Guide Dogs achieved the IiV Quality Standard in May 2017.
We discuss the impact of IiV on the organisation so far with Jolene Moran, Volunteering Business Partner at Guide Dogs, who led the IiV assessment process at her organisation.
Since achieving the IiV Award, Guide Dogs is continuing with building on their volunteer programme to ensure that good practice in volunteer management is embedded in the organisational culture, but also working on the recommendations for improvement including consistent standards around support and supervision, so they can make good look even better! Jolene adds “Guide Dogs are truly proud that we have achieved the Investing in Volunteers standard and we can publicly demonstrate our commitment to our dedicated team of volunteers.”
To celebrate their achievement, Guide Dogs invited Patricia Kiss, IiV Programme Manager to present the plaque to Mike Holt, Director of People & Business Services and Jolene Moran Volunteering Partner at their Local Volunteer Awards event in June during Volunteers Week.
Following their achievement in May this year, Jolene filled out the IiV post assessment questionnaire:
1. Is this a first accreditation or a renewal process?
First for Guide Dogs UK wide, although the team in Northern Ireland achieved the standard in 2014.
2. Approximately, how many months has it taken you to complete the IiV process?
Less than 12 months
3. Overall, how did you find the process?
The process was easy to follow although we did have some large pieces of work to complete
4. Would you recommend IiV to other organisations?
5. What were the main challenges, if any, for the organisation in achieving/renewing IiV?
- Changing the culture around offering volunteer expenses and a review of the expenses policy
- Changing the way in which we collated monitoring data for volunteers
- Adding volunteer management responsibility to all staff job descriptions
6. Please comment on any notable impact the IiV process has had on the following stakeholders.
- Volunteers - They feel much more valued, motivated and supported in their roles.
- Staff - They better understand their responsibility as volunteer managers and see the importance of following good practice.
- Trustees - They understand how we manage, support and use volunteers much better
- External Partners - They better recognise our commitment to volunteering
7. What have been the overall benefits of achieving/renewing the IiV accreditation?
This whole process enabled us to assess and review our entire volunteer journey, it did take time but it was time well spent. As a result, we now have a volunteer programme to be really proud of and we can be confident that we are following best practice. At Guide Dogs we feel that achieving the Investing in Volunteers standard minimises any risk for our customers and also gives us the edge in a very competitive volunteering market.
8. Please provide a quote that sums up the IiV experience for your organisation.
Success in achieving the IiV standard has had a hugely beneficial impact on the charity. It was a great learning experience for the organisation and we felt very well supported by our external mentor and assessor at every stage of the journey.
9. What tips would you give to other organisations working towards Investing in Volunteers?
1. Engage staff at all levels of the organisation to get buy in – regular communication is key!
2. Really highlight the benefits of achieving the standard to all involved.
3. Set up a cross functional working group from the beginning
4. Start early as some changes take time, especially cultural changes in a large organisation like Guide Dogs.
5. Go for it - it is really worthwhile!
10. Any other comments?
We would like to thank everyone involved at Investing in Volunteers for their help and support – everyone was so knowledgeable and professional – it really made the process so much more engaging and stress free.