Becoming a Certified Volunteer Administrator is a great next step on your Volunteer Management path.
While it may seem a bit daunting it shows your boss, your peers and yourself that you know what you are doing. We rounded up a few of the experts who have taken the exam to answer some questions about the process and hopefully encourage you to sign up!
Who: Gabriel Avelar, Volunteer Engagement Strategist at United Way Lower Mainland.
Did you work here when you were certified?
No, I worked at the Vancouver Aquarium and was highly incentivized by my leaders to take on the certification.
Why did you want to become certified?
I wanted to certify to validate all the experience I already had as a volunteer manager. It’s good to be able to say that I not only have years of experience but that I’m a Certified Volunteer Administrator. Another reason was supporting our profession, a lot of people still think that “anyone” can do volunteer
management. Not really, there are many skills and competencies that volunteer manager need to have and the certification raises the bar.
How did you study?
We had a study group that met once every couple weeks, and I used the book. The book is pretty dry so the cohort who was studying with me went on a project of summarizing the chapters and sharing with the other on the group.
How did you find the exam and essay questions?
I thought they were a little on the objective side. We know that in volunteer/people management, things tend to be more fluid and vary in accordance with the needs of the volunteers/ organizations. You
might find yourself answering what is right most of the times. But you know of a few exceptions to the specific case.
What benefits did you find after being certified? Have there been long term ones as well? Any that surprised you?
I think certification is important to me personally. It gives me a personal sense of accomplishment and confidence when doing my work. It’s massively important to my boss as they can recognize me as a
qualified professional. And lastly helps my volunteers understand that I’m working under or within clear ethical guidelines.
Why would you suggest someone get certified?
Absolutely yes. A great investment on your career, profession and organization.