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An overview of how KeyStone works and the support you can expect

How does it work?

The KeyStone toolkit is a step by step guide to making sure your organisation is efficient, legal and effective.

KeyStone focuses on keeping your organisation legal and looking after your volunteers, staff and users. It sets minimum requirements for your organisation and will help you meet your legal obligations and organisational objectives.

The toolkit is split into six sections with information, guidance, resources and actions for each of the themes.

  • Governance – making sure your organisation is effectively and properly run
  • Managing people – supporting and valuing volunteers, staff and users and making sure that you meet your legal obligations to them
  • Managing money – managing and controlling your money effectively and complying with regulations on accounting
  • Managing resources – ensuring that you comply with building maintenance legislation and regulation, keeping appropriate records and safeguarding the facility for future generations
  • Working with users – putting the needs of users at the heart of your management and focusing on providing good facilities, services and activities
  • Legislation and regulation – understanding and complying with relevant legislation and regulation and helping to make sure your organisation is on the right side of the law

By working your way methodically through these sections and their associated checklists, you will build up a resource unique to your organisation, which contains:

  • Quick reference guide to all your policies and procedures
  • Legal documentation for your organisation and building
  • Evidence of compliance with regulation and legislation
  • Action points to help you improve in the future

It’s important to maintain the standard you have reached and you will need to renew each level of your award every three years.

Mentoring support

The KeyStone toolkit provides a range of information and resources to help you, but sometimes you need more tailored information and support. In most cases we can match you with a KeyStone mentor who will be appointed from a local voluntary sector support organisation. They will answer any questions, help you get started and provide assistance as you progress.


Assessment is a supportive process that involves a visit from a KeyStone assessor who will check that you have completed the checklist and have the supporting evidence in place. It’s a great opportunity to discuss how you run your building and get some feedback from an expert.

How long will it take?

The time it takes to complete KeyStone will be dependent on your starting point, the time you have available and how many actions you need to follow up. We hope that most organisations will be able to progress to an assessment visit within one year of signing up. Your mentor will keep in contact with you and arrange an assessment visit when they think you’re ready. Don’t forget to ask for support if you need it.

Recognising your achievement

On passing your KeyStone assessment you will be presented with a certificate that you can frame and proudly display in your building. You’ll probably want to have a celebration and let others know about your achievements. You’ll be able to use the KeyStone logo on letterheads and publicity material.