Chapter Leadership Conference 2015
Conference was held in Gananoque, Ontario
September 16-18, 2015
This year's chapter leadership conference was held at the beautiful Glen House Resort in Gananaoque, Ontario. Nestled among the 1000 Islands, this location provided a perfect back drop for our three-day event, which hosted an ESA feedback sesssion, provincial committee meetings, a round of golf, bonfires, and a professional development day dedicated to our chapter executives, offering them added resources to help with their chapter's successes.
OEL's Meeting With ESA
The purpose of this meeting is to provide OEL field feedback to ESA in their consideration going forward to improve the ESA customer experience and to meet their corporate strategy.
- Paul Shamess
- Scott Eason
- Bonnie Rose
The OEL Board is in favour of ESA’s licensing changes to extend a contractor’s license for a five-year period from the current annual renewal. Contractors will still be required to annually pay for their five-year license, which they hope will reduce the paper administration on both ESA and license holders.
The OEL stressed that ESA’s administrative accounting penalties should not be tied to a contractor’s license, since the license is based on a business’ contracting and electrical credentials and not to their financial criteria.
OEL suggested that ESA provide incentives to those contractors who are moving towards full online automation.
OEL is still concerned with ESA’s process of blocking an account without adequate notice to the ME. ESA will take that back for resolution and ensure account blocking procedures are followed.
ESA Inspection Scheduling
ESA has made some improvements in enhancing timely inspection, but there is still not one system being used across the province. ESA inspectors classify inspections based on risk and attention on commercial renovations.
The OEL is concerned that contractors are not aware when their regional ESA inspectors have moved or have been relocated. The OEL expressed that there should be more communication to contractors since they are ESA’s customers.
While the OEL appreciates the complexities of scheduling inspections and the various daily demands on an inspector, OEL recommends that ESA look at a model to have certain dedicated resources for emergencies and alleviate the burden on regular inspection scheduling in the field.
The OEL also recommends that inspectors have more training if they are now doing more policing in the field, especially in light of the number of new inspectors coming into ESA. The OEL continues to ask for more notice of cancelled inspections as it directly affects their work and their customer's satisfaction.
OEL expressed concern over the number of un-finalized inspection that are in the ESA system.
ESA is increasing its presence in Ontario Colleges to promote safety in the curriculum.
ESA Complexity Review
Bonnie Rose has been hired as an external consultant for ESA to complete a full complexity review and provide a report to the ESA Board by March 2016. Bonnie has requested that the OEL share its top pain points for their consideration in their review.
The following pain points were expressed by OEL members:
- Concern that the number of defects and permits has stayed the same for over 10 years but we know that much more electrical work has been done in the province
- Poor communication from ESA at the field and from the top
- Lack of attention to contractors who are the customers
- OEL continues to meet with ESA at lower levels but their concerns are never addressed and issues have stayed the same
- Improvement on OESC training and sale of code books in Ontario
- ESA should provide more information on list of defects while doing permit enforcement
- Concern on over-regulation of the industry, and not enough attention to underground unlicensed contractors
It was such a beautiful day to enjoy Smuggler's Glenn Golf course, that even the deer came out to play. You can find a full gallery of our conference and golf day by clicking here.
Chapter Leadership Day
Leadership day started in full swing with Stephen reviewing OEL's mandate and how the provincial office plays a role in each chapter's success (from executive roles and responsibilities to chapter succession planning).
The first half of her session focused on OEL's new website and how to navigate it. Huong presented on communication tools and reviewed the following areas of the website and how and where to find the articles:
- New website features now available to both our members and guests
- Chapter locations
- OEL representation within the industry
- Members in the news
- About us
- Members list by segment
The second half of her presentation focused on communication resources that are available to all chapter executives via our online resources.The following were reviewed:
- My profile and how to edit it
- Social community
- Online forums
- Where to access chapter resources and templates, and so much more.
A full copy of the chapter leadership binder can be found online in the Chapter Leaders Committee room, or by clicking here.
You must be part of the chapter executives to access this file, and you will be prompted to sign in. If you are on the executive, and do not have access to this committee room, please email Huong.Nguyen@oel.org to be added to the list.
We rounded off the afternoon sessions with great conversation amongst the chapter leaders on what worked for each individual chapter.
Cathy finished the afternoon with "Don't be out of your league," a presentation to help our members communicate the value and reason why industry members need to belong to an association.
Our members shared the following benefits of belonging to the OEL:
- Networking and business opportunities
- Access to information through OEL communication and eachother
- Access to ESA - we have a strong voice and are considered key stakeholders
- Access to industry resources
- Support system of like-minded individuals looking out for eachother
- Online training and access to OEL members that train
- Savings for training
- It's a way to give back to our industry and community
- Workshare - peace of mind when sharing workers amongst OEL members and knowing that if a big project comes up, we can ask eachother for help
- Strength as an association - one voice
Within the session, we asked our executives to let us know what benefits might be missing from your membership, and what would you like to see added in the future. They shared the following thoughts:
- When talking to new or potential members, survey them first to see if their needs fit what we are offering and if our values align
- Solidify branding so it's recognized as a credit/value
When we asked for feedback on how the provincial office can continue to further support the chapter in its successes, the following were suggested:
- There should be a represntative at the chapter level for meetings when possible to provide provincial updates and news
- Full list of chapter members prior to chapter meetings (new members are being emailed to the chapter executives currently)
Some of the feedback we received during this session from the executives were the following:
- OEL should have a preseence on educational campuses
- OEL branding should be more prominent in our marketing materials
- MPP information for each chapter should be made available on our website (done)
All in all, it was a productive day, and there was a lot covered. I hope the resources available to you are used and the lines of communications are opened to email or call should you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help you succeed. Don't hesitate to get in touch.
Until 2017 - don't be strangers!!!