It is my view that given the natural alignment between the Competencies and current qualifications in leadership and management on the NZ Qualifications Framework, a formal qualification for managers of volunteers is on its way.
I’m new to Volunteering NZ as a Board member, but I’ve been a volunteer all my life depending on what my focus was at any given time. My grandmother was an advocate of Red Cross so I’d collect money once a year at their annual fundraisers. When I became a mother, I supported Plunket and when the kids went to school I became staunchly supportive of Whanau Support Groups to try and raise money for the very basics required and assist where and how I could.
Currently, one of my paid jobs is that of a workplace assessor, mainly in the area of business, administration, management, Maori, etc., working with a number of Industry Training Organisations. Therefore, I am really excited to be working on behalf of VNZ with Careerforce ITO to investigate a national qualification for Managers of Volunteers.
A Learning and Development Pathway for managers of volunteers
Managing staff is a big deal, and often requires a different set of skills, a lot of patience and a belief in oneself. It can be frustrating but is also one of the most rewarding roles that I’ve had over the years.
Since late 2009 VNZ have spent time and money developing a body of work dedicated to the support and development of Managers of Volunteers. The focus of this work has been to make explicit the often-invisible role of managers of volunteers, and promote the importance of what they do to make volunteering happen effectively.
For a development pathway to work as it should, managers of volunteers needed to be able to see their progress along a sliding scale. As a result, the Competencies for Managers of Volunteers was developed.
“A competency includes all the skills, knowledge and attributes and values needed to do something. Competence does not exist as something that can be learnt in isolation; it is demonstrated in the performance of a task.”
Turning the Competencies into a National Qualification
There are New Zealand qualifications developed for management roles in six vocational pathways that provide a generic approach to management skills whatever industry you are in, including managing volunteers. Depending on the level of skill you aspire to, will depend on the level of that qualification from levels 3 to 6.
Therefore, it is my view that given the natural alignment between the Competencies and current qualifications in leadership and management on the NZ Qualifications Framework, a formal qualification for managers of volunteers is on its way. When it does, managers of volunteers – it will be your time to shine.
Wendy Rapana, Board Member – Maori
 Ministry of Education, 2005. Key competencies in Tertiary Education: Developing a New Zealand Framework. A Discussion Document. Ministry of Education, Wellington.