Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement (CCVI) – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CCVI?

The CCVI is a guide for involving volunteers in all levels of an organization, including volunteers working in leadership, direct service and virtual roles. It provides a framework for discussion and decision making within organizations and consists of three important elements:

  • The value of volunteer involvement.
  • Guiding principles that frame the relationship between the volunteer and organization.
  • Standards of practice for involving individuals in meaningful ways to ensure successful integration of volunteers while meeting the needs of both the organization and its volunteers.

Who is the CCVI for?

The CCVI is designed to support those who oversee, manage and support volunteer involvement within an organization. It is also for volunteers to help them understand their rights and responsibilities within the organization. The guiding principles for volunteer involvement keep relationships balanced between organizations and their volunteers by ensuring they are reciprocal.

Why was the CCVI updated?

Initially developed in 2001, the CCVI is updated regularly to reflect legislative changes, demographic shifts, global trends and social innovation within the volunteer engagement field. The 2017 version of the CCVI contains updated standards, reflects the current social context and incorporates a more streamlined format.

Why should my organization adopt the CCVI?

The CCVI demonstrates an organization’s commitment to engaging and supporting volunteers in a meaningful and responsible way. Adopting the Code signals to volunteers that the organization is committed to strengthening their volunteer engagement strategy and its capacity to meet its mandate and contribute to strong and connected communities.

Do I need to meet all the standards of practice to adopt the CCVI?  

No. Adopting the Code is a pledge to undertake volunteer involvement with the standards of practice as a guide and to continuous improvement. Organizations that adopt the Code are encouraged to work toward achieving the standards in ways that are appropriate to them, and to review the Code on a regular basis to track their progress, celebrate successes and prioritize areas for improvement.

How can my organization adopt the CCVI?

There are several ways an organization can choose to adopt the Code. Steps to consider include:

  • Reviewing the Code and discussing with leadership whether the organization is aligned with the values and guiding principles.
  • Presenting the Code to the Board of Directors and making a formal motion for the organization to adopt the Code.
  • Assessing the organization’s practices related to the values, guiding principles and standards of practice and sharing these results with the Board of Directors to support the case for adopting the Code.

See Section 3 of the CCVI for more information on adopting the Code.

What tools are available to support adopting and implementing the CCVI?

  • Putting the Code into Action is a series of checklists to help organizations implement the CCVI ten standards of practice.
  • The online Code Audit Tool helps to assess the effectiveness of your volunteer involvement practices by identifying organizational strengths and prioritizing areas for further development. It can be used as part of a process to formally adopt the CCVI or to review volunteer involvement strategies and practices by organizations that have already adopted the CCVI.
  • CCVI Adoptees are listed on Volunteer Canada’s website by geography. See if there is a local adoptee you can meet, or reach out to a director of a similar organization and ask them for insights. We can all learn from each other.

Can I complete the Code Audit more than once?

Yes. We encourage organizations to revisit their Code Audit reports on a regular basis and undertake new audits to help assess their progress. Completed audits are saved in the online tool for easy reference. The Code Audit is available exclusively to Volunteer Canada members. For information on becoming a Volunteer Canada member, please visit

How does the new CCVI relate to the Canadian Code for Employer-Supported Volunteering?

Volunteer Canada’s Corporate Council on Volunteering led the development of the Canadian Code for Employer-Supported Volunteering. This resource aligns with the CCVI, articulating values and guiding principles for cross-sectoral relationships and promoting standards of practice for Employer-Supported Volunteering. The two Codes provide a foundation for businesses and organizations to build effective partnerships in their work to strengthen communities.