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Visit Scotland | Alba

The volunteer process

Volunteers support the successful delivery of hundreds of small and major events across Scotland every year. It’s therefore essential that the volunteer process is effectivity managed to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible and that individuals have a positive volunteering experience. A positive experience means people are far more likely to volunteer at your event again in the future.

Volunteer Scotland is an excellent resource for event organisers who are looking to develop and deliver a volunteer programme. There are a range of useful guides and practical templates to help event organisers deliver a first-class volunteering programme and experience. 

When developing a volunteer programme, it’s extremely important to recognise the differences between employees and volunteers and make sure these differences are clearly communicated.

Volunteer or employee?

  • Volunteer agreement

    A volunteer may have a volunteer agreement whilst an employee will have a contract of employment 

  • Role descriptor

    A volunteer may have a role descriptor which covers what is expected of them at an event whilst a paid-employee will have a job description with their obligated duties

  • Responsibility

    Volunteers are not paid members of staff and therefore this should be reflected in their level of responsibility

  • Shift patterns

    Volunteers and employees may not always work the same shift patterns depending on the nature of the event. Generally, volunteers expect a more flexible schedule

Important things to consider

These are some important questions to consider if you are using volunteers at an event:

  • Is there a volunteer policy?
  • Are there clear volunteer role descriptions?
  • Do you have a volunteer agreement?
  • What is the recruitment and selection process for volunteers?
  • Will sufficient training be provided for volunteers pre-event?
  • Are volunteers clear on their role and what is expected of them during the event?
  • Is there an evaluation and feedback process post-event?

Take a look at the information and resources available on the Volunteer Scotland website. For further information or support get in touch with them or contact your local volunteer centre.

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