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Recognising volunteer talent

Working towards better recognition of volunteer contributions.

The immense commitment of time and effort given by volunteers is vital to help IET achieve its aims and objectives. In particular they provide a breadth of reach both globally and in their expertise that just couldn’t be achieved without them. It is therefore important that we recognise volunteer contributions – both individual and joint – and ensure everyone understands their role in the IET.

The working party has been busy compiling ideas from various sources and has specifically been in consultation with Council on this important issue. Following their feedback we have been busy putting ideas into action.

Volunteer awards

A new Achievement Medal for major and outstanding contributions to furthering the aims of the IET will be awarded for the first time in 2015. As part of the Achievement Awards programme, this new award as been created in response to member feedback to recognise and celebrate the amazing work that volunteers do across the organisation. 

The Paul Fletcher medal is also presented annually to a young professional volunteer for outstanding achievement in contributing to the activities of the IET. 

You can nominate someone who you think deserves one of these medals by visiting the Achievement website [new window].

Celebrating volunteering

Each year we recognise the wonderful achievements of our volunteers by joining in a recognised celebration event. In 2015 we are planning to expand on this with a special campaign highlighting the amazing things our volunteers do and raising awareness of the value they bring to the engineering profession, as well as to the IET. The campaign will lead up to International Volunteering Day which is celebrated on 5th December. Currently we are working with our Young Professionals on the planning for this event, but watch this page for more information as it develops.

Thank you cards

'Thank you' cards for those moments when all you need is a simple gesture of recognition. The cards can be used by both volunteers and staff and are perfect for thanking a speaker or to give a pat-on-the-back for a job well done. If you would like some sent out to you, email us at, along with the quantity you need, and we can send them out to you.


We are currently looking at the types of certificates available and how they are used across the IET. There are a lot of them around and it can sometimes be confusing knowing what to use and when. We plan to make this simpler by providing a suite of smart new certificates that will be available via the Marketing Toolkit for you to download and insert the details of your event or award. Certificates should be used when you wish to recognise achievement, rather than to thank.

Employer recognition

Volunteering can be a great way to develop skills and experience that are also relevant in the workplace. For this reason employers can be pleased to support their staff engaging in IET activities. If you would like us to provide a letter for your employer outlining the importance of your volunteering role please let us know at confirming contact details for your employer.

Reduced subscriptions

It has previously been proposed that volunteers could receive reduced subscription rates in recognition of their services. 

The working party has explored the issue widely and can confirm that the proposal conflicts with the intention of clause 5 of the Royal Charter which says that the IET should not do things “with a view to the pecuniary gain or profit of the members”. This unfortunately means that the IET is not able to offer reduced subscription rates to volunteers.

However, the working party continues to work on a full and varied programme of recognition for volunteers - further information on this will be communicated via Volunteer Update and will also be added to this web page as it becomes available.

If you have any comments or queries regarding volunteer recognition, please contact us at