Notes for the CVA Credential: A Mark of Excellence <br />Presentation by Ericka Harney<br />Slide 1 CVA = Certified in Volunteer Administration<br />Now sponsored by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA)<br />Slide 2<br />The CVA program has been in existence since the late1970's, when it was developed by the Association for Volunteer Administration. In 2000 the program went through a major revision with. Goals of the revision were: update the competencies, streamline the process so it is less time-consuming, bring it into line with current credentialing practice in other professions, ensure accessibility to all individuals who wish to participate.<br />In 2006, when AVA was in the process of dissolving, many were concerned that this program be saved as a critical part of our profession. After exploring many options, it was decided to create a new organization, the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA) as the new home for the program. Ownership was then transferred from AVA to CCVA. (More details about this are available on the CCVA website.)<br />CCVA’s vision is that the credential be “owned” by the entire field, not just one organization. To that end, the CCVA Board is expanding to include individuals from a number of major national and international organizations. This “federated” approach will ensure widespread support for and visibility of the CVA credential, all of which strengthens its credibility. <br />In addition, we have invited a number of national and international organizations to be come supporters, in recognition of this credential as a valuable professional development opportunity for practitioners. To date, these supporting organizations include ….(see list on slide).<br />To date, almost 900 CVAs have been awarded, with a steady increase in the number of candidates each year. It is also important to mention that this credential has always accepted candidates from beyond the United States. There a quite a few CVAs in Canada, and there have been recent candidates from Australia, Bolivia and Bermuda. While the process is still conducted only in English, we are committed to continuing to work with colleagues throughout the world to make it truly global.<br />Slide 3<br />Do you regard yourself as a “professional”? Why or why not?<br />What profession do you identify with? How is volunteer administration related to this?<br />TRAINING OPTION: Use the brief article by Larry Ullian as a handout and basis for discussion.<br />Slide 4<br />Core Competencies = minimum standards of competency for managers or leaders of volunteers. <br />This list forms the basis of the CVA credentialing program. It is developed through the process of a Job Analysis (or Practice Analysis) – surveying practitioners to identify the full scope of skills and knowledge required in today’s environment. It is updated every 4-5 years to be sure it remains relevant and accurate. These competencies were recently updated in 2008.<br />Note significant differences from the “traditional” list of management functions: planning, recruitment, supervision, recognition, recordkeeping, evaluation.<br />TRAINING OPTION: More detail about the topics within each core competency can be found in the CVA Content Outline on the website. You can also provide this as a handout if you wish.<br />Slide 5<br />It is important to understand how this program is similar to and different from other certifications that are offered elsewhere:<br />The CVA Credential IS:<br />Open to individuals from any type of organization, with either salaried or non-salaried experience (accessible; inclusive)<br />Performance-based (measures knowledge-in-use; assumes you've had some real-life experience doing the job)<br />Grounded in core competencies and standards developed by your peers (not academic theorists. 50+ vols. who are CVAs themselves are involved in the process of determining the competencies, writing test items, scoring materials)<br />Voluntary (unlike some other professions)<br />International (English-only right now; based on American/Canadian materials. Long-term goal to go global in the true sense of cultural and language adaptation.)<br />The CVA Credential IS NOT:<br />A course on how to manage volunteers (assumes you know the basics and have been doing the work for at least 3 years; although you definitely learn from the process, the emphasis is on assessing your current competencies rather than teaching you how to do the work )<br />A "
certificate of completion"
(like other programs offered that may call themselves a "
). This is a self-study, independent process. No required classes.<br />Affiliated with a particular college or university (some instructors have based their courses and training on the CCVA core competencies, and CCVA is now looking a ways to strengthen the connection between college course work and the credential.)<br />Slide 6<br />The CVA credential is designed for the “3 year old”, although many candidates have more experience than that.<br />We ask candidates to document that they have the equivalent of at least 3 years experience doing this type of work. Can be the accumulation of a number of part-time positions or roles. Important to have this depth of application and real-life experience in order to be successful – it is what you will draw upon during the credentialing process.<br />We know most individuals in the field perform this role in addition to other job duties – not as their primary role. Based on the 2004 Urban Institute Study of Volunteer Management Capacity, the average volunteer manager spends only 30% of her/his time on this activity. This requirement is designed to allow as many practitioners as possible to enter the program.<br />Less than 30% makes it unlikely that you have the necessary depth and range of experience to demonstrate “knowledge in use”. There are sometimes exceptions made in certain circumstances, so if you are not sure if you meet this eligibility requirement, please contact us to discuss it.<br />Slide 7<br />The registration process is quite simple:<br />2-page registration form in the Candidate Handbook (available on CCVA website). Asks for summary of your experience, and that you sign a statement of intent regarding professional ethics.<br />Must be accompanied by 2 letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with your work as a volunteer administrator. Letters can be brief, confirming that you are an appropriate candidate for this credential.<br />Fees: There are two levels. Save money by registering early – and give yourself more time to prepare for the exam! Note that additional discounts are available for members of POL-HON and AL!VE. Details about those fees are in the Candidate Handbook and registration form.<br />This program runs on a calendar year, with a new “class” of candidates each year. Registration for the 2010 cycle began Oct. 1, and will remain open until March 1.<br />STOP HERE FOR ANY QUESTIONS, BEFORE MOVING INTO THE DETAILS ABOUT THE CREDENTIALING PROCESS.<br />Slide 8<br />Review types of questions, and test specs, as explained on handout.<br />Explain documentation of all questions to list of specific references (books, articles, free electronic downloads)<br />This ensures a defensible, credible and valid testing process.<br />All items (test questions) are multiple-choice, written by Test Committee volunteers who are CVAs.<br />Offered once a year, in late May. <br />No need to travel! Candidates arrange a local place to take the exam, and a proctor to sit with them during the exam. (Many use their own organizations.) We moved to e-testing in 2009, making the exam even more flexible and accessible.<br />More details will be provided to all registered candidates, including sample test questions and study tips.<br />The exam is scored on a pass/fail basis. If you fail the Exam, you may take it again the following May. There is a $50 re-sit fee, but no need to re-register. This assumes that you continue working on the second part of the process, the Portfolio. You will not see what questions you missed, but you will be given feedback on which core competency areas are suggested for further study.<br />Slide 9<br />There are THREE parts to the Portfolio component. (**NOTE this change, effective 2010 cycle)<br />Philosophy Statement:<br /> Opportunity for reflection. Very personal – not quoting others.<br /> Encourage you to “dig deep”…way beyond the organization where you currently work.<br /> Why do you care about this field, and how do you view this profession?<br /> Well written, concise = 100-250 words. Many feel it is a very satisfying exercise. <br />Ethics Case Study:<br /> Description of a work-related situation involving ethics<br /> Focus on the implications of the situation as related to CCVA professional core values<br /> Well written, concise = 100-250 words. <br />Management Narrative:<br />Selecting a cluster of activity (or project) from your real-life experience; describe it and analyze it. (Successful or not!)<br />Broad enough to cover the core competency areas (i.e. not jus recruitment), but narrow enough to address in 1500 -1750 words<br />Must address very specific questions (see handout); scored based on point system.<br />Written in the “I” voice; we want to hear your leadership, know how and way you did what you did, and the results.<br />Demonstrates disciplined, clear, professional writing<br />Portfolio completed at your own pace, and submitted together. Deadline = December 31.<br />Identifying information is removed, so scoring is anonymous. Each Portfolio is read by 2 trained CVA readers. If you fail the Portfolio, you are given feedback on what needs to be improved, and you may resubmit within the next 6 months. <br />Slide 10<br />We want you to succeed, so several types of support are available:<br />Optional calls to review requirements, answer questions, hear advice from peers. Spring, for exam. Summer, for portfolio.<br />Local support groups becoming very popular. Building a track record of success in Portland, OR, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Denver, etc. Tips on how to structure these are available. Often led by one person who encourages others to join her. Great role for local professional network or group of volunteer coordinators.<br />As soon as you register, you’ll receive a CVA Toolkit with lots more information, including sample Portfolios.<br />Candidates also have access to a Practice exam on-line, so they can get used to the e-testing software and see more of what the exam will be like.<br />CVASupport list serve set up on Google Groups to facilitate communication among candidates. Anyone may participate to exchange tips, ask questions, and provide mutual encouragement to stay motivated and on schedule.<br />We are always willing to help you connect with other CVAs in your city or state, or who work in a similar type of organization as you. This can help you feel less isolated and more confident. <br />Slide 11<br />When you successfully become Certified in Volunteer Administration:<br />Use the initials after your name. Add to business card, e-mail signature.<br />A certificate. Proudly display this visible symbol of your accomplishment! Frame your certificate, hang it in your office.<br />Media release: Publicize your success in local publications, your organization’s newsletter or your local volunteer managers’ network. <br />Announcement letter: CCVA can help you share this achievement with others by sending a letter to your employer.<br />Committee involvement: Consider signing up for one of the Credentialing committees, to help identify references, write test questions, or assess portfolios.<br />Lapel pin<br />Slide 12<br />Certification Renewal is the norm among most professions today. <br />Once earned, the CVA credential is valid for 5 years. This was determined to be manageable, and appropriate – given that this profession doesn’t change as rapidly as more technical fields. <br />Goal = to show continuous learning and growth, and activity in the field<br />Primarily keeping track of what you would be doing anyway.<br />PDUs can be earned a variety of ways – training or teaching, writing an article, serving in a leadership role, workshops or conferences.<br />Many more details, plus tracking forms, provided upon CVA award. Also available on the website.<br />Slide 13<br />This is a very common question among those considering whether to pursue the credential, and is a good way to end the workshop. <br />Ask the group: "
How could this credential benefit you personally?"
<br />Clarifies and articulates personal values, beliefs and professional ethics<br />Identifies areas of skill or knowledge you would like to strengthen<br />Assesses personal expertise against standards of performance<br />Enhances self-esteem through peer recognition<br />Increases confidence in problem-solving skills<br />Increases personal and professional credibility <br />Demonstrates the transferability or your knowledge, skills and abilities<br />Reinforces your commitment to professional excellence<br />May enhance your employability and your position in the organization<br />Ask the group: "
How could it benefit your organization/employer to have you be a CVA?"
<br />Demonstrates a commitment to excellence in the management of volunteer resources<br />Improves credibility and community image<br />Increases organization's understanding of volunteer resources management<br />Assesses employee’s application of core competencies (annual performance objectives?)<br />Identifies and documents leadership potential<br />Assists with decisions regarding how volunteers are managed within the organization<br />Slide 14<br />ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS about the process? Or anything else I’ve covered?<br />Will this be the year you make it your goal?<br />