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Imagine Canada

Strong Charities. Strong Communities.

Become a Volunteer Peer Reviewer with the Standards Program

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Standards Program. By volunteering with us, you would be joining over 60 peer reviewers from across the country. Our volunteer peer reviewers are central to the work we collectively undertake to assess accreditation and support strengthened organizational practices through a common set of national standards. Accreditation is achieved by demonstrating organizational practices are aligned in the areas of board governance, financial accountability and transparency, fundraising, staff management, and volunteer involvement. 

Decisions on accreditation under the Standards Program are made by volunteer peer review panels. Individual reviewers are required to complete a detailed review of several applications, and meet with the full panel to make the accreditation decisions. 

Individuals selected will join a pool of potential peer reviewers, from which reviewers will be selected for specific panels. Reviewers must be willing to meet the requirements laid out in our Expectations and Requirements policy which will be provided to those expressing interest.

Current Needs

In order to broaden our pool of reviewers, at this time we are particularly seeking reviewers that meet the following criteria:

  • French proficiency and bilingual
  • currently volunteering or working for an accredited organization
  • finance or volunteer involvement experience, and
  • experience working or volunteering with small charitable and/or nonprofit organizations

If you’re interested in becoming a peer reviewer but your background is not aligned with our current volunteer needs please check back again in future as our needs will continue to change.

Timing and Time Commitment

As a peer reviewer you will assess applications for accreditation using your professional first-hand experience working and/or volunteering in the sector. Peer Review Panel meetings are typically held three times per year:

  • Jan / Feb individual reviews for late-February in-person panel meeting
  • Jun / Jul reviews for early-August in-person panel meeting
  • Sept / Oct reviews for November in-person panel meeting

Participating reviewers will be required to:

(1) attend a training and orientation webinar prior to beginning their reviews;

(2) review 5 to 8 applications (on average, each application review takes between 3-4 hours to complete) over a period of 5-6 weeks; and,

(3) participate in a 1 or 2-day Peer Review Panel meeting (peer review meetings often take place at Imagine Canada’s offices in Toronto).

Selection Process

Peer reviewers are appointed by the Standards Council, which will base its decisions on the following criteria:

  • leadership/senior management (staff or volunteer) experience in a charity or nonprofit;
  • experience/expertise in one or more areas covered by the Standards (governance, financial accountability, fundraising, paid staff management, volunteer involvement);
  • appreciation and knowledge of the diversity of Canada’s charitable and nonprofit sector;
  • understanding of the regulatory/standards/legal environment within which charities and nonprofits operate;
  • understanding of the funding and financing environment in which charities and nonprofits operate;
  • demonstrated experience operating in a consensus decision-making process;

When selecting peer reviewers, the importance of including individuals with diverse backgrounds is recognized. Therefore the following criteria will also be taken into consideration:

  • experience with different sizes and types of organizations;
  • experience with both charities and nonprofits;
  • experience with organizations that manage their own standards/accreditation systems;
  • experience with federated organizations;
  • gender diversity; and/or
  • regional diversity

Technology Requirements

Applications for the Standards Program are submitted online and peer reviewers are required to use our online evaluation system to review and comment on the application materials. Therefore, participation as a peer reviewer requires access to a computer with an internet connection and a reasonable level of comfort with technology.

Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure

Peer reviewers are required to sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements before they are given access to applications.


This is a volunteer role. Peer reviewers will receive training and be reimbursed for eligible expenses (e.g., travel costs) according to Imagine Canada’s internal policies.

Application and Recommendation Process

Individuals interesting in joining our pool of potential peer reviewers are invited to complete the online application form.

Note that all applicants must provide a recommendation letter from the board chair or most senior staff person of a Canadian charity or nonprofit organization. Recommendation letters should include information on how long the person has known you, in what capacity they know you, and why they think you would make a good peer reviewer. Letters should be on letterhead and signed by your reference (electronic signatures are acceptable).

Applications can be submitted at any time; incoming applications will be reviewed regularly. 

For further information contact: standards@imaginecanada.ca

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