Experience Durham Student Volunteering at Durham University decided to renew their IiV quality mark earlier this year after achieving the award in January 2016. Senior Support Officer Jackie Lowes reflects on their IiV journey and its benefits: "IiV ensures that we continue to maintain our high standards".
What have been the overall benefits of achieving the IiV accreditation?
- Increased focus on our volunteers and the quality of our volunteer offer
- An opportunity to review our procedures and support mechanisms
- Recognition of our considerable student volunteering programme and its benefits for the volunteers and community
- Recognition by community partners of our commitment to volunteering and community integration
- Reassurance for senior management that we have been audited and accredited by a professional body
How would you describe the effects of IiV on your organisation?
- Consistent and improved student volunteering programme
- Ensures that we continue to maintain our high standards
In your opinion, what is the relevance of IiV for your sector?
- Allows our student volunteering body to be part of an accredited and nationally recognised programme
- Demonstrates a commitment to improving wider student experience within the higher education sector, which has become key since the introduction of higher degree fees
Do you have any advice for other organisations on how to work towards and get the most out of the IiV award?
There can be a lot of preparatory work involved, depending on the size of the organisation, so need to plan staffing resources to accommodate this. The self–assessment tool can feel a little onerous but worth taking the time to work through to make sure that all areas are considered.
We feel that having the accreditation and recognition helped cement our already successful student volunteering programme and it is important for us to retain this recognition with our partners and potential student volunteers. It also gives us a timeframe to ensure that we have updated our policy and procedure and thoroughly evaluate our entire programme.