Hallmark – recognised quality standard award for Village Halls

Hallmark – recognised quality standard award for Village Halls

As follows can be used as content for the volunteer roles 

[needs assessment / items to be in place at the hall as good practice]

How Hallmark works 

Any charitable village or community hall in Cheshire (or another participating county) is eligible to apply for a Hallmark award. There are three levels, Hallmark one must be achieved before the hall moves on to Hallmark two, and Hallmark two must be achieved before Hallmark three. You don’t have to commit to achieving all three levels. A Hallmark award will be valid for three years from the date of the visit. 

· Hallmark 1 focuses on charitable administration and management. It assesses whether the hall is complying with the requirements of its charitable status. 

· Hallmark 2 focuses on health, safety, security and licences. It assesses compliance with legislative issues. 

· Hallmark 3 focuses on community, social awareness, forward planning and development. It examines and assesses the role of the hall in the community and how it interacts with its users and the wider community. 

 

All three levels aim to reward and establish good practice, encourage improvement in established customs and procedures and gain recognition for obtaining good standards in the management of the hall. 

After a period of 3 years, a Hallmark award is not deemed to be valid. There will need to be a complete re-assessment if no other Hallmark is undertaken. This is important because of the implications of changes in legislation and possible changes of personnel at the hall. Progression to the next Hallmark is not possible if the previous Hallmark has lapsed.

Hallmark One

Charity Administration and Management 

Hallmark assessment needs – initial selection

Please arrange for a minimum of two people and no more than four to be present at the visit, one of whom should be an officer of the committee. It would be helpful if one of these could be a representative from a user group. 

Documentation to be made available to the visitors by the committee 

1. Minute book/file (with agendas) for all meetings including the AGM 

2. A copy of the accounts to be sent with entry or as soon as possible before the visit 

3. Daily record of all receipts and payments (book or computer records) 

4. A copy of the charity’s annual report 

5. A copy of the trust deed or Charity Commission scheme or community association constitution i.e. the governing document of the charity 

6. Booking diary/calendar 

7. Hiring agreement and returned booking form including any instructions to hirers 

8. Insurance policy and certificate 

 

Any other paperwork you feel would be useful for the visitors to see to back up your management of the hall would be useful. 

 

Checklist for Village Hall Management Committee 

All items in bold must be achieved and 70% of the remainder excluding those that are not applicable to your hall COMMITTEE 

Trust deed available for committee members 

At least two meetings held annually or as stipulated in the trust deed 

50% of committee attend meetings 

Well-kept minutes 

List kept of all committee members names and addresses and when they came into office (and when they resign) 

Minutes to record trustees acceptance of their responsibilities on taking up office 

Evidence that organisations (regular user groups) appoint representatives 

Charity Commission CC3 The Essential Trustee is given to committee members 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 

AGM is held annually - in or close to the month shown in the trust deed 

10 

Evidence that AGM is conducted correctly i.e. in accordance with the trust deed 

11 

Annual report prepared in accordance with charity law for income level 

ACCOUNTS 

12 

Policy in place for financial procedures 

13 

Well-presented accounts 

14 

Accounts are independently examined 

15 

More than one trustee knows of the auditor/independent examiner 

16 

Accounts approved and signed by trustees at meeting before their adoption at the AGM, or in accordance with the trust deed 

17 

Cheques are signed by two (unrelated, unconnected) committee members 

18 

Accounts indicate that the committee is managing the finances responsibly 

19 

Daily record of all receipts and payments are kept up to date 

HIRING 

20 

Hiring agreement used for all bookings 

21 

Clear arrangements for access to the hall - key collection 

22 

Instructions to hirers on use of the hall 

23 

Organised payment procedure in place 

24 

There is a clearly understood policy on the practices and procedures for hiring the hall i.e. hiring to under 18s, commercial bookings and deposits which are used for all bookings 

25 

The policy on the practices and procedures for hiring the hall is recorded in a written policy 

26 

Tidy and organised booking diary 

INSURANCE 

Evidence of insurance: 

27 

Building 

28 

Public liability 

29 

Contents 

30 

Employers liability insurance certificate current and displayed, if appropriate 

31 

Insurance cover reviewed annually 

32 

Compliance with any insurance conditions 

NOTICES 

33 

Health and safety poster 

34 

Contact name/number for the hall 

35 

Premises Licence Summary or copy 

36 

At least one legible ‘No Smoking’ sign displayed at the premises 

37 

Community Action/Council membership certificate on view (if applicable) 

MAINTENANCE : OUTSIDE OF HALL 

38 

Evidence that outside of hall is well maintained e.g. free of litter, gutters free of debris, planted areas are well maintained, doors and windows in good condition 

MAINTENANCE : INSIDE OF HALL 

39 

Evidence that inside of hall is well maintained, clean and tidy, e.g. main hall decoration is in fair to good condition; kitchen is adequate and clean and the equipment is in safe condition; toilets are adequate and clean; furniture is in fair to good condition. 

Hallmark Two

Health, Safety, Security and Licences 

 

Documentation to be made available to the visitors by committee: 

1. Copy of Food Premises registration (if applicable) 

2. Any employment contracts (if applicable) 

3. Food Handlers notice 

4. Accident record 

5. Fire risk assessment 

6. Records for maintenance, emergency equipment/doors/lights 

7. Risk assessment record and safety rules 

8. Health and Safety file to include: 

 

a. Fire evacuation procedure notice 

b. Electrical and gas safety certificates 

c. Reporting accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences (RIDDOR) forms 

d. Copy of plan of the building which should show location of services, pipes, gas mains, water pipes, overhead power lines on site 

e. List of contacts from which expert advice and guidance can be obtained 

9. Health and Safety policy 

10. Inventory of equipment 

11. End of session check list 

 

Any other paperwork you feel would be useful for the visitors to see to back up your management of the hall would be useful.

 

Hallmark 2 Checklist for Village Hall Management Committee 

All items in bold must be achieved and 70% of the remainder excluding those that are not applicable to your hall CHECK 

Check bold items in Hallmark 1 and action points from report 

There is a written policy on the practices and procedures for hiring the hall i.e. key collection, hirings to under 18s, commercial, deposits/bonds used for all bookings 

Hirers are made aware of their responsibilities with regard to children and other vulnerable users 

Contract of employment issued (where applicable) 

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

There is a Health & Safety policy 

Risk assessment undertaken 

Health and Safety poster on display (or evidence that employee has been given HSE leaflet) where appropriate 

Food handlers notice on display 

First aid kit is well stocked, easy to find and accessible 

10 

Someone is responsible for keeping the first aid kit well stocked 

11 

Accident Record kept 

12 

Fire Risk Assessment has been undertaken 

13 

14 

Fire extinguishers are: 

Checked annually by authorised person 

Stored in allocated position 

15 

Correct emergency exit signs indicated by ‘Running Man’ sign 

16 

Instructions in case of fire 

17 

Evacuation procedure in place 

18 

There are instructions on how to use the lift in the event of a fire (if applicable) 

19 

Evidence that emergency lighting/doors checked as working 

20 

No emergency exit blocked by equipment or rubbish 

21 

Plan of premises on view showing fire exits, fire-fighting equipment, alarms etc. 

MAINTENANCE AND SECURITY 

22 

There is a building maintenance record which is kept up to date 

23 

Location of services is indicated e.g. electric/water/gas 

24 

An access audit has been carried out on the hall 

25 

Advice regarding energy efficiency has been sought or given to users 

26 

There is procedure for hirers to report damage/broken equipment. 

27 

Someone is appointed to take necessary action 

28 

Inventory of equipment (kept up to date) 

29 

There is a policy on money left on the premises 

30 

End of session check list is on view 

31 

Doors to rooms/stores are marked with their use 

32 

Items kept in the building are stored safely and tidily 

33 

There is a policy for hirers storing equipment at the hall e.g. must have committees permission, no inflammable substances 

34 

General hall equipment and items available to hirers are accessible, clean, safe and in good condition e.g. chairs and tables 

35 

36 

37 

38 

39 

The kitchen is maintained as follows: 

Clean and sound work surfaces 

Clean impervious floor covering 

Wall decoration sound 

Hot water to sinks 

Hand washing basin with soap and hand drying facility (where applicable) 

40 

41 

42 

Cleaning supplies and equipment are: 

in good condition 

stored safely 

accessible for use by hirers 

43 

44 

45 

46 

47 

Toilets are maintained as follows: 

Toilets clean / toilet paper provided 

Hand drying facilities 

Hot water and soap to the basins 

Appropriate waste bin/s provided 

Floor surface in good condition and clean 

LICENCES 

 

48 

49 

50 

Halls that hold a Premises Licence should have: 

Premises Licence Summary (or a copy) on display 

Evidence conditions are kept e.g. electrical, gas etc. checks done at a frequency required by 

licence conditions or set out in operating schedule 

List of activities licensed and relevant conditions of the licence to pass to hirers (through hiring 

agreement or additional information) 

 

51 

Temporary Event Notices (TENs) are used for all/some licensable activities 

 

52 

The committee have a record of the number of TENs that have been used by the hall 

 

53 

The hall complies with alcohol licensing regulations 

 

54 

Hirers including regular users are advised about the licence requirements for the sale of alcohol 

 

55 

If there is a permanent bar - the appropriate legal arrangements are in place 

 

56 

The hall has a Performing Right Society Licence (PRS) 

 

57 

The hall has a Phonographic Performance Licence (PPL) (Or has made alternative arrangements – If appropriate, demonstrate that the PPL is not needed) 

 

58 

If relevant the hall is registered as a food business 

 

 

For more information on any of the above see ACRE Information Sheets (IS) or publications: 

 

IS 9: Entertainment in Village Halls 

IS 10: Alcohol in Village Halls 

IS 15: Health & Safety Legislation and Village Halls 

IS 20: Health and Hygiene in Village Halls 

IS 22: Managing Employees and Volunteers 

IS 37: Fire Safety in Village Halls 

 

Model Hiring Agreement 

Maintaining your Hall 

Village Hall Good Management Toolkit 

Hallmark Three

Community/Social Awareness, Forward Planning and Development 

Please arrange for a minimum of two people and no more than four to be present at the visit, one of whom should be an officer of the committee. It would be helpful if one of these could be a representative from a user group. 

Documentation to be made available to the visitors by committee: 

1. Copies of any written policies for example: 

· Hiring policy 

· Financial policy 

· Recruitment staff/committee members 

· Equal opportunities policy 

· Policy on activities involving children 

2. Any published information for example: 

· General hall leaflets 

· Welcome leaflets for users 

· Introduction packs for new committee members 

· Guidance for teenage parties 

3. Village/hall newsletters or magazines 

4. Posters about events 

 

Any other paperwork you feel would be useful for the visitors to see to back up your management of the hall would be useful.

Checklist for Village Hall Management Committee 

All items in bold must be achieved and 70% of the remainder excluding those that are not applicable to your hall CHECK 

Check of bold items in Hallmark 1 & 2 and action points from report 

OVERALL VIEW OF THE HALL 

Hall is clearly signed 

Clean, tidy approach to the hall 

Entrance hall uncluttered 

Tidy, informative notices (not too many ‘Do not’) 

The equipment and facilities available are appropriate to the size of the hall and kept in good order 

ACCESSIBLE FACILITIES: 

Details for booking the hall are accessible: 

Contact number displayed at the hall (visible externally) 

It is easy to make a booking 

It is easy for everyone to access the key 

10 

 

The needs of people with disabilities have been catered for, such as: 

• a dedicated parking place for people with a disability 

• access to the building for people with disabilities 

• toilet facilities for people with a disability 

• induction loops and public address system 

• signs and notices are easy to understand, visible, and of sufficient number. They should be in a good sized print, with strong contrast between text and background 

 

11 

Baby changing facilities are available and there are clear instructions for disposal of nappies 

12 

There is somewhere under cover for baby buggies and walking aids to be left 

HIRERS AND USER GROUPS 

13 

There is a welcome pack/leaflet available 

14 

Regular communication with hirers and user groups ensuring that they are kept informed about hall matters and local community activities and events at the hall 

15 

Hirers are aware of the hall operating procedures 

16 

There is a regular agenda item for users reports/comments/feedback 

17 

There is evidence of encouraging new groups to use the hall 

18 

Organisations not represented on the committee are actively encouraged to appoint a representative 

19 

A new club/organisation has been established and has been using the hall within the last 3 years 

20 

Approved minutes of meetings are posted at the hall, or on the website 

COMMUNITY 

21 

Diary of events is publicly available e.g. local notice board, website, newsletter 

22 

There is evidence of open accessibility for new users (e.g. no one group denied access to use the hall) 

23 

The annual report is made available to the community 

24 

There are established working relations with other organisations in the area 

25 

There are established and varied communications with the community including promotional material and it is of a good standard 

26 

If there is spare booking capacity available there is evidence to suggest that the committee are addressing how to fill it 

27 

28 

Social events are held regularly: 

for fund raising 

to bring the community together 

29 

Social events are well attended by a cross section of the community 

30 

There is an internet connection at the hall and it is used effectively 

COMMITTEE 

31 

The committee is representative of the community or evidence that effort has been made to widen the representation 

32 

Consideration been given to the inclusion of under 18s 

33 

New committee members are actively sought e.g. 

· Consideration being given to timings of meetings 

· Arranging lifts to meetings 

· Mentoring new members 

34 

An introduction pack is given to new committee members 

35 

Committee members are encouraged to attend training 

36 

There is an established policy to meet committee members expenses for training 

37 

The whole committee take active part in the management of the hall 

ENVIRONMENT 

38 

An energy efficiency audit been undertaken 

39 

Energy efficiency measures have been implemented 

40 

Hirers have been advised as to how they can save energy and recycle in the hall 

41 

There is a cycle rack to avoid car use 

BUILDING MANAGEMENT 

42 

There is a maintenance programme in place 

43 

There is a contingency fund for maintenance/improvements/equipment replacement 

Evidence of policies in place for: 

44 

· Finances (including Reserves) 

45 

· recruiting new committee members/staff 

46 

· equal opportunities 

47 

· fund raising 

48 

· hiring 

49 

· health and safety/hygiene 

50 

· environment & energy efficiency 

51 

· children and vulnerable users 

52 

There is a regular review of the above policies with records available 

FORWARD PLANNING 

53 

A community/users survey has been conducted in the past 5 years in order to monitor the activities that take place in the hall 

54 

A community led plan has been undertaken and the committee have ensured that the role of the hall was included 

 

55 

56 

57 

There are development plans: 

for the building 

for use of the hall 

contribution to the community 

58 

There is a fundraising programme 

 

For more information on any of the above see ACRE Information Sheets (IS) or publications: 

 

IS3: Providing Services in Village Halls 

IS5: Village Halls, Children and Young People 

IS19: Marketing Your Village Hall 

IS25: Making your Village Hall Accessible 

IS28: Creating a Business Plan 

IS42: Equality in Village Halls