Writing a volunteer policy
A volunteer policy provides a firm foundation on which to involve volunteers within your
organisation. It brings consistency and purpose to how volunteers will help you achieve
your objectives. It will help you involve a diverse range of volunteers, because it defines
the roles of volunteers clearly.
There are real benefits in having a policy:
thought have gone into developing a volunteering programme.
and that all volunteers are treated equally and fairly.
and where to turn if they are unhappy.
involved and what role they play within the organisation.
If your organisation is not yet working with volunteers, drawing up a volunteer policy is the
ideal starting point for deciding exactly how you will involve volunteers in your activities.
Writing a policy
There is no set format for a volunteer policy. Each organisation has unique needs that will
need to be reflected and addressed. The final document should be as short as possible.
Below is a guide to the headings you should address:
involving volunteers. How do volunteers help the organisation achieve its purpose?
hold an informal chat or a more formal interview, how references are handled,
whether you do police checks, etc.
how this is put into practice.
Safety policy (and any other relevant policies).
Once the policy is completed the main thing is to ensure that it doesn’t just lie on a shelf!
All staff and volunteers should be given a copy and encouraged to discuss it. You might
put a copy on display. The policy should be reviewed annually and staff and volunteers
involved to make sure it is up-to-date and a guide for your practice.