All organisations that recruit volunteers should have the following policies in place:
- Volunteering Policy
- Health & Safety
- Equal Opportunities
- When things go wrong
- Support and supervision
In addition, organisations should aim to meet the Code of practice for volunteers https://wcva.cymru/resources/code-of-practice-for-involving-volunteers/
- Out of Pocket Expenses
- Training, as appropriate to volunteer’s roles
- And you need to ensure volunteers are specifically included on your Public Liability Insurance
See our guidance on Setting up a volunteering initiative
Health & safety
The Health & Safety Policy should state the responsibilities of the organisation, the paid staff and the volunteers. All organisations have a legal duty to make sure that all paid staff and volunteers are safe at work and that volunteer roles are risk assessed.
All organisations have a responsibility to promote equal opportunities and to prevent discrimination. Volunteers need to be trained and supported to carry out their roles in line with the Equal Opportunities policy.
A volunteering policy should be available which sets out the framework for the relationship between volunteers and the organisation. It should detail the rights, responsibilities and support that will be offered to volunteers.
It is good practice for organisations to reimburse all agreed out-of-pocket expenses incurred by volunteers carrying out their roles. Volunteers should be advised about how to claim expenses.
Reasonable expenses would include
- Child care costs or replacement care costs
- Meal costs during volunteering
- Telephone & postage costs (if working from home)
- Costs of equipment/materials fees.
It’s important to make volunteers aware of what can be claimed before they start volunteering.
It’s important that you ensure that volunteers who are active within an organisation are covered by your insurance policy.
It’s important that all organisations give volunteers the appropriate induction and training to enable them to carry out the role. It is good practice to include volunteers in your training provision so they are able to access personal development opportunities. If training is mandatory, this needs to be stated at the outset.
Support and supervision
Support and guidance should be the same for both volunteers and paid staff. However, it should be adapted to the volunteer’s level of involvement and needs. Every organisation should appoint one individual to be responsible for volunteers, so that they know who to go to if they are experiencing any problems or have any queries.
If problems arise
There needs to be a clear process set out in case problems arise so that volunteers are aware of who to go to if they are having difficulties. It also needs to be stated what the formal process is if complaints are received about volunteers