The Open University has produced a new free online course called Introducing the Voluntary Sector, aimed at learners working, or aspiring to work, as paid members of staff or as volunteers in voluntary or community organisations.
The course covers the context and features of voluntary and community organisations including the structure and history of the UK voluntary sector, values and beliefs, funding issues, understanding stakeholders and beneficiaries, power and empowerment, and the role of volunteering.
The course is eight weeks long, involves three hours per week of study (24 hours in total) and is available via OpenLearn.
Those who complete the course can earn an Open University digital badge, and following completion will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of what is meant by the voluntary sector, its values, contribution and distinctive features, recognise and use some of the terms and concepts associated with understanding the voluntary sector, use and apply their knowledge about the voluntary sector to their own work or volunteering experience, and link their learning with their own personal or career goals.
A second course, Working in the Voluntary Sector, will be available later this year.