The National Council for Voluntary Organisations in England (NCVO) has announced it will be winding down the ‘Trusted Charity’ quality standard and reducing its involvement in the ‘Investing in Volunteers’ award.
NCVO was the driving force behind Trusted Charity – a quality mark for registered charities – and Investing in Volunteers – the UK quality standard for organisations which involves volunteers in their work.
The organisation has recently had to restructure and redesign its services in response to the significant impact of the Covid-19 crisis on its income. After making some difficult decisions NCVO has confirmed it will wind down the Trusted Charity quality standard and Trusted Charity Mark by March 2022, and step away from its involvement in the accreditation of Investing in Volunteers.
‘It’s a loss for Wales and voluntary organisations throughout the UK that these two well-regarded quality marks will no longer benefit from the full involvement of NCVO,’ said WCVA Chief Executive, Ruth Marks. ‘We know times are hard and we’ll be doing everything we can to work with NCVO to support this transition and ensure organisations in Wales can continue to use quality assurance to deliver the best possible service for their beneficiaries’.
Recent research carried out by WCVA indicates that both charities and funders agree on the importance of quality assurance for the voluntary sector.
Going forwards Investing in Volunteers will see a continued service throughout the UK (including England) supported by the three lead bodies from across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. NCVO involvement in Trusted Charity will be phased out by 2022, but WCVA and other partners are committed to exploring an alternative way of delivering quality assurance for the voluntary sector.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR INVESTING IN VOLUNTEERS?
WCVA, Volunteer Scotland and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland will be supporting a continued service for Investing in Volunteers, so that organisations throughout the UK can still access the award and continue to provide high quality experiences for volunteers.
The three nations recognise that there is a strong team of assessors that are vital to the continued delivery of the award in England.
Partners will continue with plans to launch the new Investing in Volunteers standards in March, with more information coming soon.
THE FUTURE OF TRUSTED CHARITY
WCVA has been involved with Trusted Charity (previously PQASSO) for several years as part of a long-standing partnership with NCVO. We will continue to support voluntary organisations in Wales with good governance and believe quality assurance is an important part of this.
‘We’re sad that NCVO is no longer in a position to support Trusted Charity,’ says Ruth Marks. ‘We want to make sure that all the work that the voluntary sector in Wales has put into the Trusted Charity process is not lost and are committed to championing quality assurance for the sector.
‘We will be looking at this as an opportunity to lead a conversation with the sector in Wales about their needs for support with quality assurance.’
NCVO has said it will continue to support organisations that are working towards the Trusted Charity Mark and wish to continue to do so, and will be communicating with groups this week to explain their options.
All bearers of the Trusted Charity Mark will continue to hold the mark for three years, including if it extends past 2022. NCVO and WCVA will continue to share information about the work that organisations have done to achieve the Trusted Charity Mark so this can be viewed by funders and other stakeholders.
Any organisation that may be affected by the announcement or that has questions about Trusted Charity can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trusted Charity Essentials will remain a free online tool for the foreseeable future and can work as a strong framework for all voluntary organisations.