Recruiting Volunteers through Volunteer Scotland
It is a simple process to advertise your volunteering opportunities with us and have your opportunities seen by thousands of people. Before you advertise a volunteering opportunity we ask that you confirm that you can meet the basic criteria below. This is to help us ensure that anyone accessing volunteering through us has a positive and safe experience. If you don’t think you can meet the four criteria below please let us know and we will try and help.
Before you can advertise a volunteering opportunity we need you to confirm the following:
1. Your group/organisation will not gain any commercial advantage from volunteers undertaking this opportunity
Most volunteering opportunities are managed by not for profit (or ‘voluntary’) organisations or by public sector organisations. On occasion, it can also be appropriate for private sector organisations to engage volunteers where there is no direct commercial gain from doing so (i.e. volunteers are not being engaged for the primary aim of making money).
Not for profit organisations have many structures including those who are Registered Companies but also those who are simply a voluntary association. If you need any help or guidance on establishing the correct structure for your organisation you should contact your nearest CVS. You can find details about this by visiting their site.
2. You have a named contact for volunteers.
It is important that anyone who volunteers with your organisation knows who is responsible for them. A named contact who understands the processes surrounding your use of volunteers is essential to ensure a good relationship with volunteers.
3. You have the appropriate insurance to cover volunteers.
To protect your organisation and your volunteers you must have the appropriate insurance in place. Failure to do so could have serious implications for your organisation and the volunteers. For this reason we cannot register volunteering opportunities where insurance is not in place. Organisations, regardless of size or income can be held legally liable if it is proven that it was negligent or failed to take ‘reasonable care’ to prevent injury or damage to property. This liability extends to the actions of all employees and volunteers while they are working for the organisation. There are several types of insurance that you may well want to put in place and you should take professional advice to make sure that you are adequately covered but as a basic minimum (with the exception of some home-based volunteering) you should have Public Liability Insurance which specifically covers your volunteers.
4. You meet the appropriate legal requirements
Depending on the nature of your group/organisation and its volunteering opportunities, it may be necessary to meet certain legal requirements - for example in relation to health and safety or child protection. If you are unsure about this, your local Volunteer Centre can help you.
The four points above are the basic criteria that you must meet before you can advertise a volunteering opportunity with us. However, good volunteer management is about more than just meeting these basic requirements. Once you have registered your volunteering opportunities with us, regardless of the type of organisation you are, we will expect you to have met or be working towards meeting a number of core volunteer management principles. Volunteer Centres have a range of support that can help you achieve this.
The kinds of issues and principles you will need to consider are:
• Recruitment and selection procedures which are clear, consistent and fair to all
• Information on how you use Volunteer Agreements and Task Descriptions
• Details of your policy on paying expenses for volunteers
• What induction and training your volunteers will get
• What support you will give volunteers
• What insurance is in place for volunteers
• How volunteers are affected by Health And Safety
• Information on your organisations equality procedures
• How confidentiality affects volunteers
• How problems are dealt with.
You do not necessarily need to introduce all these at once - some of them may be a higher priority than others during the early stages - but you need to be aware of them as your work with volunteers develops.
If you feel you need any help regarding any of these issues your nearest Volunteer Centre can help ranging from fact sheets to one to one consultancy.
As you meet these principles they can be recorded and documented to produce a Volunteering Policy for your organisation. Your Volunteer Policy is a document which lays down all the key ways that you work with and manage your volunteers. It should be a working document that captures the details and practicalities of managing your volunteers. An example of a Volunteer Policy is available.
You may be in a position to gain national recognition for good practice in the form of an Investing in Volunteers Award and again your nearest Volunteer Centre or Volunteer Development Scotland can provide further info on this.