Free online training for volunteers

We share free training and online courses which can be completed remotely by your volunteers.
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About this guidance

In our ‘Managing Volunteers Remotely’ sessions many of you asked for ideas for free online training that your volunteers could be doing from home, whilst they aren’t able be out in their communities.

Thank you to everyone who shared their favourite free courses that have been used and recommended by Healthwatch volunteers.

General training

Healthwatch induction

Ask your volunteers to complete our short introduction to Healthwatch, if they haven’t already done so. This short course explains the role of local Healthwatch and Healthwatch England.

Take the course

Introducing the voluntary sector

The Open University has a course that provides a detailed overview of the voluntary sector, giving you knowledge and skills that you can apply to your own work or volunteering, as well as your everyday life. The course should take three hours a week, over eight weeks to complete. 

Take the course

Volunteer passport

This is a suite of free online courses from Health Education England, designed for anyone who is volunteering in health and care. 

Topics include:

  • Equality
  • Diversity
  • Human rights
  • Safeguarding
  • Mental health awareness
  • Disability awareness.

You must register with an email address first, then you can select any of the courses that are of interest.

Find out more

Specific training

  • Carers courses  - York Carers Centre has three short online courses that will increase your knowledge of adult carers, young carers and young adult carers, as well as the challenges they face.

  • Diversity and difference in communication -The Open University has a short online course to help you understand the impact of diversity and difference on communication within health and care services.
  • The NHS Explained: How the Health System in England Really Works -The Kings Fund has a popular course that is ideal for anyone wanting to understand how the NHS works. It is eight hours of learning, usually over four weeks. 

Local training

Many Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS) and Volunteer Centres provide free training to local volunteers. This is often face to face, but some are working to take their training offer online. 

Find your local CVS or Volunteer Centre

Sign up to training and events

Take a look at our upcoming events to see what training is available, the meetings that are happening and any health and care awareness events you can support.

Find out more