Creating a business case

Prior to the start of any volunteer programme it is necessary to establish why the force wants to involve police volunteers. Creating a business case will help show your commitment to volunteering and highlight the potential benefits.

Consultation process

 There are many reasons why police support volunteers could be involved, including:

  • Increasing the capacity of the force - improving performance and achieving strategic priorities
  • Releasing police officers and police staff to concentrate on core duties
  • Encouraging community participation in issues which directly affect them
  • Access to an extensive pool of skills, talents, experience and local knowledge
  • Delivering a customer-focussed service which meets local needs
  • Improved interaction between the police and local community
  • Increased diversity
  • Enabling the community to have a better understanding of the work of the police

Success of the programme will depend on a clear understanding of why they are being involved. This means providing the required resources and developing an environment where volunteers feel valued. It is also important that differences between employees and volunteers, and the implications of these are recognised.

Stakeholders will need to consider the following issues:

  • Why does the force want to involve police support volunteers?
  • What kind of roles should/should not be performed by volunteers?
  • How will this add value to the work of the force?
  • What is the benefit to the local community?
  • How will it be resourced and funded?
  • What impact could this have on the force?
  • How will police support volunteers fit into the wider organisation?
  • How will this be progressed?


Justifying Police Support Volunteers - VIVA (Volunteer Investment Value Audit)

Volunteering is not free, a fact often forgotten and frequently underestimated. Equally, the efficiency gains resulting from the use of volunteers are seldom factored into any justification. 

Providing quantifiable data can be difficult but one tool available to address this problem is the Volunteer Investment Value Audit (VIVA). This tool will provide the template for a business case. 

VIVA has been implemented by many large and small voluntary groups since its creation in 1996. It has been used in the public sector and employer-supported volunteering, and is approved by the National Centre for Volunteering and the British Government.

For information go to: Volunteering England: VIVA 

(The College of Policing is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites)   

National Occupational Standards

The links below will take you to the National Occupational Standards for Volunteer Managers.

 Contribute to the development of your organisation's strategy - Key Area A1
 Develop organisational structures and systems to support volunteering - Key Area A3
 Develop plans to meet your organisation's goals - Key Area A4

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