Second phase development

Signo Professional


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Second phase development

SIGNOPRO 2.0 Overview v1703a
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Document Version 1703a | Initial drafter: Dr HE Pienaar | Main audience: South Africa

Dear prospective member,

Thank you for your interest in joining Signo and SignoPro at the present stage of its development known as SIGNOPRO 2.0. Members involved in this stage of development deserve special thanks for reasons that will be explained shortly.

SIGNOPRO 2.0 (which you can also see as the ‘beta’ phase) is the part on our journey where we ‘go live’ so to speak. Up to this point membership was only open in principle to select few. Everything is in place for professionals to become members and receive the benefit of being members but subject to a number of things we would like to accomplish during this phase.

A short background

Signo initially set out in 2009 with operations in the arts and creative industry. Up to about 2013 we were doing quite a bit of work with other networked partners for professional helpers such as psychologists. We helped them develop their brand, and were involved in web development and online marketing. This aspect of Signo is retained and allows us to add value to members to address usual concerns with professional bodies partly answering the ‘what value do I get’ question that many professional bodies are riddled with.

During 2013-2016 we refocused since we became aware of limitations on the professional helping landscape in relation to the role of professional bodies. Retrospectively that period is looked at as SIGNOPRO 1.0 since the brand ‘SignoPro’ was established separating it from larger company concerns of Signo. During this time the professional ideas were researched, looking into the science of different aspects and basically doing the mental lifting in terms of aspects such as what SignoPro’s relationship would be with Signo, who we would exist for, our value offering, our potential designations, and potential involvement with organisations and other professional bodies without taking over their role.

Some aspects stand out during SIGNOPRO 1.0: Signo and SignoPro is not quite the same. Signo is the umbrella initiative that covers business aspects, web development, fostering professional relationships and supports SignoPro. SignoPro has everything to do with what we refer to as skilled- or professional helping. This is essentially the interdisciplinary professional body we develop. Under SignoPro we realised there are two aspects: a) our general interest in professionalism that we share and promote with other professional bodies (Here we might be seen as a meta-professional supporting body), and b) that our main interest as a professional body ourselves is in collaborative practice. Our current proposed designations for instance make a distinction between Signo Affiliate Professionals and Signo Affiliate Collaborative Professionals/Practitioners. ‘Affiliate’ is just one description.

During this phase we settled on what we mean by interdisciplinarity, having a global focus, the idea of a voluntary regulating body, and which professionals or roles we aim at.

We are well aware of the different efforts by some professional bodies to incorporate and seek approval with government structures. These conversations have been a long time coming and still most of them leave us unsatisfied at Signo as they don’t accommodate diversity and interdisciplinarity. We will deal with this in a separate document. Our immediate focus (at least not in development phase two) is not on pursuing the above but creating real value and orientate ourselves as any professional body would in support of our members.

SIGNOPRO 2.0 as second development phase

We see Signo Professional developing over two years, 2017-2018 (maybe quicker). Our main aim here is to gain a diverse and interdisciplinary membership base with which we can share and further develop our ideas. While members here will be awarded a designation part of the aim here is to see how everything ‘sits’ with people. We are interested in what they hear/understand when we refer to certain things, test certain functions under Signo such as for members’ profile pages, sort out our algorithms for marketing members or other professional bodies or even organisations, pricing-value equations and so on.

The good news is that members at this stage will probably receive a great deal of value for the price of, at times, basically nothing. There is a yearly fee of R200.00 and selected programmes are significantly reduced for members who join during this phase. If you know anything about professional membership organisations you will realise that it is not uncommon for them to charge anything up from R500. In fact many professional bodies don’t really excel because they can’t do anything for their members at the lower end of the pricing spectrum which always leads to haunting conversations on executive committees about value. We are doing things significantly different and it is possible for us for this phase to have a low membership fee.

The value also further extends to web technology and benefitting from marketing experiments on our members database. We do ask members to take an active role in helping us put the word out (social media, in their networks, organisations, and so on). We are even considering making some members at this stage temporary equity partners particularly those who fill initial volunteer or committee roles. Our notable advantage over time will probably be that we are conducting matters as an agile organisation as opposed to a non-profit and we will put a significant amount of effort into promoting the brand on behalf of its members.

Who can become members?

We support any of the the member groups, roles and professions listed here. Generally they are:

  • Skilled helping or professional individuals: psychologists, pastors, HR and other managers, recognised leaders, pastoral counsellors, organisational development- / diversity and other practitioners/consultants, coaches, mentors, collaborative law/medical practitioners. We particularly invite narrative therapists/practitioners to join. We have anyone in mind whose role or profession requires a high degree of people sensitivity/knowledge/practices.
  • Organisations (particularly those who understand the value of responsible leadership and management practices).
  • Various professional bodies

Membership value for individuals

We cannot at this stage communicate all of the membership value of phase two membership but we will tell you about it as this phase develops. What we do offer at the present is:

  • Reduced pricing for course attendance along with a postgraduate study group: three remaining for the year and four in 2017.
  • Reduced pricing for a number of narrative and arts workshops focused on several helping agencies from coaching to mentoring and others. Yearly there are at least six of these.
  • Selectively free (or donation based) attendance to online or offline networking events that also serve the purpose of continued learning based on pre-distributed sources (blogs, professional or academic articles, other). Attendance at these events contributes to continued professional development within the mandate and vision of Signo and SignoPro.
  • Brand connection on a designation to be communicated separately that will require members to sign statements in support of at least basic ethical codes, good governance and professional practices.
  • A basic profile on showcasing you as a member
  • Discretionary marketing of members we showcase
  • Where applicable, inviting you to participate in generating quality web articles, white papers (that we also use to showcase members)
  • The use of a … email address linked to your online profile
  • Reduced pricing for a range of offerings related to hosting, web development and related services
  • Incrementally testing our web technology, giving some members a free website on the domain and access to the back end of our content management system

The value for professional bodies and organisations will be communicated separately.

See the list of current services for the second development phase.

How does one become a member?

At this stage becoming a member is straight forward as also described here.

1) Payment can be made to the following back account. (Note that the account will change over the following months in line with trademarking certain aspects).

Account holder: Account information on the latest version of this page, here.

2) Send your notification of payment to finances[AT]signo[DOT] from your email address so that we can easily allocate the payment to you.

3) We will reply on your email with an invoice (marked as PAID) and include a link through which to complete information that we use to construct a short introduction to your professional profile / capacity.

4) We will present you with an electronic membership certificate for the year 2017. Membership runs from 1 March 2017 – 28 February 2018. At this stage there is no pro-rata option due to the very affordable membership rate.

5) Your designation certificate will be awarded over the next few months in line with communication that we initiate with members on the matter. The membership certificate is not the designation certificate.

6) Connect: Like, share, engage us on Facebook and LinkedIn. We will also add you to our ad hoc newsletter and communication platforms that we use to tell you about the various opportunities and developments during this phase.

7) Learn with us: There will be a number of events (online and contact experiences) that you can attend and that we use to collaborate with members around our ideas and designations.

8) Take a step inwards: Invite us to talk about the core SignoPro ideas in your organisation, network, or professional body and how it benefits you as an HR director, pastor, coach, other, and of course how it benefits your clients. Please note that at no stage do your clients become ours. That would defeat the purpose of supporting you as a professional.

9) Enjoy the unfolding process, conversations, along with any opportunities we share that you might want to take up in line with your special membership for this phase of development.

The foreseeing future

Our immediate agenda for which we will seek participation or commentary involves:

  • Finalising and rolling out the drafts of all designations for different professions or roles
  • Communicate what future membership levels will be made available and how it relates to designations
  • Communicate our ideas about what makes a professional body a professional body in terms of its competency frameworks, code of ethics, promoting communities of knowledge and practice
  • Share more about the learning events during this phase of development
  • Complete our guiding framework to support working relationships with other professional bodies
  • Reaching out to organisations, professional bodies and drawing in more participants in this phase of development
  • Refining our own branding, particularly the brand set we would like to make available for members at some stage

Even rebels need a hug

Rebels that we are we do expect some critique from various professional bodies and occupations. While we think that might be the case due to misunderstanding, we also welcome critique as part of our journey of deconstructing professionalism (and putting it back together collaboratively).

Having set out on the journey we knew we did not want to be yet another professional body. We wanted to be interdisciplinary so that apart from other places that would be important for professionals to register, registration at Signo would open up far more possibilities. We also wanted this to make sense scientifically. We are drawn to diversity and also seek to create a space that professionals who are rebels at heart can call home. We did not want to subscribe to the often superficial ideas about professionalism. We wanted to create something that is also transformative. We hope that this will reflect in all that you will be hearing from us and that you would join us on the journey.

Thank you for your time and interest.
Elmo Pienaar

Dr. HE Pienaar
Executive Managing Member: Signo and Signo Professional

(Please use the contact form to get hold of me)

  1. We welcome any feedback, questions or comments

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