The Ranger Champions are currently working on a series of objectives to professionalise the Ranger function. We aim to work at the level of a Head of Profession, to enable Rangers to be recognised as professional and capable people able to influence both strategic and practical thinking. Here’s how we’re doing that…
We’re looking at Ranger Development as much more than a training programme. We’re thinking about the ranger profession right across the Trust and how to ensure the function is fit for now and the future, to be what both rangers and the Trust need it to. So we’re looking at: How we ensure we’re bringing in and developing new rangers into the Trust through our Ranger Academy, formerly Careership scheme. Each year we train around 10 people as rangers working with Reeseheath College in Cheshire. The next stage is the new bit, about how were developing the skills and talents of our rangers once in post. This isn’t just about training, although that is of course important, its about ensuring we have consistent and fair role profiles that reflect what we do; that we’re thinking about some of the important priorities in the Trust right now and what they mean to us – for example what exceptional service means in the countryside; that we understand what good leadership looks like and how to get the very best out of your countryside people and that you understand their motivations and needs; and we understand what is expected of us with the Capability Guide and how to get the tight development we need. By doing all these things, we’re developing ourselves and the ranger profession; we’re ensuring we’ve got the foundations right, our roots are firmly set, we’re standing tall and proud, we’re branching out and influencing the wider Trust, we’re maturing our profession. In practice, this means we’ll have better development plans and 1:1s, we’ll have better leaders who know how to motivate and engage rangers, we’ll have more movement and progression through our careers, we’ll get the training we need, and we’ll be integral to the success of the Trust and the countryside. We are launching the first things in January, 2014.
These six areas are at the core of all the role profiles. The main differences in grade are reflected in the content here and in the ‘Scope of the role’. (FYI: This is from the draft grade 9 ranger role profile)
Secondly, let’s look at the Ranger Service Promise. This is about understanding what exceptional customer service looks like in the countryside and why it’s so important to us.
Play as a DVD or from your computer file. Otherwise click the slide to run the Vimeo link (https://vimeo.com/76872496)
Through the roll-out of the Service Leadership programme in 2012/13, we know that our countryside teams have sometimes struggled to adopt and make sense of the Service Promise. One barrier has been not knowing what great customer service looks like in the outdoors. Another has been the absence of traditional Visitor Experience measurement in the countryside and the absence of service ratings. Yet we all know how important exceptional service is as part of being a Ranger and in helping get more of our visitors outdoors and closer to nature.
So the Ranger Champions decided to take this on and make sense of what exceptional customer service in the countryside is. We started by completing the first Service Promise exercise using the service pyramid and cards, creating many of our own cards along the way. We then grouped these into themes and agreed our priorities as the start of our service improvement plan. We began to define service standards for the outdoors. Rather than write these up in a word document to be sent around to all Rangers (getting lost in your inbox along the way!), we wanted to be more creative, more engaging in how we presented them. So using the Service Promise template, we created our Ranger Service Promise and worked with an illustrator to bring it to life. We also produced a video to show what these standards look like in practice and to inspire others about great service outdoors.
Give out a copy of the Rangers’ Service Promise out We now want all Rangers – and any gardeners, outdoor staff, volunteers, everyone! – to adopt the Ranger Service Promise as part of the service promise programme. Pin it up where you are and talk through what it means for you. How well are you currently meeting the standards? What more could you do individually or as a team? How can you work with other teams to bring this to life? And we think this is going to make a real difference to embedding our service culture right across the Trust, bringing our countryside teams firmly into the ambitions. At its heart, it’s what our Rangers have been doing since 1895.
These are all ready now; this is what we’re launching in January 2014. We have a Trust You article describing these three things and we want to share this communication with all Rangers, ADOs and GM. ADO: Can you help with that??? Lead Rangers: Share these items with your teams and introduce the detail. You can use these slides and the text. Take your time and discuss each of these in turn.
By Summer 2014, we will launch our next two items, ones we associate with more traditional training and development. The ‘Capability Guide’ maps out the core competencies of our roles and have already been completed for GMs and property heads of department. This new guide will be for all other operational staff: that’s everyone at a property beneath head of department level, including all our Ranger teams.
There will be a number of core competencies that apply to all these roles – such as Providing Exceptional Visitor Experience, Working as a Team, Working with Volunteers – as well as more detailed sections for specific job families; that’s where the Ranger section will sit. We will map out the specific competencies / capabilities we expect of our Rangers, covering the core technical and conservation skills. With consistent role profiles sitting above, this guide will give you all the added detail you need to understand exactly what’s expected of you in your role.
The guide will make it much easier to have good development conversations with your manager. You will then be able to visit the ‘training academy’ online to find all the training and development solutions available to you to fill any gaps you identify. These will be linked directly to the development guide making it simple and clear how to grow the skills you need. To get a feel for what it could look like, take a look at the property head of department guide, which was completed in 2012. For any Countryside Managers / Lead Rangers reporting to a General Manager, this is the development guide for you!
Rangering in the near future
Area Ranger: Staffordshire
Ranger Champion: Midlands
16 years in the National Trust
I’m not paid enough
Developing the Ranger Profession
Ensure plans are implemented to protect and enhance the
conservation status of the property. Working with all our partners,
deliver projects that enhance our conservation and environmental
performance. Ensure that visitors have the opportunity to
understand and engage with this work through high quality
information and interpretation.
leading visitor experience
You will strive for a culture of ‘exceptional service, every time, for
everyone’ by living and breathing our Ranger Service Promise. You
will be involved in setting the direction of visitor engagement within
your property’s countryside to deliver the best possible visitor
managing risk & protection
Ensure that you and your team comply with statutory compliance
procedures to minimise risk to the public, staff and contractors.
Ensure that high quality risk assessments are carried out for all
works you are supervising and monitor compliance with safety
Monitor and control resources in line with agreed priorities and
budgets (as delegated to you by the Area Ranger), seeking to
maximise cost efficiency wherever possible. Account for the delivery
of projects, for which you are project manager, and identify the
resources needed for future work
developing the business
Help to identify new opportunities for income generation and
external funding whilst considering long term sustainability when
You will help to create a great place for staff and volunteers to
work. You will recruit enthusiastic and impassioned volunteers to
assist us in achieving our objectives and communicating our key
messages to visitors.
It’s about great conservation work but it is down to every one
of us to make sure we do what we can to have the resources
If people don’t care about nature,
they will not support nature
everything we do