Writing a Volunteer Policy
From Our Toolkit
A Volunteer Policy lays out your organisation’s approach to volunteering. As it will be read by staff and volunteers it should be written in easy to understand language and be clearly laid out.
Having a Volunteer Policy indicates that you are committed to your volunteers and to volunteering in general. It helps everyone to understand the role volunteers play in your organisation.
Writing your policy
When compiling your Volunteer Policy you should consultant staff, Trustees and volunteers. Typically a Volunteer Policy will 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. You might need to be aware of benefit rules on volunteering, and structure expense payments so entitlements are not compromised.
- 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.
There are several helpful guides aimed at helping organisations to write volunteer policies:
- South West Museum Development Writing a Volunteer Policy Guide
- NCVO Writing a Volunteer Policy
- West Midlands Museum Development: A toolkit for developing a new volunteer initiative
A Volunteer Policy should be unique to your organisation, reflecting your policies and procedures.
Examples of volunteer policies:
- Staffordshire Archive & Heritage – Volunteer Policy
- Norfolk Record Office – Volunteer Policy
- Public Record Office of Northern Ireland – Volunteer Policy
- University of St Andrews – Museums & Museum Studies – Volunteer Guidelines