Celebrating good practice as a new IiV assessor

5 May 2015

Last Autumn I completed the training to be an Assessor for Investing in Volunteers (IiV).

Jessica Lghtfoot SQ

I hadn’t come across IiV before, despite working in volunteer management for the last six years, but since starting my job at Volunteer Scotland I’ve learned that IiV is a great way for organisations to develop their volunteer management practice, celebrate volunteering within their organisation, and to really highlight the role and impact of volunteering for the organisation, its beneficiaries and volunteers themselves.

So far, I’ve assessed three organisations – all of which have achieved the award – and being an IiV Assessor has become a part of my job that I really enjoy. It’s a chance to get out and meet people in local voluntary organisations, to get to know the organisation through the eyes of the people who volunteer there, and to hear incredible stories of how volunteering is changing lives across Scotland.

It’s great to share positive feedback when organisations have excellent volunteer management practices in place and also feels productive to share ideas for how organisations could do things differently; volunteer managers put a lot of time and effort into preparing for the IiV assessment and are keen to know how they can improve to best support volunteers. I’ve also seen some fantastic new ways of managing volunteers, particularly using new technology, and so will keep those ideas in mind when I advise other organisations about how to develop their volunteer management practice.

Working with an organisation through IiV starts with a workshop to provide information about the standard and the assessment process. We support organisations through a self-assessment to identify areas for improvement, give time for practices to be developed, before finally interviewing volunteers, staff and board members to conduct the assessment.

The Assessor writes a detailed report outlining how the organisation meets each of the nine IiV indicators, which is submitted to the UK quality assurance panel to confirm whether or not the organisation has achieved the award. It’s a thorough and robust process which ensures we recognise organisations that meet the standard.

One of the most important things for me is feeling that I’ve included as much information and evidence in the report as possible, to highlight good practice particularly when the organisation is doing a great job of managing volunteers!

I’m currently starting the assessment process with two more organisations, one in Stirling and one in Edinburgh. I’m looking forward to meeting the volunteers and learning about their experiences, and hoping to celebrate the achievement of the award with both organisations later this year.

To find out more about IiV and how your organisation can work towards achieving the award, please read more on the Volunteer Scotland website or contact us on 01786 479 593 or hello@volunteerscotland.org.uk to find out more.

- Written by Jessica Lightfoot



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