WCVA hosted a UK wide event where we formally launched the new Investing in Volunteers (IiV) standard. Read below for further information on the standard and highlights from the day.
CONTEXT- WHAT IS IIV?
Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management, it is owned by the UK Volunteering Forum and it is delivered all over the UK and Ireland.
WHO IS IT FOR?
If you are a voluntary organisation based in the UK or Ireland and you involve volunteers in your work, then this standard is for you.
If you want to assess the quality of your volunteer management and involvement, prove and improve the effectiveness of your work with volunteers, and enhance your organisation’s reputation, Investing in Volunteers provides the ideal framework.
Achieving the standard shows your volunteers – and potential volunteers – how much they are valued and gives them confidence in your ability to provide an outstanding volunteer experience.
LAUNCHING THE STANDARDS
On 24 March 2021 we officially launched the new standards at an online event, with support from a variety of organisations and stakeholders from all over the UK.
We had representation from Northern Ireland, as Denise Hayward CEO of Volunteer Now and Chair of UK Volunteering Forum opened the event, set the scene and outlined the focus of the new standards, including:
- Achieving greater flexibility and less prescription to help us encompass different organisations and types of volunteering
- Create a stronger link to the organisation’s wider activities including strategy, impact, equality, diversity and inclusion
‘WE’RE EXTREMELY PROUD OF OUR IiV ACHIEVEMENT ’
Also presenting were BulliesOut in Wales. Trustee Secretary Emma Thomas and their 9 year old volunteer Molly, talked to us about their excellent anti-bullying campaigning in Wales, their interactive workshops and e-mentoring that have a strong and positive impact on young people’s lives.
BulliesOut have been IiV awarded since 2012 and they also talked to us about the benefits IiV has had to the organisation and the volunteers’ experience.
‘We are extremely proud of our continuous IiV achievement and feel that it demonstrates our commitment to our outstanding volunteer team,’ says trustee Emma.
‘As a charity with only two part-time employees, we rely heavily on volunteers to assist with all areas of our work, and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated, passionate team of adult and youth volunteers.
‘Our ongoing work with IiV enables us to keep our policies and procedures under regular review, ensuring our volunteers have a rewarding and fulfilling volunteering experience with us.’
SHOWCASING VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
Fiona Harvey from CHAS (Children’s Hospices Across Scotland) presented their fantastic work offering full family support for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions.
CHAS is the first organisation to achieve IiV in Scotland and recently they have been successfully through their fifth renewal, trying out the new standards this time. Fiona also talked about the benefits of IiV, explaining that it helps them showcase the excellent work they do with volunteer management, working with 875 volunteers.
‘You feel that CHAS as an organisation does want volunteers, and is looking after them in the right ways,’ says CHAS volunteer Alex Malcolm.
SUPPORTED EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
Lastly, Janet Lewis Jones, Lead IiV Assessor and Consultant with Ideas to Impact consultancy, provided her invaluable insights and experiences with Investing in Volunteers.
Janet explained that working on the standard and reaching the accreditation is a supported process, as the registered organisation is being allocated to an Assessor to work with throughout the IiV journey.
Janet also summarised the 6 steps of the assessment process, and the main benefits that organisations have mentioned before:
- Create a more structured environment for volunteers and volunteer managers, enhancing volunteers’ experience
- Publicly demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to volunteering
- Develop a greater understanding of the importance of volunteers in your organisation
- Identify areas for development and innovation
- Reassuring funders that their money will be well-spent
- Minimising potential risks arising from the involvement of volunteers
- A fresh pair of eyes to give practical and reflective feedback
The event was fully booked with 300 registered participants. We are hoping to hold another UK event in the future where we will have the option to interact with the audience more.
WCVA would like to thank the audience and all presenters on the day, all partners in the UK and Ireland who have worked hard behind the scenes for this fantastic launch and for making the new Investing in Volunteers standard happen.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON IIV
To find out more about the assessment process, costs, contact information and further support available please visit our new website https://investinginvolunteers.co.uk/
In Wales you can also visit our local website and find additional resources on the TSSW Resources website.
Becky Nixon, Director of Ideas to Impact consultancy, has written an excellent blog covering the consultation process and some of the changes to the new standard.
We are looking forward to hearing from you and have you on board, so please get in touch and remember to follow us on social media for more updates on IiV; @VolWales, @WCVACymru, @VolunteerNow1, @VolScotland, @NCVO and @voluntireland.