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The Approved Virtual Assistant Scheme – VA Standards

 

SVA Approved VA Logo (copyright SVA 2023)SVA came into existence in 2005 to:

  1. Promote best practice in the virtual assistant industry;
  2. create industry wide VA standards; and
  3. Help UK VAs find clients.

 

As part of this we run a FREE listing for all VAs who abide by the following criteria.

More information on how to comply can be found on the links below.  All these conditions must be met BEFORE applying.

 

VAs wanting to be an Approved SVA Member should comply with the following VA Standards:

 

  • Have been a VA for more than one year or been an SVA Community Member for longer than three months.

 

  • Have professional and legal contracts in place purchased from a UK-based solicitor/contract provider - we will ask you where you purchased them from.
    If you don't have any, you can purchase contracts here.

 

 

 

  • Back up data securely off-site.

 

  • Have a website of professional quality.- A secure server (your website address starts with https://)
    - Privacy Policy
    - Cookie Policy
    - Website T&Cs
    - Acceptable Use Policy
    - Including a UK mailing address

    Address on Website Note
    : Sole traders do not need to adhere to this rule, but it can be a good idea to have a means of postal address on your website (even if it is a PO Box or virtual office address).  So, sole traders do not need to answer this question if you don't have one on your website.  If you are a Limited Company or you have e-commerce on your website you must have a mailing contact address on your website in an easy to find place (e.g. not hidden in a privacy policy) - see more info https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/2019/05/20/do-i-need-an-office-address-as-a-virtual-assistant/
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Website Policies:

Please ensure you have a legally up-to-date version of your Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, Website T&C's / Acceptable Use Policy on your website and ideally a link to your privacy policy also on your contact page below the 'Send' button.  If you are not sure if your policies are legally correct, please speak to or order your policy packs from KoffeeKlatch , Suzanne Dibble the FSB (If you are a member) or a solicitor who understands the VA industry - please don't assume your website provider has added a legally compliant policy pack to your website, this may not be the case.  Please get in touch if you are not sure and we can signpost you to someone who can advise.

 

  • Have professional email addresses.  These must be domain-specific and no @gmail.com/@btinternet.com.

 

  • Be professional- Only take on tasks which you are fully capable of completing.
    - Please don't offer paid training/mentoring/coaching for other VAs without having appropriate experience and knowledge of the role and the industry.
    - Answer phone calls or emails received within office hours next working day or to have an answerphone or autoresponder giving further information about when you  will respond to the query.

 

  • Be based in the UK.  We do not list offshore VAs.
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  • Collaborate  This is not a must, but we would encourage you to contribute and collaborate within the UK VA Industry by interacting with our Facebook Group, Discord Server, attend events and engage with other VAs.  We very much believe in collaboration not competition and know that those who collaborate within the industry grow their businesses and become successful far quicker than those who don't.

 

  • SVA Logo & Link.  Once approved you must display our Approved VA logo and link back to our website.

 

The SVA reserves the right to remove any virtual assistant and ask that you link back to our site (include approved logos sent in your approval email).  If you comply with all of the above, please fill in the form below. Please note: that we do carry out random checks.

Please note, this is a free service, but as a not-for-profit organisation we do ask you to consider a donation - this is used to ensure we bring you the best service.  If you feel you would like to donate, please click here

 

 

By signing up, you will receive email alerts on any relevant jobs, and your details will be listed publicly on the FIND A VA page.  If you wish to unsubscribe from emails or change your listing at any time, you can do so by emailing [email protected]

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12 Comments

  1. Claire on 8 May, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Being a Newbie, I’m thrilled that there is a Scheme like this available. I have set up my website and I think I have most of the bases covered but I think to be able to say that i am approved would be a great addition to my Linkdin profile and website etc. I will be in contact once I have my house in order. Many thanks.

  2. Adrienne Conlon on 17 December, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Just come across this website and have read a few of your articles in the last hour or so. They are all excellent and I’ve been able to take away at least a few things from each one. Really going to study this website a lot more over the coming weeks. Thanks so much!!

  3. Stephanie Evans on 9 April, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    So excited to be waiting for approval now I’ve complied with the necessary criteria. What a great support network the Society is proving to be. I’m just two months in and it’s been a massive help, thank you.

  4. Hannah Swierstra on 12 May, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Hello

    I was looking at your requirements for compliance regarding registration with ICO – is this the Data Protection Fee?

    Many thanks
    Hannah

  5. Kerryn Wreford on 16 May, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Dear All,

    I am extremely impressed with all of the information on how to become an SVA Approved Virtual Assistant!

    During these troubled times (Covid-19), I am furloughed so have had the time to think long and hard about my future as a VA. This is something I have wanted to do for some years. I have taken all of this information you have made available and am now in the process of putting together a website.

    I hope to be up and running very soon. Lots of work to do beforehand!

    Thank you so much
    Kerry

  6. Melanie Morrison on 1 June, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    I love that you offer so much valuable information for free, as well as a free listing for approved VA’s. It shows that you are really care about promoting best practice and I am genuinely looking forward to being a part of this great community. Thank you Caroline.

    • Caroline on 1 June, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      It’s not entirely altruistic – as a VA myself, I benefit personally when the industry does well… I hated walking into so many networking events and having my prospects be told horror stories about VAs from other networkers! It happens far less these days thankfully, but there’s really no excuse for not following best practice when it’s freely available.

  7. Hazel on 9 June, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    I am just in the process of setting up my VA business and I am excited to get more involved in this community. Thank you, Caroline, for the invaluable information and advice! It’s scary starting out in any new venture and I am pleased to know this is a welcoming space.

  8. Annette Jackson on 12 December, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    I too am about to launch my VA business and am a mixture of excited and terrified at the same time. What is a huge reassurance is the SVA community, and our profession as a whole, the collaboration rather than competition is so encouraging and inspiring – can’t wait to get going!

  9. Annette Jackson on 3 January, 2022 at 9:49 am

    After a few years of procrastination I’ve finally taken the leap of launching my VA business and honestly couldn’t and wouldn’t have got this far without the guidance, advice and information on the SVA – thank you SVA team for all that you do to support our profession

  10. Kimberley Oliver on 12 April, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    Finding this site has been such a blessing. It’s very informative and filled in a few blanks for me in my VA business. I look forward to submitting my business for verification by the end of the week and discovering more information along my VA journey

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