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Quality Standards

Mar 1, 2023

Key Quality Standards in the Voluntary Sector  

Quality Standards – focusing on people management

Investors in People (IiP)

Investors in People   focuses on one element of quality management; that of human resources and people management. It is the most well-known standard, designed for any organisation, recognised across the voluntary, public and private sectors and widely viewed as useful and not too bureaucratic.   It is also seen as sending a good message to potential employees. Investors in people is externally assessed and results in a quality standard which is valid for three years.

Assessment costs vary on organisation size and spread, but are in the region of £550 per day plus VAT and assessor expenses.

Investing in Volunteers (IiV)

Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. It helps to benchmark the quality of volunteer management and involvement, prove and improve the effectiveness of work with volunteers and enhance an organisation’s reputation.

The cost of assessment for IiV assessment is £1,000 for organisations with up to 50 volunteers. (Last updated August 2020)

Investors in Diversity

Developed for all organisations in all sectors, this standard focuses on inclusion, equality and diversity. It has been developed by the National Centre for Diversity.

The cost for the Investors in Diversity for Small Charities Award is £995 + VAT.

Quality Standards – focusing on overall organisational quality and procedures

Trusted Charity  

The  Trusted Charity journey  consists of two processes:

Self-assessment using an online tool and user training

External assessment and awarding of quality mark


You can implement Trusted Charity using an online self-assessment tool that helps your organisation to take a systematic look at what you do, identify areas where you are doing well and where you could do better. It helps you to plan, budget and allocate resources for making these improvements over a set period of time.

The online tool available to use in English or in Welsh enables you to:

  • see your organisation’s self-assessment dashboard and manage the progress you are making in addressing each quality area
  • upload documents as evidence against indicators and create an evidence library of documents
  • create and manage actions for indicators, including generating an overall action plan.

You are able to undertake different two levels for the Trusted Charity self-assessment and the quality mark.  Find out more about Trusted Charity levels.

Buy Trusted Charity Self-Assessment

Your subscription to the online toolkit is valid for 12 months and can be renewed annually. The price is dependent on the number of FTE staff.  Members of NCVO  and WCVA benefit from a 10% discount.

With an annual online subscription, organisations will receive a free ‘Trusted Charity in Practice’ guide book that provides them with step-by-step guidance on undertaking their self-assessment and implementing the Trusted Charity standards within their organisation.

 External Assessment and Awarding of Quality Mark

Once you have implemented Trusted Charity, you can achieve the Trusted Charity Mark. This quality mark is awarded following external validation by an independent assessor, and is a demonstration of excellence throughout your organisation. Achieving the mark also gives funders a clear indication of the quality of your work.

Find out more about the eleven quality areas

EFQM/Business Excellence Model

This is a very popular model for businesses and not for profit organisations throughout Europe. The Excellence model is based on the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model. It is a method used mainly in large business organisations and rather less so through the voluntary and community sectors (though it has been shown to have possible applications in this area). The model is seen by those who developed it as a tool for continually

improving an organisation through understanding where you are, where the gaps are and enabling you to develop solutions. and it helps organisations to assess processes and outcomes and much of the work can be done internally . The EFQM Excellence Model allows people to understand the cause and effect relationships between what their organisation does and the results it achieves. The Excellence Model is externally evaluated. Costs only available on request but rated by the Charities Evaluation Service as ‘high’.

ISO 9000 and family

ISO 9000 and family relates to quality management and is designed to help organisations meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders. The system looks at how you deliver your products, services and activities through the processes that you use. The standards are published by ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation, and are available through the British Standards Institution.

They are part of a wider set of ‘ISO’ standards, including ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems. However, the most commonly used ones for our sector are ISO 9000 (quality management) and ISO 9000:2008 (quality management systems). The ISO website   includes particular guidance for small or medium sized organisations on how to implement the systems. Once certified, organisations can carry the ISO mark for the relevant standard that has been achieved.

Costs vary depending on organisation size – but for 16-25 employees an indicative cost is around £1700- £2000 plus around £800 annual audit fee. (Last updated August 2020)

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