National Association of 
Voluntary Services Managers

Lead, promote and develop best practice in 
Volunteer Management in the NHS and Healthcare

Best Practice Policy Writing




The number, frequency and extent of reports will vary between Trusts, and where you 'sit' within the organisation. Some VSMs are required to report directly to their Trust Board; others provide information to be incorporated into a composite report; this will depend on whether Voluntary Services is a department in its own right or if it sits within another department or team. For example: HR.


When putting together reports for Senior Management / Directors it is useful to remember some key guidelines:


Keep reports short


Managers do not have time to read through pages of information so make sure any report is as succinct as possible. If there is no way to easily shorten a document then consider producing a summary document that attaches to the full report.

What do Managers want to hear?

Make sure you consider what they need to know / want to hear when you write a report. Ultimately managers wish to hear about improved patient care, increased efficiencies and achieving Trust objectives. It is useful to discuss volunteering activity in these terms as this will make your report more relevant and interesting and make you seem more professional.

What do you want to achieve?

If you need more resources make sure you make your case clear and provide plenty of evidence to back up your plans and alternative options / outcomes.

Reports are often more powerful when they can be backed up with data. A database is invaluable in providing data on volunteering, for example how many active volunteers, age, gender. If you don't have one, your Trust IT department may be able to help design and create a (relatively simple) Access database. Alternatively, there are a number of 'off the peg' volunteer management databases; the best known of which is Vbase.