Published: November 30, 2007

UPDATED: BCPA executive likes what it hears after polling members

The British Columbia Pipers’ Association (BCPA) recently tabulated responses from its second survey of members that it describes as “a comprehensive evaluation by . . . members of all . . . programs and services,” and, among other findings, results from 83 respondents showed that BCPA members place high importance on the role that the organization plays in competitions and Highland games, such as supporting the activities of Highland games organizers, setting grading standards, continuing to ensure high quality of adjudications, and providing access to effective and efficient stewards.

The survey reported a more than 90 per cent response rate stating that the organization at least “meets” members’ expectations.

While associations like the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) and the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) offer “turn-key” competition systems – complete with judges, stewards and all set-up – to events for a set price, the BCPA, like the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA), provide only “sanctioning” and offer assistance with items like judging.

“The BCPA continues to be the only piping/pipe band association in the world to have conducted such a sweeping evaluation of the programs and services it offers,” the group contended in a news release.

While Robert MacNeil, BCPA membership survey chair, was pleased with the preliminary results of the survey, he said that he was nonetheless surprised by “the increasing expectations of our members. Significant efforts put into some areas that were identified in the 2005-’06 survey as ‘very important’ did not change the 2006-’07 satisfaction ratings for those areas. On the other hand, small efforts put into some areas that were identified in the 2005-’06 survey as ‘important’ or ‘somewhat important’ saw a slight drop in the 2006-’07 satisfaction ratings for those areas.

“The challenge for the BCPA will be to continue delivering improvements to these increasing expectations of our members.”

BCPA President, Ed McIlwaine, commented, “The BCPA membership survey results are undoubtedly something the Board of Directors considers when making decisions. However, it must be stressed that we endeavor to serve all members as well as the original mandates of our association going back over 70 years.”

McIlwaine cited the example of the survey showing how few members rely on the organization’s “Newsletter” for communication, “and yet the same surveys have demonstrated how a minority rely upon it even more than we had imagined.” He said the BCPA will go to a more frequent but “much lighter” print publication to satisfy the needs of the minority who are not frequently accessing information by way of the assocation’s website.

As with the previous year, each of the BCPA’s various committees will “identify and act on three improvement actions for their area,” MacNeil continued. “The same will be done this year when the survey results are reviewed at the Board of Directors meeting on December 1st.”

The organization cited an October 2006 pipes|drums online survey of all readers that asked various questions specifically about the executive leadership of associations. That survey showed 31 per cent of respondents feel that their executive team does a “Poor Job.”

Extensive preliminary results from the BCPA’s survey can be found here.

There are 473 members of the BCPA.

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