What is the CVA you ask? The CVA is a credited certificate in the field of Volunteer Administration. From my research this is the only credited program for the field of Volunteer Management.
I first became certified in 2009. I came across the information in an e-newsletter from Engergize Inc. and thought, this would be an excellent training to help elevate my knowledge and skills within the field.
I signed up to complete the certificate and a few weeks later the books I had to read and the class information came in the mail.
I had to read The Volunteer Management Handbook by Tracy Connors and From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Volunteer Program Success by Susan J. Ellis along with some other articles. These books and articles talked about the principles and best practices related to the field of volunteer management. In May of 2009 I had to complete a multiple choice test on the theories and principles of the books. I thought the test was challenging because of the way they had the multiple choice questions.
- A and B
- A, B & C
- all of the above
- none of the above
I found out a few weeks later I passed, and I was so excited! Next I had to finish up my two papers I had to write. I had to do a philosophy statement and a case study.
My philosophy was on “Volunteering Keeps You Young – Mind, Body and Soul” and my case statement was on failing to get a youth program launched and what I learned from it.
I wrote my papers, sent in the information and a few week later I learned I passed – all parts!
It was so exciting to receive that package in the mail with my certificate, a CVA pin, and best part was being able to put the letters – CVA behind my name, on my business cards and e-mail signature line.
For me, going through this process helped solidify for me Volunteer Management is the perfect profession for me. This process also fueled my passion to teach others that Volunteer Management is a profession, training is needed, it takes a certain skill set and continuing education to stay current in the field.
I am currently in the process of renewing my CVA certificate. The purpose of the CVA renewal process is to enhance continued competence of certificants by requiring documentation of learning, reflection and participation in activities related to volunteer engagement and leadership.
I have a stack of articles I have written, documents of presentations I have made and other supporting documents on my engagement and leadership over the past five years. Going through this material, I can see the growth in my practice and leadership and I am excited to see where the next five years takes me.
Anyone in the field of volunteer management, I would highly recommend going through the CVA certification process. For more information on the process check out their website: http://www.cvacert.org/
Jody Weyers, CVA