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Information about Accreditation

Published on January 9, 2009

Author: aSGuest9782


Chamber Accreditation : Chamber Accreditation Setting chambers ahead in a competitive environment Chamber History 101 : Chamber History 101 Chambers have a long and proud history of being “the voice of business” in Canadian communities. Some chambers and boards of trade predate their municipalities’ incorporation. Chambers came into existence to serve the business community and to advocate on its behalf. Competitive Environment : Competitive Environment Increasingly the name chamber has been devalued through a variety of circumstances – competition in the marketplace being a big issue. Numerous chambers are feeling the pinch in terms of loss of market share from other business organizations. Other Chamber Challenges : Other Chamber Challenges Organizations calling themselves “chambers”, have contributed to marketplace confusion regarding chambers and their activities and role. If the concept of a “chamber” is unclear to potential constituents, how does a community chamber maintain and grow its profile as “the voice of business”? Accreditation Value Proposition : Accreditation Value Proposition The accreditation of chambers will become an integral part of rebranding & repositioning the chamber name in the Canadian marketplace. Accreditation, as part of a renewed sense of purpose & professionalism, adds value to the chamber proposition. Unique Value Proposition : Unique Value Proposition Accreditation is a means of reinforcing and clarifying to the community at large those activities that are pivotal to a chamber’s functions. And it will define the chamber’s unique value proposition vis-à-vis other competing organizations. Accreditation is a means of strengthening the existing brand of chambers of commerce and boards of trade. Benefits of accreditation: : Benefits of accreditation: Setting standards & establishing uniformity of practices across the chamber network. Provision of a “measuring stick” for chamber quality & performance. Improved direction for chamber board and staff. More Benefits : More Benefits Encourages a refocus on high priority/core activities. Promotes efficiencies in terms of bylaws, policies and procedures. Aids with membership development – through increased profile and pride in organization’s abilities. The Accreditation Process : The Accreditation Process Collaborative initiative involving the three levels of the chamber network. Easy and accessible for chambers of all sizes. Five principles of sound organizational structure. Three categories for chamber accreditation. Accreditation : Accreditation Small Chambers Population of service area: up to 25,000 people and/or Number of chamber members: 0-100 members and/or Total chamber revenues: up to $100,000. Accreditation : Accreditation Medium Chambers Population of service area: 25,001 to 75,000 and/or Number of chamber members: 101 to 500 and/or Total chamber revenues: $100,001-$500,000. Accreditation : Accreditation Large Chambers Population of service area: greater than 75,001 and/or Number of chamber members: greater than 500 members and/or Total chamber revenues: greater than $500,000 Five Pillars of Accreditation : Five Pillars of Accreditation Membership programs and services Policy & advocacy work Organization/administration Strategic planning Governance The Process : The Process Step 1 Accreditation application, checklist of requirements for the five pillars & guidebook. Three pillars of the five are obligatory - membership programs & services, policy and advocacy and operations/administration. Chambers can opt to do just these three (accredited) or may opt to attain all five pillar requirements (accredited with distinction). The process continued… : The process continued… Step 2 Applications reviewed by your provincial/territorial chamber. Step 3 These applications are forwarded to the Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada (CACC) for final approval. Step 4 Newly accredited chambers are recognized at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM each September. Designations : Designations Accredited chamber - If a chamber satisfies three or four of the five pillars. Accredited with distinction - If a chamber satisfies all five pillars, they will be designated a chamber “accredited with distinction”. Promotional materials- logo, press release, letters and member announcements, Web site listing. Program Pillars : Program Pillars Accreditation criteria for this area addresses the policies/procedures that are in place in any given chamber - such things as bylaws, financial procedures, physical plant, organizational structure. The areas examined are fundamental to good business practice - whether running a private business or a chamber. Operations/Administration - MANDATORY Policy & Advocacy - MANDATORY : Policy & Advocacy - MANDATORY Policy development & advocacy work sets chambers/boards of trade apart from their competitors. Chambers are “the voice of business” within their communities. Regardless of size, most chambers are already involved in this work - e.g. lobbying local politicians, holding all-candidate meetings. And there is work at all levels: local, provincial/territorial and national. Membership Programs/Services - MANDATORY : Membership Programs/Services - MANDATORY This is key to all chambers/boards of trade - a membership base that needs servicing through a variety of programming and benefits. By size of chamber, the program offerings will vary but all have the ultimate goal of creating a strong business base - developed through networking (B2B’s etc.) and ongoing business development and education and communication programs (newsletters, mailings, etc.) Governance – Optional : Governance – Optional This pillar concentrates on the procedures in place for good governance - bylaws, election of officers, meeting procedures, annual reporting structures. By adherence to the requirements for the governance pillar, the chamber/board of trade reveals to its constituents that the organization is run professionally - procedures are documented and followed. Strategic Planning – Optional : Strategic Planning – Optional This accreditation pillar examines the chamber’s path to potential success or failure. Has the chamber looked to the future with regards to potential threats - e.g. funding issues, a downturn in the economy, competition in the local market? Have goals been set? Are the ways & means determined for achieving those goals? Become an accredited chamber today! : Become an accredited chamber today!

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