Volunteering SANT

VSA&NT will be closed from Tuesday 19 December 2023 and will re-open on Tuesday 2 January 2024

National Standards

If you co-ordinate or manage volunteers, or have management or governance responsibility in a volunteer involving organisation, the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (‘National Standards’) can be a very useful tool.

The standards provide good practice guidance and set benchmarks to help organisations attract, manage, recognise and retain volunteers, as well as reducing risks and upholding health and safety in their work with volunteers. 

The National Standards are adaptable to suit a diverse range of organisations and the many different forms of volunteering. They have been designed to help organisations to:

  • Understand the value and benefits of volunteer involvement
  • Develop effective volunteer involvement strategies and practices
  • Involve volunteers in meaningful and useful activities that contribute to the outcomes of the organisation’s work
  • Ensure the rights of volunteers are protected and that they are supported to carry out their roles and responsibilities

The National Standards focus on 8 areas:

  1. Leadership and Management
  2. Commitment to Volunteer Involvement
  3. Volunteer Roles
  4. Recruitment and Selection
  5. Support and Development
  6. Workplace Safety and Wellbeing
  7. Volunteer Recognition 
  8. Quality Management & Continuous Improvement

The different ways you can use the National Standards:

  • As a general guide to good practice
  • An audit tool that provides a picture of how well the organisation is performing in their volunteer involvement
  • A guideline or checklist to help identify opportunities for making improvements
  • A framework of reference to assist in planning and establishing a new volunteer service
  • A baseline from which progress in making improvements can be monitored and measured

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement are available here for free download.

National Standards for Volunteer Involvement Refresh Project

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement are being refreshed to ensure they reflect the contemporary environment and continue to support the volunteering ecosystem. The Project is being led by Volunteering Australia with the support of Volunteering SA&NT.

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement Refresh has involved consultation with the volunteering ecosystem and is drawing on the extensive engagement undertaken during the development of the new National Strategy for Volunteering.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.

The refresh of the National Standards involves two phases:

1. Development of refreshed National Standards.

2. Development of resources to support implementation of the refreshed National Standards. 

The National Standards Refresh will be completed later in 2023. The current National Standards should continue to be used until the refresh program is completed.

The refreshed National Standards will build on the new National Strategy for Volunteering to support a vision for inclusive, sage, and sustainable volunteering in Australia.

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement Refresh Project is being funded via the Australian Government’s Volunteer Management Activity.

NOTE: The National Standards are the intellectual property of Volunteering Australia. They are recognised within Australia as the best practice framework for volunteer involvement. As the owners of the National Standards, Volunteering Australia has endorsed its Foundation Members, the State and Territory Peak Bodies for Volunteering, as being the sole organisations authorised to deliver training and develop resources on the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement. Any unauthorised use of the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement is strictly prohibited. 


We’re playing our part to raise the standards

As a peak body, we have a role to play in helping improve standards of excellence in volunteer management.  We do this by conducting learning and development sessions and state volunteering networks, providing volunteer management advice and support, and by providing information and resources. 

If you would like to be involved in a networking group, please contact us below, or click here to learn more about learning and development.

We can answer queries on policies and procedures

Good practice in policies and procedures can effectively guide all aspects of volunteer involvement, protecting volunteers and the organisation itself. 

To find out more about how we can help your organisation contact reception@vsant.org.au

Helpful online resources right at your fingertips

The Volunteering Resource Hub

This initiative of Volunteering Australia brings together useful, evidence-based and current best practice resources, tools, research and information to support effective volunteer management. It’s mapped against the National Standards and includes examples of policies and procedures that organisations can adapt to their own needs. Read more

National Standards Guide and Workbook

The National Standards Guide and Workbook provides step-by-step instructions and resources for implementing the National Standards in your organisation. Used in conjunction with the National Standards, the Guide and Workbook will help you to identify the strengths and areas of improvements in your volunteer engagement.

The guide and workbook is available for $30.25, for VSA&NT members, and $36.30, for non-members. Click here to order your copy of the National Standards Guide and Workbook.


National Standard for Volunteer Involvement Tool

An easy-to-use online self-assessment tool to work towards meeting the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement. The tool measures your organisation’s performance in volunteer involvement and helps you to achieve best practice, ultimately improving the organisation’s ability to attract and retain volunteers.

  • Assess your organisation’s performance against the Standards.
  • Identify actions required to achieve compliance with the Standards.
  • Automatically generated action plan for good practice.
  • Great workflow management tools — add staff/team members as users, assign them actions and set-up weekly action reminders.
  • A number of resources to improve your organisation’s volunteer involvement.

The tool is available at the flat rate of $350 (plus GST) for a one-year subscription.

Visit the National Standards Tool website for more information and to subscribe. The online tool was developed by Volunteering Australia in partnership with Breaking New Ground (BNG).