The Executive commissioned Paula Parsonage, Health & Safety Developments to manage a project to obtain feedback from dapaanz members regarding the performance of the association in relation to communication and services to members. The membership was surveyed in September 2014. A total of 602 members responded to the survey, a response rate of approximately 43%.
Findings indicate that there is strong support for the ways in which dapaanz currently communicates with members. Dapaanz members appreciate the Bulletin, especially the Diary of a Registered Practitioner and there is a clear mandate to retain this form of communication in hard copy with the potential to provide an e-version as an option for those who prefer this. Members suggested more regional content, more practice related content and more member contributions would be appreciated. A number of respondents indicated that they would like more frequent communication by way of e-mail updates. This could be considered as an additional service which may also assist in reaching the small group of members who are not reading the Bulletin and therefore not accessing important information via that method.
Findings provide clear indication that dapaanz staff provide a personalised service that is accessible, responsive, helpful and highly valued by members. If possible this approach should be maintained as a priority.
Survey respondents found the dapaanz website functional; they can navigate the website, find the information they want and find that the information is clear. Feedback suggests that the website could be modernised in both design and function, with interactive features, video clips of sector events, links and more resources to make it more attractive and expand functions. A majority would prefer an option to register on-line and many would like to pay fees on line, although it was suggested that the latter may present problems for institutions. Modernising the website and expanding the way it is used could assist in reaching more isolated members and also in engaging younger members of the workforce. It could also lighten some of the load on dapaanz staff.
Results strongly affirm dapaanz achievements and performance as a professional body. Members report that they are well informed about dapaanz activities and view dapaanz as promoting professional standards. There is appreciation for the role dapaanz plays in encouraging ongoing professional development and advocating for the profession. More than 75% of respondents view dapaanz as an important support for maintaining professional identity. Many express a sense of pride in belonging to the association. There is indication that a minority of members are concerned about CPD costs, difficulty accessing training opportunities and the time commitment required to complete CPD requirements. A further concern is the increasing emphasis on addiction as a specialist field i.e. requirements for addiction qualifications and dapaanz accredited supervisors.
A majority support suggestions that dapaanz provide more support to accredited supervisors and seminars for new members.
There was a range of views regarding the value of expanding dapaanz services to members. The strongest interest is in dapaanz providing local seminars. Support for other options such as regular local meetings, a local dapaanz branch, a peer-to-peer forum and on-line seminars is more 50:50. Any expansion of these services would need to be made in consideration of resources and in consideration of the scope of other organisations.
In line with the findings discussed above, the following outcomes were agreed by the Executive at its 9 December meeting.
- Maintain the personalised service orientation of dapaanz and if possible ensure staffing resources are adequate to support this as membership grows.
- Continue to provide the bulletin in hard copy and offer an e-version on line. Members can opt out of either the hard copy or the e-version. Facilitate more input from members and include regional perspectives and contributions.
- Modernise the website to make it more interactive, more useful to members and more appealing to younger members. Provide resources, video clips and links to a variety of other organisations and practice resources, consider developing a facility where members can update their own contact details and register on-line. Explore options for on-line payment of fees.
- Continue to provide advocacy for the workforce and continue activities and initiatives that uphold professional standards. Continue to educate members on the range of CPD options available. Develop examples and resources that to support members in completing CPD requirements.
- Provide introductory seminars for new members focussed on ensuring they are informed and engaged with dapaanz from the outset. Consider video and webinar options for this.