New Virtual Assistant Standards

virtual assistant approved by www.SocietyofVirtualAssistants.co.ukBack in 2006 we established the UK’s first professional standards for virtual assistants…  They were reasonably simple, but surprisingly a lot of VAs simply hadn’t ever considered the security of freebie email addresses or even what they would do in case of flooding or a burglary…  The SVA Approved list was born!

10 years on, the industry has made huge leaps, but we are still somewhat hampered by a reputation of being a home-based industry.  That affects every VA who has ever had a client haggling on price, or being unsure of working with us.

The idea behind the professional standards is to raise standards across the board for virtual assistants – and to create something to aim at for new assistants entering the industry. 

Current rules:

  • Have domain specific email address
  • Have a landline telephone number
  • Display your contact address on your website
  • Back up data securely off site (this can be via automated online backup)
  • Answer phone calls or emails received within office hours next working day or to have an answerphone or autoresponder telling clients your return date
  • Only take on tasks which you are fully capable of completing
  • You must have contributed to the industry via interacting with SVA and displaying a link on your website
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Additionally from 1st January 2017 you will also need:

  • Terms & Conditions included on your website – MORE INFO
  • Cookie Policy (if relevant)
  • Privacy Policy (if relevant)
  • Acceptable Use Policy (if relevant)
  • Data Controller Registration – MORE INFO
  • Suitable professional indemnity insurance – MORE INFO
  • Landline number – requirement dropped

Don’t panic – over the next few months we’ll be helping to get everyone to comply and to understand what these measures will involve – and crucially, why we think they are essential for every professional VA to have. ***N.B.: These requirements are ONLY for VAs who appear on the Approved List – everyone else will remain a standard member.***

SVA is working with a variety of VA organisations and trainers to raise awareness:

Thanks go out to BeMyVA, VACT, The VA Doctor, MyVACompany, VIP-VA, Michelle Poole, Lyndsey Gilchrist, Phillippa Goodwin, VA Pro Mag and VA Success Group for helping us come up with the new rules!

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