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rights and responsibilities

Your Rights & Responsibilities as a volunteer


The assets you bring to an agency are considerable. As a volunteer you have the right:
• To be treated as a co-worker, not just free help.
• To a suitable assignment--with consideration for personal preference, temperament, life experience, education and employment background.
• To know as much about the organisation as possible-its policies, people and programs.
• To training for the job and continuing education on the job-including training for greater responsibility.
• To a role description.
• To a place to work - a designated place that is conducive to work and worthy of the job to be done.
• To new opportunities and a variety of experiences - through advancement or transfer, or through special assignment.
• To be heard - to feel free to make suggestions, to have a part in planning.
• To recognition - in the form of promotion and awards, through day to day expressions of appreciation and by being treated as a bona fide co-worker.
• To sound guidance and direction.


There are responsibilities of a volunteer that accompany your rights as a volunteer. All of those involved in the relationship must have respect for one another and a desire to cooperate in meeting designated needs.

Your responsibilities include:
• If you have criticism about another person, convey it to your supervisor.
• Be prompt and reliable in reporting for scheduled work. Keep accurate records of your hours worked.
• Notify your supervisor as early as possible if you are unable to work as scheduled.
• Attend orientation and training sessions scheduled.
• Be considerate, respect the ability of the staff, and work as a member of the team.
• Carry out assignments in good spirit and seek the assistance of your supervisor in any situation requiring special guidance.
• Accept the right of the agency to dismiss any volunteer for poor performance, including poor attendance.
• Decline work that is not acceptable to you; maintain an open mind with regard to other people's standards and values.
• Communicate personal limitations - acceptable out-of-pocket costs, transportation needs, time constraints, etc.
• Provide feedback, suggestions, and recommendations to your supervisor and staff if these might increase the effectiveness of the program.
• Give written notice if you cannot continue in your volunteer position or if you are requesting a leave of absence from the program.
• Have the ability to work with a culturally diverse population of clients.
• Respect current agency policies (i.e. Affirmative Action, Sexual Harassment, etc.)