2.6 Quality assurance
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Legal quality assurance is valid only for voluntary service programmes . If young people decide to volunteer under voluntary service and in social services or in healthcare settings, they also need to comply with the standards of those settings (for details see Chapter 2.4), and they can use all the benefits for the volunteer within the voluntary service. Any other standards or benefits for young volunteers or youth volunteering are a matter of non-state actors and organisations working with young volunteers usually based on their mutual agreement.
Under the Act on voluntary service, article 6, quality assurance is ensured through an accreditation process:
'(1) The Ministry of the Interior shall accredit the deploying organisation (from now on only "the Ministry"). The Ministry shall provide the accreditation upon the proposal of an Accreditation Commission composed of one representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Finance, and the Government Council for NGOs. The Accreditation Commission is an advisory body to the Ministry of the Interior.
(2) The Ministry shall accredit, in keeping with Art. 1), a deploying organisation, which is a civil association, foundation, institute, social cooperative, public beneficial society, church or religious organisation or a legal person formed by a church or a religious organisation, which is of good repute and integrity, and should prove that it has the necessary bodies, employees, or members as well as specific voluntary service projects or programmes and the finances to organise and perform voluntary service and to meet other obligations under this Act. The accreditation shall be granted for a period of four years.'
The Accreditation Commission is composed of representatives of different ministries and investigates the quality of the applicant organisation. The accreditation expires after a period of 4 years (and is subject to re-accreditation) or after any change of facts decisive for granting of the accreditation throughout the whole period of accreditation validity. Different ministries cooperate, but the accrediting authority is the Ministry of the Interior.
The Ministry of the Interior maintains a list of all accredited organisations:
'The Ministry shall maintain a list of accredited deployment organisations. The list shall be public and made accessible electronically. The list shall include definitions and objectives of types of voluntary service the deploying organisation facilitates and manages.'
The register is available online, on the Ministry of the Interior's web pages and includes a list of accredited projects.
In the Act on voluntary service, as amended, no mechanism can be found that would impose upon any entities to gather feedback from voluntary service participants. These mechanisms can be present on the level of deploying organisations. However, according to the law, they are neither obligatory nor centrally monitored.
Currently, no summary reports from the Ministry of the Interior's accreditation processes or grant processes can be found, with the exception of the Frydlova's report (2015) that summarises the support of the Ministry of the Interior for voluntary service in 2015.
Neither the Ministry of the Interior nor other central authorities monitor the level of social inclusion of voluntary service or volunteering in general, i.e. outside of the force of the Act on voluntary service.
There are no particular guidelines for youth volunteering.
However, general volunteering and application of voluntary service are further regulated in a number of different areas administrated by different ministries in accordance with standards in those areas and sectors. If young people decide to volunteer in these areas under the framework of voluntary service, they need to comply with those sector standards as well.
Volunteering in Social Services:
- Since the 2007 amended version of the Act on Social Services (Act. no. 108/2006 Sb.) volunteers can be deployed in social services. However, they need to operate only under the regime of voluntary service.
- There are Standards of quality for social services and their Implementing regulation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (no. 505/2006 Sb.) of the Act on Social Services. All volunteers deployed thus in social services, need to fulfil these standards as well including the duty of secrecy.
- Volunteers (both under the force of the Act on voluntary service - with accreditation – and outside of it) cannot perform a professional activity (do not belong among defined people who directly provide social services), and therefore it is not necessary to provide documents on criminal records or professional qualifications. They can only support the professional staff of the social services.
The Ministry of Health (MH) also refers to the Act on voluntary service, however, defines specificities of volunteering in health care through methodical recommendations. These methodical recommendations deal extensively with different aspects of volunteering in medical facilities, from the introduction of voluntary programs to their evaluation.
Similarly, MI published, in accordance with the Act on Voluntary Service, methodical material concerning volunteering in emergencies. The document provides an overview of the legal framework of volunteering in emergencies and a set of practical steps to be followed in emergencies to involve volunteers securely and effectively.