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SPS STRATEGY – FUTURE DIRECTIONS IN THE NEXT DECADE

This is an executive review by the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer and endorsed by all EXCO members. Members are invited to give their views to the outline of the key issues.

  1. Overview
    1. The key challenge for SPS in the next decade is to remain relevant to its Members and their professional needs. To ensure this, the Society must become a truly creditable organization.
    2. It must build close links with the wider engineering industry, improve dialogues with Government authorities (PUB Water, Sanitary & Gas) build rapport with local academic institutions, World Plumbing Council and its affiliated bodies.
    3. Employment patterns of Members have changed rapidly with an increasing percentage working in or running small & medium-sized companies. For them, the concept of being responsible for their own career has never been more real
    4. SPS seeks to ensure that Members’ needs and aspirations are fully reflected in policies & activities to be implemented. Various Sub-Committees are created to ensure this outcome
  2. Mission Statement
    1. To promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of the Sanitary & Plumbing Technology sectors and to support Members professionally.
  3. SPS’ Role
    1. The qualification and registration of Licensed Plumbers including Accreditation of Checkers.
    2. To maintain, manage and control the Registry of Plumbers & Accredited Checkers.
    3. To provide valued services to Members, to assist them in developing their careers by improving their capabilities to play their full part in contributing to the construction industry & the community.
    4. iv. To raise the standing & visibility of the profession and to maintain a high standard of professional conduct of Members.
  4. Our Customers and Partners
    1. Members are our main focus and the serving of their needs form the basis of our existence. Members are also the sole beneficiaries of the Society’s activities. Current and potential members continue to dominate the core focus of all activities. The Society recognizes it also has to reach out to a wider base of other customers & whose businesses, products and services are related to the Sanitary & Plumbing technology. Our other customers may include:
      1. Specialist suppliers of Plumbing services and Retailers of Sanitary wares &fittings.
      2. Government and statutory bodies.
      3. Employers/Business Partners.
      4. Property owners who use the services of members.
      5. Educational institutions & Related professional bodies.
    2. Our future viability demands the provision of valued services and activities, not only to Members but also including our wider customer base. Equally important for future success is to put in place a capable management to plan organize & monitor the varied activities of the Society.
  5. SPS’ Permanent Office
    1. i. Central to this customer focused strategy is the establishment of SPS’ permanent office managed by a full-time Operations Manager.
    2. Working closely in consultation with the Senior Council members, the office has responsibilities for.
      1. Maintaining contact & interaction with the government authorities, professional bodies, educational establishments, industry, WPC & its affiliated bodies world wide.
      2. Encouraging networking among members & assist them professionally by operating mentoring & peer support group activities.
      3. Seeking out and collaborating with specialist suppliers of services and innovative products related to plumbing.
      4. Coordinating, developing, implementing & monitoring activities of sub-committees.
  6. Training & Career Development
    1. The Government has often emphasized that lifelong learning is necessary to ensure continuing employability. The Society is aware of the importance of supporting members in this activity. Under the heading of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Article 2.7 of the constitution, it will be developing a set of sign posting & support services to update and constantly broaden its Members’ skills. However the burden of responsibility to remain a competent knowledge based plumber still rests with the individual Member.
    2. A Survey should be conducted at periodic intervals to identify, which topics members and employers believe will be most important for their own professional development and that of their staff. Such surveys will help to develop quality programmes/services that Members value. The challenge for us is to communicate better and to tailor or develop services to meet Members’ needs.
    3. SPS Accredited Checker scheme for Sanitary Plumbing Works will be introduced in the future. This will be opened to all SPS Registered Plumbers with at least 10 years relevant experience and possess suitable plumbing qualifications. For members who wish to aspire to be an Accredited Checker, developing and broadening not only technical competence but also management competence as well as being IT literate are necessities and must be pursued through CPD courses.
    4. In the future, the benefits offered by SPS enhanced CPD services could well be the primary reason why plumbers will join & remain in membership
    5. When this milestone is reached, the Society will bring up for discussion with PUB the issue of using SPS Registered Accredited Checker as the QP for Sanitary Plumbing & Drainage Works for Building Projects.
    6. A Sub-committee consisting of committed, qualified and experienced members need to be formed to lay the framework for this important goal. Members with the required attributes who wish to sit in this committee can submit their resumes to SPS’ office for EXCO review
  7. Interaction with other bodies
    1. In the past, the Society has interacted strongly with the Sewerage Dept & Water Dept to request for comments on plumbing issues. There is a need to move from responsive to pro-active mode, with the Society taking a high profile stance on issues about which it has strong views & on which it would be accepted for its expertise. The ability to provide such meaningful inputs on pertinent issues should enhance the Society’s image
    2. The Society should also continue to maintain a regular dialogue with other professional bodies, allied organizations & the academics to ensure the Society’s voice is heard on critical issues affecting the plumbing profession.
    3. The Society is very concerned over the dwindling enrolment of young people taking up plumbing courses. If this trend is not arrested, the continued existence of SPS is at stake, as there will be no new Members to replace the current memberships due to retirement. Eventually, the plumbing profession will be driven to self-extinction
    4. The Society believes strongly that a new innovative approach of attracting, enthusing & preparing young people for plumbing career needs to be reviewed & perhaps re-invigorated. To this end, the Society should initiate & develop dialogue with academics, external (UK or Australia) educational bodies on how the formation/career development process can be improved.
    5. A Diploma in Plumbing Technology Course should be developed. The in depth study of fluid technology with the inclusion of IT and business subjects in the curriculum should give enough scope & depth for a new Plumbing Course with diploma status.
  8. Market Development & Promotion
    1. The Society needs to build up its public relations and marketing expertise. Of particular importance is the task to identify what combination of services/products would activate those plumbers who currently see no benefit in joining the Society.
    2. Communication with members and potential members need to be strengthened & should be a two-way traffic. SPS should seek to establish, via the Marketing Department, a more effective dialogue with Members, so that they are adequately informed on developments within the Society, aware of services provided, as well as be able to communicate to the Society their needs, expectations & aspirations.
    3. There is also a need for the Society to project the significance & societal contributions of the Plumbing profession. The non-existence of serious health hazards to the public arising from water-borne pollution, is in no small way attributed to the practice of good plumbing standards. Perhaps a sustained campaign by all members to trumpet a little of our contribution will be in order. This will create an awareness to the community at large that the high quality living standards in a pollution free environment they are so accustomed to, is the result of high plumbing standards. Such a change in the national perception on plumbing will enhance the public image of the profession considerably & give due recognition of plumbers’ roles in our community.
    4. More promotional activities need to be developed to guide Members in the best ways to enhance the image of the plumbing trade thereby raising both the status of the profession & their own personal standing. We need more enthusiastic Members to come forward & to be involved in promoting the plumbing profession so that plumbing is seen and heard everywhere.
  9. Revenue Earning Activities
    1. The financial strength of the Society will be the main obstacle to implementing the range of activities and services outlined. Therefore it is necessary for the Society to focus on activities with continued good income flow and with good prospects of attracting membership as well.
    2. SPS Home Plumbing Service. An increasing percentage of Members are operating business on sole proprietorship or working in or running small plumbing companies. The Society, in conjunction with this group of members, can help implement a SPS Home Plumbing Service to cater to the needs of homeowners for their plumbing problems. Quality standards & customer satisfaction should be the core of this service. Members selected will have to pass a stringent quality test by the Executive Committee. This procedure eliminates the homeowner’s unnecessary worry for using unknown plumbers from the phone book or newspaper as our registered plumbers have been vetted & approved for their professionalism.
    3. This Business Co-operation Agreement between registered plumbers and SPS will be free to all member participants. SPS will develop a marketing strategy (in both electronic & non-electronic forms) to offer competitive & competent plumbing services by SPS Registered Plumbers (RPs). Registered plumbers will be SPS Contractors, and in this arrangement RPs will donate a small token sum to SPS for its efforts and administration costs. This is just one example of a revenue earning activity SPS can do for Members’ benefit.
  10. CONCLUSION
    1. The proposals as set forth above when fully implemented will help to raise SPS’ profile and influence. This still requires extensive development and refinement. It will certainly benefit from Members’ comments & constructive criticisms. With your help, the Society can be turned into a dynamic organization in which every Member will feel proud to be admitted.