As always we look to bring you the best practice from across the Voluntary sector. This article from the NCVO gives some fantastic guidance on Internships for Volunteer managers.
As more organisations have realised the value of offering young people the opportunity to gain experience, whilst benefiting from their willingness to work hard and learn, it is becoming event more important that organisations do not take advantage of this willingness. The NCVO offer some common sense advice that ensures the Volunteer is valued and that they gain as much from the experience as the organisation does.
If you have examples of how your organisation has benefited from a Volunteer internship or lessons you may have learnt from using Volunteers as interns please feel free to share at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the full article and many more like it at
Internships have been the focus of much debate recently, with some arguing that they are either a form of job substitution or a way of exploiting cheap labour, and others that they are vital to both charities and those who want to work for them.
Much of the confusion comes from the fact that the term ‘intern’ has no basis in UK law. There is no legal definition of an ‘internship’. So people undertaking a role described as an ‘internship will still in legal terms be defined as either a worker or a volunteer.
Some charities describe some volunteer roles as internships as they have found it valuable to offer volunteering opportunities with a stronger skill-development focus and because describing a position as an ‘internship’ has been found to attract more volunteers.
NCVO have worked with a range of organisations to review the current situation and produce guidance on volunteer internships to help charities ensure they fully understand any legal obligations they may have and to ensure expectations about the role between both parties are clear.
The guidance also identifies key principles to follow to help ensure volunteer internships are managed in line with good practice, give a good quality experience and ensure volunteer interns are treated fairly and within the law.
- Be clear what the role is and its purpose before recruiting
- Ensure that a volunteer internship is a genuine volunteering opportunity
- Make sure volunteering opportunities are genuinely inclusive and accessible
- Support volunteer interns in accordance with good practice standards in volunteer management
- Ensure that volunteer intern positions do not undermine fair recruitment procedures
- Provide opportunities for evaluation and regular feedback
- Recognise the contribution of volunteer interns
More information on each principle and how to implement them is discussed in the guidance.