RD502 - Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation Organizational Assessment – October 2019

Executive Summary:

In May 2019, the Performance Management Group (PMG) of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University was engaged by Mary Broz-Vaughan, then Acting Director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR), to complete an organizational assessment of the agency. The need for the assessment was based upon two directives: a request by the General Assembly as part of the 2019-2020 budget process and a recommendation of a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) assessment of the agency completed in 2018. The assessment was to be completed and submitted to the Department of Planning and Budget and the Chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee along with the agency’s estimated funding needs by November 1, 2019.

The foundation of the PMG assessment was 40 interviews with department staff at all levels along with reviews of similar agencies in other states. The assessment also references the results of an internal DPOR employee survey conducted by DPOR senior leadership. The goal of the assessment was to identify alternative organization structures and operational best practices.

In general, staff noted they have seen beneficial changes in the agency under the leadership of the new agency director. However, there were several findings where improvements are recommended. These include:

→ Adding an additional deputy director and restructuring the agency to allow for increased management focus and process optimization,

→ Adjusting HR processes to address the lengthy hiring process used to fill vacancies, which will improve employee performance and morale,

→ Improving internal communication processes to increase employee awareness of agency initiatives,

→ Documenting agency procedures to improve onboarding for new staff and encouraging cross training of existing staff, and

→ Optimizing IT capacity to ensure business requirements and agency processes are supported

The assessment indicates DPOR staff are invested in the work they do, and they believe in the mission, vision and values of the agency. Changes are needed to ensure staff maintain that level of enthusiasm. PMG believes implementing the assessment recommendations will increase staff engagement and enable the agency to better support the citizens of the Commonwealth.