Volunteer Policy

A Volunteering Policy sets out a clear framework for the involvement of volunteers. It is based on the recognition that volunteering is a two-way process benefitting both the volunteer and the organisation.

As you build the way in which you work with your volunteers – you build your Volunteer Policy, for example procedures for recruiting, supporting and protecting volunteers, paying expenses etc. It should be based on equal opportunities principles and good practice.

Why Have a Volunteering Policy?

Having a volunteering policy is part of a clear framework laying out expectations and procedures for the volunteer and the organisation. It aims to prevent misunderstandings developing Think of it as a “user manual” for involving volunteers. Developing it should help you think through how you involve volunteers. To be worth the paper it is written on it should be reviewed and updated annually.

What should be in a Volunteering Policy?

Heading could include:

  • Introduction – containing your organisation’s objectives and principles including why your organisation involves volunteers
  • Recruitment – explaining how volunteers are recruited and a brief note of what roles are typically available.
  • Volunteer Agreements, Induction and Training and Support (how volunteers are offered support appropriate to their roles)
  • The Volunteer’s Voice (how volunteers can make their views known or feed in to decision-making)
  • Records (explaining how volunteers’ records are stored which should comply with Data Protection legislation)
  • Confidentiality (general statement – might also refer to a separate policy or signed agreement, depending on the nature of the volunteering)
  • Expenses, Insurance, Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities
  • Problems (an outline of how the organisation deals with complaints by or about volunteers)
  • Endings (this section should mention any procedures such as Exit Interviews or questionnaires, and whether a reference is offered after a certain period or number of hours of volunteering).

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”

– Elizabeth Andrew

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).