Workplace Skills Assessment Program Overview

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Workplace Skills Assessment Program Overview

by Turner Halle, Vice-President of Communications

The Workplace Skills Assessment Program is central to the great experience and organization that is Business Professionals of America. The WSAP is a competition composed of over 90 events(Michigan Association has access to 50) which focus on valuable workplace skills in relevant areas. These Assessment Areas such as Finance, Administrative Support, Information Technology, Marketing, Management, and Communication, cover an expansive range of concepts from the business education curricula. This allows BPA members to seek out and compete in categories specific to their personal interests or passions.

The goal of the Workplace Skills Assessment Program is to provide the opportunity for all business students to demonstrate and develop vital workplace skills. Through the 90+ events discussed above and their broad scope, the WSAP program has created the means for its participants to amply prepare for their careers. By implementing this program, Business Professionals of America is actively fulfilling its mission statement to “prepare for careers in a world-class workforce.” and “develop professionalism and leadership”.

Students display their individual, or team, prowess through regional, state, and national conferences. Professional dress and conduct are required at these events. Each secondary level student may enter up to two events. Of those, only one may be a team event. Team events further cultivate student business skills by encouraging collaboration and teamwork, both of which are important in the workplace. Students may also compete in any number of open events. An open event is an objective test on predetermined topics. Pre-qualification is not necessary to compete in open events at the state or national level. Competition progression is as follows: Students begin at Regionals. The top qualifiers in each event advance to the State conference, where only the best of the best will win the honor of going to the competition’s culmination, the National Conference. This competition is held in May and at a variety of different cities around the nation. In addition to advancement, students also earn recognition, medals, and plaques for their performance.

Before entering a WSAP competition, there are a few things you need to know. If you follow these few tips, you will be sure to get the most out of you BPA experience.

  1. Be Prepared!

Make sure you have studied and practiced for all of your events. The extra polish that comes from running through a presentation a couple times can make a big difference. Also, if your event requires additional forms like an individual or team entry from, bring extra copies! Due to the many people and events, it can be easy to get confused. Know where and when your events are before arrival.

  1. Know what to expect.

The WSAP competitions are busy events with large numbers of people. Come ready to network with others in addition to talking with your own chapter members. Always act and look professional, whether you are in front of the judges or just eating lunch.

  1. Have fun!

The conference can be stressful at times so remember to have fun! You are getting the unique opportunity to improve your skills and at the same time, have a great time.

There are several requirements that must be met before competing in the Workplace Skills Assessment Program. Each chapter advisor will need to download the current edition of the Workplace Skills Assessment Program Guidelines, Style & Reference Manual, Human Resource Manual, Individual Entry Form, Team Entry Form, and Release Form. All can be found on the BPA website: http://www.bpa.org/compete/ . Next, every secondary division Michigan advisor must also have the current issue of the Michigan Guidelines Supplement. These guidelines outline the dress code and delegate code of conduct for conferences, events, and other activities. The document is available on the Michigan BPA website: https://www.michiganbpa.org/documents/

Maurice S. Henderson