DOUGLAS COUNTY
VOLUNTEER POLICY

POLICY

The Board of Commissioners recognize and support the use of volunteers to assist County government in providing services and programs.  The Douglas County volunteer policy will establish standards of volunteer service for a formal volunteer program.  This policy contains responsibilities of both the County and volunteers.  Written policies and procedures will assure volunteers are suitably oriented and trained, written assignments and job duties are developed, supervision is appropriate to assigned duties and discussion with volunteers regarding safety, liability to the County and accident and property damage coverage is conducted.  Advisory boards and commissions are not covered by this policy.

SCOPE

In order to maximize the effectiveness of volunteers, yet limit risk exposure to both volunteers and the County, this policy will apply to all County departments and volunteers.  Exceptions to County-wide uniform conditions of the policy may be brought to the Risk Management Committee.  They will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

PROCEDURES

Each department will develop and maintain written procedures to supplement this policy which will address specific methods to recruit, interview, select, orient, train, supervise and recognize volunteers.  Department heads will designate an employee to be responsible for the volunteer program and who will serve as contact person.

Selection Process.

Recruitment. Departments shall use recruiting procedures appropriate to the specific program area.  Procedures shall be consistently followed.  To assist in this initial process, potential volunteers may be required to complete an application.  Initial information to collect could be:  name, address, telephone number, driver's license (if driving required), work or volunteer experience, education or training, interests, availability, preferred assignments, references, etc., as proper for the program area. 

Selection.   Consistent with Chapter 2.44.040(A) of the Douglas County Code, a selection process shall be established where potential volunteers are interviewed, references verified, and in sensitive placements, security or Cash Handling Authorization Form and/or LEDS Background Authorization Form shall be completed.  The prospective volunteer must complete and sign a Douglas County Fair Credit Reporting Act Disclosure Notice in order to proceed with the recruitment. A performance test may be given. If the volunteer position requires driving, the volunteer's driver license shall be viewed to determine validity.  A test drive shall also be conducted.  If volunteer will be driving their personal vehicle, a certificate of liability insurance should also be viewed to determine coverage.

Following a volunteer's selection, volunteer registration form should be signed by the volunteer and supervisor.  (Click here for sample Volunteer Application and Registration Form.)

If the selection process discloses information that indicates the tentative volunteer would not fulfill department expectations, the County is under no obligation to assign or retain that volunteer.

Orientation.

In order for both the County and volunteers to have a complete understanding of the conditions of volunteership, the following topics should be discussed during new volunteer orientation.

Policy and procedure. Policy and procedure regulating volunteer duties should be discussed.  Specific emphasis should be given to working safely, conditions of driving while as a volunteer and risk exposure to the County.  This policy should be furnished to and discussed with volunteers.

Training. Volunteers will receive an overview of their volunteer assignment and, as appropriate, a written list of duties and expectations, hours of service, supervision, necessary forms, approved financial expenditures and reimbursement procedures, accident reporting procedures, confidentiality, call in, dress code, performance reviews, medical coverage, etc.  Volunteers shall be directed to serve within their assigned duty assignment.

Supervision.  Volunteers will be supervised as to assignments, work performance, activity, use of equipment, etc.  Performance problems will be corrected or the volunteer service terminated.

Reference:  Personnel Rule 18 - Travel Regulations.
Personnel Rule 24.1 - Safety and Health Issues.
Driver Policy
Occupational Safety and Health Policy
Property Damage, Liability, Vehicle and On-the-Job Accident Reporting Procedures

RISKS OF INJURY TO VOLUNTEERS

It is important volunteers know what coverage the County will or will not provide. 

Personal injury. Volunteers are not "subject workers" as defined by the State Workers' Compensation Act; therefore, workers' compensation coverage will not be provided.  Time loss benefits are not available.

Please see Section 4.2 Risk Management Committee Rules for more information

(Available from http://www.co.douglas.or.us/legal_policies.asp/legal/riskrule%20(all)%202006.pda)

Damage to volunteer property. When volunteer's personal property is damaged while volunteer is serving in authorized volunteer status, the County will not be responsible to reimburse for the damage.

Driving.  All operators of a motor vehicle, while on County business, must be qualified to drive and drive safely.  Operators must have sufficient knowledge about vehicle handling, demonstrated by a safe driving record, so as to protect employees, volunteers, the County, clients and the public from an unsafe driver.  This provision applies to both County-owned and volunteer-owned vehicles. 

Volunteers operating County equipment will receive instruction from the supervisor or department safety officer regarding County vehicles before being authorized to operate them.  This will include a review of Driver Policy, discussion of responsibility of the operator and a test drive.

Volunteers operating their private vehicles will receive instruction from the supervisor or department safety officer regarding the need to maintain the vehicle in an operable mechanical condition and the vehicle must be insured as required under Oregon law.  Volunteer's auto insurance will be considered primary.  Procedures shall be developed by departments to assure that liability insurance coverage is maintained uninterrupted.

Volunteers operating County-owned or private vehicles in the course of providing volunteer services, will receive a test drive from the supervisor or department safety officer.

Reference:  Personnel Rule 18 - Travel
                     Driver Policy

Damage to private property.  When private property is damaged by a volunteer serving in an authorized volunteer status, provisions of the County Risk Management policy and procedures will be observed.

Reference:  Risk Management Policy