Glossary

This glossary provides definitions and explanations of the terms we use throughout the Organizational Standards Initiative. You can get to this page from your right hand side Navigation menu, or by clicking on these words as they appear in the indicator questions and other text.

Accessibility

The degree to which organizations and their services can be accessed by as many diverse people as possible. Whether something is accessible can depend, for example, on service design, organizational climate and culture, physical structures. Accessibility

The degree to which organizations and their services can be accessed by as many diverse people as possible. Whether something is accessible can depend, for example, on service design, organizational climate and culture, physical structures. Accessibility is related to the concept of ‘barriers,’ which are practices, structures, attitudes, and other things that block access. See also the definition of anti-oppression.

is related to the concept of ‘barriers,’ which are practices, structures, attitudes, and other things that block access. See also the definition of anti-oppression

Used as an umbrella term that includes activities, practices, policies, ways of thinking, and initiatives that address oppression in all its forms (e.g. racism, homophobia, classism, ablism). Key to anti-oppression is an understanding that inequality and oppression exist in the world, and that all of us participate in unequal power dynamics in a variety of ways. Anti-oppression involves reflection and making choices about how to give, share, wield, or withhold power to assist and act in solidarity with people who are marginalized. Anti-oppression is sometimes used with the terms equity and accessibility: Anti-oppression is a broader term that includes a commitment to equity and accessibility. See both equity and accessibility.

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Anti-oppression

Used as an umbrella term that includes activities, practices, policies, ways of thinking, and initiatives that address oppression

The systemic mistreatment of one group of people by another group of people between whom there is an imbalance of institutional power. Mistreatment can include psychological, physical and verbal forms of abuse and subjugation; it can be subtle and need not be intentional. Examples include racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, classism, and so on.

in all its forms (e.g. racism, homophobia, classism, ablism). Key to anti-oppression

Used as an umbrella term that includes activities, practices, policies, ways of thinking, and initiatives that address oppression in all its forms (e.g. racism, homophobia, classism, ablism). Key to anti-oppression is an understanding that inequality and oppression exist in the world, and that all of us participate in unequal power dynamics in a variety of ways. Anti-oppression involves reflection and making choices about how to give, share, wield, or withhold power to assist and act in solidarity with people who are marginalized. Anti-oppression is sometimes used with the terms equity and accessibility: Anti-oppression is a broader term that includes a commitment to equity and accessibility. See both equity and accessibility.

is an understanding that inequality and oppression exist in the world, and that all of us participate in unequal power dynamics in a variety of ways. Anti-oppression involves reflection and making choices about how to give, share, wield, or withhold power to assist and act in solidarity with people who are marginalized. Anti-oppression is sometimes used with the terms equityEquity is about fairness, justice, access to equal opportunity, recognizing inequalities and taking steps to address them. It requires eliminating barriers to economic, social and political opportunities and access to services. See also anti-oppression. and accessibility

The degree to which organizations and their services can be accessed by as many diverse people as possible. Whether something is accessible can depend, for example, on service design, organizational climate and culture, physical structures. Accessibility is related to the concept of ‘barriers,’ which are practices, structures, attitudes, and other things that block access. See also the definition of anti-oppression.

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: Anti-oppression is a broader term that includes a commitment to equity and accessibility. See both equity and accessibility.

Anti‐oppression framework

A way of thinking that helps to identify and resist oppression

The systemic mistreatment of one group of people by another group of people between whom there is an imbalance of institutional power. Mistreatment can include psychological, physical and verbal forms of abuse and subjugation; it can be subtle and need not be intentional. Examples include racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, classism, and so on.

in the workplace. It involves challenging oppression in all its various forms, from its individual expressions within an organization, to its systemicRelating to the system. aspects.

[click to see more of the definition]

Anti-oppression

Used as an umbrella term that includes activities, practices, policies, ways of thinking, and initiatives that address oppression in all its forms (e.g. racism, homophobia, classism, ablism). Key to anti-oppression is an understanding that inequality and oppression exist in the world, and that all of us participate in unequal power dynamics in a variety of ways. Anti-oppression involves reflection and making choices about how to give, share, wield, or withhold power to assist and act in solidarity with people who are marginalized. Anti-oppression is sometimes used with the terms equity and accessibility: Anti-oppression is a broader term that includes a commitment to equity and accessibility. See both equity and accessibility.

policies and implementation plans are key to working within an anti-oppression framework: the policy expresses an organization’s anti-oppressive vision and intentions, and the implementation plan outlines how, practically, the policy is to be enacted and maintained. See also definition of oppression.

Best Practices

Best Practices

Best Practices / Good Practices / Promising Practices

Ways of working that are acknowledged as effective and deserving of emulation.

/ Good PracticesSee the definition for best practices. / Promising Practices

Ways of working that are acknowledged as effective and deserving of emulation.

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Ways of working that are acknowledged as effective and deserving of emulation.

Bisexual

Someone who is attracted to and/or who has loving, romantic and/or sexual relationships with both men and women. Some people avoid this term because of its implication that there are only two sexes/genders to be attracted to, reinforcing the binary gender system (of male and female). Instead, they may use terms such as ‘queer

Often used as an umbrella term encompassing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, questioning people, transgender/transsexual people, and anyone else who does not identify strictly as heterosexual or conform to gender norms. Some people identify as queer to distance themselves from the rigid categorizations of “straight” and “gay”. Originally a derogatory word, it has now been reclaimed by some people and used as a statement of empowerment. Some others, however, reject the use of this term due to perceived connotations of deviance and its tendency to gloss over and sometimes deny the differences between these groups. In the past 10-20 years this term has gained wide usage, so it tends to be mostly younger people who use this term.

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Board
Your board of directors

A group of people who are legally charged to oversee the operations of a non‐profit organization. There are a number of different types of boards, including:

Working Board: Board members attend to strategic matters in addition to working with staff to carry out the mission; usually characteristic of newly established organization or ones driven by volunteers (also known as an Operational Board or Management Board).

Membership (Representative) Board: There is a clear link between the board and the service users, with board members being clients and employers at the same time.

Policy Board: This model distinguishes between the board and Executive Director role. The Executive Director provides operational leadership in managing the organization to fulfil its mission, while the board focuses primarily on strategic matters and ensuring responsiveness to community stakeholders.

Collective Board: Board members and staff share equal responsibility in deciding upon strategic matters and carrying them out. They emphasize equality and power sharing.

Corporate or Entrepreneurial Board: There is an emphasis on innovation, with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness measures that push the organization to achieve a maximum result on its investments.

Institutional Board: When the organization is very mature, with all the systems in place to run efficiently and effectively, the Institutional Board tends to exist primarily to raise funds.

provides governanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. to your organization.
Board of Directors

A group of people who are legally charged to oversee the operations of a non‐profit organization. There are a number of different types of boards, including:

Working Board: Board members attend to strategic matters in addition to working with staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

to carry out the mission; usually characteristic of newly established organization or ones driven by volunteers (also known as an Operational Board or Management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

Board).

Membership (Representative) Board: There is a clear link between the board and the service users, with board members being clients

This term is used here to refer to the service-users that organizations work for and with and provide services to. We have chosen to use clients because of its common currency and ease of use, while acknowledging that it may unintentionally connote a particular ideology of patronage or a purely financial transactional relationships between organizations and the people they serve.

and employers at the same time.

Policy Board: This model distinguishes between the board and Executive Director role. The Executive Director provides operational leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

in managing the organization to fulfil its mission, while the board focuses primarily on strategic matters and ensuring responsiveness to community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

stakeholders.

Collective Board: Board members and staff share equal responsibility in deciding upon strategic matters and carrying them out. They emphasize equality and power sharing.

Corporate or Entrepreneurial Board: There is an emphasis on innovation, with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness measures that push the organization to achieve a maximum result on its investments.

Institutional Board: When the organization is very mature, with all the systems in place to run efficiently and effectively, the Institutional Board tends to exist primarily to raise funds.

By-laws
In a non-profit context, by-lawsIn a non-profit context, by-laws are the ruling legal documents governing an organization and its board of directors. By-laws are set by the board – they outline the board’s structure and how it works, and the purpose and structure of the organization. By-laws should also include rules about how they can be amended, and the requirements of membership in the organization, if applicable. are the ruling legal documents governing an organization and its board of directors

A group of people who are legally charged to oversee the operations of a non‐profit organization. There are a number of different types of boards, including:

Working Board: Board members attend to strategic matters in addition to working with staff to carry out the mission; usually characteristic of newly established organization or ones driven by volunteers (also known as an Operational Board or Management Board).

Membership (Representative) Board: There is a clear link between the board and the service users, with board members being clients and employers at the same time.

Policy Board: This model distinguishes between the board and Executive Director role. The Executive Director provides operational leadership in managing the organization to fulfil its mission, while the board focuses primarily on strategic matters and ensuring responsiveness to community stakeholders.

Collective Board: Board members and staff share equal responsibility in deciding upon strategic matters and carrying them out. They emphasize equality and power sharing.

Corporate or Entrepreneurial Board: There is an emphasis on innovation, with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness measures that push the organization to achieve a maximum result on its investments.

Institutional Board: When the organization is very mature, with all the systems in place to run efficiently and effectively, the Institutional Board tends to exist primarily to raise funds.

. By-laws are set by the boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. – they outline the board’s structure and how it works, and the purpose and structure of the organization. By-laws should also include rules about how they can be amended, and the requirements of membership in the organization, if applicable.
Canada‐Ontario Immigration Agreement

Canada‐Ontario Immigration Agreement

Canada‐Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA): Signed in 2005, the Canada‐Ontario Immigration Agreement is an intergovernmental agreement on settlement issues. Historic because it is Ontario’s first immigration agreement, COIA promised a $920 million investment over five years, with an expansion of federal settlement programs and better coordination with the province. For more information click here.

(COIA): Signed in 2005, the Canada‐Ontario Immigration Agreement is an intergovernmental agreement on settlement

Amongst community based immigrant and refugee serving agencies, settlement is defined as a multi‐dimensional, long‐term, dynamic process that involves a two‐way process of accommodation and adjustment between immigrants/refugees and society. Hence, settlement programs include a diverse range of services – from those focused on frontline activities that address the individual needs of immigrants and refugees to community capacity building & advocacy initiatives that address the context or conditions in which they live.

issues. Historic because it is Ontario’s first immigration agreement, COIA promised a $920 million investment over five years, with an expansion of federal settlement programs and better coordination with the province. For more information click here<.

Capacity development

‘Capacity’ is a general term we use to refer to the various abilities, skills, knowledge, attitudes, values

Values are ideals, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable. See also “principles,” which are often shaped by values.

, structures, relationships, behaviours, resources and conditions needed to carry out functions and achieve objectives. Here ‘capacity development

‘Capacity’ is a general term we use to refer to the various abilities, skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, structures, relationships, behaviours, resources and conditions needed to carry out functions and achieve objectives. Here ‘capacity development’ refers to a deliberate, coordinated process to grow, strengthen, create, adapt, or maintain the capacity of an organization or community over time. See also Organizational Capacity, Organizational Development.

’ refers to a deliberate, coordinated process to grow, strengthen, create, adapt, or maintain the capacity of an organization or community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

over time. See also Organizational CapacityA multi‐faceted concept referring broadly to an organization’s power, strength, and ability to grow, develop, and accomplish its goals. Elements of capacity can include knowledge, people and resources., Organizational Development

A process through which an organization increases its capacity to successfully pursue its mission. This can include collaboration to create organizational change, to enhance organizational health, and to improve staff satisfaction and effectiveness.

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Client-centred

A client-centred

A client-centred approach involves putting clients at the centre of the work we do and taking direction from their needs and concerns. This may include advocacy, supporting self-empowerment, and respecting the client’s autonomy, voice, self-determination, and participation in decision-making.

approach involves putting clients

This term is used here to refer to the service-users that organizations work for and with and provide services to. We have chosen to use clients because of its common currency and ease of use, while acknowledging that it may unintentionally connote a particular ideology of patronage or a purely financial transactional relationships between organizations and the people they serve.

at the centre of the work we do and taking direction from their needs and concerns. This may include advocacy, supporting self-empowerment, and respecting the client’s autonomy, voice, self-determination, and participation in decision-making.

Clients

This term is used here to refer to the service-users that organizations work for and with and provide services to. We have chosen to use clients

This term is used here to refer to the service-users that organizations work for and with and provide services to. We have chosen to use clients because of its common currency and ease of use, while acknowledging that it may unintentionally connote a particular ideology of patronage or a purely financial transactional relationships between organizations and the people they serve.

because of its common currency and ease of use, while acknowledging that it may unintentionally connote a particular ideology of patronage or a purely financial transactional relationships between organizations and the people they serve.

Coaching

In the context of supervision of staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

, coaching

In the context of supervision of staff, coaching means the provision of ongoing and regular support: directing and offering feedback to staff to set and pursue goals, developing their capacity, addressing performance issues, and ensuring staff are equipped to excel. Modeling and demonstration of behaviours and tasks can be key aspects of coaching.

means the provision of ongoing and regular support: directing and offering feedback to staff to set and pursue goals, developing their capacity, addressing performance issues, and ensuring staff are equipped to excel. Modeling and demonstration of behaviours and tasks can be key aspects of coaching.

Community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

Community-based research
Research that takes place with the community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

and involves community members throughout its design and implementation. Typically based on values

Values are ideals, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable. See also “principles,” which are often shaped by values.

of respect and recognition for community contribution and knowledge, community based research aims to benefit communities in both process and outcomes, and acknowledges the importance of community control of the research and its results.
Continuum of services
Services that are connected in a continuous, seamless way, so that newcomers

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

can move between services and/or service providers without facing any disruptions or gaps. For example, within or across agencies who share the same client groups, each client is only required to go through an “intake” process once, rather than each time s/he uses a different service or organization.
Core Competencies
A set of knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform a job.
Criminalized
Literally means to treat as a criminal. The term is used here to acknowledge that when a person is treated as a criminal it is often more relevant than what they may or may not have done that brought them in contact with the legal system. Many people are labeled as a ‘criminal’ by systems that are oppressive and unjust; that labeling is a stigmatizing process that may be more reflective of the attitude of the state towards the person than of the person’s individual attributes or actions.
Disability
While disabilityWhile disability is commonly understood as a restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity beyond the range of what is considered “normal”, disability rights activists challenge this definition. Instead, disability is a normal aspect of life. In fact, most people will experience some form of disability, either permanent or temporary, over the course of their lives. Rather than viewing the condition of the person as the source of the problem, an anti-oppression approach acknowledges that it is social discrimination and physical and institutional barriers that are the greatest challenge for those with disabilities. is commonly understood as a restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity beyond the range of what is considered “normal”, disability rights activists challenge this definition. Instead, disability is a normal aspect of life. In fact, most people will experience some form of disability, either permanent or temporary, over the course of their lives. Rather than viewing the condition of the person as the source of the problem, an anti-oppression

Used as an umbrella term that includes activities, practices, policies, ways of thinking, and initiatives that address oppression in all its forms (e.g. racism, homophobia, classism, ablism). Key to anti-oppression is an understanding that inequality and oppression exist in the world, and that all of us participate in unequal power dynamics in a variety of ways. Anti-oppression involves reflection and making choices about how to give, share, wield, or withhold power to assist and act in solidarity with people who are marginalized. Anti-oppression is sometimes used with the terms equity and accessibility: Anti-oppression is a broader term that includes a commitment to equity and accessibility. See both equity and accessibility.

approach acknowledges that it is social discrimination and physical and institutional barriers that are the greatest challenge for those with disabilities.
Equity
EquityEquity is about fairness, justice, access to equal opportunity, recognizing inequalities and taking steps to address them. It requires eliminating barriers to economic, social and political opportunities and access to services. See also anti-oppression. is about fairness, justice, access to equal opportunity, recognizing inequalities and taking steps to address them. It requires eliminating barriers to economic, social and political opportunities and access to services. See also anti-oppression

Used as an umbrella term that includes activities, practices, policies, ways of thinking, and initiatives that address oppression in all its forms (e.g. racism, homophobia, classism, ablism). Key to anti-oppression is an understanding that inequality and oppression exist in the world, and that all of us participate in unequal power dynamics in a variety of ways. Anti-oppression involves reflection and making choices about how to give, share, wield, or withhold power to assist and act in solidarity with people who are marginalized. Anti-oppression is sometimes used with the terms equity and accessibility: Anti-oppression is a broader term that includes a commitment to equity and accessibility. See both equity and accessibility.

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Fiduciary
Each boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. member has a fiduciaryEach board member has a fiduciary duty to the non-profit organization which it governs. Fiduciary duties commonly include the duties of diligence, loyalty, and obedience. Specifically, this means each board member is required to act reasonably, prudently and in good faith, educate themselves about the organization, make reasonable inquiries into the day-to-day management of the organization, consider explanations and make informed decisions, and seek advice from qualified professionals when necessary. They are also required to place the interests of the organization first, including acting honestly, in good faith and in the best interest of the organization. Board members must disclose conflicts of interests and take action to avoid perceived or real conflicts of interest. They have a duty to act within the scope of the governing documents of the organization (constitution, by-laws, policies, etc) and to ensure that committees and staff do so as well. This includes ensuring these documents are up-to-date. Board members with special skills or knowledge have a duty to use that expertise in their role and to practice the standard of care expected of their professional abilities. They also have a duty to obey all laws and statutes that apply to the organization. The fiduciary duty of the board is the same for all types of governance structures and covers all areas of board responsibility. duty to the non-profit organization which it governs. Fiduciary duties commonly include the duties of diligence, loyalty, and obedience. Specifically, this means each board member is required to act reasonably, prudently and in good faith, educate themselves about the organization, make reasonable inquiries into the day-to-day management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

of the organization, consider explanations and make informed decisions, and seek advice from qualified professionals when necessary. They are also required to place the interests of the organization first, including acting honestly, in good faith and in the best interest of the organization. Board members must disclose conflicts of interests and take action to avoid perceived or real conflicts of interest. They have a duty to act within the scope of the governing documents of the organization (constitution, by-lawsIn a non-profit context, by-laws are the ruling legal documents governing an organization and its board of directors. By-laws are set by the board – they outline the board’s structure and how it works, and the purpose and structure of the organization. By-laws should also include rules about how they can be amended, and the requirements of membership in the organization, if applicable., policies, etc) and to ensure that committees and staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

do so as well. This includes ensuring these documents are up-to-date. Board members with special skills or knowledge have a duty to use that expertise in their role and to practice the standard of care expected of their professional abilities. They also have a duty to obey all laws and statutes that apply to the organization. The fiduciary duty of the board is the same for all types of governanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. structures and covers all areas of board responsibility.
Financial controls
Financial controlsFinancial controls are policies that, if implemented by the organization's leadership and staff, will ensure that: the organization's staff and assets are safeguarded, the risk of fraud, misuse of funds and errors is minimized, financial transactions are recorded accurately and financial documents are kept safe, financial reports are reliable, the organization complies with laws and regulations, and expenses are managed in line with the organization's budget and financial goals. are policies that, if implemented by the organization's leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

and staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

, will ensure that: the organization's staff and assets are safeguarded, the risk of fraud, misuse of funds and errors is minimized, financial transactions are recorded accurately and financial documents are kept safe, financial reports are reliable, the organization complies with laws and regulations, and expenses are managed in line with the organization's budget and financial goals.
Financial statements
Written, formal records of an organization’s financial activities and status.
Fiscal
Relating to finances or financial matters.
Gay
Someone who is attracted to and/or who has loving, romantic and/or sexual relationships primarily or exclusively with members of their own sex or gender. In certain contexts, this term is used to refer only to those who identify as men. Some may also prefer the term “queer” to describe themselves.
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are the conventions, guidelines, and objectives that define accepted accounting practice. They govern how to prepare and present financial statements. When an organization is audited, GAAP is part of what provides a basis for evaluation.

(GAAP) are the conventions, guidelines, and objectives that define accepted accounting practice. They govern how to prepare and present financial statementsWritten, formal records of an organization’s financial activities and status.. When an organization is audited, GAAP is part of what provides a basis for evaluation.

Good Practices
See the definition for best practices

Best Practices / Good Practices / Promising Practices

Ways of working that are acknowledged as effective and deserving of emulation.

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Governance
Refers to the source of strategic thinking

An approach to thinking about and envisioning the future of an organization and its work. Strategic thinking involves taking a longer term, ‘big picture’ view, keeping in mind the organization’s purpose and goals.

and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

issues.
Immigrants

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

,’ ‘refugees

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

,’ and ‘newcomers

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status

Refers to immigrants and refugees who for one reason or another have less than full residence status in Canada. People living with less than full status include individuals who are refugee claimants waiting for a decision, rejected claimants, approved convention refugees who did not apply for permanent residence within 180 days, people who overstayed their visas, those who experience sponsorship breakdown while their application for permanent residence is in process, as well as people who entered Canada undetected. This is distinct from the concept of status as it is applied to aboriginal and First Nations people.

, for example.

In-Camera meeting

A closed session of the boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. – where only board members and possibly specifically chosen others may attend. Closed sessions may be needed to discuss confidential matters such as employment issues, labour relations, litigation or potential litigation affecting the organization, etc. In some instances, the ED may be asked to be excused. In cases of conflict of interest, a board member may ask (or be asked) to be excused so that no possible perception of impropriety can result. Except for the absence of an individual or several individuals there is no difference between an in camera session and an open session. There is an agenda. The same decision-making process takes place. Decisions are made and recorded in minutes. The Board has the same fiduciaryEach board member has a fiduciary duty to the non-profit organization which it governs. Fiduciary duties commonly include the duties of diligence, loyalty, and obedience. Specifically, this means each board member is required to act reasonably, prudently and in good faith, educate themselves about the organization, make reasonable inquiries into the day-to-day management of the organization, consider explanations and make informed decisions, and seek advice from qualified professionals when necessary. They are also required to place the interests of the organization first, including acting honestly, in good faith and in the best interest of the organization. Board members must disclose conflicts of interests and take action to avoid perceived or real conflicts of interest. They have a duty to act within the scope of the governing documents of the organization (constitution, by-laws, policies, etc) and to ensure that committees and staff do so as well. This includes ensuring these documents are up-to-date. Board members with special skills or knowledge have a duty to use that expertise in their role and to practice the standard of care expected of their professional abilities. They also have a duty to obey all laws and statutes that apply to the organization. The fiduciary duty of the board is the same for all types of governance structures and covers all areas of board responsibility. responsibility they have at any other time, and their liability for acting responsibly is the same.

Indicators

Evidence or measures that show that a certain condition exists or certain results have or have not been achieved. They tell you how much progress has been made toward the intended goals, objectives, outputs or outcomes. Here, indicators

Evidence or measures that show that a certain condition exists or certain results have or have not been achieved. They tell you how much progress has been made toward the intended goals, objectives, outputs or outcomes. Here, indicators are the practical and measurable markers that monitor specific aspects of a standard. Meeting certain indicators means the achievement of some level of the standard.

are the practical and measurable markers that monitor specific aspects of a standard. Meeting certain indicators means the achievement of some level of the standard.

Informal economy

Refers to economic activity that is not taxed or monitored by the government. Working in the informal economy

Refers to economic activity that is not taxed or monitored by the government. Working in the informal economy is often referred to as working ‘under the table.’

is often referred to as working ‘under the table.’

Information management system

An information management system

An information management system includes all of the technology, people, processes and practices employed for the creation and use of information.

includes all of the technology, people, processes and practices employed for the creation and use of information.

Intersex

Someone who is born with a body that is a combination of male and female elements.

Leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

’, we mean the boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization., ED and senior management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

.

Lesbian

Women who have the potential to be attracted to and/or who have loving, romantic and/or sexual relationships primarily or exclusively with other women. Some women may also use the term “gaySomeone who is attracted to and/or who has loving, romantic and/or sexual relationships primarily or exclusively with members of their own sex or gender. In certain contexts, this term is used to refer only to those who identify as men. Some may also prefer the term “queer” to describe themselves.” or “queer

Often used as an umbrella term encompassing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, questioning people, transgender/transsexual people, and anyone else who does not identify strictly as heterosexual or conform to gender norms. Some people identify as queer to distance themselves from the rigid categorizations of “straight” and “gay”. Originally a derogatory word, it has now been reclaimed by some people and used as a statement of empowerment. Some others, however, reject the use of this term due to perceived connotations of deviance and its tendency to gloss over and sometimes deny the differences between these groups. In the past 10-20 years this term has gained wide usage, so it tends to be mostly younger people who use this term.

” to describe themselves.

Less-than-full status

Refers to immigrants

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

and refugees

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

who for one reason or another have less than full residence status in Canada. People living with less than full status include individuals who are refugee claimants waiting for a decision, rejected claimants, approved convention refugees who did not apply for permanent residence within 180 days, people who overstayed their visas, those who experience sponsorship breakdown while their application for permanent residence is in process, as well as people who entered Canada undetected. This is distinct from the concept of status as it is applied to aboriginal and First Nations people.

LGBT
An acronym that stands for “lesbian, gaySomeone who is attracted to and/or who has loving, romantic and/or sexual relationships primarily or exclusively with members of their own sex or gender. In certain contexts, this term is used to refer only to those who identify as men. Some may also prefer the term “queer” to describe themselves., bisexual

Someone who is attracted to and/or who has loving, romantic and/or sexual relationships with both men and women. Some people avoid this term because of its implication that there are only two sexes/genders to be attracted to, reinforcing the binary gender system (of male and female). Instead, they may use terms such as ‘queer’.

, and transgender

This term has many definitions. It is frequently used as an umbrella term to refer to all people who deviate from their assigned gender or the binary gender system (of male and female), including intersex people, transsexuals, cross-dressers, transvestites, gender queers, drag kings, drag queens, two-spirit people, and others. Some transgendered people feel they exist not within one of the two standard gender categories, but rather somewhere between, beyond, or outside of those two genders. The term can also be applied exclusively to people who live primarily as the gender “opposite” to that which they are assigned at birth. These people may sometimes prefer the term “transsexual”. Some others may prefer not to identify as transgender or transsexual, but instead to identify as simply “men” or “women”. Transgender people may or may not want to change their bodies. Sometimes ‘transgender’ is shortened to “trans”.

/transsexual”. It is often used as an umbrella term to describe people that do not conform to heterosexual and gender norms. Some people use longer versions of this acronym – such as LGBTQ or LGBTTIQQ2S. LGBTTIQQ2S stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex

Someone who is born with a body that is a combination of male and female elements.

, queer

Often used as an umbrella term encompassing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, questioning people, transgender/transsexual people, and anyone else who does not identify strictly as heterosexual or conform to gender norms. Some people identify as queer to distance themselves from the rigid categorizations of “straight” and “gay”. Originally a derogatory word, it has now been reclaimed by some people and used as a statement of empowerment. Some others, however, reject the use of this term due to perceived connotations of deviance and its tendency to gloss over and sometimes deny the differences between these groups. In the past 10-20 years this term has gained wide usage, so it tends to be mostly younger people who use this term.

, questioning

A term used to describe someone who is exploring their sexual or gender identity. People’s identities grow and shift over a lifetime and a person may question their sexual orientation or gender identity at any point in their life. ‘Questioning’ is thus included in the umbrella term LGBTTIQQ2S to show that there is always a place for people who are questioning.

and two-spirited”. See the each of these terms for their definitions.
Listserv

Listservs are email lists through which people exchange information and engage in dialogue on specific themes or issues (e.g., the OCASI ‘Issues’ list).

Logic model

A visual representation or work plan of how your program works. It lists what you put into your program (resources), what you do (activities), and what you plan to achieve (outputs and outcomes).

Management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

Management letter

(From auditor) Contains observations and recommendations related to internal controls that were not required to be reported in the financial statement audit report.

Mission statement

A statement describes how an organization’s purpose is aligned with its vision – why the organization exists, for whom it exists, and the value that it creates. A mission statement

A statement describes how an organization’s purpose is aligned with its vision – why the organization exists, for whom it exists, and the value that it creates. A mission statement is brief and does not list specific activities.

is brief and does not list specific activities.

Newcomers

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

,’ ‘refugees

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

,’ and ‘newcomers

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status

Refers to immigrants and refugees who for one reason or another have less than full residence status in Canada. People living with less than full status include individuals who are refugee claimants waiting for a decision, rejected claimants, approved convention refugees who did not apply for permanent residence within 180 days, people who overstayed their visas, those who experience sponsorship breakdown while their application for permanent residence is in process, as well as people who entered Canada undetected. This is distinct from the concept of status as it is applied to aboriginal and First Nations people.

, for example.

Non-status

Refers to immigrants

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

and refugees

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

who for one reason or another have less than full residence status in Canada. People living with less than full status include individuals who are refugee claimants waiting for a decision, rejected claimants, approved convention refugees who did not apply for permanent residence within 180 days, people who overstayed their visas, those who experience sponsorship breakdown while their application for permanent residence is in process, as well as people who entered Canada undetected. This is distinct from the concept of status as it is applied to aboriginal and First Nations people.

Oppression

The systemicRelating to the system. mistreatment of one group of people by another group of people between whom there is an imbalance of institutional power. Mistreatment can include psychological, physical and verbal forms of abuse and subjugation; it can be subtle and need not be intentional. Examples include racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, classism, and so on.

Organizational Capacity
A multi‐faceted concept referring broadly to an organization’s power, strength, and ability to grow, develop, and accomplish its goals. Elements of capacity can include knowledge, people and resources.
Organizational Development

A process through which an organization increases its capacity to successfully pursue its mission. This can include collaboration to create organizational change, to enhance organizational health, and to improve staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

satisfaction and effectiveness.

Organizational standards

Standards

Desired and achievable levels of performance against which actual performance can be compared. Standards help to bolster public confidence, promote transparency and accountability, enhance performance and effectiveness, and help organizations achieve their mission, improve their practices, and educate board and staff about good practices.

that are mainly concerned with governanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. and management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

, as well as broad approaches to service delivery and community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

building.

Organizational Structure

Organizations can be divided into three major areas that help it to fulfill its mission: governanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues., work and management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

(Grant & Crutchfield, 2007). Governance is the source of strategic decisions that shape the organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Work refers to the implementation of activities and tasks that must get done to fulfill the organization’s mission. Management is the link between governance and work and includes the day‐to‐day direction of tasks, people, relationships, finances, and technology to get the job done. Organizational structure

Organizations can be divided into three major areas that help it to fulfill its mission: governance, work and management (Grant & Crutchfield, 2007). Governance is the source of strategic decisions that shape the organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Work refers to the implementation of activities and tasks that must get done to fulfill the organization’s mission. Management is the link between governance and work and includes the day‐to‐day direction of tasks, people, relationships, finances, and technology to get the job done. Organizational structure refers to these 3 areas and how they interact/work together to accomplish an organization’s mission.

refers to these 3 areas and how they interact/work together to accomplish an organization’s mission.

Principles

Accepted bases of action or conduct. For the Organizational Standards

Standards that are mainly concerned with governance and management, as well as broad approaches to service delivery and community building.

Initiative, our guiding principles

Accepted bases of action or conduct. For the Organizational Standards Initiative, our guiding principles provide a value‐laden foundation on which our work can be based.

provide a value‐laden foundation on which our work can be based.

Professional development

All types of facilitated learning opportunities that aim to increase a person’s skills or knowledge, leading to personal development and career advancement. Learning opportunities may include courses, workshops, coaching

In the context of supervision of staff, coaching means the provision of ongoing and regular support: directing and offering feedback to staff to set and pursue goals, developing their capacity, addressing performance issues, and ensuring staff are equipped to excel. Modeling and demonstration of behaviours and tasks can be key aspects of coaching.

, etc and may be specific to the present demands on an organization’s staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

or leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

, or may be more broadly relevant to a person’s career goals.

Professionalization

In this context, professionalization

In this context, professionalization means a process of establishing and applying standards to the settlement sector: organizational standards, service standards, and standards of training, conduct and qualification of workers.

means a process of establishing and applying standards

Desired and achievable levels of performance against which actual performance can be compared. Standards help to bolster public confidence, promote transparency and accountability, enhance performance and effectiveness, and help organizations achieve their mission, improve their practices, and educate board and staff about good practices.

to the settlement

Amongst community based immigrant and refugee serving agencies, settlement is defined as a multi‐dimensional, long‐term, dynamic process that involves a two‐way process of accommodation and adjustment between immigrants/refugees and society. Hence, settlement programs include a diverse range of services – from those focused on frontline activities that address the individual needs of immigrants and refugees to community capacity building & advocacy initiatives that address the context or conditions in which they live.

sector

Used broadly to define a group or cluster of agencies that share some commonality. Here ‘the sector’ refers to community based agencies that serve immigrants and refugees in Ontario. Other relevant sectors include the broader non‐profit sector (sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector), and the community social services sector.

: organizational standards

Standards that are mainly concerned with governance and management, as well as broad approaches to service delivery and community building.

, service standards, and standards of training, conduct and qualification of workers.

Promising Practices

Ways of working that are acknowledged as effective and deserving of emulation.

Queer

Often used as an umbrella term encompassing lesbians, gaySomeone who is attracted to and/or who has loving, romantic and/or sexual relationships primarily or exclusively with members of their own sex or gender. In certain contexts, this term is used to refer only to those who identify as men. Some may also prefer the term “queer” to describe themselves. men, bisexuals, questioning

A term used to describe someone who is exploring their sexual or gender identity. People’s identities grow and shift over a lifetime and a person may question their sexual orientation or gender identity at any point in their life. ‘Questioning’ is thus included in the umbrella term LGBTTIQQ2S to show that there is always a place for people who are questioning.

people, transgender

This term has many definitions. It is frequently used as an umbrella term to refer to all people who deviate from their assigned gender or the binary gender system (of male and female), including intersex people, transsexuals, cross-dressers, transvestites, gender queers, drag kings, drag queens, two-spirit people, and others. Some transgendered people feel they exist not within one of the two standard gender categories, but rather somewhere between, beyond, or outside of those two genders. The term can also be applied exclusively to people who live primarily as the gender “opposite” to that which they are assigned at birth. These people may sometimes prefer the term “transsexual”. Some others may prefer not to identify as transgender or transsexual, but instead to identify as simply “men” or “women”. Transgender people may or may not want to change their bodies. Sometimes ‘transgender’ is shortened to “trans”.

/transsexual

This term is typically reserved for those who want to change, or who have changed their body to be more in line with the gender they identify themselves with.

people, and anyone else who does not identify strictly as heterosexual or conform to gender norms. Some people identify as queer

Often used as an umbrella term encompassing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, questioning people, transgender/transsexual people, and anyone else who does not identify strictly as heterosexual or conform to gender norms. Some people identify as queer to distance themselves from the rigid categorizations of “straight” and “gay”. Originally a derogatory word, it has now been reclaimed by some people and used as a statement of empowerment. Some others, however, reject the use of this term due to perceived connotations of deviance and its tendency to gloss over and sometimes deny the differences between these groups. In the past 10-20 years this term has gained wide usage, so it tends to be mostly younger people who use this term.

to distance themselves from the rigid categorizations of “straight” and “gay”. Originally a derogatory word, it has now been reclaimed by some people and used as a statement of empowerment. Some others, however, reject the use of this term due to perceived connotations of deviance and its tendency to gloss over and sometimes deny the differences between these groups. In the past 10-20 years this term has gained wide usage, so it tends to be mostly younger people who use this term.

Questioning

A term used to describe someone who is exploring their sexual or gender identity. People’s identities grow and shift over a lifetime and a person may question their sexual orientation or gender identity at any point in their life. ‘Questioning

A term used to describe someone who is exploring their sexual or gender identity. People’s identities grow and shift over a lifetime and a person may question their sexual orientation or gender identity at any point in their life. ‘Questioning’ is thus included in the umbrella term LGBTTIQQ2S to show that there is always a place for people who are questioning.

’ is thus included in the umbrella term LGBTTIQQ2S to show that there is always a place for people who are questioning.

Recommended Process for Working on the Self-Assessment

There is no one right way of working on this self-assessment. Many factors will affect how you choose to go about it. Here are some suggestions based on what has worked for others.


Tell people about it.

Let your colleagues, managers, staff and board members know about the self-assessment before you begin. Let them know what you are doing and why. Let them know what to expect, and how they can be involved.

      Why?

Any organizational change process requires the engagement of the people it will involve and affect. Engage them early on, and you may minimize surprise and nervousness, address concerns, and build early buy-in -- helpful for when you ask people to act on the results later on.

Involve others in the process

Ask your managers, staff, and board members to help complete the self-assessment. Choose a few key people to work with you perhaps, or cast your net wider – we know of one small organization that involved the whole team to complete the assessment by consensus.

There are many ways you can do this – sit together as a group and work through the categories, or divide the work based on areas of expertise, for example. Share the effort in a way that makes sense for you.

       Why?

Quality responses mean more useful reports. There are likely people in your organization who have more insight into some sections of the self-assessment than you do. Use that – involving key people in responding to the indicators will improve the quality of your answers, and thus the quality of the picture OrgWise gives you of how your organization is doing.

Education and team building. Other users have found that they learned a lot from sharing opinions, and from hearing other peoples’ perspectives. You may find new insight into your organization. You may also find opportunities for educating people – board members, for example – about your organization, its strengths, and the issues you face.

Improving communication. Involving people in the self-assessment process can also be good for communication within your organization. Using the process as a time to talk and weigh in about organizational issues together can be a starting point for open dialogue about your organizational capacity strengths and challenges.

Building investment in change. This is about buy-in again – people are often quicker to mobilize to participate in change when they’ve identified the needs themselves. Everyone likes to feel that their input is valued and spurs action.

Refugees

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

,’ ‘refugees

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

,’ and ‘newcomers

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status

Refers to immigrants and refugees who for one reason or another have less than full residence status in Canada. People living with less than full status include individuals who are refugee claimants waiting for a decision, rejected claimants, approved convention refugees who did not apply for permanent residence within 180 days, people who overstayed their visas, those who experience sponsorship breakdown while their application for permanent residence is in process, as well as people who entered Canada undetected. This is distinct from the concept of status as it is applied to aboriginal and First Nations people.

, for example.

Rencontre à huis clos
Séance à huis clos du conseil d’administration, où seuls les membres du conseil et éventuellement des personnes choisies peuvent être présentes. Les séances à huis clos peuvent être nécessaires pour discuter de sujets confidentiels comme les questions relatives à l’emploi, les relations de travail, les litiges ou les litiges potentiels touchant l’organisme, etc. Dans certains cas, on demandera au directeur général de se retirer. En cas de conflit d’intérêts, un membre du conseil d’administration peut demander à se retirer (ou on le lui demandera) pour qu’il n’y ait aucune apparence possible d’irrégularité. Sauf en ce qui a trait à l’absence d’une ou de plusieurs personnes, il n’y a pas de différence entre une séance à huis clos et une séance ouverte. Il existe un ordre du jour. Il y a le même processus de prise de décisions. Les décisions sont prises et consignées au procès-verbal. Le conseil d’administration a la même responsabilité fiduciaire que durant une séance ordinaire et il a la même responsabilité.
Risk management

Risk management

Risk management involves examining a situation and 1) identifying what can go wrong, 2) identifying measures to avoid such problems, and 3) if something does go wrong, identifying steps that can be taken to lessen the negative impact. These measures may include the use of policies, procedures, and protections (such as insurance or education). Risks can be related, for example, to financial loss, workplace safety issues including abuse & physical harm or injury, property damage, or loss of reputation.

involves examining a situation and 1) identifying what can go wrong, 2) identifying measures to avoid such problems, and 3) if something does go wrong, identifying steps that can be taken to lessen the negative impact. These measures may include the use of policies, procedures, and protections (such as insurance or education). Risks can be related, for example, to financial loss, workplace safety issues including abuse & physical harm or injury, property damage, or loss of reputation.

Sector

Used broadly to define a group or cluster of agencies that share some commonality. Here ‘the sector

Used broadly to define a group or cluster of agencies that share some commonality. Here ‘the sector’ refers to community based agencies that serve immigrants and refugees in Ontario. Other relevant sectors include the broader non‐profit sector (sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector), and the community social services sector.

’ refers to community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

based agencies that serve immigrants

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

and refugees

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

in Ontario. Other relevant sectors include the broader non‐profit sector (sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector), and the community social services sector.

Settlement

Amongst community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

based immigrant and refugee serving agencies, settlement

Amongst community based immigrant and refugee serving agencies, settlement is defined as a multi‐dimensional, long‐term, dynamic process that involves a two‐way process of accommodation and adjustment between immigrants/refugees and society. Hence, settlement programs include a diverse range of services – from those focused on frontline activities that address the individual needs of immigrants and refugees to community capacity building & advocacy initiatives that address the context or conditions in which they live.

is defined as a multi‐dimensional, long‐term, dynamic process that involves a two‐way process of accommodation and adjustment between immigrants

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

/refugees

In this document, the terms ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers’ are intended to be broadly inclusive. Our varied use of ‘immigrants,’ ‘refugees,’ and ‘newcomers,’ is intended to reflect the breadth and heterogeneity of the communities served by OCASI’s membership, many of whom have been in Canada for many years and/or have less-than-full status, for example.

and society. Hence, settlement programs include a diverse range of services – from those focused on frontline activities that address the individual needs of immigrants and refugees to community capacity building & advocacy initiatives that address the context or conditions in which they live.

Staff

For our purposes, staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

Stakeholder

Here refers to a person or a group of people who have an interest in, or are affected by the organization now or in the near future.

Standards

Desired and achievable levels of performance against which actual performance can be compared. Standards

Desired and achievable levels of performance against which actual performance can be compared. Standards help to bolster public confidence, promote transparency and accountability, enhance performance and effectiveness, and help organizations achieve their mission, improve their practices, and educate board and staff about good practices.

help to bolster public confidence, promote transparency and accountability, enhance performance and effectiveness, and help organizations achieve their mission, improve their practices, and educate boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. and staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

about good practicesSee the definition for best practices..

Strategic plan

A document at the organizational level, delineating an organization’s mission, goals, and strategies for attaining these goals. A strategic plan

A document at the organizational level, delineating an organization’s mission, goals, and strategies for attaining these goals. A strategic plan typically covers a 3-5 year timeframe.

typically covers a 3-5 year timeframe.

Strategic planning

An activity carried out on a regular basis to clarify an organization’s purpose, goals, priorities, and a plan for reaching those goals and addressing the priorities.

Strategic thinking

An approach to thinking about and envisioning the future of an organization and its work. Strategic thinking

An approach to thinking about and envisioning the future of an organization and its work. Strategic thinking involves taking a longer term, ‘big picture’ view, keeping in mind the organization’s purpose and goals.

involves taking a longer term, ‘big picture’ view, keeping in mind the organization’s purpose and goals.

Succession Plan

An outline of the preparation, process, roles and responsibilities required to facilitate a smooth transition between someone leaving an organization and their replacement. Succession plans can be useful at all levels of an organization – e.g. boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. succession plan, staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

succession plans, ED succession plan.

Survivors

(Of mental health, addictions) Springing out of community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

resistance to labels of mental illness and addiction, ‘survivors

(Of mental health, addictions) Springing out of community resistance to labels of mental illness and addiction, ‘survivors’ is an alternative, self-definition highlighting survival of treatment systems and institutions, as well as the importance of rights protection, advocacy, and self-determination. Mental health advocates also use the term ‘consumers’ in reference to people who are currently using treatment systems.

’ is an alternative, self-definition highlighting survival of treatment systems and institutions, as well as the importance of rights protection, advocacy, and self-determination. Mental health advocates also use the term ‘consumers’ in reference to people who are currently using treatment systems.

Systemic
Relating to the system.
Technological infrastructure

Includes the hardware, software, skills and expertise that make up an organization’s technological system.

Terms of reference

Terms of reference

Terms of reference in this context is a written document outlining the background, purpose, structure, and responsibilities of a committee or particular project. Terms of reference provide a documented basis for making future decisions.

in this context is a written document outlining the background, purpose, structure, and responsibilities of a committee or particular project. Terms of reference provide a documented basis for making future decisions.

Transgender

This term has many definitions. It is frequently used as an umbrella term to refer to all people who deviate from their assigned gender or the binary gender system (of male and female), including intersex

Someone who is born with a body that is a combination of male and female elements.

people, transsexuals, cross-dressers, transvestites, gender queers, drag kings, drag queens, two-spirit people, and others. Some transgendered people feel they exist not within one of the two standard gender categories, but rather somewhere between, beyond, or outside of those two genders. The term can also be applied exclusively to people who live primarily as the gender “opposite” to that which they are assigned at birth. These people may sometimes prefer the term “transsexual”. Some others may prefer not to identify as transgender or transsexual, but instead to identify as simply “men” or “women”. Transgender people may or may not want to change their bodies. Sometimes ‘transgender’ is shortened to “trans”.

Transsexual

This term is typically reserved for those who want to change, or who have changed their body to be more in line with the gender they identify themselves with.

Two-Spirited

A term which some indigenous communities use to describe a person who possesses both the male and female spirit.

Values

Values

Values are ideals, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable. See also “principles,” which are often shaped by values.

are ideals, standards

Desired and achievable levels of performance against which actual performance can be compared. Standards help to bolster public confidence, promote transparency and accountability, enhance performance and effectiveness, and help organizations achieve their mission, improve their practices, and educate board and staff about good practices.

, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable. See also “principles

Accepted bases of action or conduct. For the Organizational Standards Initiative, our guiding principles provide a value‐laden foundation on which our work can be based.

,” which are often shaped by values.

Women in vulnerable situations

Means women who are in particularly precarious situations because of some aspect of their life experience. Women in vulnerable positions might include, for example, women experiencing violence or those whose immigration status depends on another person – such as live-in caregivers whose status is tied to their employer or women who have been sponsored by a spouse or family member.

Work-life balance

A range of practices designed to improve the balance between the demands of an employee’s work and personal life. (From HR Council: http://www.hrcouncil.ca/hr-toolkit/HRToolkitGlossary.cfm)