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Revisiting VolleyMark

8th June 2017

Revisiting VolleyMark

An update from Sam Jamieson, Core Market Officer, Volleyball England

In recent months, clubs across the country have been asking what is happening with the Volley 123 and VolleyMark accreditation schemes.

Volley 123 comprised three progressive levels of accreditation and helped clubs to demonstrate their commitment to good practice by putting in place the structures and processes to support safe and efficient club management.

Last year, we began trialling a replacement scheme - VolleyMark. Several clubs came forward to help pilot the scheme, which saw the three levels reduced to one in an effort to make life far easier for club secretaries. However, as Volleyball England then underwent a significant organisational overhaul, this pilot scheme had to be temporarily halted. In addition, we were unable to assist with any existing Volley 123 accreditations which needed renewing.

As Volleyball England’s new structure takes hold, the topic of accreditation is now firmly back on our radar. Supporting clubs to have the best possible administration, finance, marketing, safeguarding and governance processes in place is something we remain firmly committed to. Our focus now is on how we best deliver that support to our core market clubs.

As mentioned in a recent article from our CEO, Janet Inman, club culture – and the impact it can have on player recruitment and retention – is going to be the subject of one of our Board’s focus groups this year. How we proceed with VolleyMark will form an important part of their conversations.

For those whose previous accreditation has expired – or is about to – it’s worth highlighting that both Volley 123 and VolleyMark were variations of ClubMark, the accreditation scheme operated by Sport England through its Club Matters programme.

What both schemes did was to put ClubMark into a volleyball context, using sport specific terminology and adapting some of the basic processes. Therefore, clubs who want to pursue some form of accreditation now – to reassure players, parents, partners or sponsors, for example, that their club is well run – can still do so, via ClubMark.

If or when a new version of VolleyMark does emerge, the feedback from those clubs who participated in the original trial will still have been incorporated. In addition, I would welcome any further feedback on how worthwhile clubs find such accreditation and what they need from a volleyball specific version of the scheme.

The topic of how best to display a club’s accreditation will also be considered. I know there will be plenty of clubs with their old Level 1, 2 and 3 banners on show; banners which are an immense source of pride but which are now past their expiry date.

Having some form of accreditation is something that I know a lot of clubs are very proud of – and rightly so. It tells anyone who’s interested that theirs is a well-run club. Nowadays, it is also a critical part of being able to attract further investment and support. It is therefore an aspect of sound club management which Volleyball England remains absolutely committed to supporting however we can.

I will provide further updates on our VolleyMark discussions as they become available. In the meantime, anyone wanting to contribute to the discussion about the future shape of VolleyMark, can do so by emailing us at iwanttohelp@volleyballengland.org

Revisiting VolleyMark