Q:  Do volunteer pay anyhting?

A: We do not ask for any form of payment. Candidates accepted into our program are provided with a $45 training course at no cost. We encourage our volunteer candidates to donate what they can to offset our administration, training, and screening costs.

Q: I have been trained by another recognized Call Centre.

A: If you have already been trained by another recognized not-for-profit call centre, we would be more than happy to accept their training. However, we would still ask you to take our training and to comply with all other requirements outlined in our Application Process.

Q: Would this volunteer position ever turn into employment in the future?

A: No, this is a volunteer position only and as such, we do not offer an employment or paid option. There might be other organizations that might take your experience with us as experience to be get paid with them, but not with us. This is a volunteer opportunity only.

Q: What are the volunteer shifts?

A: Our Free Chat operates 7 days a week, 16 hours a day, 365 days of the year. A typical shift is 4 hours. We currently have four shifts:

  • 8am to 12pm
  • 12pm to 4pm
  • 4pm to 8pm
  • 8pm to 12pm

Q: What training is involved?

A: All accepted applicants to our program are expected to successfully complete the 12 hours of training courses, quizzes, and screening outlined on our Core Competencies page.

Q: Do we need to travel for training or work?

A: No, all training is completed online through e-learning and at your own pace. Work is also completed in a private and confidential space in your home.

Q: What kind of support do clients get from volunteers?

A: Volunteers provide Emotional Support to clients via our chat platform. Volunteers are not here to tell clients what to do or to provide therapy of any kind. Volunteers do not solve the problem, volunteers listen to clients and help them find their own solutions to whatever problem the client might have.

Q: What kind of topics are volunteers trained to support?

A: Almost any topic. Since volunteers are here to provide Emotional Support only, and not to solve clients’ problems, the Certified Listeners Society concentrates on the following 24 categories, covering almost any aspect of daily life.

  • addiction
  • LGBTQ+

Q: What is the volunteer commitment to the organization?

A: One 4 hours shift per week following successful completion of training to accumulate 50 hours of volunteering time. This is one ~ 4-hour shift for 12 weeks.

Q: Where is the online emotional support chat provided?

A: All shifts are to be completed in your home. It is required to be a confidential space for the privacy of those in distress. You must also have a secure internet connection and a computer and/or phone.

Q: What makes a good Certified Listener?

A: Comprehensive training and supervision are provided to ensure the quality and consistency of the support our volunteers offer. Attributes already possessed by volunteers that are beneficial to this line of work are the ability to stay calm and focused in busy and stressful situations and excellent written communication skills. The ability to convey compassion and empathy using words through a chat platform is also vital.

Q: Do you have a policy on diversity?

A: Certified Listeners Society is an organization that is founded on the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. We support the Ontario Human Rights Code, and as such are opposed to discrimination of any kind including but not limited to: age, ancestry, citizenship, colour, creed, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, place/country of origin, race, receipt of public assistance, sex/gender or sexual orientation. Applicants are considered for volunteer positions solely based on skills, aptitude, and relevant qualifications for the tasks to be completed. Should you have a disability or require any form of assistance, we encourage you to identify what support you might need – we want our volunteers to be reflective of the whole community. Volunteers from a range of backgrounds and circumstances will help us reach more people and serve them better.

NOTE: Vulnerable Sector involvement or a criminal record will not necessarily prevent a volunteer from a role at the Certified Listeners Society. Decisions will be made on an individual basis. All information collected will remain confidential.

Q: I’ve been a caller and/or have mental health issues. Can I volunteer?

A: You are able to volunteer if you have used ours or other similar services in the past. You can also volunteer if you have experienced mental health problems in the past or at present. We acknowledge that your personal experience may give you the understanding needed to support others. However, it is important that you are self-aware and in the right place in your life to help others. When you apply to become a volunteer at Certified Listeners Society we will not specifically ask if you have used our or similar services or about any mental health diagnoses you may have had. We will ask you why you want to volunteer, about any time when you have been distressed or down, and to think about how this affected you and what you did to cope. We will ask you to think about how past experiences could impact your support for others.

Q: I actually need a placement for my course. Can I do this at CLS?

A: We offer placement to students of approved post-secondary institutions in Canada. We only accept placement applications for students referred by the college or university. If you have more questions about placement, please email us at placement@certifiedlisteners.org

If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us here