Certification will be awarded:
- to any municipality that has already received the SHQ Award of Excellence, presented at the annual Rues principales Foundation conference, and that has been pursuing a sustainability process for at least five years, while meeting the certification criteria;
- to any municipality that, after five years of continued work within the Rues principales network, pursues a revitalization strategy that satisfies the certification criteria and takes all strategy components into account.
HOW DOES A MUNICIPALITY BECOME CERTIFIED
PRESENTATION OF A BID
A jury will examine applications for certification on an annual basis. The municipalities awarded the "4 Aces” certification will be announced at the annual Rues principales Foundation conference.
Applications are reviewed and assessed with respect to the certification criteria. Certification is valid for three years and is renewable upon presentation of a new application that demonstrates that the municipality continues to meet the certification criteria.
Steps to follow:
- Complete the application for certification form provided by the Rues principales Foundation and send it to the Foundation’s office. A municipality wishing to submit its candidacy for a number of sectors, districts or boroughs is to complete a form for each of them.
- Upon receipt of the application form and the accompanying supporting documents, the Rues principales Foundation will acknowledge receipt and will notify the municipality whether its application is complete or whether additional elements are required for it to be reviewed by the Jury.
- Together with the municipality, the Rues principales Foundation will go to the area for the presentation of an overview of the situation and findings.
- In June, the Jury will examine the applications received, and will verify the pertinence and quality of each file with respect to the certification criteria and subsequent to the visit of the area.
- Should the application be approved, the Jury will issue the certificate of excellence and the Rues principales Foundation will officially announce the certification at its annual conference.
The Jury evaluates each application on the basis of the 12 certification criteria explained below.
- Legal status: An autonomous legal structure still in force, having a recurring investment and operating budget, managed by the partners.
- Representativeness: The major public and private economic, social, cultural and community actors are equally represented and take part in the coordination/joint action structure.
- Duration of the partnership: Established and maintained for at least three years.
PLANNING: VISION AND STRATEGY
- Preparation of planning documents: Existence of written documents that specify the vision and joint action strategies, updated and current.
- Maintenance of socio-economic reference data: The actors have put together, have access to or maintain a set of socio-economic data that makes it possible to follow the market evolution and identify local development potential.
- Staff: A resource person is hired and dedicated to the socio-economic revitalization process; he/she coordinates work, keeps the joint-action mechanisms active, and ensures that the objectives and actions needed to ensure lasting results are attained and accomplished.
- Existence of action plans: Action plans, arising from the vision established and the socio-economic revitalization and sustainable development objectives, propose and plan actions taking into account all the components (organization, economic development, animation-promotion, physical improvements) that fall within short, medium and long-term timeframes (2 to 10 years).
- Coordination: The vision, strategies and action plans are all coordinated with the planning of each major partner.
- Taking charge: The action plans take into consideration and integrate the participation of each partner and each interest group by promoting involvement, commitment and taking charge at a local level.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
- Adequacy: The actions accomplished and the outcomes are tied to the vision and the strategies.
- Constant monitoring: The implementation and accomplishment of actions are monitored and periodically evaluated to ensure adherence to the objectives and attainment of results so as to be able to generate the feedback required and take the appropriate initiatives.
- Circulation of information: Efforts are made to ensure constant communication in order to ensure that information is circulated, that the partners are kept well informed and that the progress made is known. Dissemination and communication tools inform the citizens of the strategies and their components, announce annually the favoured actions and provide information on the outcomes.