President's Update, December 2016

Whats up at CES.

Your national Committees are hard at work. Over the summer and into the fall and early winter we have been active in at all the areas that we hope are important to you.

In order to assist in judging the importance of what matters most to CES members about your professional association, we commissioned a national general survey of members this fall. With over 400 responses, we think we have a good sense of your priorities: professional development, the annual conferences, the Journal, and the Sunday e-blast are all important. We are working to strengthen and improve on these activities.

We started the year with a Strategic Plan in place and we are following up and strengthening it. In the Fall, the Board prepared a risk register for CES to complement the Strategic Plan. The register identifies mitigation and monitoring strategies for all CES' major program areas with an eye on sustainability.

The Credentialed Evaluator program moves along supported by the Vice President and the Credentialing Board. A sub-committee has been formed (Competency Review Working Group) to review the competencies and ensure that they are relevant and up to date. We are working hard with the CES Secretariat to ensure that your requests for information related to credentialing, are handled promptly.

The CES e-Institute work continues with the promise of the first courses opening by the spring of 2017. The catalogue will include self-directed courses for independent study, as well as options for blended courses for cohorts to learn partly online and partly facilitated in person by Chapters or online. We have taken great care to ensure that content and delivery methods are top notch. We look forward to your further testing of these in the new year. Please let me know if you are interested in helping with any aspects of the development of these on-line courses.

The Vancouver conference committee and its supporting cast of volunteers is hard at it. We had a record number of presenters make application to present in Vancouver. Similarly, over 40 proposals for workshops were submitted and are being narrowed down to 16 or less. A conference planning organization has been hired and is hard at work.

We have reached out to CES Chapters on a number of issues: membership categories, professional development and the e-Institute, and other issues. I plan to hold regular conference calls with Chapter Presidents throughout the year. I was able to virtually participate in the AGM of the Alberta & Northwest Territories this fall, and was pleased to meet a number of CES Ontario members at workshops which the Board offered on the margins of our annual fall meeting which was held in Toronto.

External partnerships continue to be a priority nationally and internationally. I was pleased to represent CES at the Atlanta conference of AEA. Once again, CES expertise was sought out on professionalization and other matters. Many Canadians were in attendance. The Past President is formalizing joint memberships with Australia and USA, and New Zealand is in the works. He carries on CES' role on the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation, and recently represented CES at recent Réseau Francophone meetings.

In terms of CES business and operations, CES policies continue to be examined by the Governance and Process Committee. Issues around storage and sharing of data and appropriate confidentiality and consent procedures are being addressed.

The CES Secretariat is hard at work improving service to you using a new set of administrative service standards. We are also initiating changes to our website and electronic services to improve the on-line performance and make access easier for you.

In December of this year we have 1,618 members nationally ranging from 388 in Ontario to 19 in Price Edward Island. There were 62 international members. I will update you regularly on membership and encourage you to ask fellow evaluators to join. If each of us secured one new member, we would have a great range of new colleagues to learn from and share ideas with.

Finally let ask you to join us at the national conference in Vancouver from April 30 to May 3. The 2017 CES Conference will focus on innovation, action, and reflection. We will explore the latest methods and approaches evaluators are applying in a wide range of contexts and consider the ways in which evaluators are incorporating reflection into practice. This is chance for newcomers to explore CES in all its richness.

May your holiday season be full of good health and good cheer.

Harry Cummings, CES President