AM Competency Framework

Helping Build Infrastructure Asset Management Capabilities and Capacity to Support Canadian Communities

Canadian communities are faced with increasingly difficult challenges that hinder their ability to deliver services from infrastructure. These challenges include an aging asset base, financial deficits, climate change, demographic changes, a constrained public funding model, expectations for higher levels of service, rapid and unpredictable technological change, and loss of organizational knowledge as experienced employees retire. Fortunately, infrastructure asset management (AM) can help organizations navigate these challenges and move towards sustainability. When AM best practices are implemented, they can help decision-makers in Canadian communities fully understand the scope of the issues, find and communicate the optimum balance of service, risk and cost for their infrastructure, and plan a financially, environmentally and socially sustainable way forward.

However, industry and public sector infrastructure owners across Canada say their organizations face a serious hurdle when dealing with the country’s infrastructure challenges: They are struggling to build the workforce capacity and capabilities required to develop and implement formal, organization-wide AM programs. The Asset Management Competency Framework for Canadian Communities (AMCF) was developed to meet this challenge.


Download the AM Competency Framework

Electronic PDFs of the AMCF are available for FREE. Click here to download. You will also have the opportunity to request a copy of the recorded webinar introduction.


 

The AMCF was developed to:

  1. Provide alignment on the scope of AM, while highlighting the connections between the various professions that overlap with the interdisciplinary practice of AM. These disciplines are represented by the range of national partners involved in the development process.
  2. Establish a shared understanding of the competencies (the knowledge, skills, and behaviours) that a community’s workforce should possess to best deliver their AM programs.
  3. Provide communities with a foundation to identify AM capability gaps and a planning structure to address those gaps with targeted development opportunities.
  4. Provide communities with better information to facilitate hiring qualified candidates in their organization.

“Changing the culture of an organization takes time, but the best way is through education and understanding. Ultimately, our goal is for everyone to have a core competency within asset management.” — Shawn Boast, Manager of Asset Management, Town of Oakville, Ont.

The AMCF is not intended to be a ‘how to’ guide for AM practices. There are many other resources available for that. Instead, it details the competencies that staff and contractors should have to successfully carry out those practices. A person possessing these competencies will then be able to support the delivery of AM programs and successfully integrate AM practices into organizations

The AMCF is intended for Canadian communities, including municipal and regional governments, indigenous communities, and other similar public organizations that own infrastructure and/or provide infrastructure services. It was explicitly developed to be useful for communities of all sizes, small to large, and for all levels of AM maturity, from those that are just starting out, to those with more advanced AM operations. While the AMCF has been worded specifically for Canadian communities, it is expected that the framework could benefit communities globally who face similar challenges in building AM capacity and capabilities within their organizations.

 “Asset management isn’t a capital project like building a bridge. It’s a change in perception and way of working.” — Gordon Duff, Treasurer and Deputy CAO, Town of Minto, Ont.

This initiative is offered through the Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP), which is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and funded by the Government of Canada.

Developing the AM Competency Framework

 

CNAM brought together a broad coalition of national associations involved in supporting AM, community planning and management, and AM-related industry professions in Canada to use their collective expertise to develop the AMCF. These eight organizations formed the AMCF National Partners.

 

The AMCF was a truly collaborative effort, leveraging the collective expertise of CNAM and the AMCF National Partners’. AMCF content was developed based on collective decision-making and by consensus where possible. CNAM would like to acknowledge all the individuals who contributed their time and energy to the development of the AMCF, especially to the members of CNAM and the AMCF National Partners who volunteered hundreds of hours of time to make the AMCF a reality.

“This is a great opportunity to help local governments solidify their approach to asset management. We are excited to be a part of it”. Shayne Kavanagh, Senior Manager of Research, Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)

The AMCF was developed over the course of 2019. A deliberately long draft development and review cycle was used to allow for the framework to be widely reviewed and piloted by the industry before being finalized. The AMCF was also piloted with groups of community staff during the development phases through the creation of two cohorts.

  • Alpha Release, May 2019 – the first working release of the framework was issued to the first cohort group in May 2019. An AMCF implementation workshop was held immediately prior to the CNAM 2019 Conference in Kelowna, BC on May 5, 2019.
  • Beta Release, October 2019 – the second working release of the framework was issued on October 1, 2019. It was used by the second cohort in an implementation workshop held in Ontario held that same day. It was also distributed for review and comment to a wider group of industry experts and users, including the country’s Regional AM Communities of Practice, as well as various academic institutions.
  • Version 1.0 Release, February 2020 – with feedback incorporated from the alpha and beta releases, the final version of the AMCF was released to the public at the beginning of 2020.

CNAM and the AMCF National Partners agreed before the program began that the AMCF would be a free, publicly available resource. Anyone working in public-sector AM in Canada can leverage the AMCF to support development of their AM capacity. This benefits both the wider industry and the country as well. CNAM and the AMCF National Partners intend to maintain the NSC to review the adoption of the AMCF and improve or expand it in the future.

How you can get involved…

In 2020, CNAM and the National Partners will be continuing to develop the AMCF and expand upon their successes. Expect additional content and exciting new products to help communities develop and manage their AM Competencies in the year ahead. CNAM will be continuing to gather feedback and pilot the AMCF in 2020 and 2021 and we are looking for volunteer municipal organizations to support the program. If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information on the AMCF development program please contact us at competency@cnam.ca.

 

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