SVA started in 2005 and is now officially the oldest active virtual assistant organisation in the UK.
Just 7 VAs got together with (the infamous!) Alan the Geek in a restaurant in Edinburgh in June 2005. The idea was to promote virtual assistance as a profession and spread the word about how VAs could help business owners, since this was a relatively new concept and we were all working towards the common goal of raising awareness. Originally a Scottish movement, we quickly became outnumbered by UK-wide VAs, all looking for specific advice on how to work with UK based clients.
The whole thing has snowballed since then:
- SVA is recommended in The Wealthy Freelancer guide as a resource for people looking for VAs and as a start up guide (Ed Gandia is one of my personal heroes!)
- Presented at OIVAC (Online International Virtual Assistant Convention)
- Panel questions at London's Olympia as part of The PA Show
- In 2007 we established the first set of professional standards for UK virtual assistants (updated in 2017)
- Judging The UK VA Awards since 2010
- Compiling the UK VA Survey since 2008 - the only statistically valid study of the UK VA industry as we survey the entire industry and don't publish till we get at least 10% responses (CIM standards)
- Live events sponsored by SVA: 10
- Sold 4 different businesses via the website - all in under 14 days
- VAs helped to set up their own businesses: 11,000+
- Wikipedia acknowledges SVA as the leading source of information for UK based assistants.
- Current active membership: 2,754
- 2018 HMRC recognise the special status of virtual assistants with clearer advice and a concession for those doing small amounts of bookkeeping work, working with SVA and VAProMag to address the issues.
- 2019 Established first set of professional standards for Virtual Assistant training - a worldwide first!
Then and now - what our homepage looked like: