By Todd Philbrick, CAE
As you may remember from Immediate Past Chair Nicholas Soto’s update in 2020, the I.C.E. Board of Directors began evaluating the organization’s strategic tools, like the revision of its mission, vision and end statements. Last year we held several town hall sessions to gain input on revisions to I.C.E.’s mission and vision, which was extremely helpful in approving our new versions.
As 2021 chair of the I.C.E. Board of Directors, it is my great pleasure to provide you with an update on several I.C.E. initiatives that the board and other volunteer groups continue to create for your benefit and result from this strategic work.
As announced during the annual membership meeting, I.C.E.’s vision is, “Excellence in credentialing provides a safe, effective and ethical workforce,” and our mission is to, “Lead through accreditation, advocacy, education, innovation, research and standards to enhance the value of credentialing organizations.”
This process also necessitated a review of our end statements, which ensures that staff and volunteers stay on track in accomplishing I.C.E.’s mission, and provide you the resources to succeed in leading your organizations. These ends statements are available online here.
In 2020, we continued our work with strategic consultant Lowell Apelbaum, FASAE, CAE, CPF, to prioritize key initiatives in light of 2020, which brought many challenges and led us to reflect on racial inequality and justice. In 2020, I.C.E. created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) task force to design a DEI plan for I.C.E. that resonates, is appropriate for the credentialing community and is focused internally and externally. In addition, the nominations committee will be seeking volunteers of underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, as well as organization types and industry sectors, when it begins its work in the spring.
Despite the challenges of last year, I.C.E. staff, board and committees never wavered in their commitment to deliver benefits to our membership. Thanks to your support as well, we have the necessary resources to continue to grow our association.
Some of those growth programs include ones we hope to make available this year, including the premiere certification program for certification professionals. This program builds upon the success of I.C.E.’s certificate program and will allow to you show your expertise in multiple areas, including assessment development, certification, governance and operations.
Other Programs and Products Supporting Our Strategic Direction
Sometimes strategic plans can feel inspiring, but vague and elusive. Yet, many of I.C.E.’s programs and services flow directly from, and support, that strategic direction set by the board and then executed by the staff and volunteers. This past year these programs included:
- Refreshed Brand: A clear, aligned and compelling brand architecture was needed to tell I.C.E.’s stories and to clarify the accreditation services in the marketplace.
- Research, Publications: The release of the I.C.E. Terminology document and popular papers on topics such as criminal justice reform, military resources, continuing competency and international expansion demonstrate I.C.E.’s leadership position in timely topics impacting credentialing organizations.
- Innovation: The credentialing community continues to embrace innovation in all forms. The Live Remote Proctoring Guidance and Considerations document created by the NCCA Commission demonstrates a responsiveness to member organizations, as well as consideration of future needs.
Coming in 2021, the programs you’ll see that flow from the strategic direction include:
- NCCA Standards Revision: Currently out for public comment, the NCCA Standards are the flagship of the accreditation services offered by I.C.E. Sustaining their relevancy and clarity is critical to the strategic position of the organization.
- Innovation (Continued!): A task force is discussing how the I.C.E. membership structure might be reworked to allow for more growth and opportunity. A second area related to innovation is the topic of microcredentialing (pre-con workshop in 2020; guidance document with case studies coming in 2021).
- Career Development Products: Building on the Career Pathways project of 2019, I.C.E. is building a mentoring program to assist career development for those seeking an executive director or other management role.
- Value of Credentialing: Always a perennial topic, the External Stakeholders Task Force is creating a review of creative and effective ways credentialing bodies are connecting with their employer audiences.
These are just a few examples of what I.C.E. has accomplished and where we are headed. The important takeaway is that when strategic plans are aligned with resources, great accomplishments are achieved.
I.C.E. Virtual Town Halls and I.C.E. Exchange
We are planning on several town halls this year to allow you to connect with other certification colleagues, learn more about our initiatives and provide us with valuable input. We plan to hold the town hall meetings quarterly and welcome your input for topics.
While these are still tough times, I am encouraged and thankful for the vaccination efforts that are well underway. Like many of you I sorely missed the I.C.E. Exchange last year. The I.C.E. staff and I.C.E. Board of Directors are closely watching the vaccination efforts, guidance from the CDC and local regulations in Nashville, Tennessee, the site for the 2021 I.C.E. Exchange in November. Thankfully, we have the gift of time at this point and I hope to see you all in person later this year.
Please stay healthy and well.