“I’m a volunteer (or thinking of volunteering). So why should I be interested in SVA?”
The Supporting Volunteers Award (SVA) accreditation is awarded to those organisations that host volunteers and can demonstrate a significant level of competence in the way they manage those volunteers.
So if you see an organisation that says it has SVA then you can be sure that they’ve been through VANEL’s SVA accreditation process and have met the standards we set. When you turn up you’ll know you are going to an organisation that has met basic standards.
You can see which organisations have SVA here. Check if the organisation you are with or thinking of volunteering with has SVA or not.
Of course, SVA is relatively new. So although we’re proud that lots of organisations have SVA and can demonstrate this to you, there are of course many others who are just as good at looking after volunteers (like you) but may not even know about our SVA scheme.
You could always have a word with the Volunteer Manager (or your point of contact) at your organisation and tell them about SVA and ask why they don’t have it and whether they have something similar?
SVA level 1 vs level 2
At level 1 we ask organisations to self-certify their approach to volunteer management and we do some checking over their processes. Normally this is enough to demonstrate that they will provide you with a professional and competent level of support when you start with them to offer your services.
At level 2 we go a lot more in-depth with the organisation including meeting with existing volunteers and exploring the organisation’s whole approach to volunteering. You should have an excellent volunteering experience with these organisations.
At this stage don’t shy away from organisations that don’t have SVA. As said, it’s new and not always on the agenda for an organisation. You can get your own feel for the organisation and whether it’s the right fit for you and your volunteering. But of course, mention SVA to them – it might be something they can easily achieve!