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National Trails Training Partnership (NTTP)
Training Content Committee - October 2004

D R A F T Trails Training Competencies

Personal Competencies

Integrity/honesty - Contributes to maintaining integrity of the organization by displaying high standards of ethical conduct. Understands the potential impact of violating these standards.

Interpersonal skills - Shows understanding, friendliness, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness to others. Relates well to people of varied backgrounds. Is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other differences. Effectively deals with individuals who are difficult, hostile, or distressed.

Flexibility - Is open to change and new information. Adapts behavior and work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, changing technologies, or unexpected obstacles.

Decisiveness - Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions. Perceives the impacts and implications of decisions.

Creativity and Innovation - Supports a work environment that encourages creative thinking and innovation. Designs and implements new and cutting-edge programs, projects, and processes.

Resilience - Deals effectively with pressure and ambiguity. Maintains focus, remaining optimistic and persistent, even in adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.

Baseline Trails Skills

Communication -- Expresses information (ideas, facts, instructions) effectively.

Planning - Expresses and practices the basic skills needed to plan and lay out appropriate types of trails, with sensitivity to avoiding adverse impacts. Can identify the environmental impacts of various alternatives being considered.

Construction - Is familiar with the tools, procedures, and safety practices needed to construct typical trail segments and support facilities, with sensitivity to avoiding adverse impacts. Can provide access to appropriate experts as special occasions arise.

Maintenance - Understands basic standards of trail maintenance, exhibits a working knowledge of the tools and procedures (including safety) needed to achieve those standards, and has mastered the appropriate inventories and programming tools and forms needed to track maintenance progress throughout the trail or trail system.

Volunteer coordination - Demonstrates an ability to organize, instruct, track, and reward individuals or groups of volunteers.

Special or Advanced Trails Skills

Teamwork -- Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity. Fosters commitment and team spirit. Consistently develops and sustains cooperative working relationships. Works with others to achieve mutual goals.

Partnering -- Develops and maintains cross-functional alliances and networks. Appreciates limits, opportunities, constraints, and "cultures" of project or program partners. Values differences and finds ways to integrate these into a workable partnership operation.

Agreements - Demonstrates knowledge of the appropriate partnership agreements needed to carry out the mutual work at hand. This includes authorities, formats, policy guidance, and reporting.

Leadership - Enables people to join together to accomplish a common task they could not accomplish individually. Leads as a peer, not a superior. Develops leadership in others through coaching, guiding, mentoring, and rewarding outstanding efforts.

Conflict Management -- Manages and resolves conflicts, grievances, confrontations, or disagreements in a constructive manner. Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior, negotiating to find mutually acceptable solutions.

Funding and Finances - Demonstrates awareness of Federal, State, and other programs where funds are available for trails. Prepares, justifies, and/or administers a program or project budget, monitoring expenditures to ensure cost-effective support to achieve the desired goal.

Accessibility - Understands current standards and guidelines for fully accessible trails and can apply them successfully to specific situations.

Resource Protection - Understands the basic mechanisms for controlling and managing land ownership and land uses. Demonstrates a working knowledge of GIS and GPS tools to accomplish effective resource protection.

Monitoring Uses and Impacts - Is familiar with basic methods of measuring levels of visitor use, impacts on resources, and carrying capacity. Can conduct appropriate surveys as requested.

Information Systems - Demonstrates familiarity with well-designed trail system signs, interpretive services, and brochures and can apply these services to an individual trail project.

Liability and risk reduction - Demonstrates familiarity with State and Federal laws concerning user and volunteer liability and can offer appropriate guidance to reduce risk to a minimum.

Promotion - Understands the basic principles of marketing and public relations and can apply themeffectively to build support for individual trails and trail systems.

These statements are based on Core Competencies developed for National Park Service Partnership programs.

They have been adapted specifically for trails by Steve Elkinton, NPS, 202-354-6938, October, 2004.

The National Trails Training Partnership
American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797 (530) 547-2060 Fax: (530) 547-2035


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