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Seven quality principles

ICS is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and delivered by a consortium of organisations led by VSO.

Different ICS agencies work in different ways, but they all work to seven agreed quality principles. 

This means that all ICS projects are based on these principles and are committed to delivering impact in partnership with local communities.

Challenges Worldwide volunteers Nicole Sparkes and Josh Tukei
© Challenges Worldwide / Esther Mbabazi
Challenges Worldwide volunteers Nicole Sparkes and Josh Tukei

At the end of the first year of ICS (March 2013) we reviewed the whole programme and found:

  • 98.4% of our partner organisations described the ICS programme as useful or very useful
  • Every in-country volunteer and 91% of UK volunteers said they thought participation in the ICS programme had been useful
  • 95% of in-country volunteers and 83% of UK volunteers said they thought participation in the ICS programme had been useful for professional development

The full report is available here if you would like to learn more. 

You can also find out more about the pilot ICS programme and how it was evaluated. This report helped us to strengthen ICS as we moved from the pilot to a new contract.

To make sure ICS stays on-track the programme is evaluated by an independent organisation, appointed by DFID.

This evaluation is in addition to our own on-going monitoring and review of all our programmes, and we know our volunteers are also hugely valuable in supporting that work.

By completing the monitoring surveys we send and completing end of project reports you help us ensure that ICS continues to deliver. 

The external evaluators have produced two reports about ICS: the first at the mid-point of the programme (December 2013) and one at the end of the programme (August 2015).

They met with volunteers as well as visited overseas programmes to gather research for the reports.

Seven quality principles


ICS is committed to recruiting a body of UK volunteers representative of the UK's diversity.

Volunteer support

ICS will support you at every step of the journey as you gain experience and confidence.

Programme impact

We’ll give you the tools you need to work in partnership with local communities.

Cross-cultural working

UK volunteers work alongside volunteers from the host country as equal partners.

Community integration

You will live in the community where you are working and become an active member of that community.

Supported learning

You'll get training to support cross-cultural understanding and learning.

Active citizens

Active citizens bring about positive change in their communities.

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Funded by the UK Government

ICS is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.

Find out more