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Writing a volunteer policy

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What a volunteer policy is

A volunteer policy sets out an organisation's approach to volunteering.

It explains the role of volunteers in the organisation and how it will treat them.

Why you should have a volunteer policy

A volunteer policy will help to:

  • show your organisation's commitment to volunteering and its volunteers
  • make sure the organisation treats all volunteers with fairness and makes consistent decisions
  • show volunteers what to expect from the organisation
  • show volunteers where they can turn if they feel things are going wrong
  • make sure everyone understands the role volunteers play in the organisation and why.

What to include in your policy

A volunteer policy should include:

  • how your organisation will recruit volunteers
  • how it will make sure it treats all volunteers with fairness and equity
  • how it will make changes to roles to make them more accessible
  • the volunteer induction and training process
  • how it will pay volunteer expenses
  • the supervision and support process for volunteers
  • health and safety for volunteers
  • the volunteers' role in confidentiality and data protection
  • problem solving and complaints procedures for volunteers.

It can also link to other documents for more information. For example, it could link to the organisation's health and safety policy.

Your policy should reflect the size and nature of your organisation. It should cover all the important information, but not be so formal that it puts off new volunteers.

You should consult your organisation's staff, trustees and volunteers about your policy. They'll likely have more ideas of what to include.

Using your policy

You should share your volunteer policy with your organisation's staff, trustees and volunteers. Ask if they need it in another format, such as large print or as an audio recording.

Review it at least once a year to make sure it remains useful and up to date.

Last reviewed: 12 April 2021

Help us improve this content

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 12 April 2021

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