Quality standards

Basis for self-evaluation and external evaluation

Volunteers are entitled to good organisation and support for the work they do. Clear framework conditions help both the volunteers and the organisations involved.

Quality objectives

In cooperation with academia and practitioners, Quifd has developed 10 quality characteristics that stand for good organisation and volunteer support.

The quality standards

The quality objectives apply to all volunteer service formats – whether national or international, state-funded or private. The quality standards and indicators are based on the quality objectives. They make quality in volunteer services measurable. Every volunteer service provider can use the standards to check the status of its quality development (self-evaluation).

1. Make your own goals clear
Anyone wanting to make use of volunteers must be clear about the goals they are pursuing. Statements on the importance of volunteer services are part of the institution’s mission statement.
Good volunteer services must offer opportunities for personal development. That is why institutions need to know which task profile they can offer. On this basis, volunteer service providers look for suitable partner institutions at home and abroad and agree the rules of cooperation with them.
Interested parties should be informed as fully and realistically as possible. Good initial information (e.g. online or in the form of a leaflet) enables people to get a quick idea of what is on offer.
Selecting volunteers is a process that requires a conscious decision on both sides. Providers need to know the requirements of their placements and the selection criteria and must facilitate the mutual decision-making process. Job shadowing or short placements can help to make these decisions.
Key components are the professional regulation of the necessary safeguards, the implementation of the agreed services, the clarification of legal issues, transparent financing and binding written agreements with the volunteer and with the cooperation partners. A functioning crisis and conflict management system must be in place for emergencies.
6. Provide professional guidance
Volunteers need a permanent contact person at the placement site. This contact person must know how to train them and to teach them professional skills. They must be easy for the volunteers to reach and must take the time needed to guide the volunteers.
Volunteer services often place high personal demands on the volunteers. To ensure that they are not overburdened, volunteers need to have contact persons outside their placement that are easy to reach. There are different models for personal support: volunteer mentors can be used as well as host families, full-time educators in a host organisation or – particularly in the case of placements abroad – country representatives.
The combination of working and learning is already designed to be part of the volunteer service itself. Beyond that, however, what are also useful are independent educational opportunities in which volunteers can acquire and expand their social skills and gain practical qualifications. Encounters with other volunteers are also indispensable. If possible, they should be an integral part of the educational programmes. Education and encounters also let volunteers reflect on their volunteer service.
The commitment of volunteers must be recognised. Such recognition is experienced through a culture of appreciation in the placement site and the organisation placing the volunteer. Documenting the volunteers’ commitment is standard practice – as is handing out a certificate to the volunteer at the end of his or her period of service.
If the quality of their own work is to be safeguarded and developed further in the long term, providers of volunteer services must constantly review their own actions with a critical eye. By doing so, one can determine whether and how the intended goals are achieved for all participants and where there is a need for change or improvement.
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Die Agentur Quifd vergibt an Träger von Freiwilligendiensten ein Siegel. Das Qualitätssiegel steht für Transparenz und Vergleichbarkeit.

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Freiwilligendienste sind eine besondere Form des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements. Die Qualitätsentwicklung muss diese Besonderheiten berücksichtigen.

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