VF Logo Hi-Res

Quality standard in volunteer management

The Volunteer Friendly Award demonstrates that an organisation or group involving volunteers has demonstrated effective volunteer management practices to support them.

What is the Volunteer Friendly Award?

The Volunteer Friendly Award is a user-friendly quality standard to support, recognise and reward groups that are good at involving volunteers.

Many essential services in Scotlandā€™s communities are enhanced by volunteers. The Scottish Government recognises that volunteering matters and itā€™s all about new experiences, feeling good and making a difference.

It has never been more important for groups to be able to show how good they are at involving and managing their volunteers. We believe regardless of a group or organisation size or set-up, they should be rewarded and recognised for the difference their volunteer programme makes.

The Volunteer Friendly Award was redeveloped in 2021 by Volunteer Scotland and the TSI Scotland Network. The standard, process and offer have been refreshed and achievable requirements set for each level of a volunteer programme. The new process allows more groups to engage with the Volunteer Friendly Award and be recognised for the work they do.


The Volunteer Friendly Award has been divided into 5 strands:

  1. Commitment to Involving Volunteers.
  2. Making Volunteering Happen.
  3. Fair and Equal Volunteering.
  4. Volunteering Tasks and Getting Them Done.
  5. Celebrating Volunteersā€™ Contributions.

There are 3 stages to the Volunteer Friendly Award:

  1. Self-assessment to identify gaps in current practice against the strands.
  2. Support to develop practices with access to an online toolkit.
  3. Submission of a portfolio of evidence for the final assessment.

What are the benefits?

Working through the Award gives groups the chance to:

  • Review and improve volunteer management practices and procedures.
  • Develop new support materials to support staff and volunteers.
  • Develop good practices to ensure the group is providing the best they can for their volunteers.
  • Show potential volunteers that the group are committed to providing volunteers with a well-managed and quality experience.
  • Ensure that commitment to involving volunteers well is understood by everyone in the group.

In addition, achieving the Award can help with funding applications. Most funders look for evidence of good practice in managing volunteers, having the Volunteer Friendly Award demonstrates that the group's practices have been examined and found to be of a high standard.

What kind of impact does it make?

Since achieving the award groups have stated that they have seen some or all of the following:

  • Increase in the number of volunteers recruited
  • Development of additional volunteering roles
  • Increase in the number of support meetings with volunteers
  • Allocation of additional resources for volunteers
  • Increase in knowledge of volunteer management
  • Increase in ability to recruit and support volunteers
  • More recognition for their volunteers' time and contribution

How long does it take?

Every group progresses through the award at a different pace. It can take three months for some groups to complete, while others may require more time. The duration depends on how developed your volunteer involvement is at the beginning and what areas you need to improve.

The award is valid for 3 years, after which your group will need to submit a renewal application to demonstrate how you have continued to meet the award's requirements.

Get started!

Organisations and groups can contact Charly, our team's champion on the Volunteer Friendly Award.