Advisory Council/Panel Process

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A GLOBAL LEADER.

The global leader in the creation, management, facilitation, evaluation, and revitalization of Community Advisory Councils/Panels, our firm has facilitated more than 2,000 individual CAC/CAP meetings--more than any other firm in the world.

History


The development of Advisory Councils, often referred to as Community Advisory Councils (CACs) or Community Advisory Panels (CAPs), began in earnest in the late 1980s. On the heels of a major chemical plant disaster in Bhopal India, industry leaders (primarily chemical plant and refinery executives) came to the realization that they must do a better job communicating with and, most importantly, listening to the citizens in the communities where they operated. Industry leaders recognized that they had a responsibility to communicate with and listen to their neighbors in order to maintain their public license to operate. At the same time, the American Chemistry Council (then the Chemical Manufacturers’ Association) developed a code of operational standards called “Responsible Care” to which their members were expected to adhere. Engagement and direct communication with local stakeholders were key tenants of Responsible Care and resulted in the formation of CACs and CAPs.




The Concept


The concept involves bringing together, on a regular basis (generally once per month), groups of citizen stakeholders who reside and are active in the communities where industrial facilities operate. Meetings focus on informing and educating the council/panel members on plant operations – what they make and how they make it; environmental performance and health; employee safety; process safety; economic and civic impact; regulatory issues; employment and hiring; community engagement and support; and any other issues that the council/panel members believe are important.




Membership


Members are selected from and represent near neighbors; broader community residents; civic associations; environmental organizations; business associations; schools; local government; and any other stakeholder groups identified. Industries are represented by the plant manager and his or her local leadership team. Industry is able to provide information and education on operations and stakeholder critical issues and the community stakeholders are able to provide direct advice and feedback to industry from the community’s perspective. Advisory Council/Panel meetings are always candid but never confrontational. They create and allow for open dialogue and honest communication.




Guidelines for Operation


Each advisory council/panel is managed and facilitated under an agreed upon set of Guidelines for Operation. These guidelines provide for the council’s/panel's membership; terms of service; roles of the members, role of sponsoring entity (industry or police department); the facilitation/management team; meeting structure and agendas; removal of members; conflicts of interest; and other critical items for keeping the process candid and open while preventing confrontation and disruption. The guidelines spell out clearly that each council/panel is an advisory group and not a decision-making body. Guidelines also define “conflicts of interest” to include being disruptive to the process and being confrontational in meetings. Removal of members is the responsibility of the management/facilitation team (third party consultant) in consultation with the council’s/panel's sponsoring industry.




An Added Benefit


As an added benefit, members often share what they learn through the advisory council/panel process with their friends and neighbors. However, council/panel members are not expected to act as spokespersons for the sponsoring industry. The most important information flow in the process is not from industry, through the council/panel, to the community. The most important information flow is from the community, through the council/panel, to the industry in the form of feedback and advice.




Advisory Councils/Panels Today


Today, almost four hundred (400) advisory councils/panels meet regularly with industry in the United States. Over the last thirty-five years, these councils/panels have played a valuable role in more closely linking industry and community stakeholders and in building knowledge, understanding, and trust.




Baton Rouge Police Department Chief's Advisory Council - A Model for Success


In January of 2019, The TJC Group, using its relevant industry experience, created the Baton Rouge Police Department Chief’s Advisory Council for Chief Murphy Paul. This council is made up of representatives of more than twenty-five (25) Baton Rouge community organizations. A number of pastors also serve on the council. Since its creation, the BRPD Chief’s Advisory Council has met regularly under the management and facilitation of The TJC Group.

Chief Murphy Paul stated, “The TJC Group has played a valuable and critical role in putting our council together and facilitating our meetings. This panel has helped us navigate through some difficult times in Baton Rouge and throughout our country and having an experienced and professional third-party facilitation consultant has been instrumental in keeping the meetings orderly and the dialogue candid and productive. In part because of the work of our council, our city has remained peaceful. The TJC Group is the best in the business.”

The TJC Group has developed and is deploying a plan to bring the advisory council process to thirty-five law enforcement agencies around the United States as a complete, fully funded and turnkey community stakeholder engagement and communication solution.





—  Murphy Paul

Baton Rouge Chief of Police

“The TJC Group has played a valuable and critical role in putting our council together and facilitating our meetings.  This panel has helped us navigate through some difficult times in Baton Rouge and throughout our country and having an experienced and professional third-party facilitation consultant has been instrumental in keeping the meetings orderly and the dialogue candid and productive.  In part because of the work of our council, our city has remained peaceful.  The TJC Group is the best in the business.”