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Open Book

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The 2018 FSBPT Membership Survey and the Building Blocks of Success

The 2018 FSBPT Membership survey assessed members’ thoughts on important initiatives, services, and the value of the organization. This article is based on a presentation by Megan Certo and Debra Semans at the 2019 FSBPT Annual Meeting.

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FSBPT conducts membership surveys to collect important feedback from members. FSBPT conducted the first survey in 1998 and the sixth, and most recent, in the last quarter of 2018.

Membership Survey Task Force

The Membership Survey Task Force analyzed the findings with the help of Debra Semans of Debra Semans Marketing Research.

Task Force Members

  • Megan Certo, IN, Chair
  • Missy Anthony, OH
  • Cynthia “Cindy” Potter, PA
  • Alicia Rabena-Amen, CA
  • David Reed, NC

The task force had several objectives:

  • Measure overall satisfaction with FSBPT.
  • Gauge the importance of member services.
  • Measure FSBPT’s performance in specific service/activity areas.
  • Identify membership issues, concerns, and needs.
  • Identify interest in potential, new FSBPT initiatives.

Ultimately, the goal of all of these objectives was to inform the future strategic direction and initiatives of the organization.

Survey Methodology

FSBPT sent letters to alert members before sending 452 online invitations to complete the survey. We received a 42% response rate (188 completed surveys), which is a sufficient representation of the membership as a whole.
While we received enough responses to have a representative sample, it is important to note that the administrator response rate was higher. Please note, we excluded “no opinion” ratings in the analysis.


Respondent Category

Invitations Delivered

Response Total

Category Response Rate

Percent of Sample

Board Member

291

113

39%

60%

Administrator

153

67

44%

36%

FSBPT Board Member

8

8

100%

4%

Overall Results

Overall, the responses were very positive. Values stayed the same or improved since the 2014 survey.


Year

Awareness

Value

Performance

Satisfaction

2018

92%

96%

94%

96%

2014

92%

96%

93%

90%

2010

80%

98%

98%

92%

However, the task force took the approach that even with high scores, there is always room for improvement. We dove into the results, searching for any red flags or nuggets of wisdom. We wanted to find any areas of confusion or any indication of issues that might be lurking just below the surface.

Overall Awareness of FSBPT Services and Activities to its Members

The “Awareness” category did not just address whether someone was aware of FSBPT. Obviously, they are members taking our survey, so they have heard of FSBPT. The metric assessed the familiarity with the organization. This area showed the biggest weakness with 8% of respondents rating awareness as “Fair.” While the overall 2014 level was maintained, there was an increase in “Good” and “Fair” responses over “Very Good” responses.

Administrators were significantly more aware of the organization than board members were. This may be because they rely on FSBPT services for day-to-day operations and they connect with FSBPT upon hire. Therefore, FSBPT could leverage administrators’ awareness to connect with and engage board members.

Additionally, the greatest number of “Fair” responses came from new board members, which suggests that improving communications and onboarding practices could help. For example, FSBPT could provide orientation materials and training for new board members.

Overall Value of FSBPT Services and Activities

Responses to the question of FSBPT’s value were very stable and reaching the upper limit. It is interesting to note that administrators tended to rate the organization as more valuable than board members. This begs several questions: Do administrators simply have more contact and therefore more awareness of FSBPT? Do FSBPT’s services and initiatives have a greater impact on administrators’ job performances? Do board members understand how much FSBPT affects day-to-day operations? This disparity between administrators and board members might also boil down to a communications issue.

Overall Performance of FSBPT in Addressing Members’ Needs

The overall performance was 94%, which is an improvement over the 2014 survey (93%), but it is below the peak in 2010 (97%). However, ratings of “Very Good” and “Good” were significantly higher than previous surveys.

Overall Satisfaction with the Opportunities to Participate in FSBPT activities


The rating for overall satisfaction was the highest ever, at 96%, and was up thirty points from a low point in 1999. There was a six-point difference from the 2014 survey (90%).
However, the “Very Good” response rate was the lowest among board members who served less than one year and those who served seven to ten years.
Why were the ratings lowest in these two categories? Is it a lack of awareness of opportunities? Is it limited frequency of contact for the newer members? Do members prefer to be asked to participate versus volunteering? Could burnout be a consideration for those serving seven to ten years? Again, the task force could not answer these questions definitively, but they are all areas for the staff and board to consider as they move forward with strategic planning.

 

Areas of Analysis

Exam Services

Everyone rated exam services as “Very Important.” There was some disparity on the importance of Jurisprudence Tools with 100% of board members citing it as important, compared to just 80% of administrators. The Alternate Approval Pathway scored the lowest in importance, but this may be due to its relative importance to administrators, who represented only 36% of respondents.

Exam, Licensure, and Disciplinary Database (ELDD) Services Evaluation

While overall the ELDD was ranked as “Very Important,” board members ranked full participation as more important than administrators did. This may be due to administrators having difficulty working through issues that are preventing jurisdictions from reaching five-star status. Therefore, the task force recommended that FSBPT put more resources into helping jurisdictions overcome barriers to full participation.

Professional Standards Services Evaluation

While respondents agreed assistance to boards was very important, they also ranked the performance lower (93%). Therefore, FSBPT could improve on that as well as pursue a better understanding of what services boards want.
There was a significant variation in scores of importance for the Model Board Action Guidelines, with only 77% of administrators saying these were important compared to 95% of board members. Perhaps this resource is more relevant to board members, who determine disciplinary action.

Post-Licensure Services Evaluation

All post-licensure services were rated as “important” by at least 78% of respondents. However, members rated the PT Compact as more important than aPTitude and Procert. The task force considered whether or not the latter two programs cost too much based on the level of importance to members or if they merely lacked the excitement of the PT Compact, given that it is a newer program.
The task force did not recommend terminating these programs. However, the FSBPT Board, while considering multiple factors, decided in March of 2019 to sunset aPTitude and Procert.

Communication/Education Evaluation

Members thought most meetings and communications vehicles were important. While members ranked social media as low in importance, the task force thinks FSBPT may need to work harder at demonstrating its value to members and that it may still be of critical value in the future.

Technology

While usability ratings for FSBPT’s technology are stable, currency ratings have decreased over time. The task force agreed that further information was needed as it was not clear which technology or programs respondents might be referring to. As a result, FSBPT conducted a separate technology survey in the spring of 2019. Based partly on those survey results, FSBPT is considering updating its member-facing software systems.

FSBPT Staff

FSBPT staff earned very high scores. On the suggestion of the task force, the FSBPT Board and senior staff put together staff appreciation events to recognize their performance.

Governance

There was a significant decline in the top two ratings (87%) and an increase in neutral ratings (12%) of the board of directors as “Good Financial Stewards.” The task force wondered if this was also an awareness issue and they suggested increasing communications on both the cost and values of programs and services.

Events

Notably, 29% of administrators had not attended any event, compared to 7% of board members. Additionally, all of the administrators had been in their position for at least a year. The task force was not sure what accounted for that disparity.

Partnerships

Overall, members rated FSBPT’s participation with national groups, such as CAPTE and APTA, as more important than relationships with international groups, such as INPTRA. However, board members ranked the importance of INPTRA more highly than administrators did. It is likely that FSBPT’s work with INPTRA does not affect administrator’s day-to-day functions.

However, the task force thought it was best to emphasize to the membership the importance of thinking globally and acting locally/nationally. For example, the case studies and legal issues confronting other nations can inform US jurisdictions. There needs to be an increased communication on how these international partnerships can be directly and concretely applicable to US boards now, not just sometime in the future.

New and Future Initiatives

Interestingly, when it came to initiatives, globalism was rated higher by administrators than board members, which was a reversal from the rankings on partnerships. However, most initiatives were highly valued overall.

Overall Recommendations

The task force concluded that it is important to educate members on an ongoing basis, including on well-established programs. To do this, FSBPT should leverage multiple communications platforms, including social media. It is also important to emphasize the value of programs and services, be clear about the value of partnerships, and provide greater transparency for the origin of programs from conception to implementation. Finally, offering early, intentional, and meaningful outreach to all new board members and administrators would be beneficial.

The task force picked apart this data. While most of the rankings were very high, we challenged ourselves. If a rating was at 92%, we asked ourselves, “Why isn’t it at 96%?” However, fortunately, there were no clearly urgent or troublesome issues to emerge from the membership survey. As mentioned, FSBPT can address most of the issues that did surface with enhanced communications. Communications is key to improving member engagement and education.

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Megan Certo, PT

Executive Director, Oregon Board of Physical Therapy

Megan Certo is Chair of the Indiana Physical Therapy Board, a position she has held since 2014. She has been a member of the Board since 2005. She works as a physical therapist in an acute inpatient rehab facility with a focus on neurological disorders. She also has extensive experience in wound care. She received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience, magna cum laude, from Vanderbilt University and completed her Master of Physical Therapy degree at Washington University in St. Louis. Megan loves to travel with her husband and four young children. She also volunteers with many school and community organizations.

 

Debra Semans

Debra Semans Marketing Research

Debra S. Semans, a veteran marketing researcher and nationally recognized expert on marketing strategy, is a freelance marketing research consultant. She works on projects of all types, including qualitative and quantitative, as well as those with consumer and business respondents. Before starting her own company, she held senior positions in Polaris Marketing Research, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Semans has been an instructor for the American Marketing Association and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Georgia State University.