If you think you might be interested in volunteering to assist with the work of PSB and support the planning profession in Canada, or have already committed to a volunteer role, please review the orientation materials on this page. Please note that most Provincial/Territorial Institutes or Associations (PTIAs) award CPL credits for volunteer work with PSB and/or its Committees. PSB has two Committees – the Professional Examination and Education Committee (PEEC) and the Accreditation Program Committee (APC). Each Committee oversees a different function and relies on volunteers for assistance.
PEEC Volunteer Roles
PEEC is looking for volunteers in four important roles. If you volunteer to be a Mentor or Sponsor, we will keep a database with your name so Candidates or potential Candidates can contact you.
- To be a Mentor, you must be a full (certified) member of a Provincial /Territorial Institute or Association (PTIA) /RPP (or LPP, etc.) in good standing for at least 3 years and must be willing to help a Candidate member develop in the areas of ethics, professionalism and ‘public interest’.
The Role of the Mentor
The role of the Mentor is to provide key collegial advice, assistance, and guidance to a Candidate member as they undertake their practical work experience requirement and seek entry into Full Membership as a Registered Professional Planner. Beyond this, both the Mentor and the Candidate member should benefit from the collegial nature of the mentorship through the exchange of ideas, sharing of experiences, and development of new perspectives. Since the Mentor’s role is intended to be collegial, it is anticipated that the Mentor will often be a supervisor, close work colleague, or other close professional colleague of the Candidate member, although this is not mandatory. The Mentor must agree to Candidate member’s request to serve as their Mentor, and should be provided with a copy of the Mentorship Guide upon agreeing to serve as a Mentor. Mentors should carefully review and familiarize themselves with this Guide and use it for reference as they undertake their role. Mentors will ultimately be required to sign a formal Mentorship Agreement, and are further strongly encouraged to take the simple Mentor orientation, available here. As a Mentor, you should meet with the Candidate member you are mentoring every two months, either in person or, if this is not feasible due to scheduling or geography, using technology such as teleconference, an instant messaging program or Skype. During these meetings, you will work cooperatively with the Candidate member to ensure s/he has a plan to achieve an acceptable level and range of the profession’s competencies while s/he completes the practical work experience requirements. Ideally, you will work with your Candidate member until you are satisfied that s/he has fulfilled the expectations of the program. At that time, you will be asked by the Candidate to sign off on the Record of Mentorship, verifying that you are satisfied that, together, you and the Candidate member have met the program’s objectives. You should also sign and, if appropriate, comment on a record of each meeting. The Candidate will prepare this record and should send it to you shortly after each meeting. This allows you to be more fully aware of his/her progress.
- Like Mentors, a Sponsor must be a full (certified) member of a Provincial /Territorial Institute or Association (PTIA) /RPP (or LPP, etc.) in good standing for at least 3 years and must be willing to verify, validate and sign off on a Candidate member’s log of responsible professional planning experience.
The Role of the Sponsor
The role of the Sponsor is to review and ultimately confirm (‘sign-off’ or validate), a Candidate member’s practical work experience as having met the requirements set by the profession, prior to the final submission of that documented experience to the Professional Standards Board (PSB). Sponsorship complements the work the Candidate member undertakes with his/her Mentor – for more information on this, please see above for the mentor roles and responsibilities. The Sponsor’s role is somewhat at ‘arms length’ from the Candidate member, and therefore s/he must also be an individual who does not have any direct conflict of interest with the Candidate member, such as:
- Being a direct supervisor, subordinate or close work colleague of the Candidate member
- Being in any personal or business conflict of interest with the Candidate member
If you work in the same office as a Candidate but have neither direct day-to-day contact with him/her nor a personal relationship, you may still be eligible to be a Sponsor. The Sponsor must agree to the Candidate member’s request to serve as his/her Sponsor, and should be provided with the Sponsorship Guide upon agreeing to serve as a Sponsor. Sponsors should carefully review and familiarize themselves with the Guide and use it for reference as they undertake their role. Your primary responsibility as a Sponsor is to verify and validate the Candidate member’s responsible professional planning experience. Since the experience with which you are concerned must meet the above definition for ‘responsibility’, and because not all aspects of a planner’s job do so, you should be aware that it will normally take longer than the time indicated for the Candidate member to achieve the necessary amount of experience. For instance, if only half of a Candidate member’s work can be considered ‘responsible’, it will take him/her twice as long as indicated (two years instead of one, or four years instead of two) to accumulate the necessary amount of experience. You should meet with your Candidate at least once in each year (and ideally every six months) to review his/her record of work experience, and to provide feedback to him/her on whether it meets the above-outlined criteria. The sponsorship relationship is over when you are fully satisfied that the Candidate member’s Record of Practical Work Experience indicates that:
- They have achieved the requisite amount of responsible professional planning experience
- Their work has demonstrated that s/he has acquired and used the professional competencies, although the Candidate is not expected to demonstrate work experience in every competency area
- They have progressed in their level of personal responsibility over the period of employment reflected in the Record
- They have demonstrated a broad range of planning experience
- They have generated original planning documentation and policy development
You must be satisfied not only that the Candidate undertook the work described in the Record, but that the reported work constitutes an acceptable responsible professional planning experience. To do so, you may discuss the record with the Candidate member (we encourage this in any case) or contact his/her immediate superior/supervisor. Once you agree that the Candidate’s work experience meets the criteria, you will be asked to sign off on his/her Record of Practical Work Experience. S/he will then submit it to us. Please note that most Provincial/Territorial Institutes or Associations (PTIAs) will allow CPL credits for sponsorship activities.
Question Bank Volunteers:
- These volunteers contribute questions to the evolving Professional Examination and must be full (certified) members of the Canadian Institute of Planners and/or an Association for at least the last seven consecutive years, and will ideally have had experience creating examinations at the college/university/professional level.
- Individuals entering by the Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) route are required to submit a portfolio and a self-assessment of their experience against the competencies, and it is the role of the PLAR assessors to review those submissions and determine if the applicant meets the PLAR criteria. PLAR assessors must be a full (certified) member of a Provincial /Territorial Institute or Association (PTIA) /RPP (or LPP, etc.) in good standing for at least 7 years.
PLAR Assessor Orientation If, after viewing the orientation for any of the above roles, you have any questions or would like to pursue these volunteer opportunities with PSB, please contact Maddy Marchildon (by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 647-317-6924 or toll-free at 1-844-202-9002).
APC Volunteer Roles
APC is looking for volunteers in the following role.
- Site Visit Team Members: Site Visit Teams (SVTs) conduct intensive accreditation visits to universities who have, or wish to have, their planning degree programs accredited. A single visit might last between two-and-a-half and four days, depending on the number of programs to be reviewed. Travel is usually involved. Ideally, you will either have experience with accreditation under the former ‘recognition’ system, or you are willing to learn. SVT members must have been full (certified) members of the a Provincial/Territorial Institute or Association (PTIA) for at least the last seven consecutive years.
SVT Member Orientation If you are interested in becoming a SVT member, or have questions about the role, please contact Maddy Marchildon (by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 647-317-6924 or toll-free at 1-844-202-9002). We deeply appreciate your interest in volunteering for PSB, and hope you find it a rewarding and enriching experience.