The National Standards Wrap Up

Modified on Fri, 17 Nov 2023 at 12:03 PM

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement pave the way for a more responsible, impactful, and successful VIO framework. By revisiting the key points behind each Standard, we reinforce our knowledge and refocus our efforts whilst taking action.


Leadership and Management

  • Clearly define and support leadership and management responsibilities for volunteers.
  • Communicate, ensure understanding, and implement policies and procedures for volunteers across the organisation.
  • Apply risk management processes to volunteer involvement.
  • Maintain records of volunteer involvement.
  • Create processes for managing relationships  with partner agencies involved in collaborative volunteer activities.


Commitment to Volunteer Involvement

  • Publicly declare your organisation’s dedication to involving volunteers, and promise to make a significant impact.
  • Plan and design your volunteer program to directly contribute to your organisation’s purpose, goals, and objectives.
  • Ensure that all resources are ready and available for volunteers.


Volunteer Roles

  • Design volunteer roles to play a critical role in furthering your organisation’s purpose, goals,
    and objectives. 
  • Tailor roles to fit the needs of the community, service users, and stakeholders with whom the organisation works. 
  • Define, document, and communicate roles to ensure clear expectations. 
  • Review input from both volunteers and employees to ensure ongoing alignment and effectiveness.


Recruitment and Selection

  • Attract the right volunteers based on their interests, knowledge, and skills through targeted recruitment efforts. 
  • Provide potential volunteers with detailed information on the organisation, the role, and the recruitment process. 
  • Select volunteers with relevant interests, knowledge, and skills while complying with anti-discrimination legislation. 
  • Ensure everyone’s safety by thoroughly screening volunteers for specific roles.


Support and Development

  • Prepare volunteers with an orientation process that caters to their unique roles. 
  • Know your volunteers – regularly assessing their competencies will enable you to identify
    their support and development needs. 
  • Empower your volunteers by discovering skills relevant to their roles and allocating time
    and training for growth.
  • Support your volunteers with sufficient supervision and guidance to excel in their roles and responsibilities. 
  • Execute changes in volunteer involvement fairly and consistently for a positive impact.


Workplace Safety and Wellbeing

  • Build strong relationships with your volunteers through effective communication practices. 
  • Prioritise the safety and health of your volunteers by implementing training and safety procedures to avoid potential hazards. 
  • Ensure your volunteers know how to report issues through accessible complaints and grievance procedures.


Volunteer Recognition

  • Appreciate volunteers as an essential part of your organisation: they benefit the organisation, service users, and the community. 
  • Inform volunteers of their contribution and the positive impact they make. 
  • Regularly acknowledge and praise volunteers for their individual and team efforts. 
  • Be appropriate and respectful of volunteers’ cultural values and perspectives when recognising their contributions.


Quality Management and Continuous Improvement

  • Implement policies and procedures to guide all aspects of volunteer involvement. 
  • Regularly review volunteer involvement in line with evaluation and quality management frameworks. 
  • Monitor and report on volunteer performance to governing bodies, employees, volunteers,
    and stakeholders. 
  • Provide opportunities for volunteers to give feedback on the organisation’s volunteer
    involvement and relevant areas of its work.




With a solid understanding of the key points behind each National Standard, it is time to look at the steps to implementing them.


The 10 steps to implementing the standards


Step 1. Identify the Benefits and Challenges

  1. Review the 8 National Standards.
  2. Identify the Benefits for Your Organisation.
  3. Identify the Risks for Your Organisation.
  4. Assess Your Skills and Delegate for Strengths.


Step 2. Gain Leadership Commitment

  1. Create a Presentation
  2. Get a Formal Agreement


Step 3. Build You National Standards Team

  1. Recruit Your Team
  2. Train Your Team
  3. Develop Your Team's Mission
  4. Assign Roles
  5. Train, Learn and Review


Step 4. Conduct a Gap Assessment

  1. Rate Your Current Efforts
  2. Narrow Down Which Criteria are Needed
  3. Create an Action Plan


Step 5. Develop The Project Plan

  1. Divide the Project into Tasks
  2. Estimate the Time and Costs
  3. Visualise Your Plan


Step 6. Promote and Communicate

  1. Identify Project Stakeholders
  2. Advise Project Stakeholders
  3. Promote the National Standards
  4. Gather Volunteer Feedback
  5. Analyse & Share Feedback Results
  6. Share Progress Reports


Step 7. Determine the Management System

  1. Create an Organisation Chart
  2. Review Written Job Descriptions
  3. Identify Core Processes
  4. Identify Key Tasks


Step 8. Document the Volunteer Management System

  1. Appoint a Documentation Leader.
  2. Prepare a General Volunteer Policy.
  3. Determine the Necessary Policy Statements.
  4. Draft Policy Statements for Each Activity.
  5. Identify Procedures and Work Forms.
  6. Prepare Procedure Drafts.
  7. Review Draft Procedures.
  8. Request Feedback.
  9. Distribute Finalised Procedures.


Step 9. Implement the Policies and Procedures

  1. Create a Release & Implementation Plan
  2. Circulate the Policies & Procedures
  3. Conduct Briefing Sessions
  4. Feedback & Review
  5. Team Evaluation


Step 10. Maintain the System

  1. Bring Your Project to a Close
  2. Assign a Maintenance Leader
  3. Consider Creating a Standards Maintenance Team
  4. Develop a Risk Management Plan
  5. Audit Your Management System
  6. Celebrate Your Progress




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