Page 1



Welcome Dear Volunteer, Welcome to RGU:Union Volunteering. During your induction you will be introduced to some of the basic philosophies of volunteering and RGU:Union. Your induction will also cover general topics and training to help you in your voluntary role. This manual can be used as a point of reference as your volunteering continues. Becoming involved in volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop yourself as an individual by gaining professional work experience and invaluable transferable skills which can be used when seeking employment. Congratulations on becoming involved with volunteering, I hope you enjoy your time volunteering whilst at university and get as much out of the experience as possible.

Lydia Fyall Student Development and Volunteering Co-ordinator



Contents Welcome …………………………………………………………………………. 2 Introduction …………………………………………………………………….. 6 Volunteering Policy……………………………………………………………..7 Organisational Chart …………………….……………………………………10 Mission Statement ………………………………………………………….. 11 Recruitment …………………………………………………………………….. 13 Opportunities …….…………………………………………………………….. 18 Training ………..………………………………………………………………….. 24 Rights & Responsibilities ………………………………………………….. 30 Health & Safety …………………………………………………………….….. 32 Data Protection …….…………………………………………………………. 38 Grievance & Disciplinary …….……………………………………………. 43 Equal Opportunities …………...……………………………………………. 47 Drinking, Drugs & Smoking ………………………………………………. 50 Screening ………………………..….……………………………………………. 52 Support ……………………………………………………………………………. 55 Student Achievement Awards …….……………………………………. 59 Forms ……………………………..….……………………………………………. 61



Introduction The purpose of this manual is to provide information to students, staff and volunteers. It will act as a point of reference relating to any volunteering queries and will ensure all parties are aware of what volunteering can provide, what volunteers should expect and what is expected from them. For more information on volunteers responsibilities please see page 27



It is hoped that the Union and volunteers can work together cooperatively and that on occasion both parties benefit from such work. It is accepted that problems may occur, in order to deal with these in the most positive way possible both parties can use the grievance procedure, for more information please see page 40.


Volunteering Policy This policy reflects the Student Association’s vision as stated within the constitutional regulations.

“That the Student Association will be integral to the provision of a good life and learning environment in which our members shall flourish” Introduction RGU:Union is run by students for students, it is here to represent and support students and to ensure they maximise their potential throughout their university life. The RGU:Union Volunteer department’s main objective is to integrate the student body with the local community through various projects and activities and to enhance their social and extra curricular development. Our aim is to offer a diverse range of opportunities for the whole student population all ages and abilities, which will incorporate all interest groups and cultures. RGU:Union works as an avenue for providing internal and external placements for students. The primary internal role is that of elected officers – these roles are decided upon democratically each year by the student body and are supervised directly by staff and sabbaticals. There are various external opportunities out with the Union which are supervised by external supervisors. Becoming involved with RGU:Union Volunteering allows students to develop themselves as an individual by gaining professional work experience and invaluable transferable skills. RGU:Union internal volunteers are -

integral in the running and development of RGU:Union involved with events and promotion working toward self set yearly objectives


Volunteering Policy (cont) RGU:Union external volunteers are -

making a valuable contribution to external projects encouraged to gain recognition for their work acting as ambassadors for RGU and RGU:Union

RGU:Union believes that the relationship with its volunteers is of mutual responsibility and commitment and endeavours to work with volunteers to create the best process possible.

RGU:Union volunteering commitment to volunteers -

represent students, provide support and supervision assist volunteers with their personal and professional development Recognises the overall objectives, development and invaluable contribution the volunteers make to RGU:Union. RGU:Union staff and sabbaticals are constantly aiming to improve the student experience and develop volunteer roles by using an ongoing two-way feedback system to benefit volunteers and the organisation

RGU:Union will provide volunteers with -



A fair and unbiased recruitment and selection process. A number of volunteer roles within the Union are elected through a democratic system by the student body. All students are free to apply to volunteer and will all be treated equally, in accordance with RGU:Union Volunteering equality and diversity policy. Volunteers will be provided with clear roles and objectives. Volunteers will be inducted into an organisation, and will receive information and guidelines on health and safety, insurance, expenses, equal opportunities, benefits, confidentiality, data protection, grievances and drinking, smoking and drugs policies. Volunteers will have a named supervisor who offers support and guidance Where possible volunteers will be encouraged to participate in the decision making process. Volunteers will be offered regular reviews of their placement and will have the opportunity to give and receive feedback


Volunteering Policy (cont) RGU:Union expects volunteers to -


Complete a registration form, undergo an induction and sign a placement agreement and induction checklist. Utilise the support, guidance and feedback offered and to participate in the decision making process. Keep to agreed commitments and endeavour to be as reliable as possible. If the volunteer was unable to keep to a commitment it is imperative that their supervisor is informed of any changes. Maintain confidentiality of all privileged information which they may become aware of in their role. Take reasonable care for the health & safety of themselves and others who may be affected by their acts or omissions. Disclose any information which may effect their suitability for a role, such information will be dealt with confidentiality Officers are encouraged to get the most out of their time as a volunteer by gaining recognition for their efforts. Officers are also encouraged to try and develop their role by undergoing training and being involved in university committees.

RGU:Union and volunteers have rights and responsibilities. We believe staff, sabbaticals and volunteers contribute to the effectiveness of the role and the level of enjoyment and experience volunteers can gain from their role.

Volunteers, sabbaticals and staff work together co-operatively in order that both volunteers and the organisation can benefit.

In the event of a conflict of interest both parties can follow the grievance procedure, this procedure along with RGU:Union’s other policies can be found in the volunteer handbook which staff, sabbaticals and volunteers are encouraged to use as a point of reference for any information on RGU:Union Volunteering


Organisational Chart The Union is here to represent and support you, making sure that your time at RGU is the best it can be. The Union is run by YOU, the students! Elections are held during the second semester of each year, where you vote for the students who will run the Union on your behalf. These elected students answer to you, so it’s important to let them know what you want from your time at RGU.


Mission Statement VOLUNTEERING WITHIN RGU Stated below is RGU:Union’s purpose, vision and mission for volunteering. Union staff will strive to provide the best service for students. Purpose - Represent students, provide support and supervision - Enhance student experience by promoting and supporting voluntary activities - Assist student’s personal and professional development. Vision - Endeavours to be a well established and utilised service which is offered to the whole student body. Encouraging students to make the most of their time at university through active participation through student activities, sports and other volunteering opportunities. Mission - Make students aware of voluntary opportunities that are readily available to them.


Mission Statement (cont) - Promote volunteering and extra curricular activities to students making them aware that volunteering can enhance a CV. - Introduce students to their local community and potential work environment, as well as develop transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and networking skills. - The Volunteering Co-ordinator will develop and implement a clear process for induction into volunteering for the student. This will include basic training. - Ensure external organisations offering students placements have followed protocol for becoming registered with RGU:Union (premises inspection, insurance & health and safety)


Recruitment Methods Of Recruitment: -

Freshers’ Week/Freshers’ Fayre Students contact service directly Students already participating in activity Visits to campus Elections

The Volunteer Co-ordinator can email the student to discuss volunteering options and arrange an initial meeting to discuss volunteering.

Once the student has decided that they would like to register as a volunteer there is a standard induction process carried out by the Volunteering Co-ordinator. This process stays the same whether students wish to volunteer internally or externally.


Recruitment (cont) Elections Each year candidates (who want to be elected as a Students’ Association Officer) campaign to get elected by putting up posters, making videos, creating social networking pages and, most importantly, talking to students. In order to help candidates, the Students' Association allows an allocation of money which will be their campaign budget. They can print posters and flyers or film a short video for the Students' Association website which is displayed alongside their manifesto. Candidates may also use social networks like Facebook to promote their campaign, speak to groups of students at the start of lectures and go around campus to convince individual students to vote for them. Candidates are also allowed to spend £20 of their own money on other promotional materials for their campaign. Candidates must also attend Question Time, an event where students will ask them questions about what they would do if they were elected. Induction Meeting: - Volunteering Co-ordinator goes through induction booklet with the student ensuring each stage has been completed by filling in a checklist. The student and volunteering Co-ordinator will each have a



Recruitment (cont)




copy of the checklists – issues and procedures such as health and safety, confidentiality, expenses, grievances, rights and responsibilities are all covered. The student will then fill in any other appropriate paperwork (registration form MV if applicable) during the induction meeting the student will choose the opportunity which they are interested in After the meeting the volunteer Co-ordinator will check references and contact appropriate organisation if the student has chosen an external placement. A date will be set during the first meeting for the student to meet with the volunteer Co-ordinator for a 3 monthly review. Students will be made aware that they will receive a monthly email for ongoing support.

Recruiting Organisations The majority of organisations will already be registered with RGU:Union. All records must be updated with new insurance and role descriptors. 6 monthly premises checks will also be standard practice. If a new organisation would like to register an opportunity for a placement there will be a set process.


Recruitment (cont) If an organisation requires assistance for one project or event they will apply through the Dirty Weekenders/One Hit Wonders online system.

The application for an organisation has a set process, which is: - contact made with organisation to arrange a visit to the premises - make clear the process of induction for students to the organisations, be made aware of any induction or training procedures of the organisation (See paperwork if applicable, as well as a role descriptor for the volunteering opportunity they wish to fill) - Organisation completes a registration form complete with insurance details. Once details on the registration form have been checked the organisation can be added to the organisation database.

Monthly contact will be made with the organisation as well as a 6 monthly premises visits.


Opportunities Volunteering internally and externally are of equal merit and the only deciding factor you should consider is which opportunity is the most appealing to you. It may be important to become involved with an opportunity that will give you relevant work experience, you may have an area of expertise you would like to share or you may wish to integrate your hobby into your volunteering.

INTERNAL There are many opportunities available to volunteers within RGU:Union and the University, the first step is to read the role descriptors of the opportunities you are interested in and the volunteering Co-ordinator can give you further information.

RGU:Union - volunteering for marketing (available all year to all students) - contribution to reform magazine (available all year to all students) - elected officers ( available all year to all students) - RGU:Union Bookshop ( available all year to all students)


Opportunities (cont) Voluntary Groups - Freshers Team - One Hit Wonders - Societies and Sports Teams Robert Gordon University - Volunteer for Sport (available all year to sports and exercise students) - Streetsport (available all year to all students) - BP Tutoring Scheme (available to all students) - Volunteer patient programme ( available all year to all students)



Opportunities (cont) EXTERNAL External opportunities are opportunities provided by organisations that are registered and affiliated with RGU:Union all organisations have gone through an application process and rigorous checks. - Aberdeen Greenspace (offers conservational projects for volunteers) - Aspirenorth (allows students to interact with children in a school setting, offering guidance about further education prospects.) - British Trust for Conservational Volunteers (offers conservational projects for volunteers) - Childline (offers a counselling service for children, provided by volunteers) - Cornerstone Community Care (a charity for individuals with learning disabilities and offers befriending and administration opportunities)


Opportunities (cont) - Inspire (a charity for individuals with learning disabilities and offers opportunities in befriending and administration) - Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (a charity which works toward finding a cure for diabetes, opportunities available are for office volunteers and events support) - Leonard Cheshire Disability (a charity which provides care and support for disabled people – there are opportunities to be a befriender) - PDSA (a charity which offers veterinary treatment to animals from needy homes – you can volunteer for PDSA by volunteering in one of their local charity shops) - Save the Children (a charity which works toward offering children worldwide, education, healthcare and protection – there is a voluntary opportunity to work in one of Save the Children’s charity shops)



Training Induction Training All Volunteers must attend an induction meeting to be registered and basic training will be given.

They will learn about:- Health and safety (At the start of a community or RGU:UNION Volunteering placement volunteers should receive a Health and Safety Induction. It should be filled out by your supervisor or the person doing your induction. The form should be signed and returned to the Volunteering Co-ordinator) - confidentiality - rights and responsibilities of a volunteer - expenses - grievances - how to deal with vulnerable people Volunteers will be given an induction folder with completed checklists to compliment the induction. This can also be downloaded from the RGU:Union Website.


Training (cont) Volunteers already volunteering in Clubs and Societies Volunteers will not need to attend Induction training but will be given the Induction folder or they can download the document from the Union website Specific Skills Training Any specific skills training will be provided by the relevant external organisation. This will ensure that the students are trained to the standard that the organisation requires. Students will be made aware at their induction that further training may be necessary. Induction for officers now includes a welcome day and handover period to give them further knowledge of their role. Confidentiality/Boundaries Volunteers are bound by the same requirements with regards to confidentiality as paid staff. Volunteers must understand that they cannot discuss personal information relating to other students or clients they are working with. If a volunteer needs to talk about what has been said to them, something they have heard or seen they should speak with


Training (cont) their supervisor, other colleagues or the Volunteering Co-ordinator. Volunteers should be aware of the following: Not to get emotionally involved with anyone at their placement whilst they are working their. ♦ Not to meet clients socially or outwith the placement times. ♦ Not accept gifts from anyone at the placement. ♦ Be aware of clients becoming too dependent on them. ♦ Be careful what personal information you give out to clients. ♦ Volunteers have the right to refuse demands they consider unrealistic, or they feel is beyond the scope of the role or which they do not have the skills to carry out. It is important to talk to either your supervisor or Volunteering Co-ordinator if any of these situations occur.

Working with Vulnerable Adults, Children or Young people It is important to be aware that if you work with vulnerable or young people you may have to deal with a situation where


Training (cont) they ask you to keep a secret. A volunteer should inform them “if what they are about to tell you is something which is either hurting them or someone else then legally you would have to tell some one who can help them. If they choose not to tell you it is important to make your supervisor aware of your conversation. If they tell you they are being abused or mistreated in any way. Here are a few points as to how to deal with it. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Stay calm – reassure them and try not to look shocked. Do not press for information, but if you have to ask questions use open questions. Things you might want to say “It’s not your fault” “I’m glad you’ve told me” “I know the person that can help you and I can support you to talk to them” I am not going to tell everyone, only the people who can help you. Discreetly tell the supervisor or group leader as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to seek help for your self. Remember you are not responsible for dealing with this so pass it on.


Training (cont) Dealing with emergencies The Volunteering Co-ordinator is the person volunteers should contact if they have any difficulties at a placement and they need to speak to someone. If the Volunteer Coordinator is unavailable then volunteers can speak with the General Manager or Sabbaticals.

If a serious incident occurs the Volunteering Co-ordinator will inform the General Manager who will be responsible for informing the University Senior Management.

Expenses Volunteers are entitled to claim reasonable expenses for travel whilst going to and from a volunteer placement and will be reimbursed on producing a receipt.1 Expenses forms are available form the 3rd floor of the Union.


Training (cont) Staff & Volunteers It is important that RGU:Union staff, elected officers and volunteers can understand each others roles; this should allow for more effective working relationships and can be only beneficial. RGU:Union staff are fully aware of confidentiality and any information they know about volunteers will be treated as strictly confidential, volunteers should not discuss out with the Student Association matters which should be treated as confidential including any matters related to the running of the SA Courtesy between Union staff, Sabbatical officers and volunteers is expected at all times, if there is a complaint about any member of staff or volunteer, an individual can refer to the grievance procedure for guidance. Staff and Sabbatical officers are also encouraged to raise any issues queries about volunteering to the executive committee which meet every two weeks and to SAMAG which meets five times yearly


Rights & Responsibilities YOUR


Health & Safety – we will ensure your safety Supervision – will be provided Support and Guidance – will be provided Informed – of any legal issues Training – will be provided where appropriate Equality – no volunteer will be excluded Know – what is expected of you To Say No – to any tasks you don't feel comfortable with. You will never be expected to commit to any more time than you feel appropriate. Receive Recognition – for the effort you make Have Your Say – in the running of the service Confidentiality – of your personal details in line with the data protection act Free – claim out-of-pocket expenses upon production of receipts Feedback – on any aspect of your volunteering Fun – You have the right to enjoy your volunteering!


Rights & Responsibilities (cont) YOUR


Attend – appropriate training sessions and meetings Fun – We want you to be happy and enthusiastic about your Volunteering Self-Selection – of the role you want, finding something you want to do Openness Dedication and Honesty – do things that you have said you will Be an Ambassador – for your University, Union and other volunteers as well as yourself Respect – and understand the needs and wishes of others Privacy, Confidentiality & Discretion – of information should be adhered to at all times Regular Attendance – If you cannot meet your voluntary commitments, please remember to inform your organisation so that people aren't let down Leaving – is never easy but give your organisation notice Feedback – and let us know what you think so we can improve our service


Health & Safety Health and Safety Policy General Statement The purpose of RGU:Union Volunteering health and safety policy is to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for all staff and volunteers. RGU:Union Volunteering health and safety policy is directly linked to the Union’s health and safety policy. As far as possible, the Union will strive to maintain good health and safety practice, The SA will achieve this by: - Provide a working environment which is free from hazards and risk to health by providing sound working equipment and systems of work - Promoting Health and Safety awareness through training while ensuring that there are adequate physical and financial resources made available. - Ensuring that all staff display a positive attitude to Health and Safety. - Ensuring that all staff take care of their own Health and Safety and the Health and Safety of their fellow staff and Volunteers.


Health & Safety (cont) - Ensure that premises/offices under the SA control are maintained to an acceptable standard of safety, without risk to health and with adequate access in and out of premises. Where an office is located within the premises of a host organisation it is important to have obtained read and understood the procedures required by the host organisation. - Provide and maintain arrangements for the emergency evacuation of premises in case of fire or emergency. RGU:Union Volunteering states that accidents and injuries can be prevented. Compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and subsequent legislation must be regarded as the fundamental base from which to work to promote Health and Safety at Work and generate best practice. Ultimate responsibility for Health and Safety at work within the Union rests with the Executive Committee who defer delegated authority for Health and Safety to the General Manager. The General Manager will take all reasonable and practical steps to ensure that the Union is compliant with all statutory


Health & Safety (cont) obligations while striving to maintain a system of best practice in all Union activities.

Success in Health and Safety management is dependent upon the integration of Health and Safety policies into all functions of the staff and volunteers of the Union.

The General Manager is responsible for the formulation, implementation and development of Health and Safety policy and will promote the enhancement and maintenance of a positive Health and Safety culture within the Union by:

Ensuring that the Volunteering Co-ordinator is charged with responsibility for Health and Safety within their department and are accountable for the implementation and monitoring of the Health and Safety Policy. In pursuit of the promotion of and adherence to Health and Safety needs, the Union will maintain arrangements with employee representatives, including recognised Trades Unions, and will consult with such representatives on the


Health & Safety (cont) promotion and implementation of policy relating to Health and Safety at work.

The Union will review Health and Safety policy/ risk assessments at least annually and a report on the compliance will be submitted to executive committee for their consideration.


Risk Assessments 5 Steps to Risk Assessing Step 1

Look for hazards.

Step 2

Decide who may be harmed.

Step 3

Evaluate the risk and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.

Step 4

Record your findings.

Step 5

Review your assessment and revise if necessary.

If volunteers feel at any point that they are working in an environment that they encounter risks or that the general health and safety of premises are not up a standard they should report their concerns to their placement supervisor and the volunteering Co-ordinator


Insurance Volunteers within RGU:Union Volunteering will be covered by the Union insurance policy whilst they are volunteering on internal projects. The only exception is when RGU:Union Volunteering undertakes a conservation project without working in conjunction with a conservation organisation. Details of the project will need to be submitted each time to Endsleigh Insurance. External organisations have signed to say they have adequate cover for volunteers whilst they are on their premises.


Data Protection RGU:Union Volunteering is committed to ensuring that we store, maintain and use information held on volunteers, external projects and voluntary opportunities in compliance with Data Protection Law on such matters.

The Data Protection Principles The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1st March 2000 and affects all departments and sections within the University. It is important that all staff are aware of the principles of the Act, which govern the collection, retention and transmission of information about living individuals and the rights of those individuals to see that information. Unlike the previous Data Protection Act 1984 which it replaces, the 1998 Act covers manual data (i.e. that held in paper files and index systems) as well as electronic records. The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) concerns personal data which is held about living individuals, and provides that such data must be: “obtained and processed fairly and lawfully and only if certain conditions are met; be obtained for specified and lawful purposes; be adequate, relevant and not excessive for those


Data Protection (cont) purposes; be accurate and up-to-date; not be kept for longer than is necessary; be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects; be kept safe from unauthorised access, loss or destruction; not be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area, unless to countries with equivalent levels of data protection.”

RGU:Union Volunteering holds and processes data relating to students, staff and recent graduates in order to undertake the organisation and administration of volunteering opportunities. We may hold the following information under the terms of the Universities policy and the DPA.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Personal Details Photographs Information linking individuals with specific opportunities Status on various accreditation schemes Information on CRBS Disclosure checks We may anonymously aggregate records together to produce reports to monitor the service. Sensitive Personal Data


Data Protection (cont) The DPA defines certain types of data as sensitive. Such data cannot be collected or processed without your explicit consent. RGU:Union Volunteering may ask volunteers to disclose any disability or issues that may affect the type of volunteering that they could undertake. There is no requirement to provide this information but it may assist the RGU:Union Volunteering in matching the volunteer with an appropriate opportunity. When information such as this is disclosed it will be kept in the strictest of confidence. If this information is to be disclosed to a third party the volunteer will be asked for their consent before such a disclosure occurs. Storage and access Information is kept securely, in lockable, non-portable, storage containers with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties. Personal data must not be retained longer than is necessary.


Data Protection (cont) Handling We ensure that only authorised RGU:Union Volunteering staff and volunteers are allowed access to personal data and records maintained by the RGU:Union.

Use of Computers and E Mail: The Union has its IT services through the Robert Gordon University IT system and as such we are obliged to comply with the governing regulations on computer misuse and unacceptable communications. You are referred to the HR web page on Policies and Procedures

Computer misuse could constitute a serious offence leading to termination of a volunteering placement.


Data Protection (cont) Access to Data Volunteers have the right to see any personal information the Volunteering Co-ordinator holds about them. They do this by making a, Subject access request and the Volunteering Co-Co-ordinator has 40 calendar days to respond.


Grievance & Disciplinary RGU:Union Volunteering aims to provide quality volunteering opportunities on a fair and equal basis, and expects volunteers and staff alike to treat the people they work with in the same way. Every effort should be made to follow good working practice and when problems arise they should be brought to the attention of all parties concerned and addressed.

Grievance/Complaints Volunteering




It is important if you feel dissatisfied with any matter relating to your volunteering there is a means by which you can air your grievance and have it resolved. While a formal procedure exists, nothing prevents you from seeking to resolve the matter of concern by informal means, without there being a written record.


Grievance & Disciplinary (cont) If the matter remains unresolved three steps can be taken: 1. Raise the issue with the Volunteering Co-ordinator either verbally or in writing. Explain in full the nature of your grievance. 2. If the problem is not resolved within 7 working days you should raise the matter with the General Manager within 7 days. 3. Should you remain dissatisfied you should raise the matter in writing with the Sabbatical Officers who will seek to resolve the matter within 7 days. Grievance/Complaints Procedure for External Opportunities Where a volunteer has a complaint about a voluntary orgainsation the following two steps can be taken: 1. In the first instance volunteers are expected to seek to resolve the matter by taking it up with the person(s) who are most directly involved (usually the person who the volunteer reports to). If at this stage it is not possible to resolve the matter then the volunteer should use the external organisations grievance/complaints procedure.


Grievance & Disciplinary (cont) 2. If it is not going to be possible to solve the matter within the organisation or the volunteer requires support in raising the matter with the external organisation then the volunteer should contact the RGU:Union Volunteering staff and seek their help. Discipline Procedure Internal RGU:UNION Volunteering Volunteers If volunteers behave inappropriately they will be advised by the Volunteering Co-Co-ordinator with whom they are working and asked to modify their behaviour accordingly. Failure to do so may result in the volunteer being asked to undertake alternative duties, or in the case of severe misconduct, to cease volunteering with the RGU:Union Volunteering.

If a volunteer feels they have been dealt with unfairly they have the right to follow RGU:Union Volunteering grievance procedure which is outlined above.


Grievance & Disciplinary (cont) Discipline Procedure External RGU:UNION Placement Volunteers Whilst volunteers are on an external placement they will be subject to the disciplinary procedures which are applied to paid staff at the placement. In the unlikely circumstance of any disciplinary action being taken with respect to a volunteer, RGU:Union Volunteering will seek to be involved in any disciplinary process, unless this is against the volunteer’s wishes.

Should the volunteer have a grievance concerning any matter or person at the volunteer’s placement, the volunteer should first inform the Volunteering Co-Co-ordinator, and with their support, follow any procedures that pertain at the placement for dealing with complaints and grievances. Should the matter not be satisfactorily resolved, the volunteer will be advised and helped to seek an alternative placement.


Equal Opportunities/Diversity General statement RGU:Union Volunteering is committed to ensuring that Equal Opportunities are part of the foundation of the organisational culture. The Union has its own policy on equality & diversity, which volunteering links in with. RGU:Union strives to be an inclusive organisation for all students. The aim of the Equal Opportunities policy is to ensure that no volunteer is discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, marital status, responsibility for children or dependents, ethnic origin, nationality, race, colour, religious beliefs, age, employment status, class, trade union activity, disability, HIV status or criminal convictions which do not have a bearing on volunteering. RGU:Union Volunteering recognises that certain groups in the community on occasions maybe under-represented in the work of the organisation. To avoid such imbalances RGU:Union Volunteering undertakes the following measures: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

To promote equality in volunteer recruitment. Actively recruit volunteers with access, communication and physical difficulties. Provide a range of volunteering opportunities that are inclusive. Actively avoid discrimination due to age, gender or sexuality.


Equal Opportunities/Diversity (cont) Volunteers with Disabilities RGU:Union Volunteering may ask volunteers to disclose any disability or issues that may affect the type of volunteering they can undertake. There is no requirement to provide this information but it may assist RGU:Union Volunteering in matching the volunteer with the most appropriate opportunity. The very nature of the service, working in partnership with external organisations, presents some issues in ensuring that the placement is suitable for all volunteers. The RGU:Union Volunteering staff will work to ensure that we can offer a placement that meets the volunteers’ specific needs.

Diversity RGU:Union Volunteering is firmly committed to diversity in all aspects of its work. We have much to learn and profit from diverse cultures and perspectives. We are committed to developing and maintaining an organisation in which differing ideas, abilities, backgrounds and needs are fostered and valued.


Equal Opportunities/Diversity (cont) Decision-making RGU:Union Volunteering provides opportunities for volunteers to get involved in internal decision-making processes through various committees as well as through the regular evaluation of the training and services provided. At the three monthly review the students get the opportunity to evaluate the training and services provided they will be asked for general feedback about the service provided by RGU:Union and how they feel it can be improved.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking Alcohol RGU:Union Volunteering has a Strictly No drinking Rule whilst you are volunteering. Where a volunteer is found in possession of alcohol under the age of 18 it will be taken away from them and disposed of. Where a volunteer is found in possession of alcohol over the age of 18 it will be taken away from them and returned at the end of the session.

Where a volunteer refuses to comply they will be sent home immediately. Where a volunteer’s condition gives cause for concern the person will be sent home.

Each instance will be examined and decisions taken as to whether a risk exists retaining the volunteer.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking (cont) Drugs RGU:Union Volunteering has a Zero Tolerance Rule whilst you are volunteering. Where a volunteer is found in possession of drugs they will be reported to the police and will automatically be removed as a volunteer. Smoking RGU:Union Volunteering has a No Smoking Rule in public buildings. This is in compliance with the law. It is up to individual placements to decide if a volunteer can smoke outside whilst volunteering. Where persons have problems with any of the above counselling can be offered.


Screening Central Registered Body Scotland (CRBS) Disclosure This is now a standard part of the procedure for recruitment when working with vulnerable individuals. All volunteering opportunities involving working with children, young people or vulnerable adults automatically require a CRBS Disclosure.

The only reason that a CRBS may not be done is if volunteers are not going to be left alone with children, young people or vulnerable adults. If a check is required it is carried out by the external organisation before the start of volunteering with the organisation.

Recruitment of Ex-offenders RGU:Union Volunteering is committed to the fair treatment of its service users, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background. As previously stated, it is the responsibility of the individual to omit to anything that may hinder their ability to volunteer. Using this information RGU:Union Volunteering will strive to find an appropriate placement. At interview there will be an open discussion on the subject of any offences or matters


Screening (cont) that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant could lead to rejection. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that the Union complies fully with the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and best practice in its recruitment of volunteers with a criminal record There are, however, a number of jobs that are exempt from the Act in order to protect vulnerable groups within society. Such posts might involve unsupervised access to children, young people, the elderly, disabled people, alcohol and drug users and the chronically sick. As an organisation RGU:Union does not work directly with children or vulnerable adults Screening RGU:Union Volunteering is committed to taking all possible steps to ensure volunteers especially young volunteers are not put at risk of injury, abuse or unfair treatment by others whilst they are volunteering with us. Careful consideration is given to the level of responsibility that young volunteers can reasonably be expected to be asked to carry and levels of training and supervision are set accordingly.


Screening (cont) RGU:Union Volunteering is particularly protecting groups in society, including:

♦ ♦ ♦



Young Students under the age of 18 People with a physical disability People with mental health issues

The person/agency who is to receive the volunteer will decide if they need a disclosure and will take up references if required. If students are volunteering within RGU:Union Volunteering references will be undertaken by the Volunteering Coordinator during the induction meeting

Code of Practice The Volunteering Co-ordinator at RGU:Union Volunteering is the first point of contact for all issues relating to working with vulnerable people. Permission is obtained from individual volunteers via their registration form before any screening or reference checks are made.


Support Clear procedures are followed in the recruitment and selection of volunteers by both RGU:Union Volunteering and Registered Organisations. Supervision Volunteers will be provided with a named supervisor at their placement who should be available to meet with volunteers to discuss any problems that might arise. The meeting should be recorded. Placement Agreement At the beginning of a placement a volunteer will be asked to get a Placement Agreement signed by themselves and the organisation. This will then be forwarded to the Volunteering Co-ordinator who will sign it and place in the volunteers file. Reviews The Volunteering Co-ordinator will provide an opportunity to meet with volunteers to review their placement every month after the initial induction. The volunteer Co-ordinator will email volunteers monthly to keep up to date with progress. If the volunteer chooses to leave volunteering, or is leaving University, there will also be an exit review.



Support (cont) Hours Volunteers will be encouraged to keep a record of the hours they achieve. The volunteering Co-ordinator will keep a record of the hours completed by students and can act as a contact between students and the volunteer centre if the student is working toward the MV award. Internal hours achieved will be processed by the Volunteering Co-ordinator and will be processed and rewarded to the same standard as the MV Award.

Monthly contact by Volunteering Co-ordinator The Volunteering Co-ordinator will contact volunteers using the University e mail system each month. It is important the volunteers check their e mails regularly. The main reason for contact is to keep communication open and lets the students highlight any concerns or issues.

The Volunteering Co-ordinator is also available for students to talk to if needed.

You can contact Volunteering Co-ordinator anytime on 01224 262 265


Support (cont) Incentives Why volunteer? What can you get for volunteering? As mentioned students who register to volunteer will be encouraged to register for the MV award, the MV award is a nationally recognised youth volunteering incentive which rewards you for your time spent volunteering.

MV Award -

MV Awards are for 16 – 25 year olds It recognises 50, 100 and 200 hours of volunteering Its endorsed by the Scottish government The 200 hour award of excellence is signed by the first minister of Scotland - MV Awards are suitable for new and existing volunteers

Research has shown that volunteering can enhance your CV, build your confidence, create more fun in your life, improve your health, and boost your career options / employability and personal achievement. “73% of employers would employ a candidate with volunteering experience over one without” (, 2009)


The newly entitled Student Achievement Awards exist to reward student involvement at RGU! This covers a wide range of things such as being a society member, class rep, volunteer and more. The event started in 2006 as the Scarlet & Gold Awards and has grown remarkably ever since. It incorporates the Scarlet Awards, RGU:Union Volunteering Awards, the MV Gold Award (a prestigious award given to students who show outstanding leadership, dedication and achievement) and the Student Rep Awards. Scarlet Awards are given to society members for their hard work and dedication. This includes a Half Scarlet, Recognition Award and the much coveted Full Scarlet Award. The awards are open to all students so come along and celebrate the achievements of RGU students! Contact your Volunteering Co-ordinator for more details.



VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT AGREEMENT Name of Volunteer Placement Organisation Placement Supervisor The Volunteer agrees to: - The dates and times of the volunteering opportunity and who to contact if unable to attend. - Abide by the policies and standards of the organisation. - Carry out agreed tasks and inform the appropriate person if problems arise. - Attend all the support and training sessions. - Communicate with RGU:Union Volunteering and the placement provider about the positive and negative aspects of the placement - Inform the Benefits Office that they are doing voluntary work, if this is relevant to them. The Placement Organisation agrees to: - Induct each volunteer into their role and provide them with sufficient explanation and training for them to carry out their role effectively. - Agree that any changes to the volunteering opportunity appointment will be by mutual agreement and in consultation with the volunteer and where possible the position to which the volunteer has been appointed should remain for the agreed tenure.


- Provide a volunteer with a named supervisor who will provide support during their placement. - Ensure the volunteer has opportunities for personal development. - Agree dates and times of the volunteer’s involvement giving due consideration to their other commitments. - For the purposes of health and safety only, to treat the volunteer as though they were a member of the organisation’s own staff. Follow health and safety regulations in relation to the volunteer’s work and to make the volunteer aware of the health and safety guidelines as part of their induction. Report to RGU:Union volunteering any lost time injury or work-related illness which incapacitates the volunteer on the following day. - Provide all necessary protective clothing and equipment. - Communicate with RGU:Union Volunteering and the volunteer about the about the positive and negative aspects of the placement RGU Volunteering agrees to: - Provide basic induction into volunteering and provide ongoing training where appropriate - Provide regular and ongoing contact with the volunteer. - Ensure that the placement continues to provide skills and personal development for the volunteer. - Ensure that the placement remains appropriate to the needs and abilities of the volunteer. - Communicate with the volunteer and provider to ensure the smooth running of the placement. Signed



Signed Representative

Date of





Representative of RGU:Union Volunteering


INDUCTION CHECKLIST Name of Volunteer Matriculation No

Start Date

Recruitment process Opportunities Training Confidentiality and boundaries Working with vulnerable adults, children and young people Dealing with emergencies Rights and responsibilities Health and safety (fire evacuation, first aid etc) Risk assessments (including form) For your information


Staff Initials

Mission Statement

Volunteer Initials


About Volunteering

Expenses (including form) Insurance Data protection Storage and access Handling Use of computers / access to data Grievances and disciplinary (including form) Equal opportunity and diversity Drinking, drugs and smoking policy CRBS Recruitment of ex-offenders Screening Code of Practice Why volunteer Support Incentives Forms Induction checklist, volunteer agreement, review sheet, hours and risk assessment


PREMISES RISK ASSESSMENT Venue Assessment Conducted By


Agreed By H&S Officer



Potential Satisfactory Hazards Identified

Administration Health & safety poster displayed Employers Liability insurance displayed H & S Policy in the file First Aid box checked Accident book in place General Environment Lighting Heating Cleanliness Toilet/washing facilities Functional Clean Adequately equipped


Action Taken

Further Action

Internal Area Condition of: Flooring & coverings Windows & glass Screens & partitions Are there any: Sharp protruding objects? Tripping hazards? Slipping hazards? Is shelving secure? Shelves are not piled too high Emergency exits not blocked? External Area Condition of: Paths & hard surfaces? Walls & fences secure? Steps & ramps secure? Drains not blocked? Emergency exits not blocked? Adequate lighting? Fire Fire extinguishers checked annually? Smoke detectors fitted & checked regularly Are all window coverings fire proof Electricity Electrical equipment checked annually? Condition of: Plugs Cables Switches Electric sockets overloaded?



Volunteer Registration Form Name Matriculation Number Address (term time)

Email Phone Number Date of Birth







Employment Status Ethnic Group Disability Details of Disability Medical Conditions Medication Required/Allergies

Emergency Contact Name: ________________________

Contact Telephone Number: _______________________

I agree to my details being held on the RGU:Union volunteering database and that only appropriate information will be shared with the relevant agencies in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) Signature:


Contact the Student Development and Volunteering Co-ordinator at any time with questions or for advice. RGU Students Association, 60 Schoolhill, Aberdeen, AB10 1JQ TEL: 01224 262265 Email –








Accumulative Initials Hours


REVIEW The aim of the review session is to enable the volunteer to reflect on and learn from their volunteering.

The Objectives of the review session are: -

Development of a relationship between staff and volunteer. Discussion of current volunteering placement(s) Motivating and inspiring volunteers Identification of successes and issues of concern Reviewing progress in terms of learning (knowledge, skills and attitudes) - Setting goals for the next period - Calculating number of hours achieved

Volunteers will be asked to fill in a review sheet at the session. It is hoped that a volunteer would have a review every three months during the time of their volunteering. In most circumstances, volunteers will meet the Volunteering Coordinator on a one-to-one or in small groups in a place convenient for all parties. Whilst there is no time limit for the review session, 30 minutes should be set aside. There will always be a written record of the session


REVIEW SHEET Volunteer Volunteer Co-ordinator Date of review Number of hours achieved Number of hours achieved since last review session What volunteering have you done since your last review?

Have there been any successes to report?

Do you have any problems or concerns?

What are your future goals regarding volunteering?

Please note any other relevant information that you may wish to record:










Date Details of Expenditure









Volunteer Reference Request Form Name of Volunteer – Relationship to Volunteer – Length of time you have known the volunteer Please explain how you know the individual in question and mention any characteristics that you feel would support or oppose the individual’s application to be a volunteer. Please use the space provided below –

Signed – Date – Position – Please return to – Lydia Fyall, Student Development and Volunteering Co-ordinator RGU Student Association, 60 Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1JQ



Volunteer Reference Request Form Name of Volunteer – Relationship to Volunteer – Length of time you have known the volunteer Please explain how you know the individual in question and mention any characteristics that you feel would support or oppose the individual’s application to be a volunteer. Please use the space provided below –

Signed – Date – Position – Please return to – Lydia Fyall, Student Development and Volunteering Co-ordinator RGU Student Association, 60 Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1JQ



Equality and Diversity Monitoring - Volunteers RGU:Union aims to provide equal opportunities and fair treatment for all volunteers. Please complete the form and email or post to the address at the end. The information below is anonymous and will not be stored with any identifying information about you. All details are held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. We would like you to complete this form in order to help us understand who we are reaching and to better serve the whole student body. The information will be used to provide an overall profile analysis of our volunteer base. Ethnicity Please state what you consider your ethnic origin to be. Ethnicity is distinct from nationality and the categories below are based on the 2001 Census in alphabetical order. Asian


Chinese or other ethnic group

 Indian  Pakistani  Bangladeshi  Any other Asian background (please specify)

 Caribbean  African  Any other Black background (please specify)

 Chinese  Any other ethnic group (please specify)



 White and Black Caribbean  White and Black African  White and Asian  Any other mixed background (please specify)

 English  Irish  Scottish  Welsh  Any other White background (please specify)

Age: ______________

 Rather not say


 Rather not say

Disability The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term (i.e. has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months) adverse effect on one’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This definition includes conditions such as cancer, HIV, mental illness and learning disabilities. Do you consider yourself to have a disability according to the above definition?  Yes

 No

 Rather not say

Gender Transgender

 Male  Rather not say  Female

 F to M  M to F

Faith Which group below do you most identify with?  No religion

 Baha’i

 Buddhist

 Christian

 Hindu

 Jain

 Jewish

 Muslim

 Sikh

 Other (please write in)

 Rather not say

Sexual orientation How would you describe your sexual orientation?  Bisexual

 Gay man

 Heterosexual or ‘straight’

 Lesbian

 Other

 Rather not say



Thank you for completing this form. Please send the completed form: by email: by post: RGU Student Association, 60 Schoolhill, Aberdeen, AB10 1JQ


Officer Declaration Robert Gordon University Students’ Association is a Charity (SCO 16639) with exempt status. There is a substantial body of government legislation and case law concerned with our activities and with the conduct of the Executive Board, who are our trustees. It is a criminal offence for anyone to be involved in the management or control of a Scottish charity who: 1. has been convicted of an offence including dishonesty; 2. is an undischarged bankrupt; 3. has been removed by a court under the provisions of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 from being concerned in the management or control of any body; or 4. is subject to a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. A conviction for dishonesty may be spent in terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Any such person acting in contravention of the law is liable to prosecution and upon conviction to a maximum of imprisonment for two years. Scottish Ministers may grant a waiver of disqualification, but waivers will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. If you are in doubt about your eligibility to act as an officer you should seek your own legal advice or contact the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. By signing this form, you not only accept that you are eligible to become an officer in the event of being elected, but you also confirm that as an officer you will always act in the best interests of the Robert Gordon University Students’ Association while acting in accordance with the Constitution and Regulations (these can be found at All assets of the Association must also be used in accordance with the above stipulations. I have read and understood the criteria (above) for being an officer and confirm that I am eligible to become a trustee in the event that I am elected.

Name: Date of Birth: Address:

Position standing for: Signature:



Volunteering Handbook  

Volunteering Handbook

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you