Support & Training

Things to consider when making decisions about developing training for volunteers

  • What skills do your volunteers need to support their role?
  • Do you have a training room / space for volunteers?
  • What training and development is important to participants? For example: What format for training works well – length of course, timing?
  • What participants don’t want from a training/volunteer programme?
  • Can existing volunteers support new volunteers? If yes what training would they need?
  • Who will deliver volunteer induction training?
  • What training do staff members need to support volunteers?
  • Have you approached your local FE provider to support your training needs?
  • What in house training can you deliver?
  • What resources will you need?
  • Are there any other organisations that can provide other accredited training?

Our approach

Manchester City College Partnership –
During the development phase it was essential to identify the most appropriate method of training delivery for the programme.  We looked at the costs and practicalities for various forms of volunteer training delivery which included:

  • Hiring a freelance tutor to deliver an entirely bespoke, but most likely unaccredited course
  • Running ASDAN volunteer related qualifications (Award Scheme and Accreditation Network)
  • Using an accredited training organisation

The team concluded that the most cost effective and sustainable route would be to work in partnership with The Manchester City College. This option provided consistency, accreditation, further support and future pathways for participants.

We approached the pre-employment team at Manchester College who were very experienced in the delivery of community learning provision.

The College agreed to provide a dedicated tutor to develop and deliver a 10 week training course with embedded Open Awards units

They also agreed to create a bespoke heritage unit, providing accreditation for museum based knowledge and practical sessions.

In return IWM North, The Manchester Museum and Museum of Science and Industry provide a training room, course materials, additional training and volunteer expenses for the duration of the course.

The college provision is delivered at no charge on condition that each museum recruited 15 participants who were in receipt of a state benefit.  This approach enabled the college to draw down funding to cover course fees, administration and tuition per learner.

An agreement with the college was developed and signed by senior managers at all venues.

Course development

Volunteer co-ordinators worked closely with the college tutor to develop the course, the following Open Awards units are embedded within the training course:

  • Level 1, Customer Service
  • Level 1, Work Experience
  • Level 2, Preparing to volunteer in culture and heritage venues (bespoke heritage unit)

Staff members are invited to sessions to deliver short activities based on their area of expertise. This is a great opportunity for volunteers to become embedded within the organisational structure.

Download the course breakdown to see the course structure and content

External Training
In addition to course, we deliver a series of half-day and day-long training sessions run by external trainers, such as accredited customer service training and conservation training. All external training is up-to-date and recognised by employers.

We recognise the importance of our existing volunteers by providing bespoke training to help them to become buddies. Buddies support new volunteers for a series of 5 sessions, please see our bespoke buddy booklet.

Signposting & referral
We continually identify organisations and projects within the region that have complementary programmes who can provide new opportunities for our volunteers. Some have strong relationships with our target audiences and refer people to us, others are able to provide further progression routes for volunteers or a combination of the two.

For example, The Poppy Factory can support ex-service personnel with finding employment and the Princes Trust hosts a programme of enrichment courses and training for young people.