Safe Harbor SELF Assessment AND Quality Assurance Program

T AFE HARBOR is a self assessment and quality assurance program that includes everything an organizational leader needs to perform an in-house review and to monitor his/her physical plant, facilities construction, transportation and food service operations on an on-going basis.  This is the same program Portolan has been using for years to assess some of America’s largest educational support service departments.  It is now available for the leaders of these departments to use on their own.

Portolan’s Safe Harbor Program is an invaluable tool for department heads.  It should be used each year to measure and monitor improvements in department functioning.  Whether you are a new manager/director or have been the department’s leader for many years, this program can help you determine and improve your department’s performance.

Included in our Safe Harbor Program are our exclusive performance indices (PI).  These valuable tools break down specific areas and functions in the maintenance and operations, facilities construction, transportation and food service programs that are routine, day-to-day operational tasks and show you which are under-performing as well as those that are performing well.

The physical plant operations (PPO) indices include over 550 important items, rating them by item, category and department (maintenance, custodial, grounds and overall PPO).  The facilities construction PI includes over 140 important items, rating them by item and category.  The food service PI includes over 200 important items, rating them by item and category.  The transportation PI includes over 150 important items, rating them by item and category.  Included with each of our indices is our school/site service PI that rates these services at the school/site level through school/site tours and interviews with site staff and administration. 

Each PI is broken down by department and then categorized. Below is a sample of the categories.

  • organization culture
  • budget and cost control
  • staffing and schedules
  • operations
  • work authorization and control
  • planning and scheduling
  • purchased service contracts
  • metrics/labor utilization
  • regulatory compliance, safety and security
  • quality assurance
  • chemicals, equipment and supplies
  • procurement
  • information technology
  • training

Each category is summarized with scores and ratings (1-unsatisfactory, 2-needs improvement, 3-acceptable, 4-target, 5-best practice) and ranked according to percentage of score achieved.  A scoring matrix is provided to show how scores are calculated.  Each score and rating summary is automatically calculated.  This gives you a bird’s eye view of how each department is functioning and provides you with an opportunity to focus your efforts on those areas that do not rate well.

If desired, Portolan staff will provide on and off-site assistance in the training, implementation and monitoring of the program.  Our staff will also provide guidance in assessment methods and strategies.  This separates our program from any that are simply software-based.  Our trained staff will work with you to ensure that the indices are used in the manner that will provide the best results. 

Portolan recommends that you do an initial assessment using multiple raters.  This will establish baseline data for each department.  We advise you to use the data to establish categories and areas in each department that are strong and those needing improvement.  Needed resources to help with the change strategies can then be identified and monitored.  This information should be shared with staff (both labor and management) to coordinate improvement efforts and strategies.  These efforts should be reviewed monthly by the management team. 

Assessments using the PIs should then be repeated every six months.  These repeated ratings will provide information on progress towards improvement.  The information gained from these repeated assessments will enable management to determine additional resource needs to fuel the improvement process.  We recommend the creation and utilization of a task force and performance teams to implement improvements and change.

At any time in this effort, staff from Portolan can be available to provide assistance.  All our licensing programs include unlimited phone and email support for the life of the agreement. 

Our Safe Harbor Program includes:

  • A performance index for the department of your choice in electronic format (e-mail or CD)

click here to view a sample of:

  1. Maintenance
  2. Custodial
  3. Grounds
  4. School/site
  5. PPO Summary
  6. Facilities Construction
  7. School Food Service
  8. Transportation
  • Directions on how to use the performance indices
  • The license to utilize our indices (license is valid for one year from the date of purchase)
  • Unlimited phone/e-mail support for the duration of the license
  • A reduced cost license renewal option for use and support of the program for future years

You may also purchase the maintenance, custodial, grounds and PPO school/site service PIs together in our Physical Plant Operations (PPO) Suite which includes a bonus PPO Summary PI.

We have many options available to assist your department in our Safe Harbor Program including:

  • on-site support as a third evaluator during school/site component of the PPO, School Food or Transportation Service PIs
  • completion of all components in the PIs
  • providing detailed reports derived from the analysis of the PIs.  These reports include our findings, conclusions and recommendations for improvement.

Everyone has heard the old saying, “You need the right tool for the right job.”  Well, you have just found the right tool to assess and help you improve your department’s performance.

The staff of Portolan believes every student deserves a safe harbor in which to learn.  This program is one more effort on our part to make that destination a reality.

To download a demo version or to purchase Portolan’s Safe Harbor Program click here; or to find out more, call us at 1-87-PORTOLAN (1-877-678-6526).

Every Student Deserves a Safe Harbor!