CIPD NVQ 4 & 5 for those managing volunteers
Each candidate had to demonstrate competence in 12 NVQ Units of which some were mandatory and some optional. All Assessors and Advisors had experience in this field and all discussions focused on volunteer management.
How the programme was delivered:
As is an 'assessed' programme rather than a 'taught' course. Each candidate had an allocated 'Assessor' and an allocated 'Adviser'. Over the period of 9-12 months the candidate met with their Advisor every six weeks or so (for approx. two hours). The meetings would take place in the candidate's workplace. The 'Assessor' identified development areas and helped the candidate to develop their working practices to meet the relevant NVQ standards. The candidate would also contact their Advisor via email and/or telephone for additional support.
There was no requirement for candidates to submit assignments or sit examinations.
Who it was suitable for:
- This programme was suitable for those responsible for delivery of volunteering programmes and seeking formal recognition of their experience with a professional body.
- Both paid staff and volunteers with responsibility for managing volunteering programmes.
- Candidates following the NVQ4 programme needed to be responsible for managing volunteering programmes.
- Candidates following the NVQ5 programme needed to have input into the organisation's volunteer management strategy.
All work wass assessed by Attend Academy CIPD-accredited assessors. The CIPD also approved completed candidate files.
The induction to the programme was incorporated into the first meeting.
Is this programme relevant for managing volunteers?
The programme matched my job in so many ways that it allowed me the luxury of being able to pick and then change which modules I wished to undertake.
Very useful in providing the focus for a review of our volunteer management strategy.
Extremely relevant in managing volunteers – it tied in exactly with what I was doing.
Is the support offered enough?
Excellent support was given by my assessor. She explained exactly what the process would be, what I was required to do and put action plans together for the following meeting.
Support was excellent – I was allowed to carry on without pressure at my own pace which was important at the time.
I had a very good relationship with my assessor.
What about the assessment methods?
I was using evidence that had already been generated
Allowed me to collect evidence as I was working, so minimal disruption, and to express in my own words without the need for lengthy essays.
The methods to get through the content of the programme quickly and concisely worked brilliantly.
My assessor translated the standards so that I could highlight our volunteer equivalent.
There were clear explanations about what was expected of me during the assessment process and I was able to plan this into my work load.
Did I learn anything?
Before I was acting on instinct but I now have also developed a logical way of doing things.
My assessor would ask the right questions and trigger off my thoughts, at times digging deep into the various topics.
The programme consolidated the knowledge I had already gained, and allowed me to review & tweak volunteer management practices.
Being mentored by some who was not only experienced in the field of volunteer management, but who was also an HR professional has led to closer working ties with that department.
All in all?
I can say that I have enjoyed taking time out from my busy job to reflect and consolidate on skills and knowledge. I would recommend it to others who do a similar role as myself.
My colleague at another hospital also looked over the course and said she wished she had been allowed the opportunity to do it as she felt it led to a deeper understanding of the role.
I really enjoyed the experience and would recommend this style of learning to anyone within the sector who may be seeking a higher level qualification.
It helped to raise the profile of the work of the Voluntary Service team and show that volunteers are being managed professionally.