Orientation and training are essential for a volunteer to feel comfortable and empowered within The Salvation Army and their role. It’s also a great opportunity to connect a volunteer with the values of The Salvation Army.
The key elements of this stage are:
- The Role and the Army
- Site Orientation
- Health and Safety
- Role-Specific Consideration
- Volunteer Expense Reimbursement
- Role-Specific Training
The Role and the Army
Spending time with your volunteer at the very beginning to thoroughly explain their role and who we are, will help the volunteer feel valued and included. A brief conversation about what it means to be a Behind the Shield volunteer will also help them to understand their part in the wider context of The Salvation Army. We have created a Behind the Shield bookmark, for you to give them as a small welcome present.
- Discussed The Salvation Army's mission and values?
- Discussed what it means to be a Behind the Shield volunteer?
- Given the volunteer a copy of the Volunteer Handbook?
- Given the volunteer a name tag (if applicable)?
- Introduced them to other volunteers and staff?
The site orientation is one of the most important parts of a volunteer’s first day. It is the stepping stone to the successful navigation of their new role and physical environment.
- Shown the volunteer the facilities?
- Discussed general housekeeping procedures?
- Discussed other practical issues, such as parking?
Health and Safety
Health and safety training is essential information required to keep volunteers, others and the workplace safe.
- Informed them of evacuation procedures?
- Shown them where the first-aid kit is located and who is appointed as the first-aid officer?
- Discussed specific hazards related to the role?
- Talked over the safety precautions?
- Informed them how to report a hazard or incident?
Does the volunteer have everything they need to commence and feel confident in their role? For example, if it is a computer-based role, the volunteer may need a login and password.
To create a harmonious environment, both the volunteer and the wider team must be aware of what the volunteer can and cannot do. Are there any unspoken rules in your ministry unit/corps? These are useful details for a volunteer to feel part of the team.
Volunteer Expense Reimbursement
The corps officer/ministry unit leader may have the authority to decide whether expenses incurred by volunteers will be reimbursed.
The corps officer/ministry unit leader must approve any expenditure before the volunteer can incur the expenditure/be reimbursed.
Many volunteer positions will require role-specific training to be properly set up for success. Make sure the volunteer leaves the orientation with a set date and time for their training session.
Role-specific training provides the opportunity for:
- A volunteer to feel valued and confident in their role.
- A volunteer to be clear about their rights and responsibilities.
- A volunteer to be prepared in case of an emergency.
- You to be confident you have reduced the probability of any legal risks eventuating.
Volunteers appreciate support and peer-to-peer mentoring. Remember, existing volunteers make great mentors.
There are risks that could occur while a volunteer is in their role, but effective mitigation of these risks begins with a thorough orientation and training process.
A few examples of these risks are:
- Volunteer represents themselves externally as if they are an employee or have the authority to act on behalf of The Salvation Army.
- Client, volunteer or employee confidentiality is breached by a volunteer.
- Volunteer discriminates against a client, volunteer or employee.
- Volunteer’s intellectual property rights are infringed by The Salvation Army.
For this stage, have you:
This stage provides the opportunity for the volunteer to be clear about their role, their responsibilities and their rights. These steps also set boundaries for your team and mitigate any future risks.
Please click on the links below to access the files for each Behind the Shield resource. All resources are available in both French and English. For some of these resources, we have created a version that can be printed on any printer you have access to and a version that should be used if you are outsourcing to a print house. Please read the file names carefully and choose the resource that best suits your needs.
- Volunteer Handbook EN
- Volunteer Handbook FR (Coming Soon!)
Sign-In Sheet and Name Tag
- Volunteer Bookmark General EN
- Volunteer Bookmark General FR
- Volunteer Bookmark Youth EN
- Volunteer Bookmark Youth FR
- Volunteer Files for Salvation Army Records EN (Coming Soon!)
- Volunteer Files for Salvation Army Records FR (Coming Soon!)