NCVO quality standards

Independent recognition that your organisation is fit for purpose, delivering quality services and working to a quality framework raises the confidence of commissioners, funders, beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

Our quality marks offer your organisation and/or service an externally verified seal of approval recognised by commissioners and funders, which publicly demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement.

Whether your organisation is big or small, if you are looking for an accreditation that can be applied to all types of organisation or are looking for something more specialised, we have an accreditation to suit you.

NCVO member discount

NCVO members get a 10% discount on our quality standards. Find out more about membership

Approved Provider Standard (APS)

The Approved Provider Standard (APS) is the national quality standard designed specifically for mentoring and befriending projects. It is applicable to projects delivered locally, regionally or nationally.

Read a full list of APS benefits

Areas of focus

APS has 10 requirements across four key areas supporting safe and effective practice in mentoring and befriending.

What’s involved

There are five steps involved in achieving the standard, during which the project needs to demonstrate it can meet the 10 requirements of the standard. This is done through a combination of self-assessment and an external assessment visit by an assessor.

Costs

The price depends on the total number of mentors/befrienders in your project. Pricing for single site applications starts at £755 +VAT.

For a quote for your project please contact the Mentoring and Befriending team.

How to apply

Sign up to the NCVO Mentoring and Befriending network and apply for accreditation 

Find out which organisations have been successful in achieving the quality standard

Contact for NCVO Mentoring and Befriending's Approved Provider Standard

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Telephone 020 7520 2437

Contact for Mentoring and Befriending training

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Telephone 020 7520 2587

Investing in Volunteers (IiV)

IiV is relevant for any volunteer-involving organisation. IiV is an opportunity for an organisation to benchmark the quality of its volunteer management programme, and to demonstrate and improve its work with volunteers, to enhance its reputation and raise its profile.

Read a full list of IiV benefits

Areas of focus

Good practice for the involvement and management of volunteers in an organisation.

The standard comprises nine indicators based around three main areas of volunteer management:

  1. planning for volunteer involvement
  2. recruiting and matching volunteers
  3. supporting and retaining volunteers.

What’s involved

Accreditation involves a six-step process that includes both self-assessment and external assessment (site visits). It normally takes a maximum of 12 months.

The number of site visits required is determined by the size of the organisation.

Costs

The cost of assessment depends on the size and complexity of the organisation’s volunteering programme and starts at £2,100 plus VAT.

Accreditation is valid for three years.

How to apply

Organisations can register for IiV to get a no obligation assessment quote.

Find out which organisations have been successful in achieving the quality standard

Contact

Lotte van Buuren, Programme Assistant

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Telephone 020 7520 3166

Investing in Volunteers for Employers (IiVE)

IiVE is applicable to employers in all sectors that offer an employee volunteering programme or are looking at implementing one. It provides organisations with a valuable tool to evaluate current practice and benchmark work against a nationally recognised standard.

Read a full list of the benefits of IiVE

Areas of focus

The accreditation covers best practice in employer supported volunteering (ESV).

What’s involved

Accreditation involves a six-step process, involving a combination of both self-assessment and external assessment (site visits), and normally takes up to 12 months.

The number of site visits required is dictated by the size of the organisation.

Costs

The cost of assessment depends on the size and complexity of the organisation’s employee volunteering programme, ranging from £4,500 to a maximum of £20,000 plus VAT.

Accreditation is valid for three years.

How to apply

Organisations can register for IiVE online for a no obligation assessment quote.

Contact

Patricia Kiss, Investing in Volunteers Manager for England

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Telephone 020 7520 2438

PQASSO self assessment and accreditation

PQASSO is appropriate for all voluntary organisations and social enterprises, no matter how large or small.

PQASSO sets out what organisations need to have in place to be legally and financially compliant and to ensure robust:

  • governance practices
  • financial and risk management procedures
  • systems for measuring outcomes

It also sets out a path to continuous improvement for those starting off.

Find out more about PQASSO self-assessment and accreditation

Areas of focus

Developing quality within an organisation through good management and governance to improve performance and achieve better outcomes for users.

What’s involved

Prior to applying for the PQASSO Quality Mark the organisation must implement PQASSO through self-assessment, by working through the PQASSO online self-assessment tool. This can take anything from three months to over a year.

Buy PQASSO self-assessment

From the point of submitting your PQASSO Quality Mark application, a site visit will usually take place within 10 to 12 weeks. The number of site visit days is dictated by the size of the organisation.

Costs

The cost of assessment depends on the size of the organisation, the number of sites it operates across, and the PQASSO level at which you choose to be assessed.

The cost starts at £1,500 plus VAT.

Accreditation is valid for three years.

How to apply

When you have completed the self-assessment, apply for PQASSO accreditation online.

Find out which organisations have been successful in achieving the quality standard

Contact

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Telephone 020 7520 3187

Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation (VCQA)

The quality mark for Volunteer Centres and other organisations providing volunteer centre services. Volunteer Centres that achieve the standard can enjoy many benefits from enhanced credibility, access to funding and other opportunities, to improved service delivery and stronger partnerships.

Find out more about VCQA

Areas of focus

  1. VCQA covers the five core functions of a Volunteer Centre’s work:
  2. strategic development of volunteering
  3. good practice development
  4. developing volunteering opportunities
  5. voice of volunteering
  6. brokerage.

What’s involved

The assessment process comprises attendance at a briefing workshop, completion of a self-assessment and development plan, and finally, online submission of a portfolio of evidence.

The evidence is then considered by an independent assessor who makes a recommendation as to whether or not the volunteer centre meets the standard.

Costs

The cost of assessment is £2,250 plus VAT. The accreditation is restricted to one organisation per unitary area.

Accreditation is valid for three years.

How to apply

Any organisation considering applying for accreditation should contact the VCQA team to discuss options.

Find out which organisations have been successful in achieving the quality standard

Contact

Ingrid Shiel, Projects and Events Assistant

Telephone 020 7520 2452
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