The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement

The National Standards – Aims and Principles
The National Standards have been developed in consultation with the volunteering sector to support the involvement of 
volunteers and act as a resource for organisations in which volunteers are involved.  They provide a framework for organisations to consider the role of volunteers within the organisation and the impact effective volunteer involvement can have on achieving the strategic goals and aims of the organisation.
The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement are managed by Volunteering Australia and provide a framework for supporting the volunteer sector in Australia. They provide good practice guidelines for organisations to attract, management and retain volunteers, and help improve the volunteer experience.
They cover:
  1. Leadership and management
  2. Commitment to volunteer involvement
  3. Volunteer roles
  4. Recruitment and selection
  5. Support and development
  6. Workplace safety and wellbeing
  7. Volunteer recognition
  8. Quality management and continuous improvement
Following the standards will ensure that volunteer rights are protected, that their role is clear and that they work in a safe and healthy environment. Many organisations use the National Standards as the basis for their Code of practice.
Not for profit organisations can use the National Standards in a number of ways:
  • As a general guide to good practice;
  • As an audit tool that provides a picture of how well the organisation is performing against best practice for volunteer involvement;
  • As a guideline or checklist to help identify opportunities for making improvements;
  • As a framework of reference to assist in planning and establishing a new volunteer service;
  • As a baseline from which progress in making improvements can be monitored and measured;
  • As a way of gaining formal recognition for good practice from Volunteering Australia by meeting the National Standards.
Volunteering Australia is the national peak body for volunteering, working to advance volunteering in the community. Engaging Volunteers is an online tool that organisations can use to implement the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement; a self-assessment tool for best practice volunteer involvement.
Not-for-profit Law has produced a National Volunteer Guide for use by volunteer involving organisations across Australia. It provides an overview of the key legal obligations organisations owe volunteers and provides practical examples, template documents and tips to assist in their understanding. 
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