The Shetland Befriending Scheme had in place the Approved Provider Standards (APS).

The APS was developed by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation with support from the Home Office. It is a benchmark for organisations providing one-to-one, volunteer mentoring or befriending and it seeks to provide projects with a badge of competence and safe practice in mentoring or befriending.

The scheme was approved in July 2006 and re-accredited in July 2009, and was valid until July 2012.

Befriending Networks (previously named Befriending Network Scotland) then launched a new quality award for befriending projects called: 'Quality in Befriending' (QiB). The standards outlined in the new award linked closely to the BNS Befriending Code of Practice and and to the credit-rated Vital Skills in Befriending training course.

QiB assesses the core work of befriending projects and does not aim to assess the wider organisation. The Practice Areas covered by QiB are:

  1. Client referrals, assessments and waiting lists
  2. Volunteer recruitment, assessment and selection
  3. Volunteer training
  4. Matching
  5. Reviews and ongoing support for clients and befrienders
  6. Endings
  7. Risk management and safety
  8. Project resources
  9. Monitoring & evaluation, and implementing change

In 2012 the scheme worked towards the Quality in Befriending (QiB) Quality in Befriending Award via Befriending Networks and they submitted their portfolio in November 2012 for formal assessment.

The scheme was delighted to achieve the QiB award for Quality in Befriending in September 2014 and was valid until July 2016 for 3 sections of the service: Children and Young People, Children and Young People ASN and the Young Adults section.

The scheme is delighted that they have been again re-accredited the (QiB) Quality in Befriending Award for 2 sections of the service, the Children and Young People and Children and Young People ASN section of the befriending scheme. This is valid until 31st July 2022.

Further information about this can be found at:

Volunteer Friendly Award

The Volunteer Friendly Award is a simple, user-friendly quality standard designed by Volunteer Centre Dundee to support, recognise and reward groups who are good at involving volunteers. Volunteer Friendly helps projects take a systematic look at what they do and how they do it. It offers a flexible approach which allows projects to work at their own pace, with full support from their local Volunteer Centre. It is based on the national standard Investing in Volunteers (IiV) but is designed for small organisations which may not be ready to undertake IiV yet, or which may be looking for a stepping stone towards IiV.

Volunteer Friendly involves working through a checklist of best practice, organised into five strands. This produces an action plan to help you to develop a portfolio of evidence showing the quality of your work with volunteers.

The five strands are:

*Commitment to Involving Volunteers

*Making Volunteering Happen

*Fair and Equal Volunteering

*Volunteering Tasks & Getting Them Done

*Celebrating Volunteers’ Contributions

The Shetland Befriending Scheme successfully achieved the Volunteer Friendly Award in February 2013 and was valid for 3 years until February 2016.

The scheme re-submitted a portfolio of evidence in April 2016 and was successful at achieving this award once more. It is now valid until May 2019.