The OMAA recognises the need for guidance of the O&M profession which extends beyond agency boundaries. The role of the OMAA is to inspire and resource excellence rather than to enforce compliance, however the professional body does serve as an industry watch-dog.
The first priority of the OMAA is to develop and maintain healthy relationships across the O&M profession. This is achieved through active consultation and collaboration within, between, and extending beyond employing egencies. Communication is supported by an email network, teleconferencing, face-to-face meetings, professional development sessions and social gatherings.
The second priority of the OMAA is to maintain an electronic axis of information relevant to the O&M profession, primarily through the accessible website supplemented by regular blog-posts and email.
The third priority of the OMAA is to provide a quality framework which supports excellence in professional performance across the Australasian region. This is important because the O&M training courses and workplace contexts (including freelance) in the region are so varied. The OMAA Code of Ethics and OMAA Standards of Practice documents serve as benchmarks for evaluating the performance of O&M Specialists.
How was the quality framework developed?
In 2009, the OMAA convened a committee of six members to develop O&M standard for the Australasian region. Existing standards documents and codes of ethics were reviewed to identify relevant tone and content.
The ACVREP Code of Ethics, found in their O&M Specialist Certification Handbook provided a starting point. Assessment schedules from Australian tertiary O&M programs, guidelines used by O&M employers for performance review of personnel, and codes of ethics and standards from various Australian teaching and allied health professional bodies were also reviewed. Domains of O&M practice were identified, and content items were allocated to these domains for the two documents, expanded and supplemented from the combined professional experience of the Standards Committee through email and teleconference negotiations.
The first complete draft was reviewed by volunteers from the OMAA membership in late 2011, and then offered to employers of O&M specialists in Australia and New Zealand to provide feedback over a two year period. The final documents were ratified at the OMAA AGM in November 2013.
The O&M Standards Committee responsible for drafting the document included Mark Battista, Lil Deverell (chair, lead author), Bashir Ebrahim, Dr Steve La Grow, Nicola Misso (minutes), and Bronwen Scott. Paul Adrian and Jeremy Hill joined the Committee later in the review process.