Nottingham Skillsbank FAQ

Share

What is Nottingham Skillsbank?

Nottingham Skillsbank is an online database where skilled volunteers can be matched up with charities and community organisations in Nottingham.

FAQs for volunteers

Is it open to anyone?

It’s open to people who have specific skills that they have been using professionally for two years or more.
 

Why should I use Nottingham Skillsbank?

It will help you find places to volunteer your skills which will help deliver services to the people that need it in Nottingham.
 

What if I haven’t got time to volunteer?

You can offer the time you have however little. Some charities may just need a few hours of your time depending on your skill.
 

How much time will I need to commit?

You commit as much time as you have. Just outline how much time you can give on the registration form.
 

How does it work?

You create a log in for the database and fill in a registration form outlining your skills and experience. You can then wait to see if you are contacted by a charity or organisation or search the tasks that they have listed.
 

What if I am not happy with the placement?

You can contact us and we will see how we can help.

It is important to make sure that you are happy with all circumstances and are given all the information needed prior to commencing the volunteering.
 

What skills do I need?

You can offer any skills you have. You need to be competent at the skills and have a good amount of experience of using them. The organisation may have no knowledge of the skill.
 

How long will it take me to find somewhere to volunteer?

This depends on the needs of community organisations at the time. Some skills will be more needed than others. We will monitor the database and target our marketing accordingly.

If you are not receiving any interest from community organisations then contact us and we will see what we can do. Once you have contacted or been contacted by an organisation you will need to check suitability and carry out applicable recruitment procedures.
 

I don’t have a specific skill can I still volunteer through Nottingham Skillsbank?

Check through the tasks and skills needed by organisations and see if you could confidently carry them out. You need to have previous practical experience. If not you can find other less skilled volunteering opportunities by visiting our drop-in volunteering advice centre or visiting www.do-it.org.uk
 

Will volunteering affect my benefits?

Not at present. As long as you can still make your appointments, search for work and carry out the requirements asked of you.

 

FAQ’s for Organisations

How can I be sure that the volunteer has the skills, level of skills I need?

We do not vet the volunteers we simply advertise the skills they are offering. We ask that the volunteer has around two years of experience using the skills and preferably related qualifications if applicable.

You need to carry out your organisation’s procedures and stick to your policies. Read the information on the volunteer’s profile. You can then contact the volunteer via a contact form to ask them more specific questions. You can carry out references and conduct an interview to help qualify their level of experience if you wish.
 

How can I be sure the volunteer is telling the truth?

You can ask the volunteer further specific questions about their skills or experience through a contact form on the website. You can also ask for references and interview the volunteer. You could also ask to see examples of previous projects/work if applicable.

You may also need to carry out a DBS check depending on the nature of the volunteering.
 

What if I am not happy with the match?

If you are having problems you can contact us for advice. It is best practice to make sure you have carried out all the necessary checks and built up a good relationship with the volunteer prior to the volunteering commencing.

Writing up an agreement that is signed by both parties will help to make sure the process runs smoothly. You can find a template of a skilled volunteer agreement on our website.
 

What can I do to help make our task more enticing for volunteers?

Think about the work involved. Can it be broken down into smaller tasks? Think about the wording, make sure you are not using jargon which may not be understandable to everyone. Make the descriptions short and concise.
 

How do I join?

Sign up through the Skillsbannk page on the NCVS website. You will need to register to search and contact volunteers. You can also post tasks you need skilled volunteers to help with.

You will need to be on the NCVS directory of community organisations to register with Nottingham Skillsbank. Through this process we can check that you are a legitimate community organisation.
 

Is it possible to have more than one volunteer at once?             

Yes. As long as you have the capacity to induct and support them.
 

How much staff capacity is required from the organisation?

You will need to be able to respond to emails from volunteers. If you take on a skilled volunteer you will need to carry out your recruitment and induction procedures. You will then need time to keep up necessary communication with the volunteer.
 

How much does it cost?

The Nottingham Skillsbank online database is free to use.
 

Does NCVS carry out DBS checks or reference check volunteers?

We do not vet volunteers. We ask them to fill in a short registration form. You will need to carry out your own volunteer recruitment procedures and stick to your policies.

You made be able to slim down your processes for skilled volunteers if appropriate. If you need advice on this there are good practice guides and templates on our website. You can also contact us for advice.
 

Why should we use Nottingham Skillsbank rather than national alternatives?

Nottingham Skillsbank is run by NCVS. We have many years of experience of providing volunteer services in Nottingham.

We have excellent local knowledge of volunteering and Nottingham services. We have access to many skilled people through our links with many employers in Nottingham.
 

How long will it take us to find volunteers?

This will depend on the response and availability of the volunteers with the particular skill you need. Some skills will be more available than others.

We will monitor the database and target our marketing accordingly. If you are struggling to get a response from volunteers then contact us and we will see what we can do.

Once you have contacted a volunteer you will need to make sure they have the right skills and experience for your task and carry out the applicable recruitment procedures.
 

How much time will the skilled person volunteer for?

It’s up to you and the volunteer to agree this, we’re suggesting anything from two hours upwards.
 

How often will you contact me?

We will send occasional emails to keep in touch. However, everything you need to know should be on the website.
 

Will volunteers expect payment?

No.  It’s voluntary so they can’t ask your group to contribute anything for their time.  It is best practice to pay for expenses the volunteer may incur while volunteering - you’ll need to agree this with them in advance.
 

Can we use the Nottingham Skillsbank to recruit trustees?

Yes, Nottingham Skillsbank will be targeted toward people who may be interested and have the skills to be a trustee.
 

What support does NCVS offer?

We’re purely a brokerage service. Our role is to make sure the voluntary sector has the support it needs to function to the best of its ability.

We offer volunteering support development support and campaigning support – more information can be found on our website.

 

We need a big group of people for a day to help with a big task. Can Skillsbank help me with that?

We are mainly aiming Nottingham Skillsbank at skilled individuals. There may be a possibility of finding a group of skilled volunteers through Nottingham Skillsbank or by contacting us directly.

You could also contact the organisation Business in the Community as they may be able to help you to find large groups of volunteers.

 

Why do I need to fill in a separate NCVS registration form before registering with Nottingham Skillsbank?

You will need to be on the NCVS directory of community organisations to register with Nottingham Skillsbank.

This process allows us to check that you are a legitimate community organisation it also allows us to advertise your services through our website (if agreed by you) and offer you our support services.

Last updated: 28 January 2014

Your skills can benefit the community