Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada traces back its origins to the Canadian Association of Directors of Volunteer Services in Healthcare (CDVH) that grew to encompass a Canada wide membership since its inception in Ottawa in 1980. The groundwork was accomplished by a small group of Directors of Volunteer Services (DVS), spearheaded by Madame Fernande Robitaille from Québec. At a Canadian conference organized for DVS in Healthcare, the goal was to establish a national organization as an affiliate member of the Canadian Hospital Association. A Steering Committee, chaired by Elsa-Ann Pickard developed a Constitution and By-laws proposal for a national association, which was accepted at the first Annual Meeting held in Toronto in 1981. At this same meeting the first President, Elsa-Ann Pickard was elected and CDVH became incorporated.
During the early to mid-1990s discussion began regarding the future of the association and its mandate. Talk of choosing a new name for the association came about as a result of the Strategic Planning process and on-going consultations with members at the 1994 & 1995 Conference sessions called Future Directions. At these sessions, the members encouraged the Board to examine the membership issue. Who are our constituents? Who could our constituents be in the future? As a result, a motion was passed at the Annual General Meeting of 1995 to form a task force to look at expanding the membership and thereby the Association. The Strategic Planning Committee put forward a Plan for the Association that was approved at the November 1995 Board Meeting. In 1996 the Association then moved to expand its membership beyond health related agencies and encompass all those who manage volunteers and volunteer programs and thereby proposed the resolution to change the name of the Association to Canadian Administrators of Volunteer Resources (CAVR).
At the 2010 National Conference in St. John’s, NL, the Board began to once again re-visit the future directions of the Association. In November of the same year, extraordinary board meetings were held in Winnipeg and a new Mission, Vision and three-year strategic plan was developed and launched at the 2011 National Conference in Vancouver, BC. Key elements of the plan included a new communications strategy, the development of strategic partnerships and increase the profile of CAVR.
Part of the strategic plan included the creation of a task force to review and evaluate our National Certification program and propose a more viable option to ensure continued success of this important credential. In 2012, based on a recommendation of the task force, the Board of Directors unanimously approved a partnership with the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA) and thus discontinuing the CAVR certification, replacing it with an international certification process. With this change the Association’s role shifts to one of promotion and support of members working towards the CVA (Certified in Volunteer Administration) designation.
In November 2012 the Board of Directors obtained the professional services of William Joseph Communications, based in Calgary, to suggest a new name and visual identity for the Association. After a lengthy consultation process with the membership, once again a new name was proposed for the Association. The membership wanted a name that focused on the profession, not a job title and a name that was widely known, recognized and commonly understood by those within and outside of the profession. On March 4th 2014, the membership convened for an online special general meeting and voted in favor of changing the name of the Association to Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada (VMPC).