Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

Volunteers policy

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) recognises and values the role of volunteers. Volunteers support and complement the work of paid staff.

Definition

A volunteer is a person who undertakes activities on behalf of Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, under the direction of HALS staff, but does not have a contract of employment and is not paid for his/her time (although may be provided with out-of-pocket expenses).

Role of volunteers

A volunteer’s commitment may be long-term or short-term or even for a specific task on a particular day. Each volunteer will have a clear purpose and tasks to undertake. HALS will provide a supervisor to help and support each volunteer.

A volunteer will have certain rights respected and, at the same time, must accept some responsibilities.

Rights of the volunteer:

  • To know what is expected of you whilst acting as volunteer
  • To receive any training necessary to carry out tasks
  • To know where to go with a problem
  • To be able to say ‘No’
  • To have safe working conditions
  • To be free of discrimination on grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or disability.
  • To be treated with respect and consideration by colleagues and visitors

Responsibilities of the volunteer:

  • To give a reasonable level of commitment and to say when a commitment cannot be met
  • To carry out tasks safely and reliably
  • To represent the service in a positive manner
  • To treat all colleagues, service users and visitors with respect and consideration
  • To bring problems to the attention of your supervisor
  • To attend training and support sessions in connection with your volunteer role
  • To respect the confidentiality of service users, visitors and colleagues

Recruitment and selection

Volunteering opportunities are open to all regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or disability. Volunteers will not normally be debarred due to age but special consideration will be given to the needs of volunteers aged between 16 and 18 and those aged over 65 to ensure that  adequate support can be given.

Each volunteer will be asked to complete a basic registration form. During an informal discussion suitability will be assessed. Often enthusiasm and commitment are the most important qualities but the names of referees will also be requested.

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)

Volunteers do not require a CRB check. All children attending our activities are accompanied by a supervising adult, making a CRB check unnecessary. As a result, volunteers for activities involving children or young people will never be left on their own with them.

A record of all volunteers working for HALS will be kept. Once the volunteer has stopped working with us or has not volunteered for 12 months the file will be disposed of after three years.

Payment of expenses

HALS will pay any out-of-pocket expenses, although volunteers working at Hampshire Record Office in Winchester will normally be expected to fund their own travel to and from Winchester. Only reasonable travel expenses and subsistence can be covered and claims should be accompanied by a receipt.  

Training

All volunteers will be offered any training required for their role. This will normally include induction and health and safety training.

Health and Safety

Volunteers must be aware of the service’s health and safety policy and procedures and will receive training as part of the induction.

Insurance

Whilst carrying out agreed volunteer duties under the direction of and on behalf of Hampshire County Council volunteers will be covered under the Council’s insurance arrangements. If a private car is used in connection with the volunteer’s duties the supervisor will need to see evidence of appropriate insurance cover.

Contribution review

Volunteers are a valued part of the service, whose involvement and contribution will be informally reviewed by each supervisor.

Performance and conduct issues

While it is recognised that volunteers are not employees, each volunteer has a right to be treated fairly and in line with the principles in Hampshire County Council’s Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. If there are performance issues these will be raised with the volunteer informally in the first instance.

Hampshire Archives Volunteers Scheme provides an introduction, practical information and a registration form. Please contact the Record Office for more information.

August 2010