Bendigo Autistic Advocacy and Support Service
BAASS Volunteers Policy and Procedures
1. About this policy
Bendigo Autistic Advocacy and Support Service (BAASS) values our volunteers and their contributions as an essential part of our team. We recognise and appreciate volunteer’s commitment in sharing expertise and time resource in sharing BAASS values and goals in making a difference in our community and beyond. All volunteers will be treated with respect and full recognitions for their contributions to BAASS work.
BAASS is committed to ensuring volunteers participate in BAASS related work that is safe, significant, fulfilling, and appreciated.
For the purposes of BAASS Policy and Procedure, ‘Members’ refers to any staff or volunteers holding a role within BAASS.
BAASS actively endeavors, as far as is practicable and relevant, to recruit and work with volunteers according to the Volunteering Australia National Standards for Volunteer Involvement, (including Equal Rights Opportunity 2010 Victoria), BAASS Values and Mission and other recognised standards relevant to the specific functions of BAASS.
Being a member of or volunteer with and carrying out duties on behalf of the Bendigo Autistic Advocacy and Support Service (BAASS) you accept a position of trust and responsibility.
1.2 As a BAASS member, in any capacity, you have agreed to comply with:
· BAASS Values
· BAASS Code of Conduct
· BAASS Child Protection Policy, and
· all relevant BAASS policies that apply to you, including this Volunteer Policy and Procedure.
The BAASS Volunteer Policy and Procedure is available on our organisational website and on request.
2. Volunteer Definition
Volunteering Australia provides defines volunteering as aligning with the United Nations view that volunteering ‘should be for the common good’.
Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.
Further information about Volunteering definitions can be found here:http://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/policy-and-best-practise/best-practise/
BAASS volunteers will be offered roles by and be responsible to the BAASS Co-Convenors, or specific Co-Convenors as relating to specific activities/projects/events/task force as offered and mutually agreed to.
Volunteers will be required to commit to BAASS Values, Mission and all relevant Policies and Procedures.
Volunteers are encouraged to provide feedback and participate in planning, review and decision making processes.
3. BAASS Volunteer Recruitment Process:
BAASS Co-Convenors as a group will be responsible for the recruitment, supervision and training of volunteers
3.1 All volunteers are subject to the screening procedures set out in this document.
3.2 Recruitment of volunteers will be in accordance with BAASS’s commitment to diversity, access and equity. BAASS will not permit discrimination against applicants or employees on the basis of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic background or ethnicity. This applies to all areas of volunteer and staff processes including recruiting, hiring, promotion, assigning of work, provided the individual is qualified and meets the requirements established for the position.
3.3 BAASS Co-Convenors will allocate a specific BAASS Co-Convenor as the liaison point for each volunteer/s involved in each
3.4 The role and recruitment of BAASS volunteers will be according to successful completion of BAASS volunteer requirements and
responsibilities and subject to the consideration of all BAASS Co-Convenors.
3.4.1 This may be subject to filling in an application form and/or interview process.
3.4.2 Volunteering with BAASS will require completion of BAASS Position Intake Form as a volunteer
3.4.3 Volunteers will be referred to the BAASS website to access the BAASS Volunteer Policies and Procedures which they
are expected to read and become familiar with. A hard copy is available on request and volunteers are encouraged to seek
clarification if needed.
3.4.4 A BAASS Co-Convenor may approach potential volunteers with a designated volunteer position in mind, with prior
approval of BAASS Co-Convenors.
3.5 Volunteers should be appointed on suitability, taking into account factors such as the applicant’s qualifications and experience
appropriate to the volunteer position; their skills, knowledge and abilities; their potential; and their overall suitability for the position and the organisation.
3.5.1 Volunteers may be required to provide proof of qualification.
4. BAASS Co-Convenor’s Responsibilities:
4.1 To provide a safe and healthy working environment in every way possible.
4.2 BAASS Co-Convenors will ensure volunteers are inducted to:
4.2.1 BAASS Values, Mission, Policies and Procedures via website or via hardcopy on request
4.2.2 The physical environment of the BAASS building including-
*Kitchen, toilets, office, fire extinguishers, first aid kit, emergency exit and meeting points,
*Information relevant to confidentiality and client rights.
4.3 Develop and present details for potential projects/tasks/events to suitable, or all, volunteers
4.3.1 Volunteers can accept or refuse the role or negotiate a sub role within the potential project/task/event proposed.
4.4 BAASS will ensure
4.4.1 volunteers are accorded the respect and consideration associated with holding a highly regarding position within BAASS
4.4.2 volunteers are comfortable, well supported and satisfied in their roles with BAASS. One method BAASS may utilise this
is via volunteer survey.
4.4.3 volunteer documentation and files will be stored in compliance with the Privacy Act and kept confidential.
4.5 Appropriate conduct is actively promoted.
4.6 BAASS has the discretion to terminate the involvement of any volunteer who is considered to be not meeting the expectations
of their role, become aware of a conflict of interest or purposeful behaviour not within the that outlined in BAASS
4.6.1 In the case of serious breaches of behaviour, BAASS Co-Convenors may initiate instant dismissal.
4.6.2 (a) Concerns and process will be documented and stored securely.
4.6.2 (b) A formal Letter of Dismissal will be sent or handed personally to the volunteer and a copy kept securely on file.
4.7 Behaviours that may result in instant dismissal include but are not limited to:
o Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on duty.
o Theft or misuse of BAASS’s property.
o Malicious damage to BASSS’s property.
o Illegal, violent or unsafe acts.
o Sexual harassment.
o Discriminatory or racist statements or behaviours.
o Inappropriate disclosure of confidential information.
o Failure to disclose past convictions for crimes.
o Failure to disclose a conflict of interest.
o Undertaking tasks on behalf of BAASS not authorised by BAASS.
o Blatant disregard for directions given by Co-Convenors.
4.8 BAASS is committed to timely and fair resolution of any conflicts, complaints or disputes that may arise and potentially jeopardise
the well- being of individuals and the harmonious functioning of BAASS.
4.8.1 Co-Convenors and/or Liaison will encourage relevant parties to attempt to resolve the issue informally via respectful discussion.
4.8.2 Co-Convenors can assist if resolution via this means is not successful.
4.8.3 Discussions held are confidential.
5. Function of the Liaison Co-Convenor
Ultimately all BAASS Co-Convenors are responsible for all volunteers. A Liaison will be appointed as a contact and first point-of-call for volunteers, based on roles. The appointment of specific Liaisons will enable volunteers a direct route of communication and progress updates, more individualised support and mentoring.
5.1 BAASS Co-Convenors will allocate a Liaison for individual or group volunteers based on the volunteer/s role and activity/event
5.2 The Liaison of individual or group volunteers will ensure that:
5.2.1 Each volunteer is trained and capable of fulfilling their functions adequately
5.2.2 Volunteers have access to debriefing and progress updates relating to roles they are involved in
5.3 Providing a volunteer position description as relevant, which may include:
5.3.1 a description of the position (position objectives)
5.3.2 skills and/or qualifications required (both mandatory and desirable)
5.3.3 key areas of responsibility or a list of duties
5.3.4 key relationships, such as supervision
5.3.5 conditions of the role, such as attendance times, required training
6. Volunteer Rights
As a volunteer you have the right:
- to work in a healthy and safe environment
- to be engaged (and interviewed if preferred) in accordance with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation
- to be adequately covered by insurance
- to be given accurate and truthful information about the organisation for which you are working
- to be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses (out of pocket expenses are not expected and any incurred must have been subject to prior discussion and agreed upon by Liaison)
- to be given a copy of the organisation’s volunteer policy and any other policy that affects your work
- not to fill a position previously held by a paid worker
- not to do the work of paid staff during industrial disputes
- to have a job description and agreed working hours
- to have access to a grievance procedure
- to be provided with orientation to the organisation
- to have your confidential and personal information dealt with in accordance with the principles of the Privacy Act 1988 (further information here); and
- to be provided with sufficient training fulfil your role
6.1 Principles of Volunteering:
- Volunteering benefits the community and the volunteer
- Volunteer work is unpaid
- Volunteering is always a matter of choice
- Volunteering is not compulsorily undertaken to receive pensions or government allowances
- Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community
- Volunteering is a vehicle for individuals or groups to address human, environmental and social needs
- Volunteering is an activity performed in the not for profit sector
- Volunteering is not a substitute for paid work
- Volunteers do not replace paid workers nor constitute a threat to the job security of paid workers
- Volunteering respects the rights, dignity and culture of others; and
- Volunteering promotes human rights and equality
Source acknowledgment: VOLUNTEERING AUSTRALIA
7. Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities:
BAASS Volunteers always work under supervision of BAASS Co-Convenors or Mentor.
BAASS Volunteers are not to have unsupervised contact with BAASS clients/program participants
As a Volunteer with BAASS, there are some specific requirements that must be adhered to.
7.1.1 WWC Check- mandatory
Each BAASS volunteer over 18 years of age must:
- Have a current positive WWC (WWC) Check- volunteer WWC Checks are free. If you would like or require assistance
- Evidence of a WWC check must be presented in its original format, for a BAASS Co-Convenor to authenticate and copy. A copy will be stored securely by BAASS. There is further information within the BAASS Child Protection Policy and Child Protection Procedure.
7.1.2 Police Check
All volunteers over 18 years of age are encouraged to have a current Police Check.
- Any volunteer over 18 years of age who is in direct, unsupervised contact with BAASS clients/program participants must have a current positive Police Check. This is required according to our Values, Code of Conduct and in line with the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Check) Act 2011 which can be accessed here.
- Evidence of a current positive Police Check must be presented in its original format, for a BAASS Co-Convenor to authenticate and copy. A copy will be stored securely by BAASS. There is further information within the BAASS Child Protection Policy and Child Protection Procedure.
Further information about Police Checks can be found here.
7.1.3 First Aid Certificate or similar equivalent
All volunteers are encouraged to have a First Aid certificate.
This should be provided in its original format, to a BAASS Co-Convenor, to authenticate and copy. This information will be stored securely.
For those engaging in BAASS activities in capacity of volunteer, without First Aid or equivalent, must work aside a Co-Convenor/Volunteer or other who has current training in First Aid/CPR.
8.1 BAASS volunteers are expected to act in accordance with BAASS Values, Mission and all relevant BAASS Policies and Procedures and Codes of Conduct.
8.2 Volunteers are expected to complete assigned duties within the agreed time frames and to agreed standards. Volunteers are expected to approach their BAASS Co-Convenor Liaison if there is any difficulty meeting agreed timeframes and standards.
8.3 Volunteers are expected to make every effort to participate in any relevant training offered to them in order to be able to undertake their volunteer roles as successfully as possible.
8.4 BAASS expects all members to contribute to a workplace that is free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, victimisation
8.5 BAASS aims to inform all volunteers and staff of their rights and responsibilities, and this information can be pro-actively accessed via the BAASS website or by requesting a hard copy of the relevant documents.
8.6 Volunteers will approach their Liaison with any concerns or disputes and work with the relevant individuals to reach a
mutually acceptable resolution.
8.6.1 BAASS expects disclosure of any conflict of interest that might adversely impact upon the organisation, clients or the
individual. Failure to do so may result in dismissal.
8.7 All BAASS members are encouraged to report any behaviour believed to breach this policy.
8.8 Illness, medical conditions and injury
8.8.1 Volunteers are encouraged to disclose any medical condition, illness or injury that may adversely affect their ability to
perform their volunteer role satisfactorily and safely.
8.8.2 Volunteers experiencing illness, medical condition or injury are expected to communicate regularly and confidentially
with their Liaison regarding their ability to undertake and complete their assigned duties.
8.9 Volunteers are required to demonstrate a neat, respectful and responsible standard of dress.
8.10 Images and footage
8.10.1 Images and footage are often taken during BAASS activities, programs and events. Volunteers are asked to consent to being in any images/footage that may be used by and as relate to BAASS, at time of intake. This can be revoked in writing at any time.
8.10.2 Every effort will be made to ensure preference is sought at the time of capturing images/footage
8.10.3 Images and footage will only be used in the intended and relevant purposes, please see BAASS Image and Footage
8.10.4 Any volunteer under 18 years of age should also have their parent/guardian sign for image/footage consent on Position Intake Form
8.11 Gifts- it is important that any potential presentation, gift, or donation offered to volunteers relating to or whilst attending BAASS related activities, be discussed with BAASS Co-Convenors before accepting. BAASS Co-Convenors will assess the situation and advise on the appropriate action.
8.12 Responsible and respectful use of all BAASS resources and property
Advising Co-Convenors of any materials or equipment that needs replacing (eg stationery)
8.13 Not use BAASS resources for personal gain. Please discuss any requirements or questions regarding BAASS resources directly with a BAASS Co-Convenor. We aim to be flexible and open to any queries our volunteers may have.
8.13 Internet usage: the primary purpose for access to the internet and email is to assist BAASS members including volunteers, to carry out their roles.
8.13.1 Volunteers may use the internet for any BAASS role purpose. Volunteers will not have access to BAASS email or social media accounts.
8.13.2 BAASS volunteers must act in accordance with BAASS Email, Internet and Social Media Policy (currently in process).
9. Volunteer Role Process
9.1 BAASS Co-Convenors or Liaison will present details for potential projects/tasks/events to suitable or all volunteers
9.2 Volunteers can accept or refuse the role or negotiate a sub role within the potential project/task/event proposed.
10. Equal Opportunity Employment
BAASS recognises that people are its most important resource and is committed to equal employment opportunity for all BAASS members.
BAASS supports the objectives of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 Victoria which replaces the Equal Opportunity Act 1995. This Act prohibits discrimination or other unfair treatment at work based on a person’s:
Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, it is against the law to discriminate against a person on the basis of:
· carer status
· employment activity
· gender identity
· industrial activity
· lawful sexual activity
· marital status
· parental status
· physical features
· political belief or activity
· race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity and ethnic origin)
· religious belief or activity
· sexual orientation
· expunged homosexual conviction
· personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, any of these personal characteristics.
It is also against the law to sexually harass someone.
The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 covers discrimination in employment, education, accommodation, clubs, sport, goods and services, land sales and transfers, and local government, as well as sexual harassment.
It is also against the law to sexually harass someone or to victimise them for speaking up about their rights, making a complaint, helping someone else make a complaint or refusing to do something that would be contrary to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
Sexual or racial harassment are also unlawful.
This legislation applies equally to all Co-Convenors and members of BAASS, and all are responsible for ensuring that their actions are not discriminatory to others.
The Act prohibits anyone who may complain about their treatment from being singled out or criticised because they have made a complaint.
Any breach of this Act may result in counselling or other actions that may include dismissal.
- Further information is available at the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 Quick Guide, available via the Human Rights Commission here.
- Volunteering and the Equal Opportunity Act information can be found on the Australian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission website here.
Human Rights Commission. Equal Opportunity Act 2010, Victoria
Uniting Care. Volunteer Program-Policy and Procedures Manual
Volunteering Australia. Volunteering Australia Project: The Review of the Definition of Volunteering
Volunteering Australia. Model Code of Practice for Organisations Involving Volunteer Staff
Volunteering WA. Volunteer Policies and Procedure Manual