In my previous message, I mentioned that I would be telling you more about our recent survey of the ITF National Associations. The responses to the survey have been compiled and analyzed, and I would now like to share some of the results with you.
Please note that in this text, "National Associations" refers to both ITF-affiliated National Associations (NAs) and to national organizations recognized by the ITF as Allied National Associations (ANAs). We asked both NAs and ANAs to participate in the survey.
The 2005 survey of National Associations and Associated National Associations was designed to give our National Associations the opportunity to comment on the services offered by the ITF and to make suggestions. The purpose was to verify that we are on the right track.
In my acceptance speech ( 120 kB), when I was elected President of the ITF, I promised the new ITF team would "work for its members and with its members to provide the services they need and want". From the beginning, the ITF team have always listened to comments and suggestions from our members. Their preoccupations are reflected in what has been accomplished so far, as outlined in the President´s Report to the Congress Meeting ( 147 kB) held in Dortmund (Germany) last July.
The survey questions were prepared by a working group that included the Chairs of the ITF Standing Committees. The National Associations were asked to evaluate the various services offered by the ITF. You will note that respondents were asked to answer on behalf of the NA, not to give their personal opinions.
The rate of participation in the survey was very high, with 60% of National Associations responding, twice the participation rate required for the results to be considered valid. Overall, the evaluation of ITF services was very high, and this is a strong motivation for us to continue our work of modernizing the organization. The information gathered by the survey is valuable as it enables us to identify strong and weak points and will help us to define our action plans for the future.
Here are some of the questions asked in the survey and the results:
Why be affiliated with the ITF?
A list of reasons was given, and respondents could choose more than one. The top reasons were:
|Top reasons for affiliation with the ITF|
|85%||Obtain recognition as an NA of an international organization|
|69%||Obtain Black Belt Certificates|
|69%||Participate in official tournaments such as the Continental & World Championships and World Cups|
|54%||Participate in seminars such as International Instructors Courses|
|43%||Receive advice and support for development in your country|
Our National Associations want to belong to a credible well-known organization offering quality services. This is our goal for the ITF, but there is still much to be done before we achieve it.
What are your expectations of ITF?
A list of reasons was given, and respondents could choose more than one. The top expectations were:
|Top expectations of ITF|
|60%||Support/help when you have a request|
|66%||Quality of services|
|57%||Visibility as a worldwide martial arts organization|
As you can see, there is a very strong expectation that the ITF will be run in a democratic way. This is very encouraging for the members of your ITF team, since we have set ourselves the goal of transforming the ITF and its affiliated organizations into democratically operated organizations. This will be the topic of a future President´s Message.
The possibility of initiating discussions with the International Olympic Committee, with the goal of having ITF TKD recognized as an Olympic sport, was included in the list of expectations, but not one of the respondents indicated that it is a priority for them. This does not mean it will never happen, but in the present circumstances our time and energy must be spent on more urgent projects.
How often do you make use the ITF Constitution,
By-Law No. 1, and ITF policies?
The answers to this question indicate that these fundamental documents are being consulted frequently. More than 68% of National Associations say they consult the Constitution often or very often, while 63% say the same for By-Law No. 1.
As a leader of the ITF, I was very pleased to see this interesting result. It tells us that our national leaders are familiar with these fundamental legal documents and that they are well aware of our firm intention to have the ITF and all its affiliated organizations operate according to our rules for the development of professional organizations, as outlined in those documents.
Questions about Communications
All of the participating National Associations confirmed that they have access to the ITF Web site. This is excellent news, and it tells us that we are right to spend so much time and effort on the Web site.
Here are the percentages of respondents who rated the various components of the Web site as "good" or "excellent":
|ITF Website Components rating|
|91%||President´s Message||63%||up-coming events|
It is encouraging for me to see that the President´s Message on the Web site is much read and highly appreciated. As you have probably noticed, a new publication called ITF WEBNEWS produced by our ITF Communications team has started to appear on our Web site. This initiative was taken to respond to requests for more frequent updates, and we are very pleased with the positive reaction so far. (Click here to see the latest issue)
The ITF website is a strategic communication tool for our organization, allowing us to communicate quickly and efficiently (and at a reasonable cost) with our numerous members in countries around the world and with the public. The Communications Committee has been the given the mandate to improve the Web site. We are now working on a new and improved Web site In order to serve you better.
65% of the survey respondents said they had received the ITF magazine Taekwon-Do Generation. The evaluation of the contents of the magazine was very high, but some reported problems with receiving their copies. In future, we will make sure that the magazine is available everywhere.
Only 34% of respondents had seen the ITF advertisement in TKD Times Magazine, 60% of whom felt the ad was useful or very useful.
Participating National Associations were almost unanimous in agreeing that the ITF should have a demonstration team. 69% thought their National Association would send Black Belts to try out for the team, and 74% said they would invite the team to visit their country to promote ITF Taekwon-Do.
Questions about Administrative Services
Delivery times for Black Belt Certificates were considered acceptable by 89% of respondents (acceptable plus very acceptable), while for Instructor Plaque Certificates the total was 71%.
74% said they are satisfied with the responses they receive to their requests and questions.
63% of National Associations responding to the survey expressed interest in on-line payment by credit card for ITF certificates.
The responses indicate a high level of awareness of the International Instructors Courses, and many candidates interested in taking these courses.
Interest is high for technical subjects, particularly training for tournaments, self-defense, teaching techniques, coaching, and management of TKD schools.
Questioned about their use of references such as the Encyclopedia of TKD, the CD-ROM or the condensed volume of the Encyclopedia, only about half of respondents said they consult these texts often or very often. Obviously, we need to find ways to make technical information more accessible and easier to use.
77% of respondents were aware that an Administrative Seminar was held last July in Dortmund (Germany), and 86% believe there is a need for such seminars. There is obviously a real need for this type of information, and we are planning to hold more seminars in the future.
To sum up
The survey has been a very useful and informative exercise. We have gained valuable insight into what our members want and need.
In fact, what everyone wants is a good organization, an organization with credibility. Certificates issued by an ITF that is well-known and has credibility in the martial arts world have more value and are recognized by those outside the organization.
The modernization of the operations of the ITF is a huge challenge, especially because we are committed to making the changes while respecting our traditional values. We are already seeing the results of the changes that have been made to our way of operating the ITF, and the long-term benefits will be even greater.
I wish to express my sincere thanks to the leaders of our National Associations for taking the time to answer our survey. I have every reason to believe that they approached the whole process very seriously, and I can assure you that the results will be taken very seriously by your ITF team.
The ITF management team is working intensively to develop the ITF action plan for 2006, using the results of this survey as a guide. If you have constructive suggestions to contribute to this process, please send them to me before the end of November.
Thank you for your continuing support for our efforts to make the ITF an organization we can all be proud of. As I have written many times:
Working together, we can build a better ITF!
Master Trân Trieu Quân