Does your community organisation need some help?
Become a member of Centacare Volunteer Service
Our members receive access to a range of FREE services outline below. You also receive our quarterly newsletters, an opportunity to increase awareness of your organisations, invitations to events and opportunities to network with other volunteer involving organisations.
Individuals seeking volunteering opportunities are interviewed face to face, provided with basic training regarding volunteering (what to expect from you, their rights & responsibilities, principles of volunteering, the benefits of volunteering, confidentiality issues and things to consider before taking on a volunteer role) and referred to appropriate positions, taking into account their interests, availability and skill levels.
Many organisations find this process valuable as it saves them time and allows them to find volunteers with the specific skills they require.
When you register with CVS your volunteer positions are listed on several different websites (CVS, Volunteering WA, Seek.com & GoVolunteer).
We regularly provide up-to-date and accurate information to help local volunteer involving organisations understand and manage their regulatory obligations and improve their risk management, using information and resources provided by our state and national volunteering peak bodies.
There are no fees attached to Centacare Volunteer Service, however to register with this service, we require your organisation to meet the following minimum standards for involving volunteers:
- Have a “not-for-profit” status
- Have a manager/co-ordinator of volunteers to support your volunteers
- Have written job descriptions for your volunteer roles (we can assist with this)
- Have personal accident and public liability insurance for volunteers
- Provide orientation and training appropriate to the volunteer role
Please note that we do not conduct reference checks or police checks and we strongly urge organisations to undertake these where necessary. As always, the decision to accept a volunteer rests with you.
AGENCY REGISTRATION FORM
- Details about your organisation
- Details about your insurance (Certificates of Currency must be sent also)
- Details about the volunteer position you wish to fill.
ALREADY A MEMBER? WANT TO REGISTER A NEW VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY WITH US?
Volunteer Manager Resources
- Benefits of volunteering
- Creating and implementing effective Volunteer programmes
- Recruit, retain and recognise volunteers
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Volunteers
- Volunteer Management Skills & Stats
- Historical Volunteering Stats (Nationally and State)
- Youth Volunteers
- Social Media
- Grant Submission Writing
- Corporate & Employee Volunteering
- Board Membership
- Trends in Volunteering
- Working with Children and Volunteers
- Fundraising ideas
- Conflict and Grievances
- Executive Support
- Engaging Rural and Remote Volunteers
- Family Volunteering
- Creating Partnerships
- Examples of Volunteer Policies and Handbooks
- Presenting information sessions to prospective volunteers
- Risk Management and Safety
- Time Management
- Stress Management
- Volunteers in Sports
Please contact us to request your required resource. If we don’t currently have it, we can certainly find it for you!
Safety and health in Western Australian workplaces is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (the OSH Act) and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (the OSH regulations) supported by codes of practice and guidance notes.
The Not-for-profit law website is another excellent resource for volunteer-involving organisations seeking information regarding OHS issues.
Simple measures to control volunteer risks can include:
- Appropriate background checks
- Induct volunteers (physical, role, policies & procedures)
- Ongoing supervision and training
- Personal protective equipment and adequate provisions
- Volunteer pairing or employee / volunteer ratios
- Regular feedback sessions
- Involve volunteers in risk management assessments
Please note Centacare Volunteer Service does not promote the use of one company over another, this list is simply a guide of those we know about that have provided good service to ourselves or our member organisations.
The Not-for-profit law website is another excellent resource for volunteer-involving organisations seeking information regarding insurance issues.
Important points about volunteers and insurance**
- Workers compensation insurance generally does not cover volunteers (rare exceptions) when they are injured
- Public liability insurance will usually cover injuries an NFP volunteer causes to others (eg members of the public) but may not cover injuries to volunteers
- While mot NFP’s have public liability insurance (injuries to public) and those with employees have WorkCover (injuries to employees) – the potential gap is injuries to volunteers
- Consider volunteer personal accident insurance (Centacare Volunteer Insurance requires this type of cover for Agencies who register with our service)
**taken from Justice Connect – NFP Law
Volunteering Australia’s new National Standards for Volunteer Involvement were launched on Monday 11 May 2015 to mark the beginning of National Volunteer Week 2015 (11-17 May). The new Standards incorporate significant changes to the original standards in order to reflect best practice in volunteer management in Australia’s current work environment.
The Standards provide a sound framework for supporting the volunteer sector in Australia. The Standards are much easier to follow and are adaptable to different organisation types and different forms of volunteering which reflect the diversity of this growing sector.
Direct benefits to organisations:
- They provide good practice guidance and benchmarks to help organisations attract, manage and retain volunteers, and
- Help manage risk and safety in their work with volunteers.
Direct benefits to volunteers:
- They help improve the volunteer experience.
The new National Standards for Volunteer Involvement are available here for free download.
Following the standards will ensure that volunteer rights are protected, that their role is clear and that they work in a safe and healthy environment. Many organisations use the National Standards as the basis for their Code of practice.
Not for profit organisations can use the National Standards in a number of ways:
- As an audit tool that provides an overall appreciation of where the organisation is placed with respect to best management practice for volunteer involvement
- As a guideline or checklist to help identify opportunities for making improvements
- As a framework of reference to assist in planning and establishing a new volunteer service
- As a baseline from which progress in making improvements can be monitored and measured
An organisation that is able to demonstrate compliance with the standards is well positioned strategically to recruit and retain more volunteers, as well as attract funding or sponsorship for new initiatives.
The National Standards are not mandatory. It’s also worth noting that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to implementing these standards – it depends on the size and type of your organisation. You may wish to identify the areas that are of most relevance and importance to your program right now and focus on those – you don’t have to start at number one and work your way down the list!
The National Standards are supported by an implementation Guide and Workbook which are available to borrow from the Centacare Volunteer Service resource library.
The Gap Assessment can be downloaded here. This step involves identifying the gap between how volunteer involvement is currently managed in your organisation and how it should be managed, as required by the National Standards. This step will identify the areas where improvement needs to be made.
Code of Practice for Organisations Involving Volunteers
This code has been endorsed by Volunteering Australia
In order to enhance the volunteers’ experience, and comply with legislation and duty of care, an organisation which involves volunteers agrees to:
- Interview and engage volunteer staff in accordance with anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation.
- Provide volunteer staff with orientation and training.
- Provide volunteer staff with a healthy and safe workplace.
- Not place volunteer staff in roles that were previously held by paid staff or have been identified as paid jobs.
- Differentiate between paid and unpaid roles.
- Define volunteer roles, and develop clear job descriptions.
- Provide appropriate levels of support and management for volunteer staff.
- Provide volunteers with a copy of policies pertaining to volunteer staff.
- Ensure volunteers are not required to take up additional work during industrial dispute or paid staff shortage.
- Provide all staff with information on grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures.
- Acknowledge the rights of volunteer staff.
- Not ask a volunteer to work in a voluntary capacity for more than 16 hours per week.
- Ensure that the work of volunteer staff complements but does not undermine the work of paid staff.
- Offer volunteer staff the opportunity for professional development.
- Reimburse volunteer staff for approved out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.
- Treat volunteer staff as valuable team members, and advise them of the opportunities to participate in agency decisions.
- Acknowledge the contributions of volunteer staff.
- Ensure that all voluntary work is undertaken on a voluntary basis and without coercion.
- Offer volunteers work opportunities appropriate to their skills, experience, and aspirations.
- Maintain written policies and implement procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of volunteers, including maintaining appropriate current volunteer Personal Accident Insurance and Public Liability Insurance which includes volunteer workers (refer to Fact Sheet: Insurance for Organisations Involving Volunteers for further information).
- Maintain policies and implement procedures in compliance with all legislation pertaining to volunteer workers. In particular, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000, and any other legislation that is relevant to volunteer workers.
- Ensure the tasks and activities undertaken by volunteers benefit the community and that volunteers do not derive financial gain for themselves.[Volunteering Queensland]
Once a person has shown an interest in volunteering, the key is to keep them active. Six ways to keep great volunteers working and coming back year after year are:
- Be mindful of their time. They may only be able to work a few hours at a time due to family or work commitments.
- Don’t expect more than they can offer. People have limitations, both financially and physically. If they know they can’t do a specific job, respect their limits and allow them to perform tasks they are comfortable with.
- Show appreciation. Make sure everyone who volunteers knows how much you appreciate their service. They choose to be there.
- Show them their work has purpose. Show them why they are needed.
- Introduce volunteers to the leaders of the organization. This allows the leaders to meet those who support their cause and allows the volunteers to meet those responsible for what they are doing.
- Showcase their talents. If you have a volunteer who continually goes above and beyond what is expected, recognize his or her commitment within the organization and publicly.
- Volunteers are often the life force of an organization. Finding and keeping good volunteers will help keep your organization productive and benefiting those who rely on it.
Best Practice in Volunteer Management
- Make sure volunteers have the right job for their skills, interests and make sure their involvement benefits both the volunteer and your organisations
- Use a simple checklist for inducting and orientating new volunteers
- Invite current volunteers along to induction sessions and relevant training/orientation sessions
- Make up a kit for new volunteers. Include their job description/s, information about your organisation and relevant volunteer policies and procedures
- Keep a log/communication book to allow volunteers to pass on any queries, suggestions or comments
- Use a buddy system so newcomers are supported by existing volunteers or staff
- Provide opportunities for professional or personal development for volunteers
- Distribute information about appropriate courses to volunteers
- Reimburse volunteer staff for out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation
Following these minimum standards will ensure that volunteer feels valued, welcomed and that they work in a safe and healthy environment.
Ways to thank and recognise your valued volunteers:
- Never stop saying Thank you!
- Acknowledge volunteers by names at public events
- Provide volunteers with a name badge not just a “Volunteer” name badge
- Send a birthday card and have all staff and volunteers sign it
- Establish a volunteer recognition board in a prominent place
- Organaise informal morning teas
- Nominate volunteers for local volunteer awards
- Plan staff and volunteer social events
- Offer personal praise and recognition on the job, through the media and at public occasions
- Give complimentary tickets to volunteers for special events and functions
- Award memberships, certificates, Volunteer of the Month Awards
- Create volunteer skill development opportunities
- Farewell volunteers when they are retiring or moving away from the area
- Facilitate a volunteer satisfaction survey every 6 months
- Offer volunteers the opportunity to change roles
Centacare Volunteer Service has many different resources to assist registered NfP organisations with all aspects of their volunteer management program. Please feel free to ask how we can help.
The not-for-profit law website is another great resource for volunteer-involving organisations seeking information.