National Standards for Volunteer Involvement


The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement are managed by Volunteering Australia and provide a framework for supporting the volunteer sector in Australia. They provide good practice guidelines for organisations to attract, management and retain volunteers, and help improve the volunteer experience.

They cover:

  1. Leadership and management
  2. Commitment to volunteer involvement
  3. Volunteer roles
  4. Recruitment and selection
  5. Support and development
  6. Workplace safety and wellbeing
  7. Volunteer recognition
  8. Quality management and continuous improvement

The Standards can be used in a number of ways:

  • As a general guide to good practice;
  • As an audit tool that provides a picture of how well the organisation is performing against best practice for volunteer involvement;
  • As a guideline or checklist to help identify opportunities for making improvements;
  • As a framework of reference to assist in planning and establishing a new volunteer service;
  • As a baseline from which progress in making improvements can be monitored and measured;
  • As a way of gaining formal recognition for good practice from Volunteering Australia by meeting the National Standards.



The first Australian National Standards were developed for Volunteering Australia by Volunteering Victoria in 1996. Sector consultation took place in 1996 and 1997 and the Standards were formally adopted in February 1998. Following that time Volunteering Australia actively sought feedback on the functionality of the first set of Standards and as a result of feedback Volunteering Australia developed a new second set of standards that truly embraced the full diversity of volunteer-involving organisations and of volunteering. This second set of standards was launched in 2001, the International Year of Volunteers and remained in use until today.



National Standards for Volunteer Involvement Tool

Volunteering Australia is the national peak body for volunteering, working to advance volunteering in the community. Engaging Volunteers is an online tool that organisations can use to implement the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement; a self-assessment tool for best practice volunteer involvement.

National Volunteer Guide

Not-for-profit Law has produced a National Volunteer Guide for use by volunteer involving organisations across Australia. It provides an overview of the key legal obligations organisations owe volunteers and provides practical examples, template documents and tips to assist in their understanding.