- Welcome to Investing in Volunteers in Wales
- What is the role of our Investing in Volunteers Adviser?
- What is expected of us as an organisation
- What can we expect from the Investing in Volunteers team?
- How do we fill out the self assessment form?
- What is the purpose of the development plan?
- How good do we have to be?
- What will I need to do for the assessment visit?
- And when it is all over?
- What support is available?
- What does it cost?
- Complaints procedure
- Assessment decisions
- Appeals process
- The Investing in Volunteers Health Check
- What is the role of Wales Council for Voluntary Action?
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) manages Investing in Volunteers in Wales. The standard, assessment and accreditation are the same for every organisation using Investing in Volunteers, wherever they are in the UK. There are some differences in the way the standard is managed in each country.
To access Investing in Volunteers through WCVA your organisation needs to be based in Wales and have its registered address and head office based here.
From April 2011, there are three options for organisations interested in Investing in Volunteers and based in Wales:
• Option 1: Downloading and using the Standard
For organisations wishing to use Investing in Volunteers as a framework and model for improving and developing their practices.
The standard can be downloaded free of charge
Download The Investing in Volunteers Standard
At any time you may choose to proceed to register formally to proceed in working toward Investing in Volunteers assessment (option 2), or to undertake a Health Check (option 3).
• Option 2: Achieving the Investing in Volunteers Award
For organisations wishing to achieve accredited status and achieve the Investing in Volunteers award.
You are required to register online, in order to gain access to all relevant parts of the website.
See the six step process for organisations to achieve Investing in Volunteers. In Wales, an advisor is assigned to work with each organisation as they prepare for assessment. See also WCVA/CVC information sheet 4.14
Option 3: The Investing in Volunteers Health Check
It may be that the Investing in Volunteers process is too much for your organisation in terms of cost and/or commitment of staff time.
The Health Check is carried out for you by a trained advisor. You will be given an outline development plan which identifies all you need to do in order to achieve the Investing in Volunteers Standard.
Organisations can choose to take things further if they wish and proceed to Investing in Volunteers Assessment.
Register online, as for Option 2, making it clear when you speak to the IIV team that you wish to undertake the Health Check option.
An Advisor will arrange to visit to carry out the Health Check
is the role of our Investing in Volunteers Adviser?
Your adviser is there to support you through the process, up to the point of assessment.
The introductory meeting is a key opportunity to talk through any concerns and questions. Together with your adviser you will evaluate how much development work is needed to reach the standard, how to go about this, and how long it might take you.
Some key areas to discuss with your Adviser:
- Are you clear about the process of Investing in Volunteers process, including the role of the Adviser and Assessor?
- Do you have access to the website, using your username and password?
- How can you ensure the support and commitment of the whole organisation?
- Are there any major gaps in practice when compared with the IIV Standard? How can you address these?
- How will you go about reviewing your practice and completing the self-assessment?
- Do you feel confident about how to fill out the self assessment, and what kind of evidence to gather?
- Have you agreed the next step, including a target date?
- Do you know how to contact you Adviser if necessary and what other sources of support are available?
- Are you clear how many days’ assessment is likely to be required, and the cost of this?
After this meeting you will keep in contact with your adviser mainly through email and by telephone. Additional visits can be made – and normally incur an extra charge.
Your adviser will offer critical feedback on your self-assessment. He/she will work with you in a supportive and collaborative way - but cannot do the work for you!He/she may help to identify any additional sources of advice and support required, for example by involving your local Volunteer Centre.
Once you have met with your adviser you are expected to keep to the target dates you have agreed, or to make contact to re-negotiate.
Failure to keep in touch with your adviser and to progress as agreed can lead to the organisation being ‘de-registered’ from Investing in Volunteers. This would not happen without warning and is usually by mutual consent.
A letter is sent, confirming the termination, which means:
- No further expectation to work with the adviser towards achieving the standard
- No further access to the password protected pages
- Removal of the right to use the slogan ‘working towards Investing in Volunteers’
- A welcome to re-register to start the process afresh, when circumstances are more favourable
You are expected to pay invoices promptly: the introductory visit cannot take place until the registration fee has been paid. The award cannot be given until the assessment fee has been paid.
You are expected to work with your adviser in an honest and open way: It is better to be ‘up front’ about any perceived weaknesses: if these remain hidden, your adviser may think that you are ready for your assessment when in fact you are not!It is better too, to be realistic when panning timescales: continual failure to meet deadlines causes frustration on both sides.
You can expect a personal and efficient service from the Investing in Volunteers team. We aim to be supportive to your organisation and to uphold the investing in Volunteer Standard with an honest integrity.
- We will discuss with you at the outset the likely assessment costs (this depends upon the number and the distribution of your volunteers at the time of assessment). Six months notice will be given to registered organisations of any price increase.
- We aim to respond to your messages by phone, email or letter within five working days.
- We will respond with feedback on your self assessment within 10 working days.
- We will give you feedback on your assessment within three days of the assessment visit. This includes the assessor’s recommendation as to whether the standard is ‘met’, ‘not met’ or ‘met with conditions’.
- We will send you a written report within 10 working days of the assessment visit.
Your self assessment form has two different functions:
a) to enable yourself and your adviser to compare your organisation’s practice with the standard and to plan relevant development activity
b) to communicate to you assessor, how your organisation achieves the Investing in Volunteers standard
it is likely that you will produce a draft for the purpose of (a) and refine it for the purpose of (b).
Use the ‘Notes’ column on the right hand side to explain what you do. This may mean stating the obvious, but remember that your assessor knows nothing about your organisation. It is better to give too much than too little information.
It is helpful to write in a positive but self-critical style. Explain how you meet the standard and any areas you are still working or plans for development.
Your adviser will also be at hand to guide you and to discuss appropriate evidence to cite.
The development plan is your action plan, arising from doing the self assessment. You adviser will discuss with you which of your identified actions it is important to complete before assessment (ie which are required in order to satisfactorily meet the standard).
The development plan, when submitted to your assessor, may include some outstanding actions which have not been completed – for example, actions which will help to strengthen your good practice but are not essential for you to meet the Investing in Volunteers Standard.
The assessor will be looking to verify that there is sufficient evidence of competence in each of the 9 indicators of the standard.All of the 46 practices of the Investing in Volunteers standard will be looked at with your adviser, and at assessment.
It may be that a few practices are not so relevant for your organisation and some may be incompletely fulfilled, for various reasons.This would not preclude a demonstration of overall competence and achievement of the standard.
Your assessor will ask you for details of your volunteers, in order that they can choose an appropriate, balanced sample to interview. For example, details of name, age, volunteer role, length of time in post are helpful and any special needs or anything that an assessor should be aware of concerning any volunteer.
Your assessor will also need details of staff and board members. An organisational chart or overview of staffing structures is helpful if you have one.
You will need to work with your assessor in arranging the timetable for the day. Your assessor may produce a draft schedule, but this may need to be adapted in the light of people’s availability for interview.
You will need to liaise with volunteers, and to pay their expenses.
You will need to arrange a room for the interview - suitable for one to one interviews or for talking to groups of up to six people.
Your assessor will be in touch to check that you are happy with the report and to discuss any issues arising.Once the lead Assessor has verified the decision, then the report and the decision can be shared with others.
The decision is subject to approval by the Quality Assurance Panel and you will be notified when this has taken place.
You will receive an ‘achievers pack’ on CD, which includes advice and information about arranging your award presentation, media releases and includes the Investing in Volunteers Logos which you will then havethe right to use.
You will be encouraged to complete and return a customer satisfaction form and a feedback form. A brief case study about your organisation will be posted on the website.
And of course it isn’t ‘all over’! You’ll be concentrating on maintaining and improving your good practice, ready for you reassessment in three years’ time!
There is much useful information on the Investing in Volunteers website which is only accessible to registered organisations, this includes:
- The Best Practice Library *
- Guidance for Organisations *
- Frequently Asked Questions Section
* Only organisations that have registered for Investing in Volunteers are able to access the online Best Practice Library and the Guidance for Organisations.
You local Volunteer Centre can offer specific advice on developing appropriate policies and procedures
Your local CVC may offer training courses in Volunteer Management. Check out the website www.coursesforcommunitiescymru.org.uk to find out what is available in your area.
Your adviser will try to sign post you to other support or training required.
The cost of achieving Investing in Volunteers in Wales depends on the nature and size of the organisation. Current costs are outlined here
- In the first instance contact your adviser regarding any issues or queries
- If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily please contact the Investing in Volunteers Manager in Wales: Fiona Liddell (e-mail:
or tel: 029 2043 1730), stating the nature of your complaint and giving the relevant facts of the situation.
- If still unresolved the matter will be referred either to the Director of Policy and Volunteering WCVA (complaints concerning staff discipline) or to the UK Quality Assurance Panel (other matters). The Director of Policy and Volunteering or the Quality Assurance Panel has the final say on the matter.
Following the assessment visit, the assessor will make one of three assessment decisions. In each case the decision will be verified by a Lead Assessor.
In the event that an organisation feels that an unfair assessment decision has been made, they may appeal:
If as an organisation you choose to undertake the Investing in Volunteers Health Check, the advisor will complete the self assessment on your behalf and to draw up an outline development plan which would meet identified gaps. The advisor’s involvement ends at this point.
Following the Health Check and after addressing the actions in your development plan, you may wish to proceed straight away to be assessed for the Investing in Volunteers Award. This can be arranged.
If more than six months has passed since you received the Health Check, an additional charge will be incurred as an advisor will need to review your readiness for assessment and ensure that the Health Check documentation is up to date.
What is the role of Wales Council for Voluntary Action?
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA is the umbrella body for the voluntary sector in Wales. It has a membership of over 1000 and has a team dedicated to the support and development of volunteering.
WCVA is a member of the UK Volunteering Forum and is host organisation for Investing in Volunteers in Wales.
For further information contact:
Nicola Nicholls. Investing in Volunteers Co-ordinator
Fiona Liddell. Investing in Volunteers Manager