The induction process is an important part of making volunteers feel welcomed and valued. It’s helpful for an organisation to have a written induction programme that is given to the volunteer when they first start their involvement. This clarifies the induction process, acting as a checklist to ensure that all areas are covered. A well planned and comprehensive induction programme helps to ensure that all volunteers are given the information, resources and support they need to work effectively within the organisation.
Volunteer Induction Packs / Handbooks
Consider creating a Volunteer Induction Pack/Handbook which provides written information about all the areas covered in induction and copies of all relevant policies.
The exact contents of a Handbook will vary depending on the nature of the or-ganisation, but as a guide it should include:
- Volunteer Policy
- Volunteer Agreement
- Volunteer task description
- Health & Safety and Risk Assessment
- Volunteer Expenses
- Training & Support
- Copies of all other relevant polices (e.g. equal opportunities, child protection, grievance procedure)
- Any other information relevant to volunteering with your organisation.
What Should an Induction Programme Cover?
Aims and Purpose of the Organisation
This should include information about the client group with whom the volunteer will be working, the organisation mission statement, values and details of all the services offered.
Volunteers need to have a good understanding of all the organ-isational policies which could affect them. In addition to the volunteer policy, a volunteer may also need to be familiar with other policies such as equal opportunities, health & safety, confidentiality, the protection of vulnerable people. It’s im-portant to take the time to answer any questions the volunteer may have and to ensure that they understand how policies are implemented in the organisation.
This should cover how to use any equipment and resources, (e.g. computers, telephones, kitchen equipment, tools) and any necessary safety information. You should go over the risk as-sessment for the role. Volunteers should be introduced to any record keeping systems that they will need to use and told how and where information is kept. In addition, don’t forget to give basic information such as where the toilet is and where to get a cup of coffee!
New volunteers should be introduced to all the staff and other volunteers with whom they will be working. It is also worth thinking about any other members of the organisation that it would be appropriate for the volunteer to meet, e.g. the project manager, members of the management committee, workers from other organisations with whom they will have contact.
Volunteers should be given information about the support structures that are available to them within the organisations, the name of the person who is their first point of contact and information about how and when expenses are paid to volunteers. They should also be told about any further training that is available to them and details of volunteer meetings and events. It is also important that volunteers are made aware of how to raise any issues, concerns or new ideas that they have and how their view are represented within the organisation as a whole.
Further Support Available
Stockton Volunteers is dedicated to supporting volunteer involved organisations in Stockton-on-Tees. Further support is available through our website, where you can:
- Download more Good Practice Guides
- Find out more about the Stockton Volunteers Good Practice Kite Mark
- Place volunteer advertisements
- Get information about our latest Stockton Volunteers Partnership Meeting
- Contact us for advice and support on your volunteering programmes
- Get advice on policies and procedures for volunteering
The Stockton Volunteers Good Practice Kite Mark is awarded to organisations who demonstrate commitment to supporting and nurturing their volunteers.
Recognised across County Durham and Stockton-on-Tees, the Stockton Volunteers Good Practice Kite Mark follows the ethos of Volunteer England and National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).
Other Good Practice Guides:
- Volunteer Expenses
- Writing Volunteer Agreements
- Involving Young Volunteers
- Supporting Volunteers
- Volunteer Task Description
- Volunteer Policy
- Volunteer Recruitment
- Volunteer Complaints
- Dealing with Difficult Behaviour
- Volunteer Health and Safety
For more information contact, Karen Grundy – Community Programme Manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org