The preparation step involves three major tasks. First, the focus for the concept mapping project must be stated operationally. Second, the participants must be selected. And, third, the schedule for the project must be set.

The Focus for the Concept Mapping

In concept mapping, the focus for the project is stated in the form of the instruction to the brainstorming participant group. For this project this instruction was operationalized as:

Generate statements (short phrases or sentences) that describe specific workforce competencies for psychosocial rehabilitation practitioners.

In most projects there is a secondary focus that relates to the ratings of the brainstormed statements. This focus is also stated in its operational form and, for this project, was:

Using the following scale, rate each competency for its relative importance for high-quality service delivery.


relatively less important









The Participants

Twenty-one people participated in the concept mapping process. They were purposively selected to represent a broad range of PSR experiences and schools of thought. They included the Director of IAPSRS, the Chair of the committee responsible for developing competencies and several members of the IAPSRS Board of Directors. Several participants were affiliated with the leading national centers for PSR. There were several consumers of PSR services.

The Schedule

The concept mapping project was scheduled for two consecutive days. It began on Thursday, November 11th at 2pm. Between 2 and 6 pm the generation and structuring steps were accomplished. The representation step (i.e., the data entry, analysis and production of materials for interpretation) was completed by the co-facilitators (Trochim and Cook) during the evening of November 11th. The Interpretation step was accomplished from 9 to 12 am on Friday, November 12th. Participants were given a two-hour lunch during which they could skim four documents that attempted to delineate competencies in PSR or related areas (Curtis, 1993; Friday and McPheeters, 1985; Jonikas, 1993; IAPSRS Ontario Chapter, 1992). The Utilization step was accomplished on Friday afternoon from 2 to 5 pm.

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Copyright 1996, William M.K. Trochim