SDSC Volunteer Management Policy
SDSC VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT POLICY
Table of Contents
Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) aims to transform the lives of persons with disabilities through sport and build a vibrant and inclusive community where persons with disabilities can pursue their sporting aspirations. Volunteers make a vital contribution to our aims.
SDSC aims to have a reciprocal relationship with our volunteers; with their involvement in forming and developing our work, and our work enabling them to achieve personal development.
By adopting this policy, SDSC aims to:
- reflect the purpose, standards and strategies in our approach to involving volunteers;
- recognise the roles, rights and responsibilities of volunteers;
- ensure the quality of our volunteering opportunities and the work carried out by our volunteers; and
- acknowledge the contribution made by volunteers.
1.2. Definition of Volunteer
A ‘volunteer’ is anyone who, without compensation or expectation of compensation beyond reimbursement, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the organisation. A ‘volunteer’ must be officially accepted and enrolled by the organisation prior to performance of the task. Volunteers shall not be considered as ‘staff’ of the organisation.
1.3. Service at the discretion of SDSC
SDSC accepts the service of all volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of the organisation. Volunteers agree that SDSC may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to terminate the volunteer’s relationship with SDSC. The volunteer may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to sever the volunteer’s relationship with SDSC. Notice of such a decision should be communicated as soon as possible to the volunteer’s supervisor or the volunteer manager.
1.4. Scope of Volunteer Involvement in SDSC
Within SDSC, volunteers are involved in:
- the Executive Committee and its Subcommittees and Workgroups
- trainings and competitions as officials, caregivers
- events and programmes as support and/or enablers
- daily business operations as supporting role / assistant to paid staff
1.5. Policy Limitations
As volunteers involved in the Executive Committee, its Subcommittees and Workgroups are guided by SDSC’s Constitution and various Subcommittees’ Terms of Reference on their engagement, this policy shall only apply to all other volunteers that are engaged to support trainings, competitions, events and daily business functions.
Whilst this policy attempts to cover as many areas as possible, there may be inadvertent exclusions. If assistance or clarification is needed concerning the application of any of these standards, consult the volunteer management team.
2. GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT
2.1. Volunteer rights
Volunteers are viewed as a valuable resource to SDSC. Volunteers shall be extended the right to be given meaningful assignments, the right to be treated as equal co-workers, the right to effective supervision, the right to full involvement and participation, and the right to recognition for work done. In return, volunteers shall agree to actively perform their duties to the best of their abilities and to remain loyal to the goals and procedures of SDSC.
2.2. Service of Volunteer
Volunteers may be utilised in all programmes and activities of SDSC, and serve at all levels of skill and decision-making. Volunteers should not, however, be utilised to displace any paid staff from their positions.
3. VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
3.1. Recruitment and Selection
3.1.1. Position Descriptions: Volunteers require a clear, complete and current description of duties and responsibilities of the position they are to fill. Prior to any recruitment effort, a position description should be written for each volunteer position. Position description should include:
- Role(s) and responsiblities,
- Standards of performance,
- Designated supervisor and worksite,
- Timeframe for the role,
- Any qualification, attribute and/or certification
- Description of purpose and impact
This position description will be assigned to each accepted volunteer and utilised in subsequent management and evaluation efforts.
3.1.2. Requests for Volunteers: Request for volunteers using this form. Staff should understand that the recruitment of volunteers is enhanced by clear, concise details and by advance notice (minimum 8 weeks). Staff are expected to make effective use of volunteer resources.
3.1.3. Applications: All potential volunteers should complete an application form. SDSC will comply with the Personal Data Protection Act in the use of data held on all volunteers. Volunteers who have not reached 16 years old should have the written consent of a parent or guardian prior to volunteering, which can be verified by their schools if not directly. The volunteer services assigned to a minor should comply with all appropriate requirements of the Employment Act and the Employment (Children and Young Persons) Regulations which is enforced by the Ministry of Manpower.
3.1.4. Selection: Unless such requirements are necessary due to the service needs, volunteers shall be recruited without regard to gender, nationality, impairments, age, race or other condition. The primary qualification for volunteer recruitment shall be suitability to perform a task on behalf of the
SDSC accepts individuals and groups participating in community service activities, intern projects, and volunteer referral programmes as volunteers. For organised groups, an agreement should be made with the agency, school,
or programme from whom the volunteers originate to determine responsibilities for the management and care of the volunteers.
3.1.5. Background checks: Where volunteers are to be placed in direct contact with at-risk* beneficiaries, additional screening procedures may be instituted. These procedures may include reference checks, direct background investigation, criminal investigation, etc. Volunteers who refuse permission for conduct of these checks will not be accepted for placement with these beneficiaries.
*At-risk: At-risk refers to the concept of being vulnerable that reflects a probability of something unpleasant or adverse outcome might occur. At-risk is usually associated to individual or groups of student. These group of people are vulnerable and have a high probability of having poor life outcomes or not being successful into adulthood. This notion of successful include academic success, financially independent, personal development and job readiness.
3.1.6. Conflict of Interest: No person who has a conflict of interest with any activity or programme of SDSC, whether personal, philosophical, or financial shall be accepted as a volunteer with the organisation.
3.1.7. Appointment: Service as a volunteer with SDSC shall begin with an official notice of acceptance or appointment to a volunteer position. Notice may only be given by an authorised representative of SDSC, who may be the volunteer manager or the volunteer’s supervisor. At the time of acceptance, each volunteer should complete all necessary enrolment paperwork to start their service with SDSC.
3.2. Training and Development
3.2.1. Orientation: Volunteers should receive an orientation that informs them on the nature and purpose of SDSC, relevant policies and procedures to their service, the nature and operation of the programme or activity for which they are recruited, and the purposes and requirements of the position which they are accepting.
Volunteers should also receive specific on-the-job training to provide them with the information and skills necessary to perform their volunteer assignment. The timing and methods for delivery of such training should be appropriate to the complexity and demands of the position and the capabilities of the volunteer.
3.2.2. Staff mentorship: Staff are encouraged to consider creative ways in which volunteers might be of service and to consult with the volunteer manager if they feel in need of assistance or additional training. Since individual staff are in a better position to determine the requirements of their work, volunteers may be assigned to be mentored directly by staff. Staff who are responsible for the delivery of services should have an active role in the design and delivery of both orientation and training of volunteers. Staff who will be in a supervisory capacity to volunteers shall have primary responsibility for design and delivery of on-the-job training to volunteers assigned to them.
3.2.3. Continuing Education and Development: Additional educational and development opportunities should be made available to volunteers during their connection with SDSC to improve their skill levels during their terms of service. This continuing education may include both additional information on performance of their current volunteer assignment as well as more general information, and might be provided either by SDSC or by assisting the volunteer to participate in educational programs provided by other groups.
3.3. Code of Conduct
Please refer to SDSC Code of Conduct for SDSC Representatives for guidelines on:
- Respect to Individuals
- Integrity of Work
- Confidentiality of Information
- Use and Care of Organisation Resources
- Close Personal Relations
- Contractual Relations
- Safeguard Health and Safety
- Punctuality and Absenteeism
- Dress Code
- Expenses and Claims
- Political Activities
3.4 Other Administrative Matters
3.4.1 Maintenance of Records: A system of records will be maintained on each volunteer with SDSC, including dates of service, positions held, duties performed, evaluation of work, and awards received. Volunteers and appropriate staff shall be responsible for submitting all appropriate records and information to the volunteer manager in a timely and accurate fashion. Volunteer personnel records shall be accorded the same confidentiality as
staff personnel records.
3.4.2 Worksite: An appropriate worksite shall be established prior to the enrolment of any volunteer. This worksite shall contain necessary facilities, equipment, and space to enable the volunteer to effectively and comfortably perform their duties.
3.4.3 Insurance: Once appointed, volunteers are expected to comply with existing policies and procedures. Volunteers are covered under SDSC’s Public Liability Insurance when carrying out duties at SDSC’s events and programmes. Where the volunteer appointment involves travelling overseas, the volunteer will be covered under SDSC’s travel insurance. As exclusions may apply, volunteers should check with the supervisor or volunteer manager for details.
3.5.1 Objectives: An evaluation should aim to review the performance of the volunteer, to suggest any changes in work style, to seek suggestions from the volunteer on means of enhancing the volunteer’s relationship with SDSC, to convey appreciation to the volunteer, and to ascertain the continued interest of the volunteer in serving in that position. The position description and standards of performance for the volunteer position should form the basis of an evaluation.
3.5.2 Evaluation of Volunteer: Staff with supervisory capacity to volunteers should be involved in evaluation of volunteers with whom they have worked directly with. It shall be the responsibility of the staff to schedule and perform evaluation and to maintain records of the evaluation.
3.5.3 Evaluation of Staff: Examination of the effective utilisation of volunteers may be a component in the evaluation of staff who are assigned to work with volunteers. The volunteer manager can request the input and participation of volunteers in evaluating staff performance.
3.5.5 Evaluation at Organisational Level: The volunteer manager shall conduct an annual evaluation of the utilisation of volunteers by the organisation. This evaluation shall include information gathered from volunteers, staff, partners and any others who have utilised the services of volunteers.
3.5.4 Corrective Action: In appropriate situations, corrective action may be taken following an evaluation. Examples of corrective action include the requirement of additional training, re-assignment of a volunteer to a new position, suspension of the volunteer, or dismissal from volunteer service. If corrective action is taken, the affected volunteer may wish to seek further clarifications by filing an official written request to express their concern or grievance.
3.5.5 Termination or Reassignment: In the event that a volunteer terminates his/her relationship with SDSC, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, or is re-assigned to a new position, it shall be the responsibility of the volunteer manager or the supervisor to inform the affected staff and partner that the volunteer is no longer assigned to work with them. In cases of dismissal for cause, this notification should be given in writing and should clearly indicate that any further contact with the volunteer is outside any scope of relationship with the organisation.
3.6 Volunteer Appreciation/ Recognition
Volunteers are awarded Certificates of Participation for ad-hoc projects/events and/or upon request. A planned activity will be done annually to appreciate their contribution to SDSC work and build camaraderie.
4.1 Responsibilities for the monitoring and review of the policy and procedures lies with the Operations Manager.
4.2 All staff and volunteers are responsible for fully understanding and complying to this policy document, including any corresponding documents informed in this policy.