What training do I need?

While most volunteer positions don't need any formal training or qualifications there may be training offered as part of a role.

Some training may be free or offered at a subsidised rate as part of your volunteer program. But you may also have the option to do additional training that you pay for yourself.

Before you take on a volunteering role, talk to the volunteer organisation about the type of training they require or offer to volunteers.

Different types of training

Some of your training may be accredited. This means that it is nationally recognised and provides you with a pathway to a formal qualification. Accredited training is provided by a Registered Training Organisation. In fact, some volunteering organisations are also Registered Training Organisations and the training they provide volunteers is nationally recognised.

Other training may be more informal or unaccredited. It may not lead you to a formal qualification but it still provides you with important skills and experience that you can use in all kinds of work, volunteering and personal situations. Many volunteer organisations offer informal training provided either in-house, by other volunteers or staff within the organisation, or externally, through another organisation.

If you want to get a specific skill through volunteering, find an organisation with volunteering roles in your area of interest and talk to them about the training they offer as part of their program. Here's a few options for finding a volunteer opportunity that suits you:

What training do I need?

Unless you are looking for a volunteering opportunity that requires specialist skills, you don't need any specific training to be a volunteer. But once you take on a volunteer role, you might find there are certain skills that would help you to do the job better.

Here are some of the typical skills used by volunteers.

General skills

Volunteers often perform tasks and activities using these sorts of skills:

  • Food handling
  • First aid
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Office administration skills – using computers, basic bookkeeping, time management
  • People skills – effective communication, working with special needs, working with people from diverse backgrounds, working with children, client support

People and organisation management

Some volunteers also help out with the day-to-day running of a volunteer organisation and its volunteers, as a member of a board, on a Committee of Management or as a volunteer coordinator. These roles often require skills in people and business management such as:

  • Boards and governance
  • Business planning
  • Grant writing and fundraising
  • Marketing and recruitment
  • Training and mentoring

Formal volunteer training

The Certificates I, II and III of Active Volunteering are accredited qualifications that recognise the competencies that volunteers achieve through volunteering.

Certificate I covers foundation skills including:

  • Being an effective volunteer
  • Organising a work routine
  • Recognising safe work practices
  • Interacting with clients

Certificates II and III build on these skills and cover things like administrative tasks, effective communication, implementing safe work practices, working with colleagues, working with people from diverse backgrounds, problem solving and supervising people.

Find out what training organisations offer the Certificates in Active Volunteering on our Where can I get training? page.