October 2016


The Old Royal Naval College has been awarded the Investing in Volunteers standard, the UK quality standard recognising good practice in organisations' management of volunteers. Only the second museum to achieve the award, the Old Royal Naval College began its volunteer programme in 2010 and now manages just under 100 volunteers.

The Old Royal Naval College has implemented a new volunteering strategy for the next 3 years whilst working toward the standard, written in part through volunteer focus groups. This includes training programmes exploring the site’s history, how to give effective talks and handling sessions and how to engage different audiences, with a greater focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Volunteers have also been integrated into the Old Royal Naval College staff and volunteer survey, allowing them to share their views. These measures have allowed volunteers to become more confident and effective in their roles.

“We see the development of volunteering here as a great way of delivering public benefit and have been delighted as the number of volunteers, in various roles across the organisation, has grown and continues to do so," said Brendam McCarthy, Chief Executive at the Old Royal Naval College. "To receive this important benchmark is testament to the hard work of our staff and volunteers over the last few years in developing the Volunteer Programme so effectively.”

Anne Burton, Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “Investing in Volunteers also demonstrates to our volunteers how much they are valued and will give them confidence in our ability to provide an outstanding volunteer experience. The accreditation has helped us to identify, recruit and retain the right volunteers and will encourage more volunteers to join us.”

The Old Royal Naval College will be recruiting more volunteers ahead of its 2017 tours of the Painted Hall during conservation, in which the public will be able to get up close to the ceiling of the Painted Hall via a specially-constructed observation platform. Volunteers will play an instrumental role in managing and leading these tours, with both “above deck” explainer and “below deck” supporter roles available.

To learn more about both these roles, visit our volunteering page.

To find out more about Investing in Volunteers, click here.


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