Volunteer Friendly

The Volunteer Friendly Award is a quality standard designed by Volunteer Dundee to support groups to look at their volunteer management practices.


The award aims to:

  • identify what they do well
  • recognise what they would like to improve
  • develop an action plan to progress the changes
  • develop a framework for managing volunteers

The award is based on the national Investing in Volunteers Standard (IiV). It is not a replacement for the national award but is a good stepping stone for smaller organisations or those who may wish to achieve IiV in the future.

The Strands

The Volunteer Friendly Award is divided into five areas:

  • Commitment to involving volunteers (understanding why your group uses volunteers)
  • Making Volunteering Happen (allocation of adequate resources, i.e. money, management, staff time and materials)
  • Fair and Equal Volunteering (volunteer diversity, equal opportunities, fair recruitment and reference checks)
  • Volunteering Tasks and Getting Them Done (developing task descriptions, training and the support needs of individuals)
  • Celebrating Volunteers’ Contributions

The Process

There are three parts to the Volunteer Friendly Award process:

  1. Self assessment checklist – This allows organisations to work through a check-list to identify what they already do well and what they might want to develop using a RAG scale to help build an action plan.
  2. Support to develop practice – This includes access to workshops, online toolkit, sample materials, literature and peer support.
  3. Peer Assessment – Groups submit a portfolio of evidence of practice which shows how they meet the five strands of the Volunteer Friendly Award. This is assessed by a panel of peer assessors who are volunteer managers who have achieved the award for their own group. They will assess that the group meets the strands of the award and will give the group feedback on their portfolio and make recommendations for future developments.

Support for Dundee Groups

You are supported throughout the process with one-to-one meetings with the Volunteer Friendly Award worker and access to the GET Online Toolkit. We also offer monthly peer support groups to give groups who are going for the award an opportunity to network and share best practice. Each month we focus on an area relevant to the five strands of the award.

GET Online Toolkit

For each strand, Volunteer Friendly offers a checklist of best practice, supported by guidance, examples and templates available in an online toolkit. Access to the checklist and accompanying resources is given to groups and organisations who have signed up for the Volunteer Friendly Award.


Organisations who have successfully worked through the framework will undergo a peer assessment and be presented with the Volunteer Friendly Award plaque and certificate at a city-wide ceremony. The award is valid for three years after which a renewal assessment will take place.

Why do it?

The Volunteer Friendly Award can:

  • act as a measure to ensure best practice in volunteer management
  • help make organisations more attractive to potential volunteers
  • help to improve the retention of existing volunteers
  • prove to potential funders that the organisation has good volunteer management practice
  • review your existing practices against the standards of the award
  • create a framework for involving volunteers effectively for the first time

Volunteer Friendly across Scotland

Volunteer Friendly Award is now licensed to be delivered in 25 other local authority areas across Scotland. To find out more visit www.volunteerfriendly.org.uk

Sign up today!

To sign up for the Volunteer Friendly Award, or to find out more information, contact us on 01382 305705 or email volunteer@dvva.scot.