Statutory and Mandatory Training for Volunteers - eLearning Courses for Volunteers - Online Compliance Mandatory Training for Volunteers - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

Statutory and Mandatory Training for Volunteers 

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited statutory and mandatory training courses for volunteers in all sectors, including health and social, charities, education providers, sports clubs and third sector organisations.

E-Learning Courses for Charity Workers and Volunteers

The Mandatory Training Group support safe, effective and consistent volunteering training for all sectors.

Our content development team is led by Dr Richard Dune, who has over 20 years of experience in health and social care workforce development and governance.

What is the Online Volunteer Learning Programme?

Welcome to the Volunteering Learning Programme, and the start of your learning journey with us. This programme is freely available to all volunteers and includes elearning resources for volunteers that have been designed by volunteers. The programme supports your completion of the National Volunteer Certificate (NVC) and also links to wider learning via the National Learning Hub for Volunteering.

What is the National Volunteer Certificate and why should I complete it?

We encourage all volunteers to start their learning journey by undertaking the National Volunteer Certificate which underpins the induction you will do as a volunteer.

The aim of the National Volunteer Certificate is to ensure that all volunteers in health and social care, have the same basic learning when you start in your role. Completion of induction training supports the process for ensuring that you are safe in the volunteering environment.

The National Volunteer Certificate (NVC) will demonstrate that you have undertaken high-quality training in theory and carried out a period of practice to be able to volunteer safely in health and social care.

The NVC will be awarded when you have achieved the six core standards required by completing a set of core learning sessions during induction and gained 60 hours of volunteering experience.

How do I achieve the National Volunteer Certificate?

There are two steps to achieving the National Volunteer Certificate.

Firstly, you need to complete elearning to meet the six core standards of the National Volunteer Certificate.

The six core standards include content that all volunteers are encouraged to achieve as you start your volunteer journey.

What are the volunteer training standards?

The volunteer training standards are:

  • Your role and responsibility
  • Communication
  • Respect for Everyone (Equality Diversity and Inclusion)
  • Safeguarding (Adults and Children)
  • Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disability
  • Health and Safety.

To find more about achieving each standard, select the link above and it will take you to the details of the standard and how to achieve it.

The standards are achieved through successful completion of 11 elearning sessions that are detailed below. Each is a short elearning session with a multiple choice test at the end.

How do you start your online volunteer training courses?

Click on the links below to start your volunteer and charity worker e-learning courses:

  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Volunteer
  • Communications for Volunteers
  • Data Security Awareness for Volunteers
  • Conflict Resolution for Volunteers
  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights for Volunteers
  • Safeguarding Adults for Volunteers
  • Safeguarding Children for Volunteers
  • Preventing Radicalisation (Basic Awareness) for Volunteers
  • Mental Health Awareness for Volunteers
  • Health, Safety and Infection Prevention and Control for Volunteers
  • Fire Safety for Volunteers.

The second step you need to take is to complete an agreed period of volunteering, signed off by your Volunteer Manager. You must complete a minimum of 30 hours of volunteering to achieve the in-house Volunteer Certificate. Your manager will provide you with a certificate, awarded by your organisation, and a badge awarded by The Mandatory Training Group indicating that you have completed the Volunteer Certificate.

If you wish to have an accredited certificate, awarded through the CPD Certification Service (CPDUK), you must complete a minimum of 60 hours of volunteering, up to 30% (20 hours) of which could have been completed prior to you commencing your studies. Your Volunteer Manager will confirm that you have completed these hours and the required sessions for the core standards, and you will receive a digital certificate awarded by The Mandatory Training Group along with your badge.

eLearning programme for volunteers and charity workers

Click on the links below to find out more about the online training courses for volunteers.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Volunteer eLearning Course

As a volunteer, you have the responsibility to:

  • Come as scheduled and on time
  • Carry out your tasks efficiently and honestly
  • Commit time for the work
  • Accept guidance and decisions of the volunteer coordinator
  • Participate in orientations, training and meetings
  • Keep internal information confidential.

Communications Skills Training Course for Volunteers

Volunteers need good written and verbal communication skills to work closely with their team members and the people they serve. For example, when you volunteer as a tutor, you need to communicate effectively to provide simple verbal instructions to your students.

Data Security Awareness Training Course for Volunteers

This online course covers the training for Data Security Awareness for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this online training course is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further volunteer training on induction. This session aligns with the Volunteer Certificate Standard 2 - Communication.

Conflict Resolution Training Course for Volunteers

This e-learning course covers the training for Conflict Resolution for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this session is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further training on induction. This session aligns with the Volunteer Certificate Standard 2 - Communication.

Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Training Course for Volunteers

This online training course covers the training for Equality, Diversity and Human Rights for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this session is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further training on induction. This session aligns with the Volunteer Certificate Standard 3 - Respect for everyone (equality, diversity and inclusion).

Safeguarding Adults Training Course for Volunteers

This eLearning covers the training for Safeguarding Adults for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this session is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further training on induction. This session aligns with the Volunteer Certificate Standard 4 – Safeguarding.

Safeguarding Children for Volunteers

This session covers the training for Safeguarding Children for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this session is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further training on induction. This session aligns to the Volunteer Certificate Standard 4 – Safeguarding.

Preventing Radicalisation (Basic Awareness) for Volunteers

This session covers the training for Preventing Radicalisation (Basic Awareness) for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this session is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further training on induction. This session aligns to the Volunteer Certificate Standard 4 – Safeguarding.

Mental Health Awareness for Volunteers

This session covers the training Mental Health Awareness for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this session is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further training on induction. This session aligns to the Volunteer Certificate Standard 5 - Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disability.

Health, Safety and Infection Prevention and Control for Volunteers

This session covers the training for Health and Safety for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this session is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further training on induction. This session aligns to the Volunteer Certificate Standard 6 - Health and Safety.

Fire Safety for Volunteers

This session covers the training for Fire Safety for Volunteers. Your training record will be updated once this session is complete. Please note, your organisation may require you to undertake further training on induction. This session aligns to the Volunteer Certificate Standard 6 - Health and Safety.

Thinking about a Career in Care?

If you are thinking about a career in healthcare, you will be interested to know that the National Volunteer Standards have been mapped to the outcomes of the National Care Certificate which is used in the preparation of support workers in health and care settings. They will provide some underpinning knowledge for this should you, in your role as a volunteer, choose to move into health or care-based employment.

Additional e-learning courses for volunteers in specific roles

There are also a small number of optional modules which have been developed to support volunteers in specific roles. These do not need to be completed to achieve the National Volunteer Certificate, but your organisations may ask you to complete them to support you in your roles.

  • Child Sexual Exploitation for Volunteers (optional)
  • Fluids and Nutrition for Volunteers (optional)
  • Resuscitation (Basic Life Support) for Volunteers (optional)
  • Moving and Assisting for Volunteers (optional).

Online resources for charities and voluntary organisations

Completing the NVC is not the end of the story – there are other resources available via the National Learning Hub for Volunteering including resources from the Open University, Open Learn, Future Learn, Macmillan and ourselves here at eLearning for healthcare.

Acknowledgments: Partner volunteering organisations

The project team would like to thank the many volunteers and their volunteer managers who attended workshops and helped assess content for these sessions, and all those above who supported these developments.

Project partners and charitable organisations

Project partners include:

  1. Age UK
  2. Advocacy Focus
  3. Community CVS (Community & Voluntary Services
  4. Blackburn with Darwen Council
  5. Blackburn with Darwen Healthwatch
  6. Burnley, Pendle & Rossendale CVS (Community & Voluntary Services)
  7. East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  8. Families, Health and Wellbeing Consortium
  9. Helpforce
  10. Hyndburn & Ribble CVS (Community & Voluntary Services
  11. Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
  12. Lancashire Volunteer Partnership
  13. Manchester Foundation Trust
  14. St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  15. The Royal Marsden
  16. University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

Project and content development team for the volunteer eLearning programme

The Mandatory Training Group worked with various organisations and volunteer educators.

How to access the volunteer online learning programme

This Volunteer Learning content is free to access using any email address. Registration is required to enable users to track their learning, provide feedback on sessions and retain certificates of completion.

If you already have an account with MTG eLearning Hub, then you can enrol on to the Volunteer Learning content by logging in to the MTG eLearning Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My elearning section.

If you are new to MTG eLearning Hub, you can register through the Volunteer Learning or through the National Learning Hub for Volunteering registration page.

Access from other Learning Management Systems for the Volunteer Training Programme

The National Volunteer Certificate eLearning sessions are supported by the AICC communication standard. This allows for remote Learning Management Systems (LMS) to launch the sessions from the MTG eLearning Hub content server as if they were loaded locally. Enrolment and tracking of usage are retained at the organisation’s LMS. If your local LMS supports AICC, please contact our support desk and we will provide you with the relevant links and instructions to set up courses.

Statutory and mandatory training guidance for volunteers and charity workers in the UK

The Community Life Survey (2020/21) Volunteering and Charitable Giving found:

  • 62% of respondents (approximately 28 million people in England) have volunteered in any way in the last 12 months, and 41% (approximately 19 million people in England) at least once a month.
  • 63% (approximately 29 million people in England) of respondents said they had given to charitable causes in the last 4 weeks. This is a decrease from 2019/20 where it was measured at 75% and the lowest proportion recorded in the CLS.
  • Formal volunteering at least once a month in the past 12 months decreased in 2020/21 (17%) from 2019/20 (23%), the lowest that it has been recorded in the CLS.
  • Informal volunteering at least once a month in the past 12 months increased in 2020/21 (33%) from 2019/20 (28%), the highest that it has been recorded in the CLS.

What is statutory training for volunteers?

This type of training is usually required by law or where a statutory body has instructed an organisation to provide training on the basis of specific legislation (i.e. the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999). Employers often describe this as ‘essential’ or ‘compulsory’ training and it ensures staff have the knowledge to maintain a healthy and safe working environment for themselves and their colleagues.

Staff shortages or other issues related to unsustainable pressures at work may affect your ability to undertake training. If this impacts your progression at work or your pay, please see our unsustainable pressures for further guidance and contact us.

What does statutory training for volunteers include?

In the NHS, all new employees are required to undertake core health and safety awareness and training. This usually includes:

  • awareness of the local health and safety policy
  • awareness of the control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • when and how to report injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences (RIDDOR)
  • fire safety awareness training
  • manual handling training
  • basic risk assessment training
  • annual updates in essential areas of fire safety and manual handling.

What is mandatory training for volunteers?

Mandatory training is compulsory training that is determined essential by an organisation for the safe and efficient delivery of services. This type of training is designed to reduce organisational risks and comply with local or national policies and government guidelines. Some organisations use the terms essential or compulsory training as a ‘catch all’ to cover both mandatory and statutory training.

What does mandatory training for volunteers and charity workers include?

Volunteer mandatory training is delivered online via the LearnPac eLearning portal. There are 8 modules to complete, as listed below, but these can alter depending on the needs of the role.

The common mandatory training courses for volunteers and charity workers include:

  1. Fire Safety (this is delivered during induction)
  2. Data Privacy Awareness
  3. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  4. Infection Control
  5. Safeguarding level one
  6. Health, Safety and Welfare
  7. Moving and Handling
  8. PPE Donning and Doffing.

Please note that mandatory training for charity workers and volunteers must be refreshed every 3 years.

What are the additional statutory and mandatory training courses for volunteers and charity workers?

Additional statutory and mandatory training courses for charity workers and volunteers might include:

  • first aid awareness
  • child protection
  • record-keeping
  • complaints handling
  • conflict resolution (managing violence and aggression)
  • consent
  • display and screen equipment
  • dementia awareness
  • equality awareness and eliminating bullying and harassment
  • incident reporting
  • hand hygiene
  • hazardous substances
  • infection prevention and control
  • information governance
  • mental capacity and safeguarding adults
  • medicines handling and management
  • medical devices
  • patient slips, trips and falls
  • personal protective equipment
  • resuscitation
  • raising concerns and whistleblowing
  • violence against women, domestic abuse & sexual violence.

When should volunteers and charity workers attend statutory and mandatory training?

We believe mandatory training should be paid for by the employer and undertaken during work time. Your employer may require you to attend training or updates on your off duty - you should, however, be given the equivalent time off to compensate. If you work regular night shifts your employer should take this into account to ensure you can attend any regular training updates.

Any work-related training is counted as 'working time' under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and as such counts as work when weekly hours are being calculated.

Read more on working time and breaks.

When should charity workers and volunteers complete refresher training and updates?

Mandatory training usually requires attending annual updates, dependent on the role and organisational requirements.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) does not set specific requirements stating how often mandatory training must be undertaken or completed. However, the NMC does require that registrants remain trained and competent. Your employer is free to set their own protocols and policies on training which all staff are contractually obliged to follow.

What are the employer obligations for training volunteers and charity workers?

There are many frameworks under which employers should be delivering mandatory training. The NHS for example is required to meet the standards for better health, NHS Resolution risk management standards and the Care Quality Commission inspection criteria. Frameworks will vary depending on:

  • the risks encountered in the working environment
  • the needs of the workforce
  • insurers' standards
  • governance and legal frameworks in place
  • country-specific requirements
  • equality and diversity.

What are the equality and diversity training considerations for charity workers and volunteers?

The Equality Act 2010 places a responsibility on employers to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and promote equal opportunities. This means employers should consider those protected under the Act when designing and delivering statutory and mandatory training. The employer should consider what adjustments can be made for staff with a disability. This could be to ensure the times and locations and delivery of the training is suitable and accessible. The employer should remove any physical barriers, or provide extra equipment or aids where required.

The Equality Act 2010 places a responsibility on employers to ensure any training policy and practice does not disadvantage or negatively impact protected groups. For example: arranging mandatory training sessions/updates only on certain days of the week might prevent employees with a religious belief or faith from attending.

If you share a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 and are experiencing discrimination please contact us for advice and to discuss local support arrangements.

For more information please see the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) publication, Your rights to equality at work: training, development, promotion and transfer (EHRC, 2011).

If you are based in Northern Ireland, see Equality Commission Northern Ireland.

Essential training for volunteers, agency and bank workers

Your contract with the temporary work agency should outline your right to access essential/ mandatory training to ensure you work in a safe manner. Common training areas covered should include:

  • data protection
  • health and safety at work
  • control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • fire safety awareness
  • infection control
  • manual handling
  • lone working
  • safeguarding vulnerable adults
  • safeguarding children.

Agency and bank workers do not have the statutory right to request time off under the government's time to train initiative or paid time off to study.

Other statutory and mandatory training for volunteers, agency and bank workers

Generally, agency and bank nurses should receive mandatory training, but usually need to self-fund any further career development. NHS Professionals (bank only flexible workers) can access the majority of their training courses online. Please see the 'Our Members' section.

We can provide careers advice to help with your development.

We could also be running local study days, workshops, short courses and seminars in your area. Please go to the RCN events and conferences page for further information.

What are the essentials of managing and training volunteers?

The training offer Once your new volunteers have completed their induction programme, and perhaps had an opportunity to get some hands-on experience, they will be ready for further training.

The training that individual organisations need to offer will vary enormously. The type of generic training programme you provide will depend very much on the sort of work the volunteers will be doing, the values and issues that are important to your organisation, and the numbers of volunteers you involve. You will also need to consider individuals’ training needs.

There are 3 types of training which organisations commonly offer:

  • training to improve abilities or teach new skills that will enable volunteers to carry out tasks more effectively
  • training to enable volunteers to understand and feel committed to the organisation’s values, policies and work
  • personal development training that enables individuals to grow.

As well as induction and initial training, you will probably need to provide ongoing or refresher training for your established volunteers. This will enable volunteers to develop their skills and keep abreast of changes in your organisation’s work and policies. Some organisations develop a Volunteer Training Policy, outlining their commitment to providing training for volunteers, and describing what optional training is on offer, and any “compulsory” training volunteers must complete before they can conduct certain tasks.

Training methods and techniques There are a number of different training techniques that can be used. You should choose the methods that best suit your objectives. Using different training methods and techniques helps to ensure that the learning experience is a more productive one, as people learn in different ways. Studies have shown that training participants tend to remember 99% of what they do, about 70% of what they see, and only about 50% of what they hear. Try to keep these figures in mind when developing your training programme.

A combination of methods that involve listening, discussing, observing and practising is likely to be a winning formula. Over time, you could try teaching the same information using a variety of different training techniques, and then evaluating which format is most successful.

What are the commonly used volunteer training methods?

The most commonly used volunteer training include:

  • On the job training
  • Self-study learning
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Facilitated training courses.

What does on the job training for volunteers include?

On the job training involves a staff member or experienced volunteer demonstrating a task to the trainee, and then supervising them as they practise the task. It is most suitable when the task is straightforward, and you are training one volunteer at a time. Advantages are that it is economical, as there is no need to pay for an external trainer, and the training can be conducted at the individual volunteer’s pace. The main disadvantage is that it will take a considerable amount of your time if you have several volunteers to train. You will also need to allow time for questions, for the volunteer to keep practising, and perhaps a set of backup notes for reference.

What does self-study learning for volunteers include?

Self-study packages involve the volunteer being provided with a pack of written notes or an online computerised programme to work through, with minimal input from a trainer. Once they have been created, self-study materials save you time and money, as they can be used repeatedly. Volunteers can also work at a pace that suits them. However, you will need to make a considerable initial investment in developing the package, and remember to update it regularly as things change in your organisation. Self-study does not suit everyone, as it requires some self-discipline and a predisposition towards academic learning.

What does mentoring and coaching learning for volunteers include?

Some training can best be delivered through mentoring or coaching individuals or small groups. It’s often appropriate to get an experienced volunteer to mentor or coach a new volunteer. This kind of training is particularly useful when the volunteering role is quite demanding or emotionally draining, as it gives the trainee volunteer the chance to seek help and advice from someone more experienced in the role. It is an ongoing process that allows an individual to learn at their own pace, and you can monitor their development over a period of time.

If you have large numbers of trainee volunteers, you will need significant numbers of mentors or coaches. However, established volunteers will often relish a new challenge, and a chance to increase their involvement with your organisation, and they may feel flattered that they have been asked to help. Just be careful not to assume that everyone will want to be a mentor or coach. Some volunteers will prefer to just continue providing the service they first volunteered to offer.

What do facilitated training courses for volunteers include?

Many organisations choose to provide training courses for their volunteers. Experiential training, where the volunteer actively participates and learns from the individual or group experience, can be very effective. Typically it includes group activities such as role-plays, discussions, problem-solving exercises and case studies. When running training courses, you should also mix in some more passive training techniques such as lectures, demonstrations, presentations and videos. The trick is to mix and match your training methods to ensure that everyone learns, and the course does not get boring.

Training courses are particularly useful when you are covering issues such as confidentiality or boundaries when working with vulnerable clients. They allow for open discussion of real-life examples or potentially difficult situations that volunteers may encounter. Training courses cost time and money to develop and you will need the skills to facilitate them effectively.

If you don’t feel confident running training, you could book yourself on a “training the trainers” course. Alternatively, you could use an external trainer – ask Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets to recommend individual trainers or training providers. If you are training small numbers of volunteers, it may be more economical to book them on an external course or to approach another volunteer-involving organisation to share the costs of running a joint in-house training course.

What are the common obstacles to volunteer training?

In the UK, most volunteers are keen to receive training. In fact, many of the people we see at Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets specifically ask our advisors what training they will get. However, you may encounter volunteers that are resistant to training. Training can never be compulsory, as volunteers can choose to walk away rather than attend training, but you can make the completion of some training a requirement before volunteers are allowed to undertake certain tasks, especially working with children or vulnerable adults. As a volunteer manager, you would be within your rights to question the commitment and motivation of a volunteer who persistently rejects all offers of training.

Time and money

Some volunteers may worry about the amount of time training will take, especially if they have busy lives, or the training takes place outside their usual volunteering hours. It is always best to clarify what commitment to training you expect from volunteers during the selection stage. This is particularly important if training must be completed prior to a volunteer undertaking any hands-on voluntary work. Try to ensure that training is delivered at an appropriate time, and don’t expect volunteers to give up several successive evenings or weekends without complaining. Be prepared to reimburse out of pocket expenses in line with your Volunteer Policy.

Lack of understanding or willingness to learn

Sometimes people don’t understand why training is important. Maybe it hasn’t been explained to them properly. If it is a condition of your funding, or part of your risk management strategy, then let volunteers know. However, don’t give them the impression that you are going through the motions, or apologise for your training you need to believe in it, so that volunteers will see its value. Explaining the aims and objectives and learning outcomes of your training can be helpful in demonstrating how beneficial it will be. You could have an established volunteer, enthusiastic about training, to act as an advocate, encouraging new volunteers to attend.

Some volunteers might feel that they have nothing new to learn. For example, they may think they know everything there is to know about befriending older people, having looked after an elderly relative. But your training course could involve new information about managing illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

If the volunteer believes that they have more to offer your organisation than you have to offer them, acknowledge their skills and experience, and give them an opportunity to share them with other trainees. They may be interested in cofacilitating future training events, or you can negotiate training content, so that they can skip elements of training they have already completed. Remember that most adults have a wealth of life experience and skills that are transferable to their volunteering.

Fear of failure

Many volunteers will not have been in a formal learning or training environment for years, so may be apprehensive about failing, or not coping with training. They may have had a bad experience at school, and be worried that your training will bring up those negative feelings again. For some people, the pressure of having to “pass” a training course can detract from the learning process. Good practice suggests that separating training from selection can help to remove any such anxieties, and encourage a more open, positive learning environment.

Developing training events for volunteers

Planning the content and practicalities

Encouraging participation

Planning the content and practicalities

8.1.Planning the content and practicalities When planning a training event, you will need to:

• establish the aims and learning outcomes of your training (ie what you want the volunteers to have learned by the end of the programme)

• plan a timetable and programme

• determine the level at which the training should be pitched

• work out the ideal number of participants you can train (somewhere between 8 and 16 is best, erring towards the lower end if the content of the programme is complicated or contentious)

• find and book a good facilitator, if you are not running the training yourself.

4 Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets can help you find suitable and experienced trainers

• agree a date for the training – think about when most volunteers will be free, avoiding times such as school runs, prayer times or religious festivals

• arrange a suitable, accessible venue with appropriate facilities and transport links

• organise culturally sensitive refreshments, including a proper meal if the training runs all day

• develop training sessions and materials that meet your learning outcomes, and produce sufficient copies of relevant handouts

• remember to check in advance if any of your volunteers have extra support needs. You may need to book a signer, a hearing loop, translated materials or an interpreter.

Encouraging participation

9.Encouraging participation If you want trainees to participate in your training event, it is always a good idea to include some icebreaker exercises at the beginning of your training programme. Often games involving moving around, icebreakers are designed to put people at ease, to lighten the atmosphere, or to revive flagging participants. It is also helpful to split trainees into pairs or small groups early on in the training. This will encourage the quieter participants to talk, so that they will hopefully feel able to contribute in later plenary (larger group) sessions. Remember to mix people up, so that volunteers work in different groups. That way, the volunteers will all get to know each other.

Most people’s attention spans are relatively short (about 45 minutes at a time). Scheduling regular short breaks into your training programme is essential to keep participants fresh and focused, and the breaks will enable trainees to participate more energetically. Tell people when they can expect breaks and stick to these times. Provide nice refreshments, such as tea, coffee and lunch to help people concentrate and feel valued.

The environment of the room can increase participation. Good layouts include full circles, with the trainer sitting alongside the trainees, or a horseshoe layout, where the visual aid (projector or flipchart) is at the front. Try out different chairs beforehand to make sure that everyone can see your visual aids. Obviously, you should ensure that there are sufficient seats for all your trainees, and it helps to remove any spare chairs from the circle if any expected participants don’t turn up. Make sure that the temperature and lighting is comfortable for everyone, and that external noise and interruptions are kept to an absolute minimum.

The facilitator’s role is key in encouraging participation. S/he should aim to keep a low personal profile, as the training is not about the facilitator being the centre of attention. S/he should encourage contributions from all participants, but this does not mean forcing people to talk if they don’t want to. As a trainer, you may find that

5 some participants dominate discussions so much that others feel excluded. You may need to reduce their contributions. You could ask the group to make a contract at the beginning of the day, where everyone agrees to monitor their own contributions and respect other people’s views. Another option is to ask people who haven’t yet spoken to say something. It is also the trainer’s role to take a lead in dealing with any unacceptable behaviour, seeking assistance from other participants in challenging this, if appropriate.

Finally, make sure you arrive on time, and keep to timetable, as keeping people waiting can annoy them and make them unreceptive to training. Ensure that all the equipment is working and the refreshments you ordered are available. Remember all your materials and handouts. All of these common-sense rules should ensure a productive, participative training event.

10.Accreditation, certification and qualifications Increasingly, volunteers are keen to gain recognition for training they complete. You may be able to offer a recognised qualification, such as an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification), or a qualification specific to your field (eg counselling). Alternatively, you could produce in-house certificates for training you provide. Think about holding awards ceremonies to recognise any learning achievements.

If you have any queries about training please contact Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets on 020 7377 0956 or e-mail

Statutory and Mandatory Training for Volunteers - eLearning Courses for Volunteers - Online Compliance Mandatory Training for Volunteers - The Mandatory Training Group UK.

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