On behalf of the new World Plumbing Council (WPC) Executive Board elected in New Delhi in November 2013, it gives me great pleasure to deliver the Chairman’s Report to the members of WPC at the first General Meeting since our election.
Following the election, an EB meeting was convened the very next day to discuss key objectives for our term, 2013-2016. Tentative dates and venues for all the general meetings during the 2013-2016 term were fixed in this meeting.
An important decision was to conduct the WPC executive board strategic planning meeting in Bangalore, India, during February 2014, which was subsequently held with many exciting and challenging initiatives developing from this meeting. In this report I will address many of those initiatives and the work that has been done to date to address them.
One decision was the allocation of responsibilities for each of the chairman positions for the WPC Standing Committees, which were agreed as follows:
- WPC Education & Training: Shayne La Combre, Australia
- WPC Membership Development: Steve Brown, South Africa
- WPC Marketing & Communication: Mike Massey, USA
- World Plumbing Day: Jim Kendzel, USA
- WPC External Relations:Elmar Esser, Germany
- WPC Business Development: co-chaired by Ken Gardner, Australia/ Hua Mingjiu, China
- WPC Governance Committee (previously Bylaws): Stuart Henry
- WPC Research & Development: co chaired by Peter Demarco and supported by Kevin Wellman
It was thought that given the scope of activities of the WPC, a governance committee was an essential ingredient for a successful global organization, to ensure its integrity through good governance in accordance with its bylaws. It would also maintain the Bylaws efficiently and effectively for the use of members.
World Plumbing Council Handbook
Vice Chairman Shayne La Combre accepted the challenge of producing a WPC Handbook and his team from PICAC have done a magnificent job in presenting this publication. The last time such a publication was attempted was in March 1997. It was the desire of the newly elected 2013-2016 EB to prepare a comprehensive publication covering the journey of the WPC since its beginnings in 1990, agreeing that the contributions of several distinguished individuals to this great global organization for more than two decades should be remembered and recorded for the benefit of all. The Handbook provides an opportunity to promote the WPC and to highlight its activities and successes along with providing a forum for incoming EB Members to outline their visions for their terms, and for reflections from the outgoing EB Members. It has been agreed that the Handbook should be updated every three years coinciding with the term of each executive board. I am delighted to present this publication to you.
WPC Guidelines / Users’ Manual/Handbook on Safe Plumbing Standards
It is proposed that the WPC will produce a publication with the focus being largely on the dos and don’ts of plumbing for the general population, particularly given the health and safety issues involved even with basic plumbing systems, with some emphasis on the needs of those in developing countries compared to those in more developed communities and countries.
The publication may be produced as a range of WPC information or fact sheets, which would be made available to educate and advise on the health and safety issues in various environments and communities. These would also be made available on the WPC website.
Creation of a WPC Promotional Video
A video promoting the WPC is to be developed during the term which will be in effect a capability statement, demonstrating who and what WPC is as a non-profit global organization. It will address such issues as plumbing and public health, environmental sustainability, plumbing experience and skills development, industry standards, poor access to water and sanitation in least developed and developing countries – which are all key factors driving the World Plumbing Council vision. Clean water is not a luxury, safe clear drinking water and sanitation is possible in any nation, big or small, when sound plumbing practices are adopted.
It is anticipated that outside funding will be sourced to cover the WPC video production costs.
Upgrade of the WPC and WPD websites
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful job IAPMO and their IT staff has done over many years, managing and administering both the WPC and World Plumbing Day websites at minimal cost to WPC. Thank you for your efforts.
Given the proposed changes, it was decided that an upgrade of both sites was in order and this work will be carried out by UPM Advertising who presented a successful quote for this work, which will include:
- Creating a new interactive website for both WPC and WPD
- Ongoing maintenance and administration of the websites plus ongoing management of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts over the next two years.
- Integration of the WPC Research & Development database
WPC Regional Forums/Chapters
Following the positive responses by member organisations to the WPC Survey conducted in 2013 regarding regional meetings/forums and or committees, the EB plans to develop a framework, which will enable such arrangements to be put in place during the course of the current term.
It is proposed that the WPC EB would manage these arrangements and that an EB Member be present at regional meetings/forums to ensure an effective flow of information and communication.
A draft framework, guidelines and agenda for the development of regional committees/chapters has been prepared for discussion by the EB at the Singapore meeting.
Honorary WPC Membership
The WPC EB plans to introduce a new system of Honorary Membership to WPC in an effort to increase WPC’s profile and recognition. A final selection process is to be adopted that would have honorary memberships being awarded to individuals or organizations.
WPC will recognize the teams competing in the Water Innovation Challenge in Singapore, by presenting engraved WPC Medallions to each team member, with the winning team members being awarded honorary individual membership for a year. This proposition had been well received by the organizing committee.
New WPC Awards/Felicitation
Currently WPC provides for recognition through the Distinguished Service Award and the presentation of medallions to Plumbing apprentices and the supporting plumbing experts at WorldSkills competitions. The DSA is awarded every three years and the WPC medallions presented at International WorldSkills competitions every two years. The WPC EB to introduce an additional award, to be announced each year on World Plumbing Day, with nominations invited from Full Member organizations. The nominee may not necessarily be a WPC member but someone who has made a significant contribution to the plumbing industry. Guidelines and selection criteria are under consideration in preparation for World Plumbing Day 2015.
New WPC Scholarship
In May, we had the pleasure of launching the 2014 WPC Education and Training Scholarship. This pleasure was greatly enhanced, as for the first time, we have the 2014 WPC Scholarship for least Developed and Developing Countries, exclusively supported by the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA).
Invitations were extended to possible candidates and training organizations representing Least Developed and Developing Countries only. Developing Countries are as defined by the International Statistical Organisation based on the norms provided by the United Nations. Applications close July 31, 2014
IPA have committed financial support of up to US$ 10,000 per annum for a period of three years, to be reviewed by IPA after the expiry of three years. The first installment of US$10,000/- has been received from IPA.
Given the tight financial arrangements, the WPC EB has agreed that there is a need for increased sponsorship support for many of its activities that add value to the plumbing industry across all sectors. I’m very pleased to confirm that we have already received excellent support from a number of organizations since November, including:
- CERA – WPC Triennial meeting in Delhi and Chairman’s video message for WPD 2014
- Lubrizol – printing and publication of Environmental Aspects of Plumbing in November/WPC General meeting in Singapore
- CRI Pumps – prize money at 2014 WPD International Poster Competition
- Geberit for WPC meeting in Zurich
WPC greatly appreciates and values this support from these sponsoring organizations in meeting our key objectives. We plan to work on developing further sponsorship arrangements to meet our financial needs and operational objectives by creating win, win outcomes for all.
Last but not the least, I wish to record my sincere appreciation for the wholehearted support I have received from our Secretariat, headed by Stuart Henry, over the past six months since my election as your chairman.