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Terms of Reference
Operating Principles
Vision and Values
Meeting Minutes

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National Volunteerism Initiative Joint Table Operating Principles

1. Quorum
Given that the Table has 7 members from government and 7 from the sector, a quorum of at least 3 from each side will be required when major decisions or motions are being made. Note that it is not necessary for both government and the sector to have the same number of participants at each meeting, only that each has the minimum quorum number when any major decisions or motions are proposed. Since Table membership is non-substituted, the Table will continue its work, whether the number of members necessary for a quorum is available or not.
2. Confidentiality
Table members are expected to be open and candid in discussing items before the Table. For this reason it is important to maintain confidentiality. Table members are committed to respecting the personal privacy of Table participants and agree not to disclose personal information or views expressed by individuals during meetings. Deliberations should remain confidential until there is general agreement and consensus to make them public (see principle 3 below). To avoid prejudicing any work in progress, members should exercise caution when speaking with individuals outside the Table about ongoing Table discussions, where no consensus or agreement has been reached. Key messages will be discussed and decided upon at the end of each meeting.
3. Public Communication and Media
Regular communications about the progress of work being undertaken by the Table is a priority and should be part of the ongoing work of all joint Tables. Records of discussion, progress updates and other communications tools (questions and answers) will be regularly developed and approved by Table members for posting on web sites and communicating with the media and other interested observers. No material from the Table will be made available to people outside the Table without prior approval by the Table members.
4. Reaching Agreement
Table members will seek to reach consensus wherever possible. If for whatever reason, consensus can not be achieved, the Table Members may agree to a recommendation, through another process, such as voting or permitting dissenting reports.
5. Official Languages
All members will be encouraged to participate in the Joint Table deliberations in the official language of their choice. All products of the Tables will be produced in both languages (e.g. minutes, joint reports, media lines).

Simultaneous interpretation and bilingual materials will be provided at the first meeting of the Table and will be provided at subsequent meetings based on the needs of Table members and possible guests.

6. Accessibility
To ensure the active participation by any members who may have accessibility requirements, Table meetings or activities will be held in facilities that are barrier-free. Where required, technical aids, anthropometric equipment, attendant and other specialized services will be provided to accommodate the needs of Table members or guests with disabilities.
7. Expert Members and Invited Guests
The Table may, from time to time, require experts, academics or other voluntary sector representatives to attend meetings as presenters, advisers or observers because of their knowledge of the subject, of the sector or as part of another existing Table or consultation mechanism. Such invitations will be agreed to in advance by the Co-Chairs.


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Last Updated: 2019-11-18