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IAP2 Fundamentals: "Who’s Who"

IAP2 Canada and the Canadian Chapters have had a lot of questions about what the difference between IAP2 Canada and IAP2 are. Let’s be honest, it can be confusing, so we thought we’d try and clarify. Here are the top five questions:

1. How is IAP2 Organized?

The IAP2 organizational model is to have a federation which is comprised of national affiliates (like IAP2 Canada). This model recognizes that affiliates are best able to deliver IAP2 knowledge, information, services, and value to members through a national lens. At the same time, this organizational structure makes it easier to share knowledge between affiliates so we are all able to gain easy access to international best practices in public participation. The IAP2 organizational model is as follows:

IAP2 Federation - the international body

IAP2 Affiliates - national organizations such as IAP2 Canada, IAP2 USA, etc.

IAP2 Affiliate Chapters – regional Chapters (see below).

The IAP2 model thus allows for local engagement, national representation and international participation.

2. What does the IAP2 Federation do?

The Federation Board focuses on broad, strategic, internationally-impacting initiatives such as:

  1. IAP2 Foundations Training
  2. Certification (see below)
  3. Standards (in development)
  4. Licensing of IAP2 trainers
  5. Integrity of the IAP2 "brand"
  6. Participation in broad-focused information sharing, such as the Journal of Public Participation

IAP2 Federation board members are appointed and assigned by each IAP2 Affiliate. Based on our membership Canada has two Federation representatives who participate on both the IAP2 Canada board and the Federation board. This ensures IAP2 Canada’s connection to the Federation and the Federation’s connection to IAP2 Canada.

The IAP2 Federation has a direct link with trainers in every affiliate and each affiliate has its own unique training strategy. In Canada, trainers are able to train anywhere and they operate based on an entrepreneurial model. Where it can get confusing is that IAP2 Canada or any Chapter can decide they want to host training with a licensed trainer. This means that IAP2 Canada or the Chapter is acting as a host for the course, and contracts an IAP2 licensed trainer to teach the program.

3. What does IAP2 Canada do?

IAP2 Canada and other affiliate boards focus on the services and information required for members within their country. For example, IAP2 France and IAP2 Italy are looking at translation into different languages. In Canada, we are focussed on developing a broad range of member benefits and services.

IAP2 Canada was part of the task force led by IAP2 USA (and including IAP2 Southern Africa) developing a Certification Program to ensure there are standards for the P2 practice that are recognized around the world. The first Assessment Centre was held in Calgary in November, and two members were awarded the designation Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3).

The IAP2 Canada Research Committee supports members by discovering, reviewing and making available the latest research in the field of Public Participation. In 2016, two White Papers -- on Managing Conflict in a P2 Process and Methods of Evaluating a P2 Process -- were produced. Two more White Papers will be commissioned in 2018, covering Social Media in P2 and Securing Support for P2 from Top-Level Management and/or Decision Makers.

IAP2 Canada is also launching a Training Committee in 2017 to develop a three-year training strategy. The ongoing Mentorship Program allows newcomers in the field to learn, one-on-one, from experienced practitioners. Monthly Learning Webinars, co-hosted with IAP2 USA provide in-depth treatment of various aspects of the profession and even members from IAP2 Australasia brave the "you-gotta-be-kidding" early-morning starting time to take part! (See the Events section for information on upcoming webinars.)

IAP2 Canada alternates with IAP2 USA to host the annual North American IAP2 Conference (the 2018 Conference will be in Victoria, BC, Sept. 5-7, and the 2019 Conference will be in Charlotte, North Carolina). IAP2 Canada also produces a bi-monthly newsletter and the annual IAP2 Canada Core Values Awards.

IAP2 Canada works for its members to identify the tools and resources public participation practitioners need to excel at the work they do.

4. How do Chapters fit in?

Members of the five regional Chapters are first members of IAP2 Canada. Chapters are a major benefit of membership as they provide the regional/community link for members and provide opportunities for regional engagement. In Canada there are five existing or emerging Chapters:

Plans are also in the works to set up a Yukon/North chapter.

5. Where do I start?

In Canada, your participation with IAP2 starts with a membership to IAP2 Canada. From there, you are able to engage with your local Chapter, participate in IAP2 Canada activities and collaborate with the Federation. One example of international collaboration is demonstrated by the fact that we have Canadian volunteers working on the international State of the Practice Report and the Accreditation project (check out iap2.org for international volunteer opportunities). IAP2 at all levels – Federation, Affiliates and Chapters – attracts people who are passionate about public participation, so you will often see people who volunteer in many different ways: from different boards, to conference steering committees, to newsletter or webinar contributors and more. There are many, many ways to become involved, connect with others and learn from a growing professional network.

If we didn’t answer all of your questions about the IAP2 model, send us an email at info@iap2canada.ca.

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