Professional Unit Action Plans

Guidance for Officers

Action Plans for your unit's activities should inform the Standing Committee, the members of the Section, and the IFLA community at large what the Section is hoping to achieve and the activities in which it is involved. This assists in the communication between Sections and the governing bodies of IFLA, and also encourages contributions and engagement with both non-members, and members of the section not on the Standing Committee.

Action Plans should be complemented by a Section Annual Report which summarize the progress and reports the completion of activities listed in the Action Plan.

Contents of the Action Plan

Your Section's Action Plan should provide an overview of all the activities that the Section is carrying out, and you may then have action plans at a more detailed level for each of the main activities that are in progress.

The more detailed action plans can be for the use of Standing Committee and project groups and if it's useful, can use this template: [DOC]. The overall Action Plan should be used for communication of the Standing Committee's goals to those outside the Standing Committe and should therefore include the following elements:

  • A mission statement for the Professional Unit which should then explain the goals;
  • Activities and an indication of where these link to the IFLA Strategic Plan and Key Intiatives;
  • Actions to be taken to fulfill the goals. Indicate through numbering which goals relate to which actions and vice versa.

Include the plans of any SIGs sponsored by the Section and any working groups, and also note the reporting dates for any representatives on external committees.

It is also be useful to record in the Action Plan any known details of Standing Committee meetings that are planned to take place. Announcements concerning these meetings (date, time and place) and the proposed agenda and subsequent minutes should be made known to all members of the Section (not just the Standing Committee members), ideally through a web page announcement.

No particular activities are compulsory for an IFLA Section and the Action Plan might include ongoing as well as one-off activities. Actions might, but do not necessarily, include producing materials that might be used in workshops or trainings; writing, updating or translating guidelines or other publications; collecting and disseminating news or examples of best practice; organizing a congress programme; organizing a Satellite Meeting; or carrying out one or more other types of projects (for example a survey, a one-off event, recruitment of new members, etc).  A balance should be aimed for between administration of the Section and its activities, and attention to the topic of the Section and its international status.

The Action Plan should also include plans for the dissemination of news or results of activities, and consideration should always be given to ensuring that all IFLA Members, and especially the Section members, are informed about the completed and planned activities of the Section.

Care should be taken to ensure that the goals and activities are easily understood by people who are unfamiliar with the activities of the Section in question. To achieve this:

  • Avoid the use of initials and acronyms, unless they are also spelt out;
  • Give clear examples of proposed plans, e.g. it is not sufficient to say that an interesting programme will be planned for the IFLA General Conference - the theme of the programme/workshop, etc. should be outlined.

Action Plans should cover at least a two-year period, and run from election year to election year.  In the intervening years the plan should be revisited and updated with completed actions removed and new target dates defined.

Procedure for producing the Action Plan

Responsibility for the Action Plan is with the Officers of the Section who should seek input on, and updates to, the contents from the Standing Committee members. The draft Action Plan should be brought to the Standing Committee by the Officers and should be discussed and then approved by the Standing Committee before it is posted online on the Section’s web pages.

Any Special Interest Groups sponsored by the Section should also submit their Action Plan for discussion by the Standing Committee and inclusion in the Section’s Action Plan.

Annotated versions of the Action Plan which indicate the person(s) responsible for undertaking the specific tasks should only be used within the Standing Committee and should not be posted online.

The Division Chair should be alerted when a new Action Plan is available, or when significant changes are made, so that they are aware of the planned activities in the Sections in their Division.

Requests for funding to support the Section’s activities (either Admin Funds or Project Funds) can be made to the Professional Committee according to the call and deadlines announced. See the separate documentation in the Officers Corner on Finances and Projects for more information.

The Action Plan should be consulted at each Standing Committee meeting and updated as appropriate.

Style of the Action Plan

Action Plans should be made available online as a web page on the Section’s web site. Indicate clearly the date of last update on the web pages.

In addition, you might produce a pdf version which is more easily printed, to attach to the web site. A pdf version should therefore adhere to the style guidelines (logo and type face).

Ensure you indicate at the top of a pdf which Section the Action Plan refers to, and also clearly indicate the date of last update which should reflect when it was approved by the Standing Committee.

standing committees, SC, action plans, activities

Last update: 17 August 2015