerns from members of the Advisory Council, spurred expanded discussions at the 2016 Nashville Conference meetings.

    Concerns identified included such things as how IRWA's globalization was impacting the Association's overall governance structure, how the Association needed to better utilize our leadership assets (IE. Advisory Council, Committees and CoP's) and how the Association’s structure was not as inclusive as it could be. Looking forward, questions were asked about how to be best prepared for growth into the future, and how to ensure/provide direct communication between the International level leadership and our members & chapters.

    All those discussions in the spring of 2016 would be considered the origins of the Governance Project that took shape at the direction of the outgoing 2015-2016 IGC and was brought forward by the incoming IGC of 2016-2017. The approval to move forward and engage the consultant for the project was approved by the IGC in January 2017.

    Between January 2017 and June 2018, the Governance Project work went forward as proposed. (A summary of that work, entitled “Governance Project Overview” was posted on the Member Network and was also sent out to all International Directors in August 2018. It outlines the progress of the project since the IGC approval in January 2017.)

    At the Edmonton Conference in June of 2018, three potential governance models were presented to the Association leadership for feedback and consideration. The project plan had been that this fiscal year, the International Governing Council would review the data and feedback collected on the three models, taking the best of each model to create a single model, and then that model would be presented by the IGC/Regions during the 2019 spring forums with ultimately a vote by the Board of Directors in Portland, Oregon in June of 2019. This plan has since changed.

    At the September 15, 2018 meeting of the International Governing Council, the IGC was in agreement that since the Edmonton conference presentation, concerns raised about the project were significant, and needed to be addressed before any further steps were taken. The IGC voted unanimously to pause the Governance Process and to postpone the BOD vote in Portland, in order to create a Governance Task Force to review the process. The Task force will include 10 Region reps, the IEC as ex-officio members, and a Staff Liaison. The Regions are responsible for identifying who will serve as their representatives. The terms of reference will be developed by the Task Force once assembled. The International VP will be the IEC liaison.

    The Task Force will hold its first meeting via conference call prior to the end of October and updates will be provided to the Regions and all International Directors once a communication plan is in place.

    The ISSUES for IDEAs Task Force to Assess

    The ISSUES for IDEAs Task Force to assess:


    These issues are a compilation of DRAFT issues to be assessed as forwarded to task force members.  The IDEAs Task Force will be assessing the validity of this list and revising as we move forward. 

    Please note that this is not a list of issues generated by the IDEAs Task Force, these issues were sent to the task force from all levels of leadership, instructors, and some members.




    The Partnership for Infrastructure Professional Education (PIPE) is a service committee.  Many issues have been brought forward, from Education Chair, Instructors, IGC members and Region Vice-Chairs (RVCs), these can be summarized primarily by these questions:

    • What are the policies, procedures, and goals of this committee? What was leadership’s input or approval to this?
    • Is this an effective committee?


    Instructor Development includes all steps and procedures in certifying existing instructors, getting new instructors, and improving instructor quality. The CLIMB session is the two-day instructor development seminar that allows instructors to teach and is the first step in re-certification of current instructors and certification of new instructors.  Most issues have been brought forward by Instructors, those wanting to become instructors, and Education Chairs, with some input from IGC members and RVCs, a quick summary of those issues includes:

    • Are the instructor development and recertification policies documented and are they appropriate and fair? What was leadership input or approval to this?
    • Is instructor quality improving?
    • Is the CLIMB session effective and worthwhile?
    • Is there an issue with instructor availability?
    • Is there an issue with how new instructors are identified and developed?


    Finally, many issues have been brought forward regarding how our courses are created, revised, and developed.  Input on these issues has been from many different sources and is summarized below:

    • Are there documented policies and procedures for course creation, revamps, and revisions? If so, what is leadership involvement in approval of these?
    • Are Courses effectively being created, revised, and developed
    • Are Industry committees and CoPs involved?
    • How are subject matter experts (both volunteer and consultants) identified and selected?  Is this effective?
    • How are courses evaluated and who addresses the evaluations?
    • Was the full impact of credentialing pathways considered and addressed before implementation?


    More detail on these issues, as it was sent to the IDEAs Task Force is provided below, generally these have been restated as questions rather than statements:


    • Issues related to PIPE:
      • What are the policies, procedures, and goals of this committee? What was leadership input or approval to this?
        • Specific to this:
          • Is there a stated purpose?
          • What are the committee’s goals?
          • Are the policies and procedures documented? Adhered to?
          • What is the approval process for above with leadership?
        • Does this committee wield too much power?
          • Criticism has been mostly anonymous or “off record” with comment that PIPE has too much control over instructor’s ability to teach and they are afraid of backlash
          • In charge of:
            • Instructor development, selection, and approval
            • Course development and material appearance
            • Selecting which courses apply to Credentialing?? (See Canadian O&G course issue)
            • Course corrections / revisions
            • Administering the CLIMB
          • Has been slow, or failed, to respond / adjust to leadership concerns & direction with no consequences
          • Many of their unpopular decisions (such as removing all instructors that didn’t attend CLIMB) don’t appear to have gone through any sort of leadership approval process, is that true? Did IEC green light these things?
          • How much should a committee be able to do without leadership approval?
          • How do members get selected for PIPE and who makes the decision as to who will be on this Committee?
          • Why isn’t the VP involved in CLIMB, shouldn’t they be?
          • What is the role of the Credentialing Committee versus PIPE?
        • What is the appeal process for members when dealing with PIPE is not responding or being realistic with their requests and demands? How are they accountable and to who? How is this measured?
      • Is this an effective committee?
        • Is there a lack of transparency/ communication with leadership?
          • Often, we have been told of a policy or decision with no rational provided
          • 5-year plan – who and when was this approved? What was the vetting process with leadership?
        • Selection of Subject Matter Experts appears flawed, see course development section
        • Has PIPE met the expectations of those that formed it?
        • Has education improved under PIPE? How do issues compare to what it was under IPDC?
        • Why hasn’t PIPE engaged the various COPs for course development and rewrites?
        • Is this an effective leadership-driven committee or just run by staff?
        • Is the PIPE handling too much, effectively getting little bits of everything started yet nothing fully complete?
        • Is PIPE not adjusting to current marketplace:
          • Most other educational associations are providing live instructor led web-based training, why isn’t this even on our radar?
          • Video courses are very 1990s, no technology, no interactivity, take a video course from a college and you’ll see what I mean
        • Ignoring desires of the RWIEF / CRWEF is not acceptable
          • Is this true?
          • Is there a mandate to follow these desires?
          • How does PIPE interact with RWIEF / CRWEF?


    • Issues related to Instructor Development:
      • Are the instructor development and recertification policies documented and are they appropriate and fair? What was leadership input or approval to this?
        • What is the process for an instructor to add courses to his / her portfolio? What we’re hearing isn’t what is documented in the CLIMB Instructor Guide
        • Who approved removing all legacy instructors that didn’t attend CLIMB?
        • Why is a CLIMB coach needed, what is a CLIMB coach, where is documentation on this?
        • The policies, often undocumented or not approved by leadership, have made it too costly to be an instructor:
          • CLIMB cost
          • Recertification (attend conference every year or what?)
          • Attending courses instructors are experts at
          • Attending revamped courses instructors taught previous version of
        • What is a probationary instructor and where is documentation on what they must do to be a full instructor?
        • Recertification issues:
          • A certification program without approved recertification methods should never have been implemented until it was ready to go
          • There are no clear guidelines for instructor recertification and the video calls with PIPE members for recertification credits have been inconsistent or completely stopped, this is very frustrating for instructors and isn’t professional
          • If recertification credits are just offered at conference, this is going to reduce our instructor pool, it’s too expensive for the SME that aren’t day-to-day ROW professionals like engineers, surveyors, and attorneys
          • Why aren’t Web-based training opportunities offered for recertification?
        • Is instructor quality improving?
          • Why do instructors need to take courses they are already an expert at?
          • Some have stated, The CLIMB didn’t stop there from being terrible instructors, we need to go back to the old process which was better at weeding out potential bad instructors”, is this valid?
          • New Instructors need to take course 219 again, that was a great tool in filtering out good instructors
        • Is the CLIMB session effective and worthwhile?
          • Have legacy instructors improved?
          • Have we reduced number of talking-heads?
          • Are new instructors good?
          • Are we removing poor quality instructors?
          • Are CLIMB tools valuable or are they unprofessional?
          • Does the format of the CLIMB alienate good professional instructors?
            • Has CLIMB evolved to correct this complaint?
          • Is the cost to value appropriate considering fees and travel expense?
          • Considering the cost, the CLIMB did not meet expectations
            • Is this true of those that authorized it’s creation? Who did authorize the creation of the CLIMB and the removal of instructors that didn’t take it, was this approved by leadership?
          • Everyone thinks CLIMB means loud music, snaps, whooshes, etc. Do we need to rebrand our development standard?
          • Are we ready to move forward with an International CLIMB session in Portland next year? Has this really been thought through?
        • Is there an issue with instructor availability?
          • Instructor Development costs too much
          • Why did so many potential instructors that came to Dallas not become instructors? This might really show some flaws with the CLIMB session
            • Some of these potential instructors have been put on probation, why and what does this mean?
              • We’ve heard they must go out five different times as a Co-teacher before being able to go out on their own.
            • Too many instructors have been lost as a result of CLIMB requirement
            • There aren’t enough instructors in my (region, chapter, area), etc.
          • Is there an issue with how new instructors are identified and developed?
            • CLIMB sessions should be open enrollment for anyone that wants to be an instructor
            • CLIMB sessions should be open to anyone that a chapter sponsors


    • Issues related to Course Creation, Editing, Corrections
      • Are there documented policies and procedures for course creation, revamps, and revisions? If so, what is leadership involvement in approval of these?
        • How are needs assessments performed?
        • Are goals documented and after revamp/development are they assessed?
        • Who decides what courses need created, what is Industry Committee and CoP involvement?
        • Course Creation:
          • New course materials are not professional, and we are losing the solid branding we had from our previous style
          • New course materials have no “meat” compared to the old materials
          • Creating a course without an instructor manual has led to this problem of required training and need to take course from those that went to the training. This is going to eventually lose the intent like copy of a copy of a copy – bring back instructor manuals and include ideas for CLIMB tools and activities
          • See subject matter experts below
        • Course Revisions:
          • Who decides if a course needs to be revised? How are Industry Committees and CoPs involved?
          • Why aren’t the instructor course review materials scanned and made available to leadership and other instructors that teach the same course?
          • Can we expect more “dumbing down” of courses like we have with 100 and 102? 219 is also way too basic, shouldn’t be considered an intermediate course. 
          • Is anyone reviewing online courses? The 900 course has a lot of problems (can’t print materials to scale to try the exercises)
        • Delivering courses
          • How does the IRWA look when it is offering courses in American content to other Countries, such as Canada, and participants are tested on same, e.g. Appraisal courses USPAP vs CUSPAP and our Environmental Courses, course 100 doesn’t have relocation/expropriation questions.
        • Course Corrections:
          • How are minor errors being handle, I did the following, but nothing has changed (this complaint came from multiple instructors):
            • Provided a succinct list of errors in manual for course I taught
            • Fixed the PowerPoint which had errors
          • We’ve had the same error in a course I teach for over a decade, why is this so hard to fix?
          • When comments are sent in the necessary revisions are not completed
          • Why are some of the exam questions wrong?
            • From an ethical point of view, how does the Instructor deal with this when handing out the exam knowing that there are incorrect answers on the exam?
          • Are Industry committees and CoPs involved?
            • Do they have input in revisions, rewriting, retiring, and/or course creation?
            • Should the CoPs provide an annual report on courses in their discipline including:
              • Fixes and minor updates needed
              • Courses that need rewriting
              • New courses needed
            • Why is there no requirement or incentive for instructors to be active in their CoP? (recertification credit for being on calls?)
          • How are subject matter experts (both volunteer and consultants) identified and selected? Is this effective?
            • Is there a request for proposal issued when seeking SME?
            • Volunteers:
              • Is there a proposal process, qualification selection? If not, there should be as there appears to be some flaws in this area. Such as a known pipeline / transportation expert on the Electric Transmission course. 
            • Consultants:
              • What is the procurement process for paid consultants, is it qualification-based selection?
            • Are Committees/CoPs involved in selection?
          • How are courses evaluated and who addresses the evaluations?
            • Why only instructor evaluation questions now?
            • Shouldn’t the course itself and materials be evaluated by the participants?
            • What was wrong with the old forms?
            • Why change from one scoring system to another?
            • Why average scores to nearest whole number instead of decimals
              • With decimals, variations can be seen and analyzed
            • Was the full impact of credentialing pathways considered and addressed before implementation?
              • Why wasn’t a new SR/WA study session added in tandem with the discipline pathways implementation?
              • Why didn’t the Canadian O&G course apply to certification?
              • What other issues can we expect as more candidates move forward in the pathways?