From the desk of Adrianne Avillion, DEd, RN

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, January 15, 2010

Editor's note: Welcome to our new feature written by staff development expert Adrianne Avillion. Each week, Adrianne will write about an important issue in the profession of staff development or answer reader questions. If you have a question for Adrianne, e-mail her at

Q: I hear colleagues from other organizations talk about mission and vision statements for their staff development departments? Does my department really need mission and vision statements?

Absolutely! Your department should not only have mission and vision statements but a values statement as well. These statements help to guide your activities and set the standards by which your department functions. Mission, vision, and values statements also communicate to persons outside your department what you believe in, why you believe in it, and the purpose for your department's existence. They help to justify why your organization has invested time, money, and resources for staff development.

To refresh your memory:

  • A mission statement communicates the purpose and direction of staff development activities. It describes essential functions and the overall reason for the department's existence.
  • A vision statement is the image of what you want your department's future to be. It is driven by values, and is future oriented, realistic yet inspiring, and concise.
  • A values statement, also referred to as a philosophy, is a set of beliefs and principles that guide your department's activities that help it achieve a specific purpose.

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