Key Principles and Good Practice Guidelines to Volunteering #wiseupwednesdays


volunteers colourOur next series of #wiseupwednesday blog posts are going to be around good practice when involving volunteers. Hope you enjoy them and don’t forget we are happy to help with any queries you may have 🙂

I often have enquiries from organisations asking for some general good practice guidelines when involving volunteers, so I have taken the list below from our guidelines-on-managing-volunteers

  • Volunteers should be recruited to enhance a service not to replace paid staff
  • Before recruiting, be clear why a volunteer is wanted or needed
  • Organisations should provide clear written task outlines for their volunteers which are skills based – meaningful tasks with opportunities for personal development
  • Provide the volunteer with an induction and preparation/training programme, and where appropriate, additional support for volunteers with disabilities
  • Be clear about what volunteers are seeking from the placement
  • Make sure the volunteer has appropriate line management and knows whom to contact about problems or difficulties
  • Establish a simple and easily accessible process for volunteers to claim out-of-pocket expenses and ensure funding incorporates volunteer expenses
  • Ensure that health and safety standards for volunteers are in place, including risk assessment of the work volunteers will be doing
  • Ensure that volunteers are covered by appropriate insurance
  • Ensure that a range of policies are in place and applied equally to volunteers e.g. Diversity and/or Equal Opportunities, Policies on harassment including race, sexuality, disability, age and faith, Complaints and Grievance policies for volunteers, Disciplinary policies, Confidentiality policies
  • Organisations should meet the costs of necessary training for volunteers
  • Encourage volunteers to participate in the organisation’s wider decision- making processes
  • Where appropriate, provide opportunities for volunteers to acquire or develop new or existing skills, and support volunteers who want to gain accreditation towards recognised qualifications
  • Monitor and acknowledge the contribution volunteers make to the organisation to funders, other volunteers and the wider public
  • Ensure that the work and contribution of the volunteers adds value and quality to the organisation’s aims and objectives
  • Ensure that the organisation’s working practices do not create obstacles for volunteers, or for potential volunteers from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds
  • Ensuring that staff are involved and informed so that volunteers are integrated within the staff team
  • Organisations should ensure that their working practices offer appropriate protection to volunteers, as well as paid staff e.g. Health & Safety.

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