Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations

Investing in Volunteers

  Investing In Volunteers            Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for volunteer management. If your organisation involves volunteers, achieving the Investing in Volunteers standard will enable it to make the best use of your valuable people resource.   The Standard comprises nine indicators of volunteer management best practice, supported by 46 practices, based on four key areas of volunteer management:

  • planning for volunteer involvement
  • recruiting volunteers
  • selecting and matching volunteers
  • supporting and retaining volunteers

Investing in Volunteers is  managed by the four development agencies of the UK Volunteering Forum: Volunteering England, Volunteer Development Scotland, Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland, and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Investing in Volunteers in Wales

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) manages Investing in Volunteers in Wales. The standards, assessment, and accreditation are the same for every organisation, wherever they are in the UK. There will be some differences in the way the standard is managed in each country.     To access Investing in Volunteers through WCVA your organisation needs to be based in Wales and have its registered address and head office based here.   There are three options for organisations interested in Investing in Volunteers in Wales.   Option 1:  Downloading and using the Standard   For organisations wishing to use Investing in Volunteers as a framework and model for improving and developing their practices. The standard can be downloaded free of charge, by clicking on the ‘IIV Standard’ document link on the welcome page of the website   At any time you may choose to proceed to register formally to proceed in working toward Investing in Volunteers assessment (option 2), or to undertake a Health Check (option 3).

Option 2:   Achieving the Investing in Volunteers Award

For organisations wishing to achieve accredited status and achieve the Investing in Volunteers award. You are required to register online, in order to gain access to all relevant parts of the website. Then follow the steps outlined below.

Step One: Getting Started.

Following online registration, you will be contacted by the IIV team who will discuss the whole process and agree with you the best way forward for your organisation.   An advisor will be appointed to work with you.   You will have access to guidance and resources to help you, on the website

Step Two: Self assessment

Using the self assessment forms, you assess your organisation’s practices against the nine indicators to see how they measure up. Your advisor will give you feed back on this and suggest areas for development.   Or Step Two: Health Check An assessor undertakes the initial assessment of what is currently in place, and what development is needed, and sets this out clearly in a report for you.   Your advisor will then assist you in talking this forward.   Step Three: Development Take the time you need to review and improve your good practice, drawing up your own development action plan as necessary. Your advisor is there for support and advice.   Gather together a portfolio of relevant evidence.

Step Four:  Assessment

When you and your advisor feel that you are ready, an assessor will be appointed. They will receive your  self assessment or Health Check report , development plan and three selected pieces of evidence and will contact you to make arrangements for the assessment visit.

This will involve interviews with a sample of volunteers, staff and trustees.

After your assessment, you will receive oral feedback from the assessor telling you whether or not you have met the Investing in Volunteers standard. A written report will follow.

Step Five:  Quality Assurance

The assessor’s report is examined and verified first by a Lead Assessor- an experienced assessor within Wales.

The recommendation is then submitted to the UK Quality Assurance Panel which meets four times a year.

The Quality Assurance Panel endorses the assessor’s decision and forwards the recommendation to the UK Volunteering Forum for approval.  The award is valid from the date of the QA  panel, for a three year period.

Step Six: Maintaining the Award

You will receive the Investing in Volunteers Award and be able to use the Investing in Volunteers logo on your letterheads and publications.   You will be notified in three years’ time when it is due for renewal.

Option 3: The Investing in Volunteers Health Check

It may be that the Investing in Volunteers process is too much for your organisation in terms of cost and/or commitment of staff time.

You may choose to undertake an Investing  in Volunteers Health Check,  and then to use this in your own way and at your own pace, without committing to working with an advisor towards achievement of the Standard.

You will have the opportunity to review how you wish to proceed, once the Health Check has been completed.

How much does it cost?

The cost of achieving Investing in Volunteers in Wales depends on the size and nature of the organisation.   The current costs are:   Registration costs:

  • voluntary organisation £250 – £350
  • statutory organisation £500 – £700

Assessment  costs:

  • voluntary organisations £500 – £900
  • statutory organisations £1800 – £2300

VAT is additional WCVA member discount applies   Organisations undertaking the Health Check only, pay the registration cost only.

How do I get started?

  1. Download the standard to see whether this is an appropriate benchmark for your organisation
  2. Discuss Investing in Volunteers within your organisation, with trustees/committee members and with staff and volunteers. Consider whether you would like to aim to achieve the Standard, or just to undertake the Health Check at this stage. Make sure  there is full support for your decision


  1. Register online and speak to a member of the IIV team


  1. An invoice for the registration fee

will be sent, and once payment is received, you will be contacted by an Investing in Volunteers Advisor/Assessor.   What support is available? Free resources:

  • The Frequently Asked Questions section of the website may contain the answers you are looking for.
  • You can also search the Managing Volunteers section of WCVA’s website , which contains model policies, information sheets and advice.
  • Your local Volunteer Centre can offer specific advice for example on  the development of appropriate policies and procedures

Others – at cost:

  • On registration, you can access the on-line Investing in Volunteers Good Practice library which contains a range of useful advice and information.
  • The Complete Volunteer Manager  – a  web based guide to everything you need to know about volunteer management – £8 for WCVA members, £12 for non-members.
  • Recruiting Volunteers – a manual of good practice – a WCVA publication £5 for WCVA members, £7.50 for others

  WCVA publications can be ordered online at , by e-mail  or from WCVA Helpdesk 0800 2888 329.   Training   Your local CVC may offer courses in Volunteer management.   Check out the website to find out what is available in your area.   Investing in Volunteers and Funding Questions   Many grant schemes, including Volunteering in Wales, GwirVol,  Millennium Volunteers,  the BIG lottery, the cost  (or a proportion) of achieving Investing in Volunteers would be considered as a relevant  part of an application concerned with improving volunteering opportunities or experience.   For organisations applying for tenders through the Engagement Gateway scheme, achieving the Investing in Volunteers Award counts as two points in the Pre Qualification Questionnaire stage.   Undertaking a Health Check would be considered evidence of attention to good practice, although no claim can be made about achieving the Investing in Volunteers Standard.   The IIV team will be pleased to hear about any experiences regarding funding. For example if you have obtained funding to achieve the award, or if the award has been recognised in some way by funding bodies.   We will continue to lobby funders in Wales for greater recognition of the Investing in Volunteers Award     For further information

Investing in Volunteers website   Tel. 029 2043 1730