[Stc_presidents-discuss] New CAA Guidelines

Johnson, Debra Debra.Johnson at wyn.com
Wed Jul 22 03:32:05 UTC 2015

Hello Fellow STC Presidents,


As some of you know, the Community Achievement Awards Evaluating
Committee just released its latest CAA application and guidelines.
Unlike previous updates, this one is a total revamp.


Have any of you had a chance to review the new application and think
about whether your community will be applying for an award this year? 
What are your thoughts on the achievability of the new requirements? We
would love to know...


Our chapter, Orlando Central Florida, bases our chapter activities and
initiatives to a large extent on the requirements for the CAA, since
according to STC, these are the activities in which communities should
be engaging. To this point in the year, we have been working to the
previous year's guidelines as the revamp was not available.


Our Administrative Council discussed the revamped guidelines and believe
that with so many new requirements, the deletion of many activities that
have long been key CAA criteria, the inherent inflexibility of the
system ("either you do it or you don't" with no substitutions and only
two Bonus options), and a completely new scoring system that has raised
the bar significantly, communities will be hard pressed to achieve the
goals set by the CAA committee within the time remaining in 2015.

We did an item-for-item analysis of the new criteria and projected how
our community would stack up against them. We determined that if we did
all the things we did last year to earn our community achievement award,
we would not qualify for an award under the new system.  

One reason for this is the requirements were apparently established for
a 12-month period but the documents were not posted this year until
nearly summertime, and summer is when many chapters go on hiatus. There
isn't a full year's worth of time to pull off the number of new
activities needed to win recognition. For all practical purposes,
communities have four months to adjust.


An example of this is, several activities (both new and carry-overs from
previous years' guidelines) are now scored on a sliding scale heavily
weighted towards how many times the activity occurs during the year.
Particularly with new activities, which communities were not aware of
and may not have been pursuing, with just a few months left in the year
it's not feasible to achieve full points for them. 


In addition, and in a surprise move (...at least to us) , there is heavy
emphasis on regional conferences, so much so that communities who do not
sponsor one of these conferences are at a tremendous disadvantage. They
lose 5 points-that's 5 out of the baseline total of 83.  Since a
Platinum Award requires 90% of the possible points, you can only lose
8.3 points and qualify for it. Thus for all intents and purposes, if you
don't sponsor a regional conference, you can't earn a Platinum Award.  


Do you think this was the committee's intent?  If so, should they
consider the fact that smaller communities may not have the person-power
to work at regional conferences, nor the financial resources to organize
and run them?  In the interest of fairness, we feel the five points for
a regional conference should be moved to the Bonus category, and not be
part of the baseline "required" criteria.


...and there are many such examples.


We were wondering what you think... So would you be so kind as to answer
a few questions for us as a fellow community?


1.       If you have submitted CAA applications in the past, were you
intending to do so for 2015?


2.       Has the new application changed your mind about applying?


3.       Please comment on the application: Do you believe it's a fair
way to assess the strength of a community's activities? Specifically,
how do you think your community will fare under the new guidelines?


4.       Would your community support an appeal to the CAAEC and the
Board (if necessary) to revise the scoring in order to take into
consideration the late release of the point assignments as well as to
"level the playing field" to account for community size and financial


Thanks for your input!



Society for Technical Communication - Orlando Central Florida Chapter

Debra D. Johnson 

Technical Communication Lead | Information Technology Services |
Knowledge Management  | Content Strategy | Information Development,
Delivery, and Storage
Wyndham Vacation Ownership 

6277 Sea Harbor Drive

Orlando, FL 32821 

Office: (407) 626-4428

Cell 407-212-0963

debra.johnson at wyn.com <mailto:debra.johnson at wyn.com> 







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