Volunteer Engagement Officer


This pack contains all the information you need to apply, including:

Applicant letter

Details on how to apply plus closing date and interview date(s)

Useful Information

Details on our Diversity Policy statement, how we use CVs, expenses, shortlisting and pre-employment checks and UK Identification requirements

Job description

A breakdown of the vacancy, including the purpose of the job, requirements, duties and responsibilities

Person specification

A list of criteria that potential candidates should aim to meet

Application Form

Applicants are encouraged to complete electronically and return by e-mail

Campaigning for the Use, Maintenance, Restoration

and Development of Britain’s Inland Waterways

Dear Applicant

Volunteer Engagement Officer
Salary: £20,000-£23,000 per annum (35 hour week) plus 7% pension contribution
Location: Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
[NB Home working might be an option if the successful applicant has the right experience and waterways knowledge – please call Jenny Black to discuss]

Thank you for your enquiry regarding our advertised vacancy for aVolunteerEngagement Officer. An application form is enclosed, together with a job description and person specification.

If you require any further information about this position please contact me.

Please complete the enclosed application form electronically, or in blue or black ink. Please refer to the person specification when completing the form. Your completed application form should clearly describe how you meet each of the criteria that have been identified as being necessary for this post as this will form the basis of shortlisting candidates. Please enclose your CV, as it may be referred to for supplementary information; however, please ensure that all the questions asked on the application form are fully answered.

Completed forms should be returned by email to or by post to Jenny Black, The Inland Waterways Association, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA.

The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 9am onMonday 6th February 2017.

Interviews will be held on Thursday 16th February 2017.

As a charity, we try to keep our administrative costs to a minimum and therefore we shall only be able to advise unsuccessful candidates by e-mail. It is not our policy to discuss reasons for shortlisting individual applicants.

We look forward to receiving your application in due course.

Jenny Black

Volunteers Coordinator

01494 783 453 ext 604


Diversity Policy Statement

IWA aims to ensure that all staff, volunteers, partners, clients, contractors, members and the general public are treated fairly. Unless it can be shown to be justified, this will be regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, or national origin), disability, medical status, age, religion or belief, political opinion, social or economic status, or ex-offender status.

Use of Curriculum Vitae (CVs)

Our policy is to recruit and employ our employees on the basis of their suitability for the work to be done. An application form allows us to compare individuals based on like for like information and as such we do not accept a CV unless accompanied by a fully completed application.


IWA is an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to ensuring all applications are treated fairly. Applications are sought only from those eligible to work in the UK in the first instance.

All applications are subject to our shortlisting process where we only assess information provided against the Person Specification. If you are shortlisted we will contact you and invite you to attend an interview. You will also be advised at this point if there will be any skills test, presentations etc.

As a charity, we lack the resources to advise all candidates by post if their application is unsuccessful. If you do not hear from us within four weeks of the closing date, we will have decided not to take your application any further. However, if you are able to supply us with an e-mail address, we will endeavour to advise you if you have not been shortlisted. If this is the case, please do not be discouraged from re-applying as your skills and experience may be just what we need for our next vacancy. We also have a number of volunteering opportunities across the organisation.

IWA will cover the costoftravel expenses for attending the interview up to maximum of £50. Receipts will be required to process expenses. An expenses claim form will be supplied at the interview.

Pre- employment Checks

All offers of employment are made subject to the following criteria:

  • Proof of eligibility to work in the UK
  • Proof of UK Residency
  • Satisfactory Pre Employment Health Check
  • Two references satisfactory to the Association.


Job title: Volunteer Engagement Officer

Department:Volunteeringand Campaigns

Location of job: IWA Head Office – Chesham
[NB Home working might be an option if the successful applicant has the right experience and waterways knowledge. Please call Jenny Black to discuss]

Post holder reports to:Jenny Black –Volunteers Coordinator

Reporting to post holder:Will work in conjunction with the Branch Support Officer.

Job Description:
Exciting opportunity to work for one of the leading waterway charities

Overall purpose of the job:

For more than 70 years, we have campaigned to keep Britain’s waterways alive. Over the next 5 years we have clear objectives to increase IWA’s visibility across the waterways network and expand the range and depth of activities our volunteers are engaged in at branch level. We want to inject new pride in the work of IWA, to broaden the number of volunteers working with the Association and embed a brand new campaign to stir the nation to Love our Waterways - an exciting new theme.

We are looking for someone to join us on this journey who is passionate about effectively engaging, involving and supporting our members and volunteers at a grassroots level.

The successful candidate’s main focus will be to support our network of 33 branches, grow our volunteer engagement and encourage more of our 10,000 waterways supporters to get involved.

You will be expected to help branches organise volunteering activities that will increase the amount of activity IWA delivers and help us ignite a fresh passion and connection to the waterways.

This is a fantastic opportunity for an energetic and experienced professional to work with IWA to help us re-energise our branch network and implement our 5 year plan. This position would suit someone who has excellent written and verbal communication skills, lots of initiative and who wants to learn and take responsibility quickly.
The role will involve travelling and some out of office hours work (evenings and weekends). Time off in lieu will be given.

Key Outputs


  • To understand the needs of individual branches and develop bespoke action plans for each. Offer enhanced levels of support when branches are struggling and offer a lighter touch when branches are running successfully.
  • To support the work of the Head Office, Region and Branch Teams to help deliver a sustainable suite of clearly defined projects in each branch that meets our charitable objectives, accommodate the needs of waterway users, and that successfully engages and meets with the approval of the local community, leaving a lasting legacy in the name of IWA.
  • Engage with the branch network and provide tools and resources to support volunteers in their awareness and recruitment drives, making their activities more visible.
  • Enable and support the Association’s members and volunteers to organise and participate in activities which help to fulfil our strategic objectives.
  • Support branches using the IWA website in order to keep to keep it fresh and up to date with branch activities, this may also include organising training days.


  • Create and produce a quarterly e-newsletter for our volunteers, sharing good practice and informing branches of what other IWA volunteer teams are achieving.
  • Implement ways to incentivise and recognise our volunteers, including coordinating activities for Volunteers’ Week and creating a Volunteer Reward Programme.
  • Encourage local IWA members & new volunteers to join with other branch activities.


  • Support the work of our Marketing Team in the delivery of IWA’s ‘Love our Waterways Campaign’ which aims to work with local communities to engage and respect their local waterways, particularly where there are high levels of vandalism / dumping / litter. The campaign will also recognise the great work that local branches and groups already do to look after their waterways.
  • Link with partner organisations and communicate with members of the public in order to plan and promote IWA events.

Person specifications

The Volunteer Engagement Officer should have at least two year’s experience in supporting volunteers of all ages and coordinating projects.


  • Experience of supporting volunteers.
  • Knowledge of the inland navigable network of canals and rivers [highly desirable]
  • Experience of delivering positive change.
  • Experience of delivering training and creating support resources.
  • Ability to develop strong, collaborative relationships with a wide range of stakeholders including volunteers, members, colleagues and other partner groups.
  • Excellent communication skills, time management and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team is key.
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook
  • A self-starter, able to work on their own initiative
  • A good team player with a positive and flexible attitude to work.
  • Understanding of health and safety requirements when organising events/ activities.
  • Have a driving licence.

for IWA Use Only




Please refer to vacancy details for return address

Job Ref. No. / JB/WRG
Position applied for / Volunteer Engagement Officer
Location / IWA Head Office, Chesham, Buckinghamshire
How did you first learn of this vacancy?
Identification details



Email address

May we, with discretion, phone you during the daytime?YesNo

Home tel no
Daytime tel no

Do you hold a current, valid driving licence?YesNo

If yes, what type?FullProvisional

If yes, do you have any current endorsements?YesNo

If yes, please give details of any current endorsements.

Details of any relevant learning and development. Please include dates.

(For example degrees, short courses, first aid, computer skills, work based NVQs etc. Please note that these may be verified on appointment)

Employment and Education history

Please give details of all jobs held, including part-time and unpaid work, starting with your current or most recent employer and/or recent education. Continue on a separate sheet if necessary.

Employer’s full name & address / Job title/Key achievements & areas of responsibility / Length of time in job/
Reasons for leaving/
Final salary in role

Relevant skills/knowledge/experience

You should outline below how your skills/knowledge/experience meet the requirements of the Person Specification. You may draw on past employment and/or out of work activities. Continue on a separate sheet if necessary.

This role will involve the coordination and management of many different people and groups. Give an example of when you have taken responsibility in managing an activity or project, with volunteers, through to completion.Continue on a separate sheet if necessary.

Length of noticerequired for any existing employment obligations

The information on this form will be used for recruitment and selection purposes only and if your application is successful it will form part of your employment record. All unsuccessful applications will be destroyed twelve months after the closing date.

Are you eligible to work in the UK? Yes  No 

If it is discovered that you have given any information, which you know to be false, or withhold any relevant information your application may be rejected or any subsequent employment terminated.

I confirm that the information contained in this application form is correct.

Signature...... ……………………………………….
Date...... ……………………………………….