How it Works

The accreditation journey begins when you join the Standards Community. Working at your own pace and setting your own deadlines, this is your time to prepare your organization’s application for the peer review. You will get access to self-assessment tools, resources and volunteer coaches from accredited organizations for guidance. When deemed ready, your application goes to peer review. Once you’re successfully accredited you are granted the use of the Standards Trustmark and join a growing community of trust leaders!

Each stage of the process and corresponding fees have been designed with your organization’s size and time in mind.

Become an accredited organization by following these four steps:

  1. Join the Standards Community.
    Get access to the online application, tools, resources and your community of peers. Pay a low monthly participation fee until your application is submitted to peer review.
  2. Prepare for accreditation.
    Identify and work on the areas your organization needs to fine-tune through our Gap Analysis tool. Access volunteer coaches from accredited organizations for guidance and advice as you prepare your application.
  3. Submit your application.
    Your application is screened by Program staff to ensure it is complete.
  4. Peer review.
    Your application goes to a team of volunteer peer reviewers who rigourously review each submission. Your application fee is due at this point.
  5. Accreditation.
    Once your organization is successfully accredited it is awarded use of the Trustmark. An annual licence fee is paid at this time.

Application Deadline

Prepare your application at your own pace; you pick a deadline that is reasonable for your organization to achieve. Once ready, your application will be reviewed by the next available peer review panel (2 to 3 panels a year). 

The time it takes to go from start to accreditation varies with each organization. Based on the experiences from previously accredited organizations, a timeline of six months to a year can be expected.

Compliance & Renewal

Organizations are accredited for five years. Once accredited, a licence agreement must be signed to access the Program Trustmark. An annual compliance report and licence fee must be submitted to maintain accreditation. Compliance is also monitored through investigation of complaints and annual audits of selected accredited organizations. 

As a foundation, we are increasingly mindful of the importance of good governance practices of the organizations we support. When we see that organizations are either accredited or working towards the Imagine Canada accreditation, we feel confident that they are taking governance very seriously. The rigour and credibility behind the Trustmark is an important indicator that has an impact on us as a funder. It tells us these organizations have good governance systems and processes in place to allow them to be successful and sustainable into the future.
~ Marcel Lauzière, President & CEO, Lawson Foundation

Our National Partners

  • great west life
  • Lawson Foundation
  • Muttart Foundation
  • RBC Foundation
  • Suncor
  • TD Bank
  • investors group

Learn more about our National Partners and other supporters.

Charitable Registration Number: 119218790 RR0001