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What is Investing in Volunteers?

Investing in Volunteers image cardInvesting in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK Quality Standard that helps you assess and improve the quality of your volunteer management and involvement, prove and improve the effectiveness of your work with volunteers and enhance your organisation’s reputation.

Achieving the standard shows your current, and potential, volunteers how much they are valued and gives them confidence in your ability to provide an outstanding volunteer experience. It also reassures funders of the quality of your practices.

What does the IiV standard cover?

The Investing in Volunteers (IiV) standards have been active since 1995 and were most recently updated in March 2021.

There are six quality areas that a volunteer involving organisation needs to work on to achieve the award:

  • Vision for volunteering
  • Planning for volunteers
  • Volunteer inclusion
  • Recruiting and welcoming volunteers
  • Supporting volunteers
  • Valuing and developing volunteers


The full standard can be downloaded from

Throughout the process your volunteer managers will receive professional mentoring, support and advice to help them manage and recruit volunteers, organise your policies and procedures and give them more confidence to deliver a quality volunteer experience.

What is the IiV process?

Once you have registered for IiV, it follows a straightforward process with six steps:

Step 1: Getting started
Your organisation will be offered an introductory workshop with an allocated IiV assessor who will be there to support you throughout your IiV journey. There is a library of materials and resources to inform and guide you through the process as well.

Step 2: Self-assessment
You will complete a self-assessment checklist to identify where your organisation is currently in relation to the standard, and your assessor will give you feedback on this.

Step 3: Improving practice
With your assessor you will develop an improving practice plan, highlighting what you need to do to meet the standard. You can discuss how you want to use the opportunity to improve your volunteers’ experience.

Step 4: Assessment
The assessor(s) will meet with your organisation, online, by telephone, or in person, and speak to some of your volunteers, staff, board members and trustees. They will also review some written documentation. They will provide you with a written report to document how you meet the standard.

Step 5: Achieving and celebrating the award
Once you achieve your award, you will be contacted with information about the certificate, plaque and logo and encouraged to celebrate and publicise your success. Your award is active for three years.

Step 6: Continual improvement and renewing your award
Now you’ve achieved your award, this is your opportunity to maintain the good practice you’ve achieved and continue to make improvements to your volunteer management programme, including any development areas identified in your report.

Investing in Volunteers in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Volunteer Now promotes and supports Investing in Volunteers in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Volunteer Now has a range of resources to help organisations meet the standards.  In particular, there are 6 Resource Guides based on the 6 Quality Areas that make up Investing in Volunteers.  Click here to find everything you need to meet the standard!

For more information about Investing in Volunteers and to download the standard and to get a quote visit

What is IiV Essentials?

IiV Essentials is a free online tool you can use to inform your volunteer practice and check where you currently are against the standard.  There’s no commitment to continue with the award after completing IiV Essentials.

Find out more about IiV Essentials

Investing in Volunteers achievers and case studies

The current IiV achievers in Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland are:


→  Air Ambulance NI
→  Armagh Rural Transport

→  Belfast Central Mission
→  Brain Injury Matters

→  Cedar Foundation
→  Clanrye Group Ltd

→  Easilink
→  Extern

→  Fareshare NI
→  Foyle Search & Rescue

→  Housing Rights

→  Inspire Mental Health & Disability Services

→  Lagan Valley Regional Park

→  Mindwise

→  NI Policing Board

→  RNID (Formerly Action on Hearing Loss)

→  Southern Health & Social Care Trust

→  The Cedar Foundation
→  The LINK Family & Community Centre

→  Ulster GAA
→  Ulster Wildlife

→  Victim Support NI


→  Age Action
→  Aware

→  COPE Galway

→  Gas Networks Ireland

→  St. Joseph’s Shankill
→  STEPS Engineer’s Ireland
→  Solas Project

→  Women’s Aid Ireland

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