The IiV process can be divided into a six steps, which are outlined below.
Step One: Getting Started
Once you have registered your organisation for IiV, you will be assigned a quality approved Advisor who will contact you to arrange an introductory workshop for your staff, Board and volunteers at your premises. This advisor will remain with you until you are ready for the assessment. At that point you will be assigned an Independent Assessor who will be responsible for assessing your organisation. The Advisor and Assessor will provide you with the following:
- An Introductory workshop
- Feedback on your self-assessment
- Feedback on your development plan
- Final assessment visit - interviews with staff and volunteers
- A final written report
Provided an organisation has taken the necessary preparatory steps, the process from registration to final assessment should take no more than 12 months.
In order to receive a cost estimate, organisations must register their interest providing all the necessary background information to assist us in determining the number of days and cost involved.
Please note that registering your interest is in no way binding. The process will only start formally once an organisation has agreed costs, contracts have been processed and the first payment has been received.
Step Two: Self Assessment
How do we fill out the self-assessment form?
Your self-assessment form has two different functions:
a) To enable you and your Advisor to compare your organisation’s practice with the standard and to plan relevant development activity
b) To communicate to your Assessor, how your organisation meets the Investing in Volunteers standard
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, rather than too little information.
It is helpful to write in a positive but self-critical style. Explain where and how you meet each standard and any areas you are still working on, or plans for development.
Your Advisor will be able to guide you and discuss appropriate evidence to cite on the self-assessment form.
Step Three: Development
What is the purpose of the development plan?
The development plan is your action plan, based on your own self-assessment. Your Advisor will discuss with you which of your identified actions are important to complete before assessment (i.e. which are required in order to satisfactorily meet the standard).
The development plan, when submitted finally to your Assessor, may include some outstanding actions, which have not been completed – for example, actions that will help to strengthen your good practice but are not essential for you to meet the Investing in Volunteers Standard.
How good do we have to be?
The Assessor will be looking to verify that there is sufficient evidence of competence in each of the nine indicators of the standard. Both your Advisor and Assessor will look at all 46 practices of the Investing in Volunteers Standard.
It may be that a few practices are not 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.
Step Four: Assessment Visit
What will I need to do for the assessment visit?
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 age, volunteer role, length of time in post for each volunteer, and any special needs or anything else 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 assessment timetable for the day/s. 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 we would recommend paying for their expenses for engagement with the process.
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.
Step Five: Local and National Quality Assurance
Your Assessor will be in touch to check that you are happy with the report and to discuss any issues arising. They will then send on the report and recommendation to the Country’s Lead Assessor. Once the Lead Assessor has verified the decision, it is then subject to approval by the Quality Assurance Panel.
Step Six Achievement of Award
And when it is all over?
Once the Quality Assurance Panel has verified the decision, you will be notified and at that point the decision can be shared with others.
You will receive an ‘achievers pack’, which includes advice and information about arranging your award presentation, a sample media release and includes the Investing in Volunteers logos which you will then have the right to use.
You will be encouraged to complete a feedback form online. A brief case study about your organisation will be posted on the IiV website.
And of course it isn’t ‘all over’! You’ll be continuing to maintain and improve your good practice, ready for re-assessment in three years’ time!