CVA Certification Process
- CVA Program Fact Sheet
- 2015 Candidate Handbook & registration form
- 2015 Exam References
- Definitions and concepts related to certification and professional credentialing
- Certification Development Process
- CCVA Body of Knowledge
- CVA Content Outline
- CVA Content Outline: Self-Assessment Tool
The "Certified in Volunteer Administration" (CVA) credential is offered for practitioners in volunteer resources management. Originally developed by the international Association for Volunteer Administration, the program is now sponsored by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA).
Unlike many "certificate" or certification programs being offered by colleges and universities, this professional credentialing program is performance-based. It is not intended to teach individuals how to manage volunteers effectively. Rather, it is designed to measure an individual's "knowledge-in-use"--the application of knowledge and skills by those with real-life experience in this role. This includes the assessment of a candidate's ability to structure tasks, produce ideas, and solve problems.
The CVA Program:
- is voluntary
- is performance-based
- is grounded in core competencies and standards
- developed by colleagues and peers
- defines volunteer administration as a profession
- provides a vehicle for updating best practices
- is open to salaried and non-salaried individuals
- from all types of organizations
CCVA adheres to standards established by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) -- the primary body in the United States for quality assurance of credentials.
Individuals pursuing the CVA credential are expected to demonstrate successfully their knowledge and ability to apply skills required for competent volunteer management, based on their actual performance in the role. Five core competencies have been identified that serve as a foundation for this profession, regardless of the setting or type of organization where volunteers are at work.
As the result of a Job Analysis study conducted in 2008, the five core competencies are:
- Ethics: The ability to act in accordance with professional principles.
- Organizational Management: The ability to design and implement policies, processes and structures to align volunteer involvement with the mission and vision of the organization.
- Human Resource Management: The ability to successfully engage, train and support volunteers in a systematic and intentional way.
- Accountability: The ability to collect relevant data and to engage in meaningful monitoring, evaluation and reporting to stakeholders.
- Leadership and Advocacy: The ability to advance individual, organizational and community goals through effective volunteer involvement.
The Credentialing Process
A two-part measurement methodology has been designed to demonstrate a candidate's knowledge and application of the core competencies. This is a self-study process, requiring no travel or special classes.
Part I: Portfolio
Philosophy Statement: 100-250 words (personal reflection on beliefs and values related to your role as a leader and manager of volunteers)
Ethics Case Study: 100-250 words (description of a work-related situation involving ethics, and how it relates to the profession's core values)
Management Narrative: 1,500-1750 words (description and analysis of a project or activities focused on the core competencies)
All three pieces are written based on the candidate's experience within the field (i.e. observations, actions, insights, lessons learned) rather than on presenting information from textbooks or classes. All must be submitted at the same time and are then subject to a peer review process.
Part II: Multiple Choice Examination
The test consists of multiple choice questions based on a Content Outline. It is a two-hour proctored examination, offered once a year on the 4th Wednesday in May. Candidates take the exam via the internet, using a computer of their choice in their own community.
Once registered, CVA candidates may start the process with either the portfolio or the examination. However, they are required to sit for the exam in May. Both the portfolio and the exam must be completed by December 31.
Individuals wishing to become credentialed must meet these requirements in order to register as a candidate:
- Minimum of the equivalent of three years of full-time experience related to volunteer resources management. This experience can be a combination of several part-time positions, and can include both salaried and non-salaried roles.
- Minimum of 30 percent of current position related to volunteer resources management.
- Two letters of professional recommendation from supervisors or colleagues, verifying the candidate's activity in the field and his/her appropriateness as a candidate for this credential.
- Early Bird Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 2014 $ 275 US
- Standard Jan. 1 - March 1, 2015 $ 350 US
Special Discounted Rates for members of ALIVE,
Points of Light/HandsOn Network, VolunteerMatch, Volunteer Canada, and Habitat for Humanity International:
- Early Bird Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 2014 $ 250 US
- Standard Jan. 1 - March 1, 2015 $ 315 US
The primary reference for the CVA exam is Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice. A list of secondary references is also provided.
Candidates are given a self-assessment tool to help them identify topics on which to focus their study.
CCVA accepts electronic credit card payments, using the secure PayPal system. (It is not necessary to have a personal PayPal account in order to use this option.) Candidates wishing to pay by credit card will still need to submit their registration forms in hard copy by mailing them to the CCVA office.
Registration for the 2015 cycle will open on October 1, 2014.
Download the 2015 Candidate Handbook for details and the registration form.