“What do you do for a living?” is a conversational question that working professionals frequently encounter in social and business networking. For some, the answer is easy, “I’m a lawyer” or “I’m in sales” are statements that are readily grasped. For those in Corporate Citizenship or Corporate Social Responsibility, the answer almost always requires additional dialogue. The two or three words used to describe the profession and the scope of the work are not universally understood. In fact, they are often unclear, even to colleagues working in the same company.
As the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, our members often say there is a need to improve the understanding of the work that they do within their companies and in their professional circles. While the people on the team grasp the magnitude and meaning of the work, many across their organizations do not.
Other professions encapsulate and communicate the breadth of an occupation by adopting a Body of Knowledge, and ACCP has done just that.
The Corporate Citizenship Guide: Defining the Profession is a collection of suggested knowledge and concepts that comprise the work of corporate citizenship professionals. Its function is to define the expertise of individuals and/or teams in corporate citizenship, and within a company’s overall corporate citizenship function.
Responding to feedback from our membership, ACCP’s Board of Directors charged its Education Committee to draft a Body of Knowledge in 2016. The process took over a year. ACCP’s Education Committee completed the first draft in 2017 and then convened multiple focus groups to provide feedback on the document. From there, ACCP opened a review period to allow individuals to make comments before the document was finalized and introduced at ACCP: The Conference 2018 in March. The completed Body of Knowledge now lives as The Corporate Citizenship Guide: Defining the Profession.
The Corporate Citizenship Guide: Defining the Profession is not a static document as the profession of Corporate Citizenship is growing and changing. As it changes, ACCP’s Education Committee will periodically review and revise The Guide to stay current. In addition to serving as a tool for citizenship professionals, The Guide will also inform ACCP’s decisions on content, programs and education for our members as we move forward.
Under each category are domains. Each domain contains a series of knowledge statements that make up the breadth of knowledge for that domain.
As you review the document and relate it to your team, your position, or to the overall citizenship function within your company, it is important to remember that there is likely not a sole expert in each domain. More likely you will recognize the responsibilities within each domain span various internal functions.
You will also find that different individuals within the citizenship team will have varying degrees of knowledge about each component. The Guide is relevant to your overall corporate citizenship approach and is structured to encompass individual professionals, the collective of the citizenship team, and the comprehensive potential of the citizenship function for the company.
There are multiple ways for you to use this guide – for your own assessment, to evaluate the breadth of the citizenship team or to assess the overall citizenship function within a company. Below we’ve outlined some ways we see the field using The Guide. As you discover other ways to use it, be sure to share them with us to pass along to help others get the most out of this new resource.
Professional Advancement | Careeer Planning | Elevated Reputation | Greater Opportunities
Better Training Decisions | Improved Team Performance | Gap Analysis | Improved Hiring Decisions | Superior Recruiting Outcomes
Leadership Buy-In | Increased Support | Elevated Reputation of the Department | Expanded Opportunities for Cross-Department Collaboration
If you have chosen a career in Corporate Citizenship, ACCP, the Association for Corporate Citizenship Professionals, is your Association. The work that you do is vital to both society and to your company. It is our mission to empower you to improve the world and to strengthen your companies. We can’t think of a better way to close this book then to share some pictures of our members, your peers and colleagues, doing just that.
Thank you for what you do — you make a difference every day.