Overview of the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement

Standard 1: Leadership and management

The governing body and senior employees lead and promote a positive culture towards volunteering and implement effective management systems to support volunteer involvement.

1.1 Responsibilities for leading and managing volunteer involvement are defined and supported.
1.2 Policies and procedures applying to volunteers are communicated, understood, and implemented by all relevant staff across the organisation.
1.3 The organisation’s risk management processes are applied to the organisation’s volunteer involvement.
1.4 Volunteer involvement records are maintained.
1.5 Processes are in place to manage relationships with partner agencies in collaborative volunteer activities. (This criteria only applies to organisations working with other organisations in a collaborative activity involving volunteers and/or sharing responsibility for particular volunteers).

Standard 2: Commitment to volunteer involvement

Commitment to volunteer involvement is set out through vision, planning and resourcing, and supports the organisation’s strategic direction.

2.1 The organisation publicly declares its intent, purpose and commitment to involving volunteers.
2.2 Volunteer involvement is planned and designed to contribute directly to the organisation purpose, goals and objectives.
2.3 Resources (including time, funds, equipment and technology) are allocated for volunteer involvement.

Standard 3: Volunteer roles

Volunteers are engaged in meaningful roles which contribute to the organisation’s purpose, goals and objectives.

3.1 Volunteer roles are designed to contribute to the organisation’s purpose, goals and objectives.
3.2 Volunteer roles are appropriate for the community, service user or stakeholder groups with which the organisation works.
3.3 Volunteer roles are defined, documented and communicated.
3.4 Volunteer roles are reviewed with input from volunteers and employees.

Standard 4: Recruitment and selection

Volunteer recruitment and selection strategies are planned, consistent and meet the needs of the organisation and volunteers.

4.1 If the organisation recruits volunteers, it uses planned approaches to attract volunteers with relevant interests, knowledge, skills or attributes.
4.2 Potential volunteers are provided with relevant information about the organisation, the volunteer role and the recruitment and selection process.
4.3 Volunteers are selected based on interest, knowledge, and skills or attributes relevant to the role, and consistent with anti-discrimination legislation.
4.4 Screening processes are applied to volunteer roles that help maintain the safety and security of service users, employees, volunteers and the organisation.

Standard 5: Support and development

Volunteers understand their roles and gain the knowledge, skills and feedback needed to safely and effectively carry out their duties.

5.1 Volunteers are provided with orientation relevant to their role and responsibility.
5.2 Volunteers knowledge and skills are reviewed to identify support and development needs.
5.3 Volunteers knowledge and skill needs relevant to their roles are identified, and training and development opportunities are provided to meet these needs.
5.4 Volunteers are provided with supervision and support that enables them to undertake their roles and responsibilities.
5.5 Changes to the involvement of a volunteer are undertaken fairly and consistently.

Standard 6: Work health and safety

The health, safety and wellbeing of volunteers is protected in the workplace.

6.1 Effective working relationships with employees, and between volunteers, are facilitated by the organisation.
6.2 Processes are in place to protect the health and safety of volunteers in their capacity as volunteers.
6.3 Volunteers have access to complaints and grievance procedures.

Standard 7: Recognition

Volunteer contribution, value and impact is understood, appreciated and acknowledged.

7.1 The governing body and employees understand how volunteers benefit the organisation, service users and the community.
7.2 Volunteers are informed about how their contributions benefit the organisation, service users and the community.
7.3 The organisation regularly acknowledges contributions made by volunteers and the positive impact on the organisation, service users and the community.
7.4 Volunteer acknowledgement is appropriate to the volunteer role and respectful of cultural values and perspectives.

Standard 8: Quality management and continuous improvement

Effective volunteer involvement results from a system of good practice, review and continuous improvement.

8.1 Policies and procedures are implemented to effectively guide all aspects of volunteer involvement.
8.2 Volunteer involvement is regularly reviewed in line with the organisation’s evaluation and quality management frameworks.
8.3 The organisation’s performance with volunteer involvement is monitored and reported to the governing body, employees, volunteers and stakeholders.
8.4 Opportunities are available for volunteers to provide feedback on the organisation’s volunteer involvement and relevant areas of the organisation’s work.

More information

See the complete National Standards for Volunteer Involvement.

There are many tools to help implement the National Standards and self-assess progress including workshops, guides, workbooks and the Standards online self-assessment tool. See the Volunteering Australia website.