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How to apply
When we receive your registration form we’ll make an initial assessment based on:
- whether your skills and experience are needed at this time
whether you meet the minimum requirements for the available roles
your readiness to go to live and work in a developing country, which includes being able to depart within 18 months.
You will receive a response from us within five days.
We will assess your application form and will make one of the following decisions:
- There are suitable placements for you in the next 18 months. If there are, and we have no concerns around your personal circumstances or availability, we will email you an invitation to attend a VSO assessment day.
- We are impressed with your application but do not have any available placements. In this case we will put your application on hold. As soon as something suitable comes up, we will let you know and at that point we will progress your application.
- You are not suitable for a VSO placement. In this case we will send you an email advising you of this, and will be unable to take your application any further.
We will contact you with an outcome of your application within three weeks of receiving it.
We will email you with the results from the assessment day within 10 working days.
If you’re successful, we’ll send you log-in details for our volunteer intranet where you’ll find all the information you’ll need to guide you through the rest of your journey and access online courses.
It is very important that you do everything that you can at this stage to ensure that you are medically and security cleared – you will find full details to guide you through these processes online.
At this stage we will also ask for your references.
The number of placements for which you might be considered will depend on:
- your qualifications and experience
- the number of requests for your skills that VSO receives
- the number of volunteers with skills similar to yours.
We won’t expect you to accept a placement unless you’re happy with it.
Once you’ve accepted, we’ll send your details to our overseas partner organisation (who you will eventually be working with) to make sure your skills and experience are suitable you for the placement. When this has happened, your placement is confirmed and preparations will be made for you to go overseas.
The training will involve both online and face-to-face activities. In order to make the best use of your time, you can start your training while a suitable placement is being found for you. You'll have the opportunity to work towards accredited qualifications in International Development both pre-departure and in placement.
While you’re waiting to find a placement and being trained, VSO’s Volunteer Support team will guide you through the administrative steps you need to take before going overseas.
We provide advice on vaccinations and any medical requirements as well as organising flights, entry visas and work permits on your behalf.
Our staff will be on hand to guide you through your pre-departure journey and to help prepare you for a successful placement.
Once you’re in country, you’ll receive language and cultural awareness training. This can last between two weeks and three months, depending on the country.
As well as helping you understand the culture and history of the country you’re now calling home, the training also allows you to bond with the other volunteers.
The following support will be available to you:
- careers advice
- returned volunteers training event
- settlement of any outstanding financial payments