Volunteer Management Resources

The Whittlesea Partnership on Volunteering and Community Engagement meets bi-monthly to share information and resources on a range of topics relevant to the volunteer sector. Throughout the year, professional development opportunities are provided to volunteer managers as part of these meetings.

To join the network, or to enquire about how the WVRS can support your organisation with volunteering, please ring 9401 6666 or via email at

This resource has been developed for Volunteer Involving Organisations to provide guidance on good practice principles as outlined in The Volunteer National Standards. Each of the eight standards listed here has links to some great tools to help you to provide a positive experience for your volunteers.

1. Leadership and Management

The governing body and senior employees lead and promote a positive culture towards volunteering and implement effective management systems to support volunteer involvement.

1.1 Responsibilities for leading and managing volunteer involvement are defined and supported.1.2 Policies and procedures applying to volunteers are communicated, understood, and implemented by all relevant staff across the organisation.1.3 The organisation’s risk management processes are applied to the organisation’s volunteer involvement.1.4 Volunteer involvement records are maintained.1.5 Processes are in place to manage relationships with partner agencies in collaborative volunteer activities. (This criteria only applies to organisations working with other organisations in a collaborative activity involving volunteers and/or sharing responsibility for particular volunteers).

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement provides information about the Australian best practice standards for organisations.

National Standards

An easy-to-use online self-assessment tool to work towards meeting the new National Standards for Volunteer Involvement. The tool measures your organisation’s performance with volunteer involvement and helps achieve best practice, ultimately improving the organisation’s ability to attract and retain volunteers. Management Tools

The volunteer management toolkit is aligned to the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement, and for ease Volunteering Victoria have provided guidance at different stages of the volunteer lifecycle.

Volunteer Management Toolkit

The National Volunteer Guide produced by Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law service (with input from Volunteering Australia) which provide guidance on the legislation that affects volunteering.

Essential Volunteer Policies and Procedures

2. Commitment to Volunteer Involvement

Commitment to volunteer involvement is set out through vision, planning and resourcing, and supports the organisation’s strategic direction.

2.1 The organisation publicly declares its intent, purpose and commitment to involving volunteers.2.2 Volunteer involvement is planned and designed to contribute directly to the organisation purpose, goals and objectives.2.3 Resources (including time, funds, equipment and technology) are allocated for volunteer involvement.

Volunteer Guide

Principles of Volunteering

Best Practice Creating an Employee Volunteering Program

Tip sheet on how to develop a Volunteer Strategy

3. Volunteer Roles

Volunteers are engaged in meaningful roles which contribute to the organisation’s purpose, goals and objectives.

3.1 Volunteer roles are designed to contribute to the organisation’s purpose, goals and objectives.3.2 Volunteer roles are appropriate for the community, service user or stakeholder groups with which the organisation works.3.3 Volunteer roles are defined, documented and communicated.3.4 Volunteer roles are reviewed with input from volunteers and employees.

Volunteering Australia
A helpful toolkit on Designing Volunteer Roles and Position Descriptions.

Virtual Volunteering – Volunteering Victoria

Offsite volunteering

Sports Community – Volunteer Roles

Emergency volunteering

4. Recruitment & Selection

Volunteer recruitment and selection strategies are planned, consistent and meet the needs of the organisation and volunteers.

4.1 If the organisation recruits volunteers, it uses planned approaches to attract volunteers with relevant interests, knowledge, skills or attributes.4.2 Potential volunteers are provided with relevant information about the organisation, the volunteer role and the recruitment and selection process.4.3 Volunteers are selected based on interest, knowledge, and skills or attributes relevant to the role, and consistent with anti-discrimination legislation.4.4 Screening processes are applied to volunteer roles that help maintain the safety and security of service users, employees, volunteers and the organisation.

An excellent guide produced by Not for Profit Law providing guidance on recruiting, inducting, managing and ending the volunteer relationship.

Background screening for volunteers

Recruiting Volunteers – Volunteering Victoria

Volunteer Screening

5. Support & Development

Volunteers understand their roles and gain the knowledge, skills and feedback needed to safely and effectively carry out their duties.

5.1 Volunteers are provided with orientation relevant to their role and responsibility.5.2 Volunteers knowledge and skills are reviewed to identify support and development needs.5.3 Volunteers knowledge and skill needs relevant to their roles are identified, and training and development opportunities are provided to meet these needs.5.4 Volunteers are provided with supervision and support that enables them to undertake their roles and responsibilities.5.5 Changes to the involvement of a volunteer are undertaken fairly and consistently.

Guide for Training Volunteers
National Volunteer Skills Centre & Volunteering Australia have produced a practical guide for training volunteers in two parts. Download Part 1 and Part 2.

Supervision Help Sheet
This help sheet produced by Our Community explains supervising volunteers.

6. Workplace Safety & Wellbeing

The health, safety and well-being of volunteers is protected in the workplace.

6.1 Effective working relationships with employees, and between volunteers, are facilitated by the organisation.6.2 Processes are in place to protect the health and safety of volunteers in their capacity as volunteers.6.3 Volunteers have access to complaints and grievance procedures.

Risk Management Tool for Volunteer Involving Organisations
Volunteering Australia developed this tool to provide a step by step guide on the risk management process.

Not for Profit Law Insurance & Risk Management for Community Organisations
The guide provides detailed information on risk management strategies and different insurance products that can be used as part of a community organisation’s risk management Australia wide.

VMIA Community Service Organisations Program
VMIA’s Community Service Organisations’ (CSO) Insurance Program provides insurance coverage for eligible community service organisations funded by Victorian State Government Departments.

7. Volunteer Recognition

Volunteer contribution, value and impact is understood, appreciated and acknowledged.

7.1 The governing body and employees understand how volunteers benefit the organisation, service users and the community.7.2 Volunteers are informed about how their contributions benefit the organisation, service users and the community.7.3 The organisation regularly acknowledges contributions made by volunteers and the positive impact on the organisation, service users and the community.7.4 Volunteer acknowledgement is appropriate to the volunteer role and respectful of cultural values and perspectives.

Recognising volunteers – Volunteering Australia

National Volunteer Week 

Victorian Volunteer Awards

Volunteering Victoria Awards

101 Ways on Recognizing your volunteers – Volunteering Australia

8. Quality Management & Continuous Improvement

Effective volunteer involvement results from a system of good practice, review and continuous improvement.

8.1 Policies and procedures are implemented to effectively guide all aspects of volunteer involvement.8.2 Volunteer involvement is regularly reviewed in line with the organisation’s evaluation and quality management frameworks.8.3 The organisation’s performance with volunteer involvement is monitored and reported to the governing body, employees, volunteers and stakeholders.8.4 Opportunities are available for volunteers to provide feedback on the organisation’s volunteer involvement and relevant areas of the organisation’s work.

Our Community Help Sheet on Retention
This help sheet produced by Our Community explains surveying volunteers for feedback.

Dealing with Conflict

Managing volunteers for retention

Reimbursements, allowances, Honoraria and tax