Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Certification coming for volunteers

Published:Saturday | April 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Volunteers will soon be able to gain academic and professional credits for their voluntary work. This is the word from the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), the umbrella group that manages the social sector.

Speaking at a Gleaner Edi-tors' Forum, chair of the CVSS research committee, Claire Bernard disclosed that the council was well advanced with plans to certify volunteers.

"The management committee, in its last strategic plan, agreed to develop a programme and go through the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) to provide accreditation, which makes someone a certified volunteer," she said.

While she was unable to give a definitive date, CVSS Chief Executive Officer Winsome Wilkins said that the council was hoping for a September roll-out of the certification programme.

She also indicated that the programme would be available online.

"The programme will be available online so that we can have it available right across Jamaica, and also to give people flexibility," she said.

She went on to explain that a structured programme for certification will be in place.

formal situation

"Apart from going out there and giving your time, we want to bring this into a formal situation where, if you say you volunteer 10 hours per month and you do some kind of basic course and demonstrate that you understand the basics of volunteering, you will be able to get certified, so we are in the process of developing that programme for accreditation."

Chairman of CVSS Owen Bernard said that the programme of accreditation would take account of the voluntary hours required by some secondary and tertiary-level institutions.