Frequently asked questions
- As an employee or volunteer of an Investing in Volunteers accredited organisation, what benefits can I expect?
- Can I advertise the fact that I am working towards Investing in Volunteers?
- How do I get started?
- How does Investing in Volunteers complement other quality programmes?
- How is Investing in Volunteers managed?
- How long will it take?
- How much will it cost to achieve Investing in Volunteers?
- Is the process very bureaucratic and paper heavy?
- What are the benefits of achieving the Investing in Volunteers Standard?
- What funding bodies might support us to do Investing in Volunteers?
- What happens after our organisation achieves Investing in Volunteers status?
- What happens if we are not ready for assessment after 12 months?
- What happens if we do not meet the standard?
- What if my organisation is multi-sited?
- What is the assessment process?
- What is Investing in Volunteers?
- What should I do if my organisation has merged with another organisation?
- Who are the assessors and how are they quality assured?
The Investing in Volunteers Standard was designed and has been proven to improve the experience of volunteers and all those who work with volunteers.
Enabling people to volunteer in a positive and supportive environment with proper management systems in place will also help with people recruitment, retention and productivity.
If you are working towards the standard but have not yet achieved it, you can communicate this to your stakeholders, as it demonstrates your commitment to excellence in volunteer management.
You can use the Investing in Volunteers logo once your organisation has achieved the standard.
You will have the opportunity to be re-assessed in three years time.
The first stage in becoming an Investing in Volunteers accredited organisation is to register your interest. This will put you in touch with the relevant agency for your country.
One of the most important issues that voluntary sector groups are currently facing is the concept of quality standards.
One of the main reasons for this is that some funding bodies are now requiring organisations to show evidence that they are working within a certain quality framework, including demonstrating best practice in the management of their volunteers.
The profile of volunteering and the support from Government is also currently very high. The Compact’s Volunteering Code of Good Practice emphasises the importance ‘...of high standards and effective management of volunteers, and that fulfilling this responsibility requires allocation of organisational resources’.
The Code also lists the main elements of good practice in volunteer management, which is reflected in the nine indicators which make up the Investing in Volunteers standard.
Some other quality frameworks include volunteer management, but none of them cover the management of volunteers in such comprehensive detail. Investing in Volunteers is the best tool to help organisations involving volunteers achieve this good practice, as well as receive recognition for it.
Investing in Volunteers is a UK-wide standard, but is managed locally by each individual country of the UK. In the Republic of Ireland the standard is offered by Volunteer Ireland in partnership with Volunteer Now.
How long will it take?
The time taken to achieve the Investing In Volunteers standard will vary from organisation to organisation depending on its size, complexity, current level of volunteer management processes embedded and so forth. It is normally recommended that the process is completed within 12 months.
The cost of Investing in Volunteers will depend on the size and complexity of your organisation and the amount of support and training required. See Investing in Volunteers in your country for information on the cost of Investing in Volunteers.
Investing in Volunteers has been designed to help your organisation manage your volunteers effectively.
It is designed to look at your organisation as a whole, and uses a mixture of paper based evidence, interviews and so forth.
An extensive portfolio is not expected but samples of evidence will be requested by the assessor including interviews of volunteers, staff, board members and volunteer co-ordinators.
What are the benefits of achieving the Investing in Volunteers Standard?
The benefits of achieving the Investing in Volunteers Standard are many. Read some of the key benefits that organisations that have achieved the Standard have told us about.
Investing in Volunteers will help embed good practice in volunteer management and thus should increase the capacity of your organisation. This should prove attractive to many different funders.
The Investing in Volunteers standard is awarded for three years, after which time organisations are invited to be reassessed.
During this three-year period your assessor will recommend how to sustain the good practice you have implemented whilst going through the Investing in Volunteers process.
We will also keep you up-to-date with information about the development of the standard.
Being awarded the Investing in Volunteers standard is an ideal opportunity to celebrate with your volunteers, and there is merchandise available to help your organisation promote the fact that they have achieved the standard.
If your assessor decides your organisation does not meet all of the nine indicators, then you will agree how and when you will be able to achieve them, and when you should be reassessed. This should ideally be within the next three months.
Additional assessment is likely to incur additional costs.
What if my organisation is multi-sited?
The Investing in Volunteering process can be tailored to meet specific requirements. Contact the relevant agency in your country for more information on how to proceed.
There are six steps to achieving Investing in Volunteers. When you have signed up, your organisation will be appointed an assessor who will facilitate a workshop for Board members, staff and volunteers to introduce the standard.
S/he will be involved in giving you feedback on your self-assessment form and samples of evidence. This will assist you in writing your Development Plan.
The Assessor will then return, when you feel you have carried out all the developments required, to interview a range of staff, Board members and volunteers and assess samples of written evidence. You will receive a verbal and then a written report. The decision of your assessor will then go to an assessment panel for a final decision.
Investing in Volunteers is the new UK quality standard for organisations which involve volunteers.
The Standard has “9 Indicators” which are based on the four areas of volunteer management:
- planning for volunteer involvement;
- recruiting volunteers;
- selecting and matching volunteers; and
- supporting and retaining volunteers.
If your organisation has merged since achieving the Investing in Volunteers Standard, then it is probable that you will have to be reassessed in order to maintain your status as an Investing in Volunteers organisation.
Assessors are chosen for their understanding of the importance of volunteering to a successful organisation and their experience of assessment. The quality of their work is overseen by the UK Volunteering Forum.
See quality assurance for more Information