Quality Standards

UCDVO is committed to the highest level of international standards and recognises its responsibility to partner organisations, volunteers, donors and host communities. We prepare volunteers to carry out their volunteering placements in an ethical, responsible and responsive manner.

All participants sign UCDVO’s Volunteer Agreement and must attend Introduction to Development Education; Ethical Volunteering and Intercultural Learning Days, as well as a Leadership Training weekend for student leaders and team coordinators. The development education programme days complement the project specific training days on areas such as health and safety, child protection and safeguarding.
UCDVO provides opportunities for feedback throughout the programme, offers links to professional debriefing services, holds a Moving Forward Day and a Recognition event for returned volunteers.

As a signatory of the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice for Sending Agencies, we are committed to the implementation of the Code’s five values that underpin the work of international volunteering programmes: Solidarity; Respect; Social Justice; Ecological Sustainability and Integrity. Full details of the Code are here. 

UCDVO has been assessed by Comhlámh as having all core indicators and at least 85% of all indicators in place for our international volunteer programmes, (Comprehensive Compliance status). Comprehensive Compliance status is the highest award for quality responsible volunteering programmes available to Irish international volunteer sending agencies. If you feel we are not adhering to the Code please contact us on info.ucdvo@ucd.ie or info@comhlamh.org.

UCDVO endorses the 'Put Children First: End Orphanage Care and Volunteering' Campaign. This campaign is calling on you to help end the practice of orphanage volunteering and change how children are cared for. Find out more about the campaign and how to make a pledge here.

UCDVO is a signatory to the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages. The Code is designed to support NGOs when communicating development issues. UCDVO commits to a set of principles, ensuring that we will avoid stereotypical or sensational images, respect the dignity and equality of all people portrayed and promote fairness, solidarity and justice through all our communications. Full details on the Code here.