Needs and Priorities Assessment
needs and priorities assessment
motivator for program registrations is the reasonable cost
of Department programs and services. Therefore, keeping
fees reasonable is an important value proposition.
Based on 2010 Census data (Chapter 2, Table 4), the 20
to 54 years old age segment accounts for over 56% of the
population in the City of Raleigh. According to the Citizen
Interest and Opinion Survey, only 20% of households with
persons between the ages of 18 and 54 are using Raleigh
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resource programs and
services, while 13% are utilizing private clubs to meet their
needs. Although these are examples of competition, there
may be an opportunity for the City of Raleigh to partner
with these agencies to provide services and cross-promote
Overall, the City of Raleigh offers a large range of programs
and facilities. However, the key to any program or service
is in the quality and consistency of customer service,
quality personnel, and sense of value. The Citizen Interest
and Opinion Survey showed room for improvement in
customer service as only 73% of participants are either
very satisfied or satisfied with programs.
A key to developing consistent services is the use of service
and program standards. Having standards provides a
more consistent service environment. As program growth
continues, and as staff time permits, additional standards
can be put into place throughout the entire recreation
program system, such as customer requirements and
program consistency. Examples of standards, some of
which are currently being used by the Department, include:
• The instructor to participant ratios are appropriate for
the participant to feel attended to and safely directed.
• Instructor must check that all class equipment/
supplies are available and room setups are in place
prior to start time.
• All instructors will be provided a tool kit that
includes: their class or program roster with
phone numbers or email addresses, name tags for
participants; customer evaluations to hand out to
users; registration forms; a program guide; pertinent
park information and emergency phone numbers;
thank you cards for the instructor or program
supervisor to give to participants at the end of the
class, and an introduction sheet of what will be
occurring in the program or class; how it will be
conducted and what outcomes we hope to achieve.
• Customer feedback methods are in place to seek input
from participants on their expectations of the program
and the results of their experience. These methods
should include pre and/or post evaluations, focus
groups, trailer calls, and general program surveys.
• Class, program curriculum, or work plans will
be prepared by the instructor before the class
or program is to begin and then signed off by
the appropriate program supervisor within the
• A class or program budget will be prepared for each
activity and shared with the instructor or supervisor
on how class monies are spent. Final budget results
will be documented at the end of the program segment
and then shared with the supervisor or manager.
• The general standard for class cancellation will be
three business days before the class begins.
• Holiday hours for facilities must be posted at least
eight days ahead.
In addition to standards, efforts should be made to develop
a listing of key customer requirements for core program/
membership areas. Key customer requirements are defined
as those areas of the program purchasing process that are
most important to registrants. For example, an adult
softball player’s key requirements may include: cost of the
league, quality of athletic field maintenance; cleanliness of
restrooms; quality of the umpires; and location of the facility.
Identifying key requirements is vitally important for staff to
deliver the items most important to the customer.
Key requirements should be identified by customers and
can be included as part of an importance/performance
matrix. This determines how important a requirement
is to the customer and how the Raleigh Parks, Recreation
and Cultural Resources Department is performing. Both
community centers and recreation program staff use
checklist and audit procedures for their operations, which
is good practice. These can be applied throughout all areas.
In reviewing the program assessment information, there are
limited numbers of performance measures used throughout
the system to gauge performance.