No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Voluntary Sector Training Issues


I need to find out what training and development needs staff and volunteers in the voluntary sector have and what issues they face around this?

Please help asap - I'll be your friend forever

Ginny Haynes

5 Responses

  1. Voluntary Sector
    If you send me your postal address I can mail you a paper copy of the skills audit template I use for my delegates – volunteers – on my active citizenship courses. I am running the next round in Leeds and London in November and December. You would be most welcome to attend as an observer. They are held on Saturdays


  2. resource limitations
    Time and money are scarce in the voluntary sector. Many voluntary organisations wouldn’t survive without volunteers, so releasing people for considerable chunks of time for training is difficult for many organisations. Flexibility in timings is really important – note that William’s course is running on Saturdays! Perhaps a series of lunch-hour sessions, or 4-6 in the afternoon?
    Finance is also a massive issue, so costs need to be kept to a minimum without compromising on quality.
    You don’t mention your goal / agenda… perhaps with a few more details I could help more? Feel free to email me

  3. Certificate in Volunteer Management
    THere is a nationally recognised course for those with responsibility for managing volunteers (any sector). Consists of 5 units with assessment by case study in workplace.

    Contact me to discuss 01292 260393

  4. Volunteers and staff in the voluntary sector have varied needs,
    It is important for the voluntary sector to provide good learning opportunities for both volunteers and staff. The organisations need skilled people, and the people need to feel that have gained something tangible from their experience (though they do, of course, gain from the volunteering experience itself) and shown that they, as well as the organisation’s clients, are valued by the organisation. Volunteers, by definition, do not gain financially, and the staff are not usually well paid. Volunteers and staff in the sector have varied needs, depending on the type of work involved, the part of the sector they are working in, time available for participation, level of responsibility, whether they wish to volunteer long term or use the volunteering as a step to employment, whether they are looking for in-house or national qualifications, whether they need qualifications and/or accreditation to satisfy quality criteria in their areas of work, etc., etc. The voluntary sector is far from monolithic. The learning needs involved can be occupational and specific (e.g., IT skills, skills in caring for particular groups of clients, management skills, interview skills, teaching skills, etc.) or more generally applicable (equal opporunities, time management, team building, self-development, etc.) As for any learning/training, you need to do TNAs for the individuals involved (what do they want to get out of any learning opportunities?) and the organisation (how does the organisation need to develop, and what skills will the volunteers and staff need in the changing environment?). What time and resources are available? What is the pattern of volunteering (e.g., full time or part-time; if part-time, could all the participants attend at the same times, or do they have different schedules of attendance). Would the learning/training be delivered in-house or externally? Would the learning be mostly fairly short- or long-term,informal or highly structured, assessed for a qualification or not? Having been involved with training (including delivery of vocational qualifications – SVQs – as well as less formal training, in a number of different voluntary organisations, my impression is that, though the needs and environments are highly variable, the issues are remarkably consistent: shortage of monetary, staff and often space resources; too few people under pressure to do a great deal too little time, competing priorities (time spent on learning/training vs. time on the job), people delivering training as only a part of their work, high volunteer and staff turnover, etc. Although this may sound discouraging, it should, instead, be regarded as a worthwhile challenge.

  5. training volunteers
    Depending upon the sector of the voluntary work the training needs are different. I have been a volunteer member of The British Red Cross for many years now and each section needs differing training. Home From Hospital is different to Fire Victim Support which is different from Medical Loan and all are entirely different from the person serving in the shop or out as I am as ambulance crew.
    The main obsticle I find is that people say I am a volunteer not employed so why do I need this training all the time. I applied to a charity after my dog died for walking peoples dogs who could not do it themselves and I would have had to have 20 hours training on safe walking of dogs and the legal side a CRB check plus be observed in the role before I was allowed to walk a dog.
    In the workplace as long as the volunteer is made aware of all safety procedures and their specific job role then the training could be minimal, such as a few shadow sessions and basic safety guidance.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!