The 2017 World EAP conference was held in Los-Angeles over four days from 4th – 6th November 2017, with a one-day pre-conference training held on the 3rd November 2017. The conference was attended by over 800 delegates from around the world with approximately 40 countries represented.
This year’s conference theme, Lights! Camera! Action! : EAP Focus on the Workplace, was unpacked as follows:
• Lights- advancement in the use of technology
• Camera- implementation of evidence-based practices
• Action- innovative programs and promotional strategies
The EAPA International President, Tamara Cagney, delivered a keynote at the official opening, emphasising that “the EAPA conference affords an incredible opportunity for delegates from around the world to gain tools, insights, strategies and connections. And that the world of EAP is an exciting area in which to work, study and play, and to bring inspired people together in ensuring that EAPA remains at the cutting edge.” The President applauded and acknowledged the contribution made by both EAPA staff and volunteer leaders who work very hard to help EAPA grow in membership, financial strength and relevance as an association.
Opening keynote speaker, Paul Roman, the distinguished research Professor of Sociology at the University of Georgia, presented a brilliant keynote address in the form of an interview with EAPA CEO Greg DeLapp on the topic: Wrestling with EAP Core Technology: Origins and Future Implications for the Profession. He referred to the six EAP core technologies as the basic tenets of EA practice and also as a valuable tool. During the interview he articulated that we are living in changing times and that EAP core technology has to adapt to meet the needs of the time. He went on to talk about an additional two core technologies which bring the total to eight – brought into play for the obvious reason of adapting to the changing times. That being said, he made it clear that adding more core technology is not the solution. The challenge we have to face is to make the existing core technology work. Therefore, new ingredients within the revised EAP core technology are to address the following:
• How do you attract the employees to use the EAP services?
• How do you get others to recommend the services?
• How do you engage those individuals?
• What about follow-up and how do we collect data?
• Establish if the core technology works before you can talk about Return on Investment (ROI).
In his conclusion, Paul mentioned that the most important aspect is to educate managers and employers about what to expect from EAP by demonstrating what an EAP can do.
At the PAN African EAP Leaders’ meeting, Branch Leaders from different African countries had an opportunity to meet and share ideas regarding the hosting of the 2018 PAN African EAP Conference. It was tabled that the recent 2017 PAN African EAP Conference was a great success. The meeting resolved that the next PAN African EAP Conference must be hosted by South Africa.
Immediate Past-President of EAPA-SA, Mr Tshifhiwa ‘Tshif’ Mamaila, attended board meetings where the following topics were under discussion:
• Revision of the bylaws and the voting process
• Avenues for cutting costs of conferences – delegates being at leisure most evenings
• Reviewed requirements for conference speakers to get the crème of the crop
• Review of chapter and branch requirements for compliance, and to encourage increased membership
• Removing the Annual Business Meeting from the conference programme to a new and different date straight after the conference
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