Asset Management Capacity-Building Cohort Application
jointly offered by RMA, AUMA, and IAMA
jointly offered by RMA, AUMA, and IAMA
Please read the instructions below in their entirety. Below the instructions is a link to the cohort application form.
Cohort applications will be accepted until July 31, 2020, with the cohorts selected no later than September 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is currently unknown when cohort activities will commence. RMA, AUMA, and IAMA will work closely with those selected for cohort participation to determine cohort times and locations that allow for effective group learning while prioritizing the safety of organizers and participants.
Asset management is growing in importance for municipalities across Alberta and Canada, but the costs and work associated with integrating asset management into municipal decision-making and operations is often significant. To support small municipalities in embracing asset management, the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA), Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), and Infrastructure Asset Management Alberta (IAMA) are organizing asset management capacity-building cohorts that will be offered in 2020 and 2021. Three cohorts will be offered at different points during the year, with the total duration of each cohort being approximately four months.
Each cohort, funded through the FCM’s Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP), will support a small group of ten to twelve municipalities in collaboratively improving their asset management capacity, and sharing lessons learned with other municipalities.
It is expected that there will be varying levels of asset management maturity and capacity within each cohort. Group learning content will be designed for all participants to advance their asset management knowledge and capacity, regardless of their starting point. At a minimum, by the end of this process each municipality will have achieved the following:
Participation in the cohort is free aside from travel costs and is a great opportunity for municipalities to learn the basics of asset management and receive support from asset management experts in how to get started on their asset management journeys. Read on for details and how to apply.
Participation in the cohort will include three in-person workshops, to be hosted on a rotational basis by participating municipalities, as well as more frequent conference calls. Participants will operationalize learnings within their municipality throughout the project period by engaging others in their municipality in the development of asset management policies, internal teams, etc.
Participants will report on their progress through completion of an asset management self-assessment using the MAMP Asset Management Readiness Scale prior to the project’s commencement and upon completion of the project. Participants will also engage with the project team and one another through phone, email, and / or other means as needed to share challenges, ideas, concerns, etc., as such regular engagement supports an effective group learning process.
Participants will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of the participant commitment expectations, and council will be required to pass a motion endorsing the municipality’s participation. This will ensure that participants are well supported in their time commitment and have organizational support to implement the learnings from the cohort.
This project seeks municipalities with little to no current asset management uptake, but with an interest in developing asset management processes and capacity. Any type of municipality (town, village, municipal district, etc.) may apply. Preference will be given to the following:
Municipalities who do not meet all the above characteristics are still encouraged to apply.
Municipalities may have up to three participants in the cohort, with two being the recommended minimum number of participants. Small municipalities may be allowed to have one participant if they indicate when applying that capacity challenges will not allow for more than that. Municipalities are free to select the specific employees they believe would be best suited to participating in the cohort. However, based on previous cohorts, employees who work on a policy level, have some decision-making authority within the organization, and work with or are familiar with their municipality’s budgets may be best able to benefit from cohort participation. Past cohorts have featured participation from CAOs, other senior directors, and operational staff from a wide range of municipal departments including finance, planning, public works, recreation, and others.
This project will prioritize the development of cohorts within specific regions of the province to allow for reduced travel costs and to build on existing intermunicipal relationships.
Municipalities are permitted to apply individually or as a group with other municipalities. All applications are considered but due to the regional nature of the programming, those that apply as a group will be given preference when applications are reviewed. Participating in a group will also provide municipalities with greater value as it will better facilitate long-term collaboration around asset management capacity-building beyond the cohort. In some cases, municipalities that apply individually or as a group may be asked, as a condition of participating in the cohort, to work with RMA, AUMA, and IAMA to reach out to municipal neighbors who did not apply in order to form a more cohesive regional cohort.
Note that even when applying as a group, all municipalities must separately complete an online application, and the application must reference the other municipalities that form the group.
Also note that a group does not have to consist of municipalities with shared boundaries. This could also include a group of municipalities from a similar area of the province (example southwest, Foothills, Peace region, capital region, etc.). Ideally a group should include both rural and urban municipalities.
There is no fee to participate in the cohort. Group learning activities and support from the project team and asset management experts are provided free of charge for the duration of the project.
For in-person meetings, food and refreshments will be provided free of charge, though travel and accommodation costs will not be reimbursed.
Participants may be asked to work with the project team to provide at least one meeting space to hold a meeting or workshop at some point during the project. Ideally, participants will alternate hosting duties to allow for a similar cost and travel commitment among all cohort members.