Policy on volunteers
In Ceredigion Archives [we/us; the Archive] a volunteer is anyone who does voluntary unpaid work at the direction and on behalf of the Archive.
The Archive accepts and encourages the involvement of volunteers within all appropriate activities. Volunteers make an important contribution to the Archive by complementing and assisting the work of paid staff. We want to strengthen our commitment to new and existing volunteers and to ensure that their experience of working in a public service is fulfilling, useful and beneficial to both parties.
Purpose of the Policy
The Archive's purpose in adopting of this policy is:
• to provide overall guidance and direction to staff and volunteers
• to establish a framework for recruiting and supporting volunteers
• to recognise and clarify the respective roles, rights and responsibilities of volunteers and of the Archive
• to ensure consistency in our dealings with volunteers
• to confirm the Archive's commitment to involving volunteers in its work
Principles of good practice
The policy and procedure on volunteers will be monitored and reviewed regularly.
Priority tasks for volunteers will be identified regularly.
Volunteering opportunities will complement rather than replace the work of paid staff.
Volunteers will not be engaged in times of industrial action to do the work of paid staff.
A Volunteer Work Record will be kept by the Archive; the volunteers will have access to it.
Recruitment and Selection
Ceredigion Archives will recruit volunteers from the local community and will attempt to reach a wider constituency than the visitors to the Archive.
Equal Opportunities principles will be adhered to when recruiting volunteers.
All placements will be for an initial 30 day probationary period.
No person who has a conflict of interest, whether personal, philosophical, or financial with the Archive or the County Council shall be accepted as a volunteer.
No volunteer shall be accepted without a satisfactory reference.
All volunteers must sign a Data Protection Act consent form and an Assignment of Intellectual Property Rights form before they start their placement.
Training and Development
Before an offer of a placement is made, volunteers will be given an overview of the Archive's work and an indication of the role they will be expected to fulfil. They will also be made aware of any risks associated with the work (such as exposure to dust and mould, lifting, climbing stairs etc.)
The worksite and equipment provided to volunteers will be comparable to that of paid staff.
Volunteers will receive specific on-the-job instruction and/or training necessary to perform the tasks assigned to them.
Volunteers will be made aware of legal issues most commonly encountered in a record office environment: copyright, Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act.
We will endeavour to give the volunteers a wide range of tasks reflecting the scope of the Archive's work, so that their experience can be as broad and as fulfilling as possible.
Volunteers will be appropriately supervised and supported.
Rights of volunteers
Volunteers have the right to:
• know their rights and responsibilities
• be free from discrimination
• receive the appropriate induction and training
• have safe working conditions and be covered by appropriate insurance
• be supported in their work and shown appreciation
• be consulted on decisions affecting them directly
• experience personal development through their participation as volunteers
• refuse any tasks or work
• ask for a reference
• withdraw from voluntary work
• receive a copy of their Volunteer Work Record upon leaving, or at any time they request it.
Responsibilities of volunteers
• comply with existing policies and procedures of Ceredigion County Council and Ceredigion Archives
• carry out their tasks in a way which corresponds to the aims and values of Ceredigion Archives
• respect confidentiality (see clause below)
• be aware of and comply with document handling procedures
• be sensitive to potential legal issues, as highlighted during induction
• be reliable
• dress suitably and behave appropriately
The Volunteer shall, both during the period of his/her work experience and after its termination (without time limit) keep confidential and not (except as authorized for the purposes of the work experience, or already in the public domain) use or disclose or attempt to use or disclose confidential information (which includes all knowledge and information relating to the Council's business, organization, finances and technology).
Overall responsibility for the implementation, monitoring and review of the policy lies with the County Archivist, and, on a day to day basis, with the paid staff and the volunteers.
This policy applies to all volunteers in any work undertaken by them for the Archive. Policies and procedures not covered in this document shall be determined by the County Archivist.
Ceredigion Archives - 40 years of preserving the past for the future - and counting