Thank you to all who responded to SOC’s 2017 Technical Standards Needs Assessment!

This biennial survey was completed by 133 individuals familiar with Wisconsin’s technical standards used in statewide conservation programs.  The survey results are used to prioritize revisions and the development of effective technical standards that protect our state’s natural resources.


The 2017 Standards Oversight Council (SOC) Technical Standards Needs Assessment received responses from 133 individuals. This was the second-highest participation on record, dipping from a peak of 245 in 2015. County government was more strongly represented in 2017 than 2015, with over half of respondents representing this sector. Participation from the private sector dropped from 31% to 14%, likely because the survey was forwarded by a participant to a 900-member storm water-related listserv in 2015, but not in 2017. The respondents in 2017 were engaged in SOC at a higher level than 2015; nearly half had commented on draft standards or were on the listserv, and nearly a third were former SOC team participants.

 How Your Responses Affect Change

Results from this survey are used in the following ways to improve how standards are developed and implemented:

  1. Results are shared with DNR and NRCS to help identify the need for new or revised standards. For example, based on this survey’s feedback, DNR technical standards Channel Erosion Mat (1053), Efficiency of Proprietary Filtration Devices (NEW), Seeding (1059), Dewatering (1061), Non-Channel Erosion Mat (1052), and Mulching (1058), as well as NRCS technical standard Waste Transfer (634), will be included in the 2018-2019 Work Plan.
  2. Participants’ specific comments regarding standards are shared with the teams convened to create or revise each standard.
  3. Results trigger needed communications that can lead to improvements in standards. For example, SOC will facilitate communication between NRCS and those who recommended changes to Constructed Wetland (656) to promote a shared understanding of the standard and identify any opportunities for improvement.
  4. Results lead to changes in the process used to develop standards. As a result of reflections and recommendations in this survey, the Custodian will participate in a check-in meeting halfway through the Full Process. This is in addition to participating in the first meeting for each Full Process, which already occurs.
  5. Results identify training needs and lead to cooperation among DATCP, NRCS, and WDNR in providing additional trainings on recommended standards. In response to survey requests, SOC will support & facilitate trainings on Waste Storage Facility (313), Vegetated Swale (1005), and others as SOC and Custodian staff time allows. SOC will also provide participants’ training recommendations to SITCOM and assist as needed in coordinating other recommended trainings.

Unique to 2017, this survey was designed to assess the extent to which respondents value SOC’s Guiding Principles and how well they perceive SOC as achieving them. Ninety-eight percent of respondents said that seeking input from them or their colleagues was Fairly or Very Important. This principle also ranked highest for achievement: 80% of respondents view SOC as Probably or Definitely Achieving this goal.

Read the full summary of survey results at the link below:

SOC 2017 Technical Standards Needs Assessment Summary