Hallmark Quality Accreditation Scheme for Community Buildings
How Hallmark helps improve governance and management of your community building and why you should take part.
About the project
Cambridgeshire ACRE is able to offer the Hallmark accreditation scheme thanks to funding from Cambridgeshire County Council via its ‘Support Cambridgeshire’ grant.
Why is this needed?
Hallmark is a nationally-recognised quality standard for village halls and community buildings. Many halls in Cambridgeshire are already operating to a high standard of administration and management, however achieving the Hallmark standard will give halls an independent assessment of their hall so they can have confidence that their hall is well-run when assessed against nationally-set benchmarks. The award recognises the commitment and enthusiasm management committees bring to running their community facilities.
How can you get involved?
It’s easy to apply to take part. There are three levels to the Scheme, undertaken in the following sequence:
- Hallmark One checks charitable administration and management;
- Hallmark Two checks health and safety, security and licences; and
- Hallmark Three checks community involvement, social awareness and forward planning.
Once your committee feel confident you have everything in place, we arrange to visit your hall to view the paperwork and most importantly your building. We will work through the relevant Hallmark checklist and discuss the management of your venue.
You may also be interested in volunteering for this scheme. We recruit experienced trustees to act as the visitors. All our Hallmark visits are carried out with the involvement of volunteers, who all have experience in village hall management and participated in Hallmark themselves.
Visits are undertaken in a friendly and relaxed manner while understanding there is a serious job to do reviewing policies and evidence that the committee provide to demonstrates their facility is well run. These visits also provide an opportunity to discuss village hall matters and share experiences with other trustees. If you are interested in volunteering for this scheme, please get in touch to find out more.
What impact has our work had?
The following impacts have been reported:
Watch the trustees from Little Gransden Village Hall speak about their involvement in Hallmark.
“Achieving all 3 Hallmark Accreditations was a great thing for Fowlmere Village Hall. It is something we are extremely proud of and our hirers are delighted to know we have received these accreditations.
Hallmark 1 was very simple as we already had everything in place. We achieved all 38 check points. It was very useful to talk with the Visitors and exchange ideas. Hallmark 2 was a bit more difficult but again we had most things in place and managed to achieve this. Hallmark 3 (which we requested to take place at the same time as Hallmark 2) was much more in depth. However, following lots of advice and working with the Visitors we also achieved this.
We would recommend anyone to go for this. We are now really assured we are operating a well-run and managed hall with financially sound facility, with very good financial management processes in place.”
Dorothy Wood Chairman – Fowlmere Village Hall
“The one thing that has been most noticeable since I first started volunteering as a Village Hall Trustee is the large increase in statutory compliance requirements. Charity Law has always been there, but now there are so many other additional areas where legal compliance is required and those demands are not always fully understood by Trustees.
The combination of incredibly supportive expertise from Cambridgeshire ACRE and the Hallmark accreditation process goes a very long way to help Trustees with running their Charities and to make sure they “know what they didn’t know” in diverse range of areas such as, business planning, legal requirements, finance & auditing, health & safety, maintenance, marketing, web site design, data protection and safeguarding, to name but a few.
The Hallmark visits from volunteers, such as me, act as a two way process of sharing ideas and best practice information with the host organisation in a very collaborative way. In this way, accredited standards of compliance and effective management of the facilities are achieved, whilst at the same time sharing good and useful ideas with the visitors that can then be passed on to other organisations at future Hallmark visits.
Our committee wholeheartedly support the Hallmark programme and they appreciate the support and benefits of both Cambridgeshire ACRE and Hallmark. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to any Village Hall, for the reasons above and in order to formally recognise all the hard work that their respective volunteer Trustees put in to the benefit of their organisations.”
Steve Scott Chairman – Abbotsley Village Hall and Hallmark Visitor