My fellow commissioners,
Commissioner Tools is LIVE!
You may ask what is so significant about a new software tool for commissioners. Our role as commissioners is to work with units to make sure they are offering the best BSA program to our youth. Over the years, our unit commissioners have not always had access to the data they need about the units they serve, such as rosters, contacts, training records, advancement records, or the charter renewal progress. Well, now we have most of this information at our disposal with the launch of Commissioner Tools. I say most, because advancement and charter renewal information will be coming along shortly. How empowering this is for the commissioner corps!
Commissioner Tools is not just a place to record a visit like we did in UVTS. We think that you will find Commissioner Tools to be an intuitive, user-friendly program. All the data is there for a commissioner to assess a unit and its health. But it is not the data alone that makes it powerful. The tools have a place for the commissioner to keep a record, or journal, of contacts with units and, most important, identify priority unit needs for further support by the district or council.
When coupled with the new Unit Service Plan—the cycle of assessing a unit, creating a Unit Service Plan, working with unit leaders and district volunteers to provide guidance and resources, and supporting on-time charter renewal—the Commissioner Tools provides information and a place to record progress in the commissioner’s hands. Better yet, the Unit Service Plan is completely integrated in the Commissioner Tools—by filling out the tools, you effectively help the unit create a Unit Service Plan.
The launch of Commissioner Tools means that we are able to deliver to the commissioner corps the information needed to more effectively identify the needs of the unit and link resources to the unit so we can boost unit retention. Our testing is coming to a close, and councils have begun the adoption process with four councils going live in the first few weeks. The positive feedback from those using the tools has been great! More councils are slated for October and November. Every council should be selecting a launch date sometime before March 1, 2015. You will find further information about the content and rollout of Commissioner Tools in this edition of the newsletter, as well as on the Commissioners website. Visit the Unit Service Plan and Commissioner Tools Web page for information about preparation for the launch.
A special thanks to an incredible team of volunteers, commissioned personnel, and technical professionals who came together to design what we needed to better serve our units and have worked so hard to make Commissioner Tools a reality.