The Gathering 2017

KeyStone is a quality award and management toolkit for the people who manage village halls and community buildings. It provides checklists and resources to help you manage your building.

KeyStone is an entirely voluntary quality award and management system that will help strengthen your organisation. Unlike other quality awards it’s been designed specifically for organisations running community facilities like village halls, community centres, youth and heritage centres. It provides comprehensive supporting resources and a mentor to help and encourage you.

Completing the Keystone Award will help you to:

  • ensure you meet all necessary legal and regulatory requirements for running your building
  • organise your files, documents and information to make life easier for you and future committees
  • provide evidence to others that you run a well managed facility
  • secure a long term future for your facility
  • understand where to go for help
  • have confidence that you’re doing things right

Gaining a KeyStone Award can create positive publicity around your organisation which may make it easier to recruit new volunteers. Funders will see that it is a well-managed organisation increasing the chances of successful support. KeyStone can also help you make the case for a community asset transfer of a building. Other benefits include discounts on Keegan and Pennykid insurance and the Hallmaster booking system.

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.


KeyStone is free but we need you to register to take part and your committee should agree to undertake the award.

Please contact our Engagement Officer, Sandra Hogg, for further information or to discuss the award.

Page last modified on 10th July 2018