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Technical Writer – Volunteering for Development Standards

Type of role:Business, management and IT
Location:Various Countries
Contract type:Consultant Agreement
Contract length:30-40 days
Full Time:35 hours per week
Application Closing Date:24 Feb 2019
Start date:ASAP

VSO is the world’s leading international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. We’re not about delivering quick fixes, but instead we focus on long-lasting, sustainable change, that will impact generations to come. Join us and help us work towards our vision of a world without poverty.

Role overview

VSO are coordinating a critical project on behalf of the International Forum for Volunteering on Development (Forum) to advance quality for the Volunteering in Development sector and require someone that can produce  the design and documentation required for the Standards. This will involve supporting the development of implementation and maintenance guidelines, including learning materials, and support the launch of the Standards. You will also contribute toward developing a process around the accreditation and management of the Standards.


  • Create the overall framework, guidance and templates required to support working groups within Forum to develop the Standards.
  • Work with subject matter experts to write the Standards in modular form, translating concept, practice and process into formal technical standard documentation.
  • Produce and present high-quality documentation that meets industry standards for standards and is appropriate for the range of target audiences.
  • Support the development of content material that will help the launch of the Standards at the Forum’s IVCO 2019 Conference taking place in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2019.
  • Contribute to developing a framework and process around accreditation and management of the Standards.

Skills, qualifications and experience

You will have exceptional skills in English writing and synthesising complex content into accessible formats. You will ideally have experience creating standards, preferably in the context of international development, and presenting this information to a global audience. You will be responsible for creating templates for documenting standards and ensuring various sub-groups, managed by Forum, can produce the type of content required to build a standard.

Experience of working with multiple stakeholders and working to tight deadlines is also necessary.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience

Essential criteria


  • Fluent in English, both oral and written.
  • Familiarity with other Standards within the development sector and beyond.
  • Relevant degree level qualification, other related qualifications relevant to the role, or equivalent experience.
  • Strong IT/computer skills particularly Skype and Microsoft Office. 


  • Experience of working with volunteering for development sector.
  • Experience of developing processes, procedural and guidance documentation.
  • Solid experience of writing user-friendly documentation.
  • Experience of developing documentation in digital format.
  • Experience of producing Standards or Standard-related documentation for international audiences.


  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills with good command of grammar and accessible vocabulary to a global audience.
  • Ability to learn about complex technical topics and explain them clearly.
  • Ability to work effectively with multiple stakeholders, in a globally dispersed environment.
  • Ability to work with short deadlines and under pressure.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills.

Competencies and Behaviour

At VSO we believe progress is only possible by working together. Whether you want to join us as an employee, or as a volunteer working in your own country, overseas or online, our selection process includes an assessment based on these core competencies:

• Ability to be open minded and respectful
• Ability to be resilient and adaptive to new situations
• Ability to facilitate positive change and build sustainable working relationships
• Ability to seek and share knowledge

Equal Opportunities

VSO promotes equal opportunities and values a diverse workforce.

VSO reserves the right to close this job early if we receive a sufficient number of applications.

To submit your application, click on ‘Make an application’ and complete all relevant fields on the online application form.

Make an application
VSO has zero tolerance of abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people. We expect all our employees/volunteers to ensure we protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm and abide by our safeguarding policy (PDF).

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