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ICS is about creating change. Not just for communities, but for volunteers too.

To make the greatest impact, all our volunteers will receive comprehensive training and support before they head overseas as well as in-country and on their return home.

Pre placement training

As part of your preparation you will be invited to a residential training session. The length of the training may vary with each agency, but expect three days of intensive learning. You can expect your pre placement training to cover:

  •  An introduction to ICS and the agency you will be working with.
  • An introduction to international development
  • How the project works and how it supports wider work
  • An introduction to how the project works and how it contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Your safety and security whilst you are in-country
  • A medical briefing
  • Advice to help guide your fundraising
  • Information on the country of your placement
  • A talk from a returned volunteer and their experience

In-country orientation 

On arrival in-country, you will take part in a residential training and meet the rest of your team, lasting up to five days. This will generally take place outside of your community, where the country office is located.

You will attend together with your in-country volunteer counterparts and further prepare for the duties of your specific placement. Training will also include:

  • Detailed introduction to local staff and country office
  • Your safety and security - now that you are in-country
  • Living with host families
  • Cross-cultural working
  • Community development

In-community orientation

After the initial orientation, volunteers partake in a two to five day training session to help you orientate to your new surroundings.

You may be based at your host home and join your team during the day to get familiar with the local area and how to get to your placement.

Mid-phase review

Halfway through your placement, you will attend a weekend away with your team to review how the placement is going and to develop plans for the second half of your placement.

It is important to have this period to reflect on your work and how you are finding volunteering. Away from your placement location you can better assess your team and personal needs and make a plan to ensure the second half of your placement is as productive and enjoyable as possible.


At the end of your placement your team will have a debrief to help you reflect on your team's achievements and the progress you've made. It also enables you to put any necessary plans together to ensure the next team can continue your good work.

At the debrief you will also start planning the next steps such as your Action at Home.

After your overseas experience

We're committed to your ongoing development, as such you will recieve ongoing support throughout your Action at Home period as well as the opportunity to attend residential returned-volunteer weekend 4-6 weeks after your debrief.

At this event you can expect to: 

  • Get help planning Action at Home
  • Share your stories
  • Give ICS staff feedback
  • Learn more about campaigning and getting involved with causes
  • Undertake training on Interview techniques and applications for jobs

*Please note the above is a typical training programme and may vary depending on which partner agency and placement you are on.

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Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

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