Recruiting volunteers overview



Volunteers recruitment process – this free page on the NCVO/Knowhow website will guide you step by step through the volunteer recruitment process. Useful information can also be found on volunteer policies and how to write a volunteer role description.

Guidance from Volunteer Scotland – Volunteer Scotland provide information to charities that are considering involving volunteers on how to get started, how to make a difference and building on success. Organisations will be able to download several guidance and templates, including how to create volunteer role descriptionsdeveloping a volunteer policy and drafting a volunteer agreement.

Recruiting volunteers, a manual of good practice – a comprehensive guide from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. The website also provides several information sheets on volunteering and useful model policies templates reflecting best practice in working with volunteers – free to download.

Top tips for recruiting volunteers – this piece on the Volunteering matters’ website gives organisations tips and examples of practical things to consider before starting to recruit volunteers.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – in England and Wales, criminal record checks are performed through the DBS. Criminal record checks in Scotland are dealt by Disclosure ScotlandAccessNI criminal record checks are for people in Northern Ireland.


There are various online platforms to advertise volunteer roles. You might want to include the volunteer role description, the type of commitment you are expecting from the volunteers, and as much information as possible, so that potential volunteers will know exactly what your organisation is looking for:

Reach Volunteering

Team London

Time Bank

In Wales, organisations can register their details on the Volunteering Wales website. In Northern Ireland, organisations can advertise their volunteer roles on the Volunteer Now website.

You can also contact your nearest accredited Volunteer Centre as they will be able to promote volunteering roles and help you find suitable candidates. You can find your nearest Volunteer Centre in England here.

Useful organisations/websites

Charity Commission for England and Wales – the independent, non-ministerial government department regulator of charities in England and Wales.

OSCR – the independent Regulator and registrar for charities in Scotland.

NCVO knowhow – NCVO is an NGO based in England, championing the voluntary sector in England by connecting, representing and supporting voluntary organisations. Their ‘Knowhow’ website provides lots of resources and e-learning for charities, social enterprises and community groups. Many of the pages are free to view for non NCVO members too.

Volunteers’ week – Volunteers’ Week takes place 1-7 June every year and it provides organisations an opportunity to thank their volunteers. The website features lots of ideas on how to celebrate the volunteers’ contribution to the charity.

Share your content:

We know the very best people to help Visionary members are other Visionary members.  Organisations who share a similar vision and mission, and experience similar problems and predicaments but who may have found some nimble solutions and resolutions. Please do consider sharing your guides, plans, templates to help others take their work forward. We can, if you wish, password protect your work so that anything you share will be seen exclusively by Visionary’s network. If you have great knowledge to share, please email your documents to Visionary.

Risk Toolkit. How to take care of risk in volunteering – (60 pp., 5MB) – this toolkit is a resource for organisations involving volunteers, explaining the risks associated with volunteers and proposing how to deal with them.

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