When two worlds collide: Mixing flexibility with regulation in the voluntary sector

chris-reed-st-john-ambulance-Chris Reed is Head of Volunteering at St John Ambulance. He will be speaking at Evolve 2014.

How do we go about building an effective and sustainable foundation from which to develop the full value of volunteering? Do we have that foundation already and are we already milking it for all we can? And, most importantly, we need to deal with the elephant in the room: How do we deal with the dichotomy that’s created as a result of the regulation of services which involve volunteers?

If you’re interested in those questions, you might want to join me at Evolve 2014 where I’ll be speaking at the workshop ‘Building effective and sustainable foundations to develop the full value of volunteering’.

Find out more about Evolve 2014, including how to book

Serving two masters

As volunteer-involving organisations, we strive to offer our volunteers flexible opportunities that contribute towards their own personal development, even co-producing where we’re really at the cutting edge. But at the same time we are all bound by our commitments to our beneficiaries and service users. Where services are regulated this necessitates a real focus on quality and safety, something which often requires a rigid governance structure, very specific and well defined roles for volunteers and a constant regime of monitoring, audit and inspection.

Working with regulation

For St John Ambulance this is a dichotomy we have been challenged by for years, even before the advent of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Healthcare Regulation in its current form. That’s not to say we’re complacent, far from it, but I am hoping to be able to share during the workshop some of what we have learnt. We are fortunate to have received a clean bill of health on all our CQC inspections to date, so we must be doing something right! However there are always ways we can improve.

It would be great to hear from you, either here on in the workshop. How have you overcome this dichotomy, or indeed embraced it and made it work for you?

Join me at Evolve 2014

I’m excited to be part of the Evolve workshop ‘Building effective and sustainable foundations to develop the full value of volunteering

We will be covering:

  • the challenges and opportunities organisations supporting volunteering face today
  • working with the Department of Health to develop volunteering in care homes
  • new innovative services
  • Volunteer Centres supporting vulnerable people into work
  • the latest developments in volunteering good practice (including quality marks – Investing in Volunteers and VCQA).

For my section, however, I am looking to really focus discussions on volunteering in regulated environments.

Find out more about Evolve 2014, including how to book

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