Within this document there are two guiding principles. The first is that, "Volunteers have rights and that organizations recognize that volunteers are a vital human resource and will commit to the appropriate infrastructure to support volunteers." The second code states that, "Volunteers have responsibilities. Volunteers make a commitment and are accountable to the organization."
These two codes are pretty standard across organizations, but to ensure that volunteers are staying true to their assignments and representing your organization appropriately, you need to have those policies and procedures! If you don’t have even basic standards on paper, then you are opening yourself up to potential liability and you are not doing your due diligence.
Interestingly, when it comes to policies and procedures, there is not a huge difference between these and the human resource policies of your organization, and they are not too different from agency to agency, either. I would feel comfortable enough to say that the larger organizations and organizations that work with the vulnerable sectors have their policies and procedures down to a fine art; in fact there are probably many
So here is a call to action: If you do not have policies and procedures in place after reading this article, please start the process. Talk to your human resource staff, see what you can share with your volunteers and start bridging the gaps today.
Click here to view the Canadian Code of Volunteer Involvement tool: http://volunteer.ca/files/CodeEngJune2006.pdf