Section 0 - Purpose & Scope
Te Roopu Atawhai Inc. is committed to providing a systematic means of assessing risk for prioritising improvement plans, identifying whether any particular activity/condition requires action, or ensuring controls adequately reduce risk.
Te Roopu Atawhai recognises that the single greatest impediment to increasing participation in community groups is attracting, training and retaining the volunteers that these groups rely on to deliver events and programs.
Attracting and retaining volunteers is not easy, largely because volunteering involves freedom of choice on the part of the volunteer. People who feel empowered, rewarded and are appreciated in their volunteer role are more likely to contribute to and continue in that role.
Section 1 - Why People Volunteer
Implementing a comprehensive and successful volunteer program requires time, commitment and personnel, as well as an understanding of why people volunteer. Typically people volunteer for one or more of the following reasons (in order of importance):
- Help others/community
- Personal/family involvement
- Personal satisfaction
- To do something worthwhile
- Social contact
- Felt obliged/just happened
- Use skills/experience
- Gain work experience/reference
- To be active
- Religious beliefs
- To learn new skills
A well designed volunteer program will acknowledge these reasons for volunteering and strive to meet the needs of the volunteers by recognising their contribution. Success in doing so will return many benefits, both to the volunteer and the organisation they work for. The benefits include:
Volunteer satisfaction, which will translate into:
- More productive volunteers
- Improved volunteer retention and recruitment
- Better programs and activities delivered by volunteers
- Member satisfaction because the organisation will be able to develop and deliver more and better events and programs efficiently and cost effectively
- Competitive advantage because the organisation is able to offer members and potential members so much more than it’s less well resourced competitors
- Promotional credibility because satisfied members and volunteers will speak positively about the organisation
- Innovation and creativity arising from the ideas and energy of a motivated volunteer workforce.
Section 2 - Valuing Diversity
Australia has a very diverse community. Indeed, multiculturalism is one way in which Australia defines itself. Valuing diversity is conceptually different from equal opportunity and affirmative action, which are primarily concerned to reduce racism and sexism. Valuing diversity means behaving in a way that creates community among people and gains benefits from their differences. While diversity is the reality, surprisingly, many people are unprepared to handle it. Many have had little personal experience with other cultures, and their previous experience may not have covered the kinds of situations that arise in today’s multicultural settings. Various cultures may have different ideas about volunteering, work habits, communication patterns, social roles and a myriad of other issues, all of which need to be treated empathically.
Diversity within sport and recreation organisations will often enhance the creativity of members. Ideas and experiences that various sections of the community can bring to the table can greatly enhance the problem-solving ability of sport and recreation organisations. Not only does diversity introduce new ideas and experiences, but it also provides a measurable increase in knowledge and skill. New ways of looking at things and doing things gives organisations greater adaptability in a changing environment. A further benefit of diversity is that organisations can make better decisions based on differing perspectives through the generation of a wider range of alternatives and a more rigorous analysis of these alternatives. An organisation that values diversity provides more appropriate services to diverse populations. Diversity can also help develop new markets that might use the services offered by sport and recreation organisations.
Valuing diversity allows you to recruit from a larger pool of potential volunteers. By not being restricted to a certain demographic, sport and recreation organisations are able to recruit from the whole community, using the unique skills and abilities of individual volunteers. In essence, valuing diversity helps create an environment that nurtures the multicultural fabric of the community within sport and recreation organisations.
Section 3 - Volunteer Management
TRA is developing a toolkit to assist Associations and Clubs with the management of their volunteers. Meanwhile, the following Volunteer Management Checklist (only available to our members) provides a snapshot of the components of an effective volunteer program and should result in a positive volunteer experience.
A range of volunteer resources is available from Volunteering Australia.
Section 4 - Volunteer Rights
As a volunteer you have the right to:
- Receive accurate information about the agency and its policy and/or philosophy on volunteers.
- Receive a clearly written volunteer job description.
- Have a reasonable understanding of lines of accountability.
- Be seen as belonging – through inclusion at meetings, social functions, etc.
- Be treated as a person.
- Be supported in your role as volunteer.
- Know who to turn to with problems and difficulties.
- Have your work valued by the organisation.
- Receive regular constructive feedback.
- Be trusted with confidential information if it is necessary in order to carry out your job.
- Be safe in the job..
- Be covered by insurance.
- Have choices / to be able to negotiate the work with clients.
- To say no.
- Not to be exploited.
- Be taken seriously.
- Be informed of the organisation policy and reimbursement of volunteers transportation cost.
- Be consulted on matters which directly or indirectly affect you and your work.
Volunteer responsibilities include:
- Reliability, to arrive on time, to notify the appropriate person in the organisation if you are not available.
- Agreement with the organisation’s policy on volunteers.
- Respect for client and agency confidentiality.
- Respect for the rights of the service recipients and other volunteers.
- Have a non-judgemental approach.
- Represent the interests of the program – not yourself.
- Carry out specific volunteer membership requirements.
- Give feedback to the membership through the Secretary.
- Communicate relevant and important information.
- Accountability to accept evaluation of their performance.
- Commitment to the program.
- Recognise personal and external limitations on commitment.
- Acknowledge decisions made by the Secretary.
- Undertake training and have a good understanding of the program.
- Address areas of conflict with the appropriate Administrative member.
Section 5 - Guidelines for Volunteer Relationships
- We do not tell friends or even family, the names or details of members.
- We do not talk in public places like supermarkets or luncheons about our members.
- We do not discuss details about our members.
- It is the volunteer’s right to refuse tasks which do not suit them, are too difficult to maintain, or which may interfere with their lifestyle.
- Be aware of the consequences of members being over-involved in a task which may become a burden rather than a pleasure.
- Be aware of members own needs; a happy and relaxed friend is preferable to a harassed volunteer.
- It is the responsibility of a volunteer to stipulate his/her limitations, and your right to be reimbursed for approved out-of-pocket expenses if required.
A volunteer who accepts the responsibility of being a good listener helps to create a bond of warmth and mutual pleasure among those with whom he/she works.
A good listener is interested, patient, encouraging and receptive. A volunteer who is open to all the ways the other person is communicating, and tries to know how they are feeling, is a good listener.
Above all else, volunteers have a responsibility to accept people the way they are, and not attempt to change their attitudes, habits and lifestyle; We do not always know what is ‘right’ for another person and we all differ in our beliefs and values.
As a volunteer we try not to judge others or put our expectations onto others.
“Volunteers will make mistakes, as others. Acceptance of ourselves and others is essential – as is honesty in all situations” (from For Love Not Money).
Volunteers have the right to expect honesty from the Volunteer Coordinator/Secretary regarding the task and the extent of the commitment required of the volunteer. The Co-ordinator has the right to expect honesty from volunteers concerning the carrying out of their task as well as the volunteer’s attitude to the social support program.
If mistakes are made it is the right of all concerned to be open and have frank discussions.
Volunteers should remember that at any time they are to provide information and not advice.
Advice is telling the other person what we think is the right thing for them to do. It is often accompanied by some pressure on our part for the person receiving our advice to do what we want them to do.
We have several guidelines to help:
- Knowing one’s limitations
- Be a listener
Section 6 - Volunteer Insurance
Volunteers have the right to insurance cover whilst working with TRA.
The TRA Public Liability insurance policy set out the minimum requirements under which you will be covered. Please speak with the Secretary or the Treasurer for further information.
Section 7 - The TRA Volunteering Strategy
The TRA Volunteering Strategy sets out the vision for volunteering within this Organisation over the next 10 years.
We recognise that the volunteering landscape is changing as a result of wider social, economic and technological change. Technology has transformed the way we communicate and work. Governments, businesses, not-for-profit organisations and
communities now work together in different ways.
While traditional forms of volunteering are still popular, new forms are emerging. As society changes, the ways in which
people want to volunteer are also changing. More people want volunteer roles that are flexible, or require shorter hours
or a shorter-term commitment. Governments, businesses, organisations that use volunteers and the wider volunteering
sector must all respond to such changes.
WHAT ARE THE KEY FOCUS AREAS OF THE STRATEGY?
The TRA Volunteering Strategy sets out six focus areas for action:
Focus area 1. Respond to trends in volunteering: A better understanding of emerging trends in volunteering will enable the development of better tailored strategies to attract and retain volunteers.
Focus area 2. Harness technology: Information technology can better match people to volunteering opportunities and increase participation in volunteering. Technology can also be used to increase engagement among volunteers
and enable collaboration between organisations that use or support volunteers. The National Broadband Network will further enable this.
Focus area 3. Better regulation and risk management: Easier access to reliable information and simpler,
more effective regulation will reduce the complexity of volunteer protection and insurance requirements.
Focus area 4. Strengthen management and training: Good volunteer management and training are central to
attracting and engaging volunteers. This can be achieved by providing more effective information and resources to volunteer managers and volunteers.
Focus area 5. Strengthen relationships and advocacy: Governments, the volunteering sector and other key
stakeholders must all work together to build a stronger volunteering sector. Intermediaries, such as peak bodies and
volunteer resource centres, provide vital support and advocacy for many volunteers and organisations. The quality of
the volunteering experience will be improved by strong representation and advocacy.
Focus area 6. Recognise and value volunteering: Greater recognition of volunteers and the contribution they make to Australian society will inspire more Australians to volunteer.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE STRATEGY
The TRA Volunteering Strategy has been informed by detailed research and broad consultation in 2010 and 2011.
The Productivity Commission’s research report Contribution of the not-for-profit sector, released in January 2010,
provided significant analysis of issues facing not-for-profit organisations, including the challenges of volunteering for TRA.
Public consultations were held in June and July 2010 with a broad cross-section of the volunteering community.
Feedback was sought through a consultation paper seeking written submissions and an online survey. The report
on the consultation was published in early 2011.
More detailed consultation was also undertaken through the establishment of the Volunteering Policy Advisory Group
in 2010 and the International Year of Volunteers Plus 10 Advisory Group in 2011.
The Australian Government has engaged with a range of stakeholders, including state and territory governments,
peak bodies, not-for-profit organisations and volunteers, to inform the strategy.
IMPLEMENTATION AND FUTURE ACTION
TRA is committed to ongoing dialogue, engagement and collaboration with all key stakeholders to ensure that the goals of this strategy are achieved.
Over the next 10 years, TRA will:
- carry out the priority actions outlined in this strategy
- use the strategy to guide its own policy development, decision making and investments
- continue to develop ways to implement the strategy
- report on progress and evaluate the strategy’s implementation and effectiveness.
- TRA will do this in close consultation with the volunteering sector, other governments and business.
Section 8 - TRA Obligations to Volunteer
Ensuring that volunteering is encouraged, supported and recognised is a priority for TRA and we will work hard to ensure that your voluntary experience with us is second to none. Whilst with us, you can expect the following:
- an Interview for volunteer staff in accordance with anti discrimination and equal opportunity legislation;
- provide volunteer staff with orientation and training;
- provide volunteer staff with a healthy and safe workplace;
- provide appropriate and adequate insurance coverage for volunteer staff;
- not place volunteer staff in roles that were previously held by paid staff or have been identified as paid jobs;
- define volunteer roles and develop clear job descriptions;
- provide appropriate levels of support and management for volunteer staff;
- provide volunteers with a copy of policies pertaining to volunteer staff;
- provide all staff with information on grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures;
- acknowledge the rights of volunteer staff;
- ensure that the work of volunteer staff complements but does not undermine the work of paid staff;
- offer volunteer staff the opportunity for professional development;
- reimburse volunteer staff for out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation;
- treat volunteer staff as valuable team members, and advise them of the opportunities to participate in agency decisions; and
- acknowledge the contributions of volunteer staff.