Consultant call

Request for Proposals: Global Volunteering Standard Handbooks 

Background and Rationale 

Forum is seeking to engage a consultant or consultants to develop an initial series of four good-practice handbooks based on elements of the Global Volunteering Standard. The aim of these handbooks is to provide organisations that work with volunteers with practical guides to support them in improving their practice and achieving these elements of the Standard.  

The Global Volunteering Standard is a framework to support organisations that work with volunteers to better understand good practice, and to become more responsible and more impactful in their work. It covers all areas of volunteer programming, from Designing and Delivering projects through to Duty of Care, Volunteer Management and Measuring Impact. 

The Standard itself is a starting point for organisations on the journey to good practice. Organisations can carry out an online self-assessment and access a resource library to help them to make improvements. The resource library is populated with working documents from Forum members and beyond.  

Our next step in supporting organisations to improve their practice is to draw together the collective knowledge and practice of leading organisations and create a series of step-by-step guides that will help them to bring their practice in line with the Global Standard.  


Through this consultancy, we will produce four handbooks addressing two areas of the Standard – Duty of Care and Managing Volunteers.

The handbooks will focus on:  

1. Recruitment and assessment of volunteers

2. Pre-placement training and preparation of volunteers

3. Post-placement support to volunteers

4. Safeguarding

We expect that these will be the first four in a larger series of handbooks.  


The intended audience is the management and staff of volunteer-involving organisations.  


The deliverables will be:  

1. Inception Report (8 October 2022) 

2. Report of preparatory research (1 December 2022) 

3. First draft of four handbooks (15 January 2023)  

4. Final draft of four handbooks (1 March 2023), each between 8 and 10 pages in length when designed.  

Each handbook should take the relevant section of the Global Volunteering Standard as its starting point, and provide practical guidance to volunteer-involving organisations about how they can bring their practice in line with the Standard.  

The budget for this work is €5,000. Proposals should include an estimated number of days based on this amount. The final text for the handbooks must be submitted by 1 March 2023 for publication by 1 April.  We will agree a timeline for this work with the consultant(s), including deadlines for draft handbooks.  

Suggested Methods and Sources  

These will be agreed with the consultant(s) in the inception phase and documented in an inception report. The content for the handbooks will be drawn from the Global Volunteering Standard, and resources on the Standard’s Resource Library, supplemented with some desk work and a small number of interviews for each handbook.  

Members of Forum working groups will be able to review drafts and provide feedback, and it may be helpful to run sense-checking workshops with relevant Forum groups.  


A detailed timetable, including deadlines for agreed deliverables, will be agreed with the consultant(s) in the inception phase.  

In the inception phase, the consultant(s) will work with the Project Manager and a small advisory group of Forum members to develop these Terms of Reference into an approach and a timetable including specific deliverables and milestones.  


The Project Manager will oversee the project and be the primary point of contact for the consultant(s). The consultants will provide regular updates to the Project Manager. The Forum Standards Working Group group will have a light steering role for the project, providing guidance in the inception phase and feedback on drafts as needed. 

Ethics and Risk 

The consultant(s) should adhere to the highest standards for ethical research, including standards of voluntary participation, informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality, potential for harm, and results communication. This will be discussed and agreed with the Project Manager during the inception phase.  

Qualifications and experience required 

The consultants selected should have:  

  • Strong knowledge of good practice in volunteer management and duty of care;
  • Experience in research including use of various approaches (desk research, focus group discussions, surveys);
  • Experience developing practical materials/guides; 
  • Familiarity with diverse volunteering models (remote, international, national) and of the operations of volunteer-involving; organisations of different sizes and in different contexts. 
  • Commitment to inclusion and inclusive practice.

Expressions of interest 

Forum invites expressions of interest from consultants to carry out this work.  

To be considered, please submit a proposal, no more than two pages please, setting out the relevant skills and experience of the project lead (and others where relevant), and a brief proposal of how you will approach the work, including a timetable. Please also include samples of similar work done. 

The deadline for expressions of interest is Wednesday, September 14th 2022. Please email them, and any questions you have, to Yvette Macabuag – 

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