Volunteer Policy

1. Introduction

CoSP is a volunteer led organisation.  Volunteers help CoSP by putting their time, skills, knowledge or experience at its disposal.  They ensure CoSP’s work is relevant to the community by bringing a range of personalities, backgrounds and experience into the organisation.

This policy is intended to ensure good practice in the involvement of volunteers in CoSP’s work and promote understanding of the roles of staff and volunteers in the organisation.

2. Role of Volunteers

The voluntary role must allow for job satisfaction on the part of the volunteer, as well as meeting a need.

A description of the volunteer’s role will be given.

When a specific role for volunteers is identified and approved, a role description outlining the general tasks, required skills or qualities, and conditions of service (i.e. expenses, insurance) should be available.

Existing staff and volunteers should be consulted on the creation of new roles for volunteers which are likely to affect them.

3. Support

An individual member of staff or a Trustee should be nominated to provide support to individual volunteers.  Clear lines of communication should be identified.

Staff need to devote time to support volunteers, and if necessary be provided with training in relevant skills.

Where appropriate, additional methods of support will be used e.g. volunteer meetings, newsletters, or other tokens of appreciation.

Note should be taken of individual volunteers’ needs for support.

4. Induction and Training

All volunteers will be given an induction to CoSP and its work, including an information pack.

Any training required to enable volunteers to fulfil their roles will be arranged and paid for by CoSP.  Volunteers should be encouraged to take additional training that will enhance their role within CoSP, to be paid for by CoSP.

5. Role in Decision Making

Volunteers will be consulted on any major policy or operational changes in CoSP that will affect them.

Volunteers will be encouraged to express their opinions on the work of CoSP and to develop their role within CoSP.

Volunteers may be invited to attend and to speak at committee meetings.

6. Conditions

Volunteers will not be asked to work in conditions considered unsuitable for paid staff and will have the same provisions made regarding Health and Safety.

Insurance arrangements will be made for volunteers to cover them whilst undertaking duties on behalf of CoSP.

Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed, subject to funding arrangements for each project.  Guidelines on acceptable expenses and rates will be made available from the Project Manager.

If a grievance arises for a volunteer will be brought to the Project Manager.  If it cannot be resolved, it will be referred to the Trustee Board.

All volunteers should be made aware of the above rights and conditions without having to ask.  Details of current rates for expenses, how to claim, and the nature and extent of insurance cover must be readily available.

Conditions such as rates for expenses, allowances, etc. will be reviewed periodically.

7. Equal Opportunities

CoSP relies on volunteer involvement to keep it relevant to the community it serves and so encourages involvement from all sections of the community.

CoSP operates a Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy.  It will ensure that it does not unfairly exclude or discourage the involvement of potential volunteers because of:

  • class
  • race, colour, nationality or ethnic background
  • disability
  • gender
  • marital status
  • sexual orientation
  • unrelated criminal record.

Each volunteer arrangement should make clear the requirement that volunteers adhere to CoSP’s Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy.

If a volunteer has a special need or disability that makes their involvement difficult, every effort will be made to involve them.  An explanation will be given if this is not possible.

Agreed by CoSP Trustee Board: 27th November 2018