Volunteering Management Policy
- Roehampton Students’ Union (RSU) shall provide opportunities for students at the University of Roehampton to engage in voluntary activities, projects and services that add value to the educational experience of themselves and others.
- This policy aims to outline best practice organisation wide so that service coordinators, volunteers, elected officers, and external parties can understand the ethos in which students volunteer with RSU.
- RSU shall endeavour to follow best practice as outlined in the UK’s quality standard for good practice in volunteer management, Investing in Volunteers standard.
- A volunteer at RSU will be any student who partakes in any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives (NCVO, 2021).
- The decision to volunteer with RSU is a choice freely made by an individual. Voluntary roles are created by RSU to add value to its core activities, reach its charitable aims, and provide development opportunities for students. Volunteers are not a replacement for paid staff.
- Recruitment and Selection
- Voluntary roles should be publicised widely using a range of methods including print and digital channels. A role description shall be accessible for each role, viewable to all prospective volunteers. It shall clearly outline the reason why volunteer(s) are needed in this role, its set of tasks and responsibilities, and description of how the role relates to our charitable aims. Where it is reasonably practical, alternative arrangements and formats to facilitate volunteering shall be made and this specific process shall be decided on an individual basis depending on the nature of the service and role of the volunteer.
- Suitability will be determined in different ways. In cases in which roles are directly elected, suitability shall be judged by the vote count; elections shall be run in accordance with rules and regulations outlined in RSU’s Byelaws. Non-elected roles shall have suitability judged on the ability to perform the tasks as outlined in the role description.
- No prospective or current volunteer will be treated less favourably because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and/or civil partnership, pregnancy and/or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and/or sexual orientation by RSU in line with our Equal Opportunities Policy.
- Prospective volunteers will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if they aim to participate in any voluntary activity outlined in the DBS Criteria in line with our Safeguarding Policy. This is done to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults.
- Training and Support
- RSU recognizes people volunteer for a variety of reasons, and enter voluntary roles with different experiences, attributes, and competencies. Training is a critical aspect of our work to ensure volunteers are confident and effective in their roles, and to ensure they are supported consistently and objectively. Students’ Union staff will ensure volunteers receive adequate training for the tasks specified in their role description, and volunteers will be expected to attend/complete any such training. A Volunteer Agreement will be accessible to each volunteer upon registration and shall outline the mutual expectations between RSU and the volunteer.
- RSU shall endeavour to ensure volunteers have a positive experience with us from start to finish. RSU will recognize volunteers for their contribution to our charitable aims and encourage engagement with university services such as the Careers team. Volunteers can freely step down from their role prior to this managed exit at any point. RSU expects to be informed of such intentions to maintain accurate records and coordinate necessary handover procedures.
- RSU reserves the ability to remove volunteers from their positions if it is determined they are unable to meet mutual expectations of the Volunteer Agreement.
- Volunteers will be eligible to claim agreed expenses in line with our Expenses Policy.
- Health and Safety
- All volunteers engaged in RSU activities are covered by Employers Liability and Public Liability insurance. These ensure all our volunteers are protected in the event a claim is made against them for a third-party injury, damage to people, or to property. If further insurance is required for unusual activity, specific arrangements may be made and are subject to approval.
- Volunteering-led services are risk assessed by RSU staff and, at times, volunteers. Service-level risk assessments for each volunteering opportunity shall be accessible as part of a volunteers’ induction in line with our Health and Safety Policy.
- Training on conducting risk assessments will be provided to volunteers where it is appropriate for their role as part of their induction. Volunteers may facilitate activities without direct supervision from RSU staff. If this is part of their role, they will be supported to complete and abide by a risk assessment for their planned activities and will be expected to:
- Do everything they can to prevent injury to themselves, fellow volunteers and others affected directly, or indirectly, by their actions or omissions while volunteering.
- Report any unsafe conditions or activities to their named service coordinator and always report accidents or near misses.
- Make full use of any protective clothing or equipment supplied to ensure safer conditions and do not undertake any task for which authorisation and/or training has not been given.
- Seek the advice of the named service coordinator with reference to any special medical or other conditions which may affect the safe working of the individual.
Date Ratified by Board:
Mem Vol - 1
Senior leadership team