Organization Policies

Uniting Country Group
Policy – 5.01:
Volunteer Management
Version 9

1. Context
This policy and any related procedures apply to the Uniting Country Group – Uniting Country SA Ltd. (UCSA) and Uniting Country Housing Ltd. (UCH).
This policy is not intended to impose any binding contractual obligation on the Uniting Country Group. The organisation may amend, substitute or remove this policy at any time. Any major changes to this policy will be communicated to all staff and volunteers for feedback and information.

2. Inclusion and Diversity
We are committed to the innate worth of all people and to creating a strong community where all people flourish, and diversity is celebrated.
We demonstrate this through our policies, practices and values and by:
• Prioritising the needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, their families and communities, 
and striving towards meeting the principles of reconciliation. 
• Providing a safe workplace and services for members of the LGBTIQA+ community and acknowledging the unique strengths and barriers to safety and wellbeing.
• Committing to eliminating men’s violence against women, supporting and promoting gender equality in our workplace and the community. 
• Ensuring equality of access to our workplace and services for people living with a disability.
• Understanding and respecting people with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.

3. Definitions
Definitions and abbreviations of terms that may be used throughout this document and across the Uniting Country Group are listed below: 
Better Impact Database: A cloud-based information system used to record volunteer details.
ELMO Talent Management System: HR and Payroll cloud-based information system used throughout the Uniting Country Group – known as ELMO.
Mandatory Government Programs: Any person volunteering as a:
• Work for the Dole participant.
• Recipient of government allowance; Mobility, Newstart or Parenting Payments who have a work activity requirement.
RD: Registered document – retained within SharePoint.
Volunteering: Time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.
For the purpose of this policy, where the term ‘volunteer’ is used, this includes:
• Volunteers as per the definition above.
• Mandatory Government Programs.
• Any other person who participates in the day to day activities of our 
organisation in an unpaid capacity.

4. Policy
We recognise the benefits of involving volunteers within our organisation and encourage participation of volunteers as a means of assisting employees to achieve service aims and objectives. 
We operate a structured volunteer program, where volunteer involvement is a considered and planned part of our strategic development.
Volunteer roles are clearly defined, well managed and volunteer management practices are continually reviewed and improved.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcome all volunteers to undertake work on behalf of our organisation in roles that would not normally be undertaken by a paid employee. 
As our volunteers have contact with vulnerable people, particularly children, they are required to undertake a Department of Human Services (DHS) Working with Children Check 
We can refuse to accept a volunteer if the Working with Children Check is unsatisfactory or there are no suitable positions available. 
The guidelines that follow are not separate to our policies which cover all employees and volunteers but highlight the key areas relevant to volunteers and their duties.
In 2013, we adopted the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement. This is to provide a framework for best practice in volunteer management that is endorsed by volunteering peak bodies around the country. The approach to volunteer management promoted by the National Standards supports the recognition of minimum obligations and expectations for volunteers and volunteer-engaging organisations.

4.1. Volunteering:
Volunteering is a way of furthering active citizenship, has the potential to enhance the quality of life for all concerned and helps develop and enhance skills required for the workforce. 
Participation as a volunteer can be a valuable start in the journey towards employment. 
Volunteers are engaged to perform specific roles and our organisation agrees to provide volunteers with worthwhile and rewarding experiences. 
We are committed to supporting local and regional volunteer networks to strengthen volunteering across the community. 
Our 2.05 Socially Inclusive Organisation and Employment Policy extends to volunteers, and we particularly welcome volunteers with diverse backgrounds including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, 
culturally and linguistically diverse people, members of the rainbow community and people living with disability.

4.2. Role of Volunteer Coordinator:
The Volunteer Coordinator contributes to a range of functions such as legislation and compliance, information systems and culture and wellbeing.
Working collaboratively to meet the diverse volunteer requirements to support our services, the Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for:
• Effectively and efficiently coordinating volunteers in accordance with business plans, program guidelines and organisational policies and procedures.
• Promoting, recruiting, selecting, placing and supporting volunteers to maximise volunteer effectiveness in line with the vision and values of our organisation.

4.3. Role of Line Manager:
Line Managers will ensure:
• Volunteers under their supervision have adequate information, training and resources to undertake their tasks, including an understanding of the policies, procedures and processes that apply to their role at the worksite.
• Volunteers are informed of all relevant Health and Safety and Wellbeing requirements relevant to the tasks and duties associated with the volunteer position. This includes, but is not limited to, the provision of information, instruction and training, hazard management and all other relevant induction processes as relevant to the role.
• Any Health, Safety and Wellbeing incidents are reported in accordance with 7.21 Incident Investigation and Reporting Policy and Procedure.
• Any grievances that arise in relation to a volunteer are resolved. The Volunteer Coordinator should be advised of any grievances and assist in the resolution of the grievance if required and as appropriate.
• All volunteer hours are documented and accurately to reflect the contribution of each volunteer. Consolidated records of volunteer numbers and hours should be reported to the Program Manager and these volunteer statistics provided to the Volunteer Coordinator for the annual report.
• Volunteers receive a copy of their Position Description and Volunteer Orientation and Information Package (RD 401).

5. Procedures
5.1. Expectation of Volunteers: 
As a volunteer, you are a representative of our organisation, a professional agency, and you should respond appropriately within our philosophies, values and principles. 
Whilst engaged in a voluntary capacity, you will:
• Act in accordance with our Non Negotiable Behaviours.
• Complete Volunteer Training within 3 months of commencement of volunteering.
• Sign the Volunteer Statement (RD 396) on commencement and re-sign annually.
• Value everyone’s contributions.
• Treat the needs of the clients as highest priority.
• Respect the rights and dignity of all people and exercise tolerance towards people’s individuality and diversity.
• Participate in the provision of service as directed.
• Participate as a committed member of a dedicated team.
• Undertake training as required.
• Help present the organisation as a professional organisation.
• Maintain confidentiality in your activities within the service.
• Bring a sense of commitment to the philosophy of our organisation.
• Work in a safe manner, consistent with organisational policies and procedures.
• Provide and update (as required) your personal information, including your name, contact details, emergency contact information.
• Advise of any health conditions which may impact on your role as a volunteer.

5.2. Commitment to Volunteers: 
In accordance with the basic principles of volunteering, we will:
• Develop Positions Descriptions relevant to your role and each site.
• Register all volunteers prior to commencement of volunteer duties.
• Ensure you complete an induction to your relevant worksite.
• Ensure appropriate training and support is provided throughout your engagement as a volunteer.
• Provide regular evaluation and recognition of your work.
• Provide you with access to a grievance process.
• Reimburse registered volunteers for approved out-of-pocket expenses.
• Provide adequate insurances and protection to you.
• Commit to providing a safe working environment in line with Work, Health and Safety legislation.

5.3. Confidentiality:
You have a responsibility to regard all matters relating to users of our services as confidential. Matters are not to be discussed with fellow volunteers, family or friends. Debriefing and support should be sought through your Line Managers. 
You are required to sign a Volunteer Statement (RD 396) on commencement and annually whilst participating in volunteering with our organisation. The Volunteer Statement includes a Confidentiality Agreement, Code of Conduct and our Non-Negotiable Behaviours. Signing this document indicates your commitment to uphold the high ethical standards of our organisation.

5.4. Accountability:
Your Line Manager and /or the Volunteer Coordinator must ensure you are not required to undertake any task for which you are not adequately trained. 
It is important you are fully aware of your levels of expertise and experience. 
You must discuss with your Line Manager any applicable training that may be required and to make sure you are adequately trained to do the role or task that is assigned to you. 
You are accountable for your conduct and the discharge of your duties to the responsible Line Manager. Your Line Manager in conjunction with the Volunteer Coordinator reserves the right to recommend termination of your placement. 
If you are undertaking volunteering activities through a Mandatory Government Program, all paperwork must be completed correctly, and all hours must be finalised otherwise your Line Manager and / or the Volunteer Coordinator has the right to refuse to sign off. We take no responsibility for loss of, or suspension of payments or allowances, related to Mandatory Government Programs.

5.5. Volunteer’s Rights:
It is your right to:
• Be assigned work that is worthwhile, appropriate and challenging where it is available.
• Have support and respect from employees and other volunteers.
• Receive all information and resources relevant to the job that will help you carry out your duties confidently and competently.
• Be provided with opportunities to develop new skills.
• Be involved in decision making.
• Be given protection – insurance and personal safety.
• Accept tasks relevant to your own abilities, and refuse tasks beyond.
• Expect adequate ongoing support and supervision.
• Be able to withdraw at any stage from the program by initiating the exit procedure. Notify your Line Manager as soon as possible giving reasonable notice and arrange a time for an exit interview.
• Provide feedback, suggestions and recommendations regarding your activities.

5.6. Volunteer’s Responsibility:
It is your responsibility to:
• Do the work that is assigned to you.
• Regard all client and employee matters as confidential at all times.
• Be reliable and dependable.
• Participate in training and information sessions and staff meetings as is necessary for your health, safety and wellbeing.
• Share responsibility with co-workers.
• Work towards the objectives of our organisation.
• Work within the policies and Non Negotiable Behaviours of our organisation.
• Be responsible for not becoming over committed.
• Accept supervision, support and direction from your Line Manager and / or Volunteer Coordinator.
• Manage Mandatory Government Program paperwork correctly.
Remain working within the limits of the tasks allocated by your Line Manager and / or Volunteer Coordinator
• Complete all sections of the volunteer application registration form and ensure all information requested is correct. Ensure any changes to pre-existing or the development of new medical or health related conditions are reported immediately to the Volunteer Coordinator.
• You will show the same level of commitment as any other employee:
o When you are unable to come to work you will notify your Line Manager.

5.7. Volunteer Recognition:
Working collaboratively, the Volunteer Coordinator and Line Managers’ will:
• Host National Volunteers Week.
• Celebrate International Volunteers Day.
• Organise Volunteer Service Awards to be presented at All Staff Day event, commemorating years of service (10, 15, 20 years, etc).

In addition to any organisation-wide recognition event, Line Managers should undertake a range of local activities 
to ensure that volunteers are recognised for their valuable contribution to the community.


I have decided to volunteer for Uniting Country SA and

I understand and agree that submitting this application form does not automatically make me a Uniting Country SA volunteer.

I understand that my volunteer role can be terminated if I purposely provide volunteer coordinator incomplete personal information.

I give my permission for an authorised representative of Uniting Country SA to contact the persons I have listed as referees and to obtain any relevant information pertaining to my application for a position as a volunteer.

I understand there is a level of training I must meet, including the volunteer mandatory training package that I must complete within the first 3 months of volunteering.                                  

I am aware of my rights and responsibilities as a volunteer worker with Uniting Country SA.

I will abide by the conditions set out in the Statement of Confidentiality and Code of Conduct.

I will abide by the policies and procedures of Uniting Country SA.                  

I understand that I have Work, Health and Safety responsibilities I must abide by in the workplace.          

I understand that my position may be reviewed periodically.                                    

I am aware that it is my responsibility to record my hours worked, and I will notify my supervisor if I am unable to attend my designated shift or shifts as soon as practicably/reasonably possible.

I am willing to undertake any further training for the volunteer position if necessary.

I certify that the answers provided by me in this application and any documentation supplied are, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true and correct and, that I have not knowingly withheld any pertinent facts or circumstances.

I understand that any omissions or misrepresentation of fact in this application may result in refusal of or separation from employment or volunteer service upon discovery thereof.


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