National Standards for Volunteer Involvement

Refreshed National Standards for Volunteer Involvement 

Published February 2024

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement have been refreshed to ensure they are contemporary and inclusive of the diversity of volunteering and volunteers.

The National Standards are a best practice framework to guide volunteer involvement. The National Standards can be used flexibly, recognising that volunteering takes place in highly diverse settings and ways.

All organisations and groups can implement the refreshed National Standards at any time. The refreshed National Standards have retained the core aims and principles underpinning the previous standards and the eight broad focus areas of the National Standards are the same.

The state and territory Volunteering Peak Bodies are leading the implementation of the refreshed National Standards and will be offering training in the coming months.

In addition to the Standards, Volunteering WA will launch refreshed resources and workshops soon. 


The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (National Standards) are a best practice framework to guide volunteer involvement. They are an essential resource for all organisations and groups that engage volunteers. 

Volunteer involvement is a two-way relationship. It provides volunteers with an opportunity to contribute to social, economic, and community outcomes and it enables organisations and groups to achieve their goals, vision and purpose.

Adoption of the National Standards has direct benefits to both volunteers and to organisations and groups:

  • They help improve the volunteer experience and ensure that the wellbeing of volunteers is supported and their contributions are valued.
  • They provide best practice guidance and benchmarks to help organisations attract, manage and retain volunteers and support effective risk and safety practices.

The National Standards

The National Standards allow organisations and groups to make use of simple, practical criteria across a broad range of volunteering scenarios in a way that is scalable to activity and resourcing. 

The eight National Standards for Volunteer Involvement are a best practice framework to support safe, effective and inclusive volunteering:

  1. Volunteering is embedded in leadership, governance and culture
  2. Volunteer participation is championed and modelled
  3. Volunteer roles are meaningful and tailored
  4. Recruitment is equitable and diversity is valued
  5. Volunteers are supported and developed
  6. Volunteer safety and wellbeing is protected
  7. Volunteers are recognised
  8. Policies and practices are continuously improved.

The National Standards have been designed to help organisations:

  • Incorporate the values and maximise the benefits of volunteer involvement
  • Develop effective volunteer involvement strategies and practices
  • Involve volunteers in meaningful and useful activities that contribute to the outcomes of the organisation’s work
  • Ensure the rights of volunteers are protected and that they are supported to carry out their roles and responsibilities

An organisation that is able to demonstrate compliance with the standards is strategically well positioned to recruit and retain more volunteers, as well as attract funding or sponsorship for new initiatives.

Further Resources

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2023) are the intellectual property of Volunteering Australia. They are recognised within Australia as the best practice framework for volunteer involvement.

*Coming soon

  • Guidance, tools and resources to support the implementation of the National Standards are available on the National Standards page of the Volunteering Australia website.
  • Volunteering WA offers tailored resources and workshops for Western Australian volunteer involving organisations. 

As the owners of the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement, Volunteering Australia has endorsed its Foundation Members, the State and Territory Peak Bodies for Volunteering, as being the sole organisations authorised to deliver training and develop resources on the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement.

Any unauthorised use of the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement is strictly prohibited.