Certification in Volunteer Administration: The Next Step in Effective Engagement

Are you a volunteer manager? Or a volunteer who has benefited from the leadership and organizational skills of a good volunteer manager? If so, you know that volunteer managers are responsible for a positive volunteer experience and extending the impact of service. Training volunteer managers is worth the investment. After appropriate training and experience in the field, certification is the next step in effective volunteer engagement.

The Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA) is an international credential for practitioners in the field of volunteer engagement who meet specified standards as measured through an exam. Having the CVA designation is a mark of expertise and demonstrates a high level of commitment to the field of volunteer administration. The certification is internationally recognized and open to anyone who is comfortable reading and testing in English. CVAs have been awarded in 10 countries on five continents.

The CVA network is over 1,600 strong and includes leaders of volunteers in every conceivable type of organization and setting. I am proud to serve on the board of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA), which advances excellence in volunteer administration by delivering the certification program and advocating for the ethical and professional practice of volunteer management. For example, CCVA recently revised the publication, Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration, and will conduct research this year to better understand volunteer management practices, challenges, and needs.

Certification in volunteer administration reinforces what United Way has championed for a very long time: effective, strategic volunteer engagement is essential if we want to improve lives. Recognizing and supporting professional volunteer leaders is a step in the right direction toward our mutual purpose: advancing the common good.