Key Initiatives: Amplifying the Voice of Stakeholders
Amplifying the Voice of Stakeholders
At Technical Safety BC, we value the voices of our stakeholders. Our industry experts, clients, associations, and communities help us advance our understanding of the day-to-day realities of the safety system. We rely on their insights, observations, and feedback as we outline regulatory policies, fee changes, and as we design and optimize our products.
Until 2020, our engagement efforts depended on in-person committee meetings with stakeholders from specific technologies that we regulate. The objectives of the group were broadly focused on gathering industry insights, which led to discussions on topics that were not always timely, resourced or immediately actionable.
When COVID-19 made in-person committees no longer possible, we used this as an opportunity to drastically overhaul and improve the ways in which we engage with our stakeholders. We reached out to various stakeholders for feedback and soon developed a 2020 restructuring plan that focused on the following change objectives:
- Collapse existing technology-based standing committees and create purpose-driven groups that focus on a clear and timely policy, program or product improvement outcome.
- Ensure that membership is representative but kept to a manageable group size to support collaborative discussion.
- Utilize digital platforms to support different types of engagement, including those that support timely discussions, are low-cost, and easy to administer.
The ultimate goal was to amplify our stakeholders’ voices so that we can better utilize their insights to refine and develop the safety system.
In 2020, a new digital engagement tool was introduced to:
- Assist with the collection, analysis, and distribution of stakeholder insights
- Move engagement onto a digital platform given COVID-19 and limitations around in-person events and meetings
- Ensure diversity of voice and that feedback is representative of the industry
The new digital engagement tool enables stakeholders to contribute to ongoing discussions, ask questions, stay up to date on recent policy changes and announcements, and raise concerns with us. Digital tools also help reduce barriers to participation (e.g., multi-day travel) and ensure that everyone can contribute no matter where they are in the province.
The advisory committees were also restructured around a clear and timely policy, program or product improvement outcome rather than technology-specific groups. This resulted in more focused and productive engagement with industry stakeholders.
Advisory group meetings in 2020:
- 1 meeting on Elevating Devices code implementation
- 6 meetings on gas code adoption
- 3 meetings on ammonia risk prevention
- 6 meetings on refrigeration safety
- 4 meetings on boiler devices code implementation
- 2 meetings on Business Transformation service design
Other stakeholder events held in 2020:
- 9 presentations to excavators, building owners, and stratas
- 3 surveys on COVID-19 recovery, remote inspections, and fees
- 3 safety officer focus groups on remote inspections
While 2020 presented a unique challenge for our engagement efforts, we saw some promising results that indicate the effectiveness of our restructuring effort in moving us closer towards a proactive, human-centric approach to industry engagement.
The feedback we received from advisory group members and internal employees notes the following benefits of the new advisory group structure:
- More focused, topic-specific agendas means that action items are more consistently completed
- Membership and meeting structure of the groups is more agile and tailored to the specific-topic needs
- Industry experts (advisory group members) have a greater influence in the design and implementation of changes that impact their industry
A study conducted at the end of 2020 found that stakeholders appreciated our COVID-19 communications and overall felt they were kept in the loop.
In addition to the study, we have also learned more about what makes an advisory group most effective. We observed that the greatest levels of participation, engagement and insights occur when industry representatives are involved during the needs assessment, problem identification or design phases of a project. This enables us to deepen our understanding and design solutions that have the greatest opportunity for adoption and influencing positive industry change.