Responsibilities for Managing Volunteers (Procedures for Volunteer Policy)

I.  Creating a New Volunteer Service Opportunity

Departments/ units are responsible for authorization and oversight of all volunteer services and activities, and for assessing risk associated with volunteer services.  This is true for ISU volunteer services provided on-campus or at an off-campus location. 

  • Evaluate potential volunteer services to assess risk factors (See Volunteer Policy for definitions)
  • Submit Volunteer Service Opportunity Request web form at ORM website 4 weeks in advance of the volunteer opportunity. (Must be completed by department/unit chair or their delegate who is ISU faculty or staff requesting the volunteer opportunity.  Delegates are authorized by an email from the department or unit chair to the orm@iastate.edu
  • Identify ISU faculty/ staff in department/unit which has authorized the volunteer opportunity to supervise volunteer(s).
  • Background checks must be completed before services that include interaction with youth or vulnerable populations, access to keys to university facilities or access to financial or confidential matters may begin.  Department or unit chairs may request  background checks for volunteers as they deem necessary for other responsibilities that are not listed above. When required, submit a background check form to ORM for supervisory staff and/or volunteer(s) a minimum of 3 weeks before volunteer opportunity begins.  Background checks for individuals who are not U.S. citizens or have not lived in the U.S. in the last seven years should be submitted six weeks in advance.
  • Higher risk services or services that fall under the generally prohibited category may require review by other departments (such as Environmental Health and Safety, Office for Responsible Research, University Counsel, ISSO and Provost Office).
  • The final approval of volunteers to a department or unit may be authorized only by the department chair, unit director or their delegated designee.  Individuals who are not U.S. citizens and request to volunteer for higher risk or generally prohibited services may be subject to ISSO and Provost Office approval.
  • See Volunteer Policy for examples of services that are generally prohibited.

 

II.  Renewal of Volunteer Service Opportunity

Volunteer service opportunities must be reviewed and approved annually by submitting a Volunteer Service Opportunity Request located at ORM website. 

  • Indicate the service opportunity is being renewed and update changes to specific tasks or other details related to this opportunity.
  • An individual volunteer service agreement or a group roster agreement form will be generated using updated service description information and sent to the department/unit contact. 
  • Approval of a volunteer(s) is not complete until the appropriate agreement is signed by all parties.
  • Higher risk services or services that fall under the generally prohibited category may require review by other departments (such as Environmental Health and Safety, Office for Responsible Research, University Counsel, ISSO and Provost Office).

 

III.  Intake and Approval of a Volunteer

It is the responsibility of the department/unit volunteer supervisor to be certain volunteer(s) have adequate experience, qualifications, and training for services he/she will be required to perform.

  • Departments/units may not discriminate in selecting or terminating volunteers based on race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, disability, status as a U.S. veteran or other legally protected groups.
  • Departments who have volunteers interacting with youth (under the age of 18) must also comply with the Youth Activities, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Camps policy and procedures.
  • Departments/units who have individuals that need background check verification (see IV.B. Background Checks, below) will receive written confirmation from ORM regarding the potential staff and/or volunteer’s background check results.
  • Final approval of a volunteer is not completed until ORM sends the department the appropriate agreement and the agreement is signed by all parties, including the department chair, unit director or their delegated designee.  Individuals who are not U.S. citizens and request to volunteer for higher risk or generally prohibited services may be subject to ISSO and Provost Office approval.
  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent sign a parental permission agreement (prepared by ORM). Volunteers under the age of 15 must be supervised/accompanied by their parent/guardian and will also need a parental permission agreement.

 

IV.  Supervisory Responsibilities

Departments/units who authorize volunteers must appoint a supervisor(s) who is responsible for exercising reasonable care in planning and implementing the volunteer experience and enforcing compliance with university policies and procedures, including but not limited to safety, health and other applicable regulations.

A.  Risk Assessment

Prior to approving volunteer services, the ISU department/unit must evaluate the services that a volunteer is expected to provide. The department/unit must classify the services to be provided in one of the following three categories based on the varying level of risk as described in the Volunteers policy:

  • Low Risk Services
  • Higher Risk Services
  • Generally Prohibited Services

 

B.   Background Checks

Supervisors of staff and/or volunteer(s) must evaluate the volunteer services to determine if a background check is required for proposed volunteers.  Background checks are required in the following situations, but may also be completed at the request of the department or unit chair as needed:

  • when a supervisor’s or volunteer’sresponsibilities require them to interact with minors or vulnerable populations
  • drive for university activities
  • have access to keys to university facilities - or -
  • access to financial or confidential matters.
  • Submit background checks for volunteers to the Office of Risk Management using the Background Check Request Form found on the ORM website at least 3 weeks before program is to start. Background checks for individuals who are not U.S. citizens or have not lived in the U.S. in the last seven years should be submitted six weeks in advance. No one should start volunteer services prior to receiving written notification from ORM staff regarding background check(s).
  • Supervisor will be notified when the potential volunteer(s) is approved or denied for activities involving youth participants. If an individual is denied, the supervisor will not be informed of why the individual was denied, just that the individual is not allowed to work with youth. Results of a criminal background check are available to the individual upon request through the online background check third party agency, General Information Services Inc. (GIS).

 

C.  Volunteer Service Agreements

  • Volunteer Service Agreements outline the terms and conditions of the volunteer service, and include information for the volunteer about liability protection, scope of services, etc.  Contact the Office of Risk Management for appropriate volunteer agreement(s).
  • Approved ISU volunteers are provided information in the agreement regarding personal liability protection by the Iowa Tort Claims Act, Iowa Code Chapter 669, and the Federal Volunteer Protection Act, 42 United States Code Chapter 139, while acting within the scope of their volunteer services. The State will defend, indemnify, and hold ISU volunteers harmless against a tort claim caused by an act or omission of the ISU volunteer unless the act or omission of the volunteer involved intentional or criminal misconduct, a knowing violation of the law, a transaction from which the volunteer derives an improper personal benefit or the volunteer does not cooperate with an investigation of the incident or transaction that led to the claim.

 

D.  Volunteer Drivers and Transportation

After receiving approval from the Office of Risk Management, some ISU volunteers may drive Iowa State University vehicles. Departments/units requesting permission for ISU volunteers to drive Iowa State University vehicles must complete the approval steps outlined in the Fleet Safety Policy, such as:

  • A satisfactory review of the individual's motor vehicle record must be verified through ORM.
  • Drivers must be at least 20 years of age and successfully complete the Large Passenger Van and Vehicles Towing Trailers classroom training and behind-the-wheel training (through ISU Transportation Services) if they will be driving 15-passenger vans, vehicles towing trailers or transporting youth.
  • Individuals driving for an ISU business purpose must report any driving violations as they occur to ORM.
  • Drivers must receive orientation from their supervisor regarding the ISU Fleet Safety and Vehicle Use/Rental policy and related rules. 
  • Volunteers should not be allowed to use a personal vehicle for university business.  ISU will not reimburse an employee, or other private owner, or their insurer for any deductible or liability claim paid by their personal auto insurance policy, or for any damage to the vehicle.
  • Non-university personnel are not permitted to ride in ISU vehicles. Pre-approval for individuals riding in ISU vehicles must be received through the Office of Risk Management or Transportation Services.  ISU students may ride in vehicles as outlined in the ISU Fleet Safety Policy. 

 

E. Orientation and Training

All volunteers must receive orientation prior to beginning services.  Supervisors must develop and document the orientation/training conducted.

 

F.   Emergencies, accidents and incidents

  • Provide training and orientation regarding:
  • Provide first aid kits.
  • Provide the supervisor's contact information to be used in event of any medical or emergency incident.
  • Document emergencies, medical incidents and participant misconduct.
  • Report any participant or volunteer incident, including but not limited to: accident, injury or property loss as soon as reasonably possible using the ISU Uniform Incident Report.
  • Develop a protocol for staff to have access to the volunteer's contact information in the event of an emergency - both at and away from the main program area.
  • Volunteers who are under the age of 18 must have a Parental Permission form that includes Emergency Medical Information and Treatment Permission (contact the Office of Risk Management at orm@iastate.edu or 515-294-7711 to acquire appropriate forms).
  • Discuss inclement weather, fire and building emergency protocols.

 

G.  Retention of Documents

  • ORM retains permanent records of approved volunteer opportunities and agreements. Scanned copies of signed agreements should be sent to orm@iastate.edu .
  • All departments/units must also retain copies of approved volunteer opportunities, agreements, orientation and training documentation, background check requests and written notification of background check results in their files for 3 years unless individual is under the age of 18 at time of service. 
  • Documents for minors (under the age of 18) shall be saved by the department until the individual is 20 years of age.

 

H.  Termination of Volunteer Service Opportunity 

  • The department/unit may end a volunteer's service at any time and without prior notice.