Volunteers have vital roles in FITT programs and initiatives – let’s celebrate them!


Group of people joining hands in the middle of a circle, denoting cooperation

Group of people joining hands in the middle of a circle, denoting cooperation

National Volunteer Week (NVW) April 24-30, 2022 celebrates the contributions of millions of volunteers across Canada and the world who devote their time to others.  

To acknowledge this NVW, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a statement asserting, 

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of communities and organizations across the country. Every year, approximately 24 million Canadians volunteer their time, energy, and experiences to improve the lives of others from coast to coast to coast.” 

For organizations like FITT, who rely on subject matter experts and committees to contribute to our programs and initiatives, we quite agree. And it is only right that we take the time to celebrate the individuals who so generously give their time. 

From governance, to helping us develop our educational content, offering skilled and objective assessment in certification and accreditation, and providing mentorship and guidance, FITT engaged more than 200 individuals in volunteer roles over the past year. 

The Prime Minister invited all Canadians to “join me in thanking our volunteers whose service and selflessness play a key role in building a better future for everyone.” 

At FITT we have a lot of people to thank. 

The team that keeps FITT going in the right direction

The FITT Board of Directors includes 17 individuals who offer continual support, feedback and leadership in many forms. Within the BoD is the Audit Committee – monitoring and ensuring our organization’s sound financial operation, the Executive Committee – supporting the board and executive decision-making, the Governance Committee – providing regular oversight of FITT’s governance and processes, and the Nominating Committee – reviewing and confirming that FITT’s Board remains representative of all stakeholders and possesses the competencies necessary for effective performance.  

All of the above requires a significant and regular commitment of time and effort, and we are incredibly grateful for the dedication of this skilled and diverse group of leaders. 

Providing knowledge and real-world experience to help us develop the highest quality training and certification

Another absolutely essential group of volunteers we need to celebrate are those who have participated in committees, review sessions, surveys and more to assist with the development and updates of FITT’s educational material 

A huge thank you goes out to the Content Advisory Panel (CAP), made up of CITPs who are all subject matter experts and exemplary international trade professionals. The individuals in the CAP all bring a minimum of ten years of practical experience and formal education in their field of practice. They are a purposely diverse group including individuals from small and large international businesses, in both the public and private sectors, as well as specialists in import and export commodities, and government trade advisors.

This incredibly knowledgeable and experienced panel represents regions across Canada and different areas of expertise, all to ensure that the content they work to develop is representative of all areas of international trade.

As of January 1, 2023, we will be operating an ISO 17024 compliant certification program, and as part of this process, we are updating the FITT International Trade Competency Framework, CITP Competency Profile and CITP Professional Examination. To do that, we are working with three groups of CITPs, and we can’t thank these members enough for their ongoing valuable time and effort. 

The CITP Exam Committee provides final validation of the FITT International Trade Competency Framework (ITCF) and CITP Competency Profile (Profile). The ITCF is a comprehensive definition outlining the entire depth and breadth of the skills and knowledge required of international trade practitioners, and the Profile – derived from the ITCF – highlights the specific competencies required by Certified International Trade Professionals.

They provide recommendation on the CITP Professional Exam parameters, review and validate exam content and complete periodic reviews of exam items and performance. In other words, they provide crucial services to ensure the quality and standards of FITT’s certification program.  

The CITP Exam Item Writers work to specifically develop and/or review new exam questions for the CITP Professional Exam, ensuring sufficient questions for each competency category being assessed.  

The International Trade Competency Framework Focus Groups were comprised of CITPs who participated in multiple sessions to provide input into the development and update of competencies required by international trade professionals. These focus groups consisted of subject matter experts of practicing international trade professionals to ensure the resulting products are reflective of current practices and performance expectations. 

Want to learn more about the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP®|FIBP®) designation? See why it’s the world’s most recognized designation for competency and credibility in global business.

A staggering 130 volunteers assisted with the above initiatives.

An important initiative, separate to the three groups above, collected feedback and input from CITPs regarding which competencies should appear on the updated CITP Competency Profile. An amazing and essential 150 CITPs contributed to this process.   

Thank you to the Certification and Accreditation Committee (CAC), a group of CITPs whose purpose/mandate is to review and confirm applications and activities that lead to the awarding and maintenance of the professional designation!

This committee has been crucial to our certification processes and we cannot thank the long-standing committee members enough for their dedication to FITT!

To ensure compliance with ISO 17024 requirements, CAC responsibilities will be transferred this fall to the Content Advisory Panel and/or the Certification Council.

Contributing to the success of the global trade community

The Global Mentorship Program Committee worked hard last year to establish and facilitate the FITT Global Mentorship Program which ran last April – October. This program brought together 12 mentors and 12 mentees to create a “launchpad for CITP success”, facilitating valuable connections within the international trade community, and creating valuable professional development opportunities.

The committee worked tirelessly to establish program eligibility guidelines, review all applications, and select the 24 total participants. Thank you all for making this pilot program such an unmitigated success! 

On top of all of the committees and initiatives already mentioned we would be remiss if we did not applaud and celebrate the many subject matter experts and CITPs who have volunteered their time for: 

Thank you to all of you who help us do what we do to support individuals and businesses in their success in global markets! 

About the author

Author: Pamela Hyatt

I am the Content Marketing Specialist for the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). You can find some of my work on TradeReady.ca. My background is in copywriting, journalism and social media. My passion lies in connecting people to the stories that are most important to them.

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