Volunteer Learning - elearning for healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • NHS England partnership logo
  • National Volunteer Certificate logo

About the Volunteer Learning programme

The programme supports your completion of the National Volunteer Certificate (NVC) and also links to wider learning. More information, resources and guidance on the NVC and volunteering in general, can be found via the National Learning Hub for Volunteering.

What is the National Volunteer Certificate and why should I complete it?

We encourage all volunteers to start their learning journey by undertaking the National Volunteer Certificate which underpins the induction you will do as a volunteer.

The aim of the National Volunteer Certificate is to ensure that all volunteers in health and social care, have the same basic learning when you start in your role.   Completion of induction training supports the process for ensuring that you are safe in the volunteering environment.

The National Volunteer Certificate (NVC) will demonstrate that you have undertaken high-quality training in theory and carried out a period of practice to be able to volunteer safely in health and social care.

The NVC will be awarded when you have achieved the six core standards required by completing a set of core learning sessions during induction and gained 60 hours of volunteering experience.

How do I achieve the National Volunteer Certificate?

There are two steps to achieving the National Volunteer Certificate

Firstly, you need to complete elearning to meet the six core standards of the National Volunteer Certificate.

The six core standards include content that all volunteers are encouraged to achieve as you start your volunteer journey

The standards are:

To find more about achieving each standard, select the link above and it will take you to the details of the standard and how to achieve it.

The standards are achieved through successful completion of 11 elearning sessions that are detailed below. Each is a short elearning session with a multiple choice test at the end.

To start your learning – select the hyperlink to access your first session.  

The second step you need to take is to complete an agreed period of volunteering, signed off by your Volunteer Manager You must complete a minimum of 30 hours of volunteering to achieve the in-house Volunteer Certificate.  Your manager will provide you with a certificate, awarded by your organisation, and a badge awarded by Health Education England (HEE) indicating that you have completed the Volunteer Certificate. 

If you wish to have an accredited certificate, awarded through SFJ Awards, you must complete a minimum of 60 hours of volunteering, up to 30% (20 hours) of which could have been completed prior to you commencing your studies.  Your Volunteer Manager will confirm that you have completed these hours and the required sessions for the core standards, and you will receive a digital certificate awarded by HEE and SFJ Awards along with your badge.

Thinking about a Career in Care?

If you are thinking about a career in healthcare, you will be interested to know that the National Volunteer Standards have been mapped to the outcomes of the National Care Certificate which is used in the preparation of support workers in health and care settings. They will provide some underpinning knowledge for this should you, in your role as a volunteer, choose to move into health or care-based employment.

Additional learning for volunteers in specific roles

There are also a small number of optional modules which have been developed to support volunteers in specific roles. These do not need to be completed to achieve the NHS HEE National Volunteer Certificate, but your organisations may ask you to complete them to support you in your roles.

Other resources which you may be interested in:

Completing the NVC is not the end of the story – there are other resources available via the National Learning Hub for Volunteering including resources from the Open University, Open Learn, Future Learn, Macmillan and ourselves here at elearning for healthcare.

Make Every Contact Count

Make Every Contact Count (MECC) enables the delivery of consistent and concise health and wellbeing information and encourages individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations.

The fundamental idea underpinning the MECC approach is simple. It recognises that staff across health and care, local authority and voluntary sectors have thousands of contacts every day with individuals and are ideally placed to support health and wellbeing.

MECC is intended for anyone who has contact with people to “Make Every Contact Count” and develop public health knowledge.



For further information on how to achieve the NVC, register your organisation or any other query, please contact the Volunteering team via: volunteering@hee.nhs.uk

Meet the team

  • elfh, HEE and TEL
    • Charlotte Deveraux – Project Manager/Programme Manager, NHSE Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
    • Dave Beardmore – Project Manager, NHSE Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
    • Karen Walker – Learning Designer, NHSE Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
    • Charlotte Teager – Programme Manager, NHSE Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
    • Eleni Keogh – Project Manager, NHSE Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
    • Neil Ralph – Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, NHSE Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
    • Salik Zia – NHSE National Volunteer Certificate Lead
    • Kay Fawcett – NHSE Volunteer Education Development Lead
  • Pennine Lancashire Integrated Care Partnership
    • Maggie Asquith – Volunteers Project Lead, Together a Healthier Future Transformation Programme
    • Julie Sumner – County Volunteer Service Manager, Lancashire Volunteer Partnership


  • Project partners
    • Age UK
    • Advocacy Focus
    • Community CVS (Community & Voluntary Services
    • Blackburn with Darwen Council
    • Blackburn with Darwen Healthwatch
    • Burnley, Pendle & Rossendale CVS (Community & Voluntary Services)
    • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
    • Families, Health and Wellbeing Consortium
    • Helpforce
    • Hyndburn & Ribble CVS (Community & Voluntary Services
    • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
    • Lancashire Volunteer Partnership
    • Manchester Foundation Trust
    • St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
    • The Royal Marsden
    • University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Healthier Pennine Lancashire Volunteer Learning Passport Co-Production Team
    • Maggie Asquith – Volunteers Project Lead, Healthier Pennine Lancashire
    • Lorraine Collings – Volunteer Programme Manager, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
    • Kate Lee – Volunteer Manager, Community CVS, Blackburn
    • Darren Harris – Volunteer Coordinator, Lancashire Care Foundation NHS Trust
    • Julie Sumner – Operations Manager, Lancashire Volunteer Partnership
    • Chloe Dobson – Volunteer Manager, Healthwatch, Blackburn with Darwen
    • Lynn Hackett – Volunteer Coordinator, East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust

How to access

This Volunteer Learning content is free to accesusing any email address.  Registration is required to enable users to track their learning, provide feedback on sessions and retain certificates of completion.

Register >

If you already have an account with elfh, then you can enrol on to the Volunteer Learning content by logging in to the elfh Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My elearning section.

If you are new to elfh, you can register via the Register button at the top of the page.

Access from other Learning Management Systems

The National Volunteer Certificate elearning sessions are supported by the AICC communication standard. This allows for remote Learning Management Systems (LMS) to launch the sessions from the elfh content server as if they were loaded locally. Enrolment and tracking of usage is retained at the organisation’s LMS. If your local LMS supports AICC, please contact our support desk and we will provide you with the relevant links and instructions to set up courses.

elfh is a NHS England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies