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Good Practice for managing volunteers



Best Practice: 

Our team can advise on a whole range of good practice topics but here’s a few top tips to get started.

  • Respond to enquiries from potential volunteers in good time
  • Ensure the selection procedure is open and inclusive
  • Ensure the volunteer is suitable for the type of tasks you will ask them to perform. The volunteer role should be clearly defined; a role description and outline of tasks is helpful
  • You may require references and/ or a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) - previously Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). A DBS is just one aspect of Safeguarding procedures
  • The tasks volunteers are expected to perform should match their original motivation to volunteer. Volunteers should not be used to cover work that is, or has previously, been done by paid workers
  • Out-of-pocket expenses should be discussed and agreed before the placement begins
  • Provide an induction for volunteers, including health and safety procedures
  • Ensure that volunteers have a clear understanding of the tasks they might be expected to perform, as well as any relevant procedures such as Confidentiality and Safeguarding
  • Ensure the lines of supervision are clear and who the volunteer can ask for support; and provide volunteers with the opportunity to develop skills
  • Provide appropriate training and support
  • Ensure adequate insurance cover is in place (employers’ liability and public liability)
  • Include reference to all volunteers in your equal opportunity and/or diversity policy
  • Volunteers should have the right to access complaints procedures 


  • Making time for volunteers at the outset of their placement often secures a more long-term commitment from them
  • Involving volunteers in decision making and encouraging them to contribute their views through regular reviews will help them to feel valued
  • Cake is always appreciated!