Core Definitions of a Chamber

Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada


Chambers across Canada have a longstanding tradition of being the ‘voice of business’ within their communities. First and foremost these organizations represent members in their community. The Chamber’s existence is based upon the following common elements:

Above and beyond these common elements all Chambers must meet the principles of the Core Definition of a Chamber of Commerce/Board of Trade prior to submitting their applications for accreditation. These principles indicate that the chamber applying for accreditation is operating on sound principles of good management.

Core Definition of a Chamber of Commerce/Board of Trade

  1. Chamber documentation must clearly state the community, geographic or otherwise, served by the
    said chamber.
  2. Must be incorporated, either provincially or federally.
  3. Must have a paid membership.
  4. Must keep an up‐to‐date membership list/database.
  5. Must maintain membership in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and applicable provincial Chamber of Commerce.
  6. Must have a mission statement/vision statement/values statement.
  7. Must have a clearly defined code of ethics within which the chamber operates, demonstrating that
    the chamber operates under the principles of competition in a free marketplace and in a fair and
    equitable manner.
  8. Must demonstrate the existence of an official governance model that is well understood and
  9. Must have bylaws that clearly outline the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the governing
  10. Must have a board that holds regularly scheduled meetings, at a minimum quarterly.
  11. Must hold an Annual General Meeting open to all members.
  12. Must have a designated spokesperson.
  13. Must have Directors’ & Officers’ insurance.
  14. Must have, at minimum, an annual review of financial statements conducted by a qualified
    professional, e.g. by a chartered accountant (CA) or certified general accountant (CGA).
  15. Must have an annual, updated business plan for the organization.
  16. Must produce an annual report or summary of activities, which includes a list of the governing body.
  17. Must provide central contact information for communicating with the Chamber of Commerce
  18. Must demonstrate that the chamber adheres to pertinent privacy legislation and has a privacy officer
    in place to answer any questions relative to privacy issues.
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