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    Volunteering Volunteering Document Transcript

    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version Cultural Management Development Program 2009 Volunteering – maximising the benefits for all PROJECT REPORTProject Sponsor Sarah Hitchcock, A/g Head Education & Visitor Services, Australian War MemorialWindswept and Interesting Group John Kearns, NGA Mia de Tarczynski, Questacon Narelle Tunks, NLA Justine van Mourik, NLA Maryanne Voyazis, NGAFinal Version Date: 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal VersionACKNOWLEDGEMENTSGrateful thanks are given to our Project Sponsor, Sarah Hitchcock, A/g Head, Education and VisitorServices at the Australian War Memorial, for all her support and guidance throughout the year and tothe CMDP course coordinators, John Martin and Sue Upton for their unfailing support and assistanceto the project team.We would also like to thank the following people who ‘volunteered’ their time to assist us in ourresearch:Richard Cruise and Jenny Harris, Volunteer Coordinators, Australian War MemorialJohannah Wilson, Touring Exhibitions Manager, National Archives of AustraliaPeter Naumann, Head of Education and Public Programs, National Gallery of AustraliaLauren Donald, Renee Shuttleworth and Margaret Thompson, Volunteer Coordinators, NationalLibrary of AustraliaKeryn de Majnik, Volunteer Coordinator, National Museum of AustraliaSharren Kelly, Volunteer Coordinator, QuestaconRoss Lloyd, Acting Head (10-25 August 2009), People Management Section, Australian War MemorialHelen Ward, Human Resources Manager, National Gallery of AustraliaAndrea Hope, Human Resources Manager, National Library of AustraliaJulie Lyne, Human Resources Manager, National Museum of AustraliaLeanne Gregory, Human Resources Manager, QuestaconParticipating Volunteers from each of the Cultural Institutions 2│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final VersionTABLE OF CONTENTSACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................................................... 2EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................................................................................................... 41 OVERVIEW OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS IN NATIONAL CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS.......... 62 RESEARCH................................................................................................................................................... 7 General Research.......................................................................................................................................... 7 Surveys and Interviews............................................................................................................................... 7 • Volunteer Co-ordinators .................................................................................................................. 7 • Human Resource Managers............................................................................................................. 7 • Survey of Volunteers ........................................................................................................................ 73 CRITICAL MILESTONES IN THE VOLUNTEER LIFE CYCLE........................................................... 8 Recruitment................................................................................................................................................... 8 Induction ....................................................................................................................................................... 9 Performance Management........................................................................................................................ 10 Retirement................................................................................................................................................... 11 • Voluntary retirement ...................................................................................................................... 11 • Managed retirement........................................................................................................................ 114 POLICY FRAMEWORK AND GOVERNANCE ................................................................................... 12 Program Governance................................................................................................................................. 135 RECOMMENDATIONS............................................................................................................................ 14 Recommendation 1 - Recruitment ........................................................................................................... 14 Recommendation 2 - Induction................................................................................................................ 14 Recommendation 3 – Performance Management.................................................................................. 14 Recommendation 4 – Retirement............................................................................................................. 14 Recommendation 5 – Policy ..................................................................................................................... 14 Recommendation 6 - Governance............................................................................................................ 146 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................................................................................................ 157 APPENDICES............................................................................................................................................. 16 Appendix A – Questions and Survey Results from Volunteer Coordinators ................................... 16 Appendix B – Questions and Survey Results from Human Resource Managers............................. 18 Appendix C – Questions and Survey Results from Volunteers .......................................................... 20 Appendix D – Volunteer Program Policies within Cultural Institutions........................................... 27 3│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In 2006, 1.4% of the Australian population or about 207,000 people volunteered with cultural organisations. These cultural volunteers worked a total of 30.6 million hours in art galleries, museums, libraries, performing arts groups and festivals.1 Volunteers in Australian cultural institutions give generously of their time in order to further the goals of the institution in which they choose to dedicate their resources. In turn, institutions provide staffing and structures to support their volunteers. Many of these programs have been running for decades, they have a high degree of support from senior management and enjoy very positive attraction and retention rates from volunteers. It is for these reasons that the focus of this project is how to best maximise the benefits of volunteering for both volunteers and national cultural institutions. The terms of reference for this project were to: • establish a better understanding of the expectations and responsibilities of volunteers and institutions with a view to increasing the effectiveness of the relationship; • analyse current policy and governance structures in cultural institutions and examine the relationship between volunteer programs and human resources. • use the research to develop content for inclusion in a best practice model that would guide the management of volunteers throughout the volunteer life cycle by encompassing recruitment, induction, performance management and retirement of volunteers. Whilst it is clear that volunteer programs are valued by institutions, visitors and volunteers, it is important to acknowledge that these programs do not come without cost and that there may be times where the relationship between a volunteer and an institution may not evolve or continue as anticipated or can deteriorate. It is therefore recommended that a risk management approach be adopted in the management of volunteers in order to manage the risks associated with volunteer engagement and obtain the best result for both institution and volunteer. A significant number of volunteers walk through the doors of each cultural institution every day to deliver visitor programs vital to the success of the institution. It can be argued that this investment of ‘free time’ requires a complementary outlay in people management structures and processes. The research undertaken provided insight into the issues surrounding people management activities when running a volunteer program and identified the following as needing attention: • the informal basis upon which many volunteers are engaged; • uncertainty surrounding duty statements and behavioural expectations and how they relate to performance appraisals; • lack of clarity around the expectations and management of fitness for duty issues; and 1 Kirsten Leach, The value of a cultural volunteer, Arts & Culture Magazine, July-December 2009 Department for the Environment, Water, Heritage & The Arts. 4│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version• lack of clarity around the maximum size of the volunteer programs able to be supported by the institutions either through identified business needs or the level of program management resources.The main findings from the research illustrate that all cultural institutions have strong policies,guidelines and procedures that govern the management of volunteers. However, no singlepolicy comprehensively covers all issues that cultural institutions and their volunteer managersshould be aware of, particularly in relation to human resource management issues.Human Resource departments surveyed have indicated that they can play a vital role inproviding advice on risk mitigation strategies for volunteer programs through the establishmentof medical assessments to establish fitness for duty of new volunteers, a greater involvement inensuring that volunteers adhere to the Australian Public Service (APS) Code of Conduct andmaintaining active involvement in OH&S awareness and incident management where applicable.Based on the results from the research, the project team has identified issues for furtherdeliberation and also content for consideration in a best practice model. This report includes sixrecommendations for consideration when preparing volunteer policies, guidelines andprocedures. These include the formation of a comprehensive policy document, aspects ofgovernance, recruitment, induction, performance management and exit strategies.The project team recommends that institutions review the findings with a view to adopting someor all of the recommendations contained within this report in the next 12 months, or whenpolicies, guidelines and procedures are next reviewed. 5│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version1 OVERVIEW OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS IN NATIONAL CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS Each year hundreds of people volunteer their time and expertise in national cultural institutions across Canberra. Volunteers perform important services across national cultural institutions including guiding tours for the public and school groups, research and educational services and administrative support. Volunteers also provide a valuable outreach avenue and contact point within the wider community enabling cultural institutions to establish vital contacts and access important resources and information not otherwise easily accessible. The majority of volunteers surveyed volunteered for altruistic purposes, i.e. to give something back to the community. Many volunteers also cited an interest in working with people and a desire to pass on their knowledge as key reasons for volunteering. Volunteer programs across cultural institutions are co-ordinated and run by the areas responsible for providing services to the public – visitor services, public programs or educational departments – with limited direct involvement from human resources sections. These visitor services programs are responsible for providing recruitment, induction, training and performance management and administer the day-to-day activities of volunteers. With the exception of the Australian War Memorial which has approximately 280 volunteers and the National Archives of Australia which does not have a volunteer guide’s program, the number of active volunteers across national cultural institutions is less than 100 in each institution. Volunteer numbers are fixed at a maximum of 75 at the National Museum of Australia, however there are no limits placed on total volunteer numbers within the other cultural institutions. The majority of volunteers surveyed in cultural institutions work between four and ten hours per week, have previously worked either in a cultural institution or the public service, predominantly provide guided tours, and are aged 65 years and over. Of the volunteers surveyed, over 63% had been volunteering for more than six years, with approximately 12% of these volunteers having sixteen or more years of service. Training programs for volunteers are often rigorous, intensive and ongoing with most volunteers also being subject to a probationary period. The National Gallery of Australia, for example, has a 12 month training program (one to two days per week) for new volunteers; additional exhibition- specific training for all volunteers; and a three month probationary period after completion of the training program. In almost all cultural institutions, with the exception of the National Library of Australia, volunteers are represented and recognised by their own associations in their dealings with the institution. The Australian War Memorial’s volunteer association has been in existence for over 32 years and the National Gallery’s volunteer association is an incorporated body with its own executive. There is a rewards/benefits program for volunteers across all institutions that is most often based on years of service and includes complimentary membership to the institution. 6│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version2 RESEARCH Research for this project was conducted throughout Canberra’s cultural institutions including the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia and Questacon. Volunteer Coordinators were surveyed by means of a personal interview based on a questionnaire that sought the same information from each institution. Human Resources Managers were also surveyed either via e-mail or in a personal interview and the opinions of approximately 140 volunteers were canvassed by means of an online survey. The findings of our research are summarised in the appendices to this report. General Research General research covered best practice guidelines, institution specific volunteer policies and procedures, and discussions with the project sponsor to inform the project’s scope and specific objectives. Surveys and Interviews Volunteer Co-ordinators Discussions and a survey of volunteer co-ordinators was undertaken to ascertain institutional views as to the roles, responsibilities and purpose of volunteers in cultural institutions. Detailed analysis of these results is contained in Appendix A. Human Resource Managers A survey and/or an interview of HR managers was conducted to ascertain their current involvement in the management of volunteers and also importantly their views on their perceived or desired role in the management of volunteers. The results of these surveys are contained in Appendix B. Survey of Volunteers An online survey of volunteer’s views was conducted using SurveyMonkey. The project team would like to gratefully acknowledge the National Library of Australia for the use of their SurveyMonkey which enabled the electronic distribution, collection and analysis of data from 140 respondents across the cultural institutions. Details of the survey responses can be found at Appendix C. 7│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version3 CRITICAL MILESTONES IN THE VOLUNTEER LIFE CYCLE An analysis of the issues surrounding volunteer programs revealed that there were four critical milestones within the volunteer life cycle where simple risk management and mitigation strategies could assist to strengthen the framework under which volunteers are managed. The strengthening of this framework can only better align the expectations of the volunteer and the institution and increase the effectiveness of the relationship while minimising potential risks to the institution. These are: • Recruitment; • Induction; • Performance Management; and • Retirement. Recruitment Recruitment can be a complex process, with legislative requirements and many best practice procedures to be followed. Some of these would of course be specific to paid staff recruitment and appointments; however the guiding principles of quality recruitment practices should also be a key feature of any quality volunteer program. There were varying levels of rigorousness in the methodologies employed in volunteer recruitment across the cultural institutions. In every case, there is a selection and interview process to ensure best fit between the institution and prospective volunteers. In some instances volunteers are required to sign a contract or agreement on commencement but undertake no subsequent review of the document. In most cases, police and/or security checks are conducted and fitness for duty is informally assessed at the time of interview. Every institution has a probation period. Discussions with HR Managers from cultural institutions found that formal involvement in volunteer recruitment in their institutions was minimal. Results were largely consistent when asked how involved should HR be in volunteer recruitment, with only one Manager identifying that more involvement would be appropriate. This is an interesting result given the large number of potential staffing issues that may arise. We suggest that a more formal role for HR teams in volunteer recruitment would support best practice selection processes underpinning appointments. This is not to suggest that HR teams become responsible for volunteer recruitment, but rather that the volunteer program management be supported with guidance from the HR team on best practice recruitment procedures during volunteer selection processes. Given that valuable specialised expertise can be sourced from HR teams regarding recruitment processes, we suggest that institutions consider a more formal role for HR teams in volunteer recruitment in three key areas: • providing specialist recruitment advice on policy and selection processes; • reviewing of selection reports for procedural review and to identify any issues with the appointments prior to endorsement; and • the development of a fitness for duty and security assessment frameworks. 8│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final VersionIn a selection process for a paid position, formal delegate endorsement is required prior to theappointment being made. Whilst the requirements for the recruitment of volunteers is different,we would suggest that institutions review the approval procedures for the appointment ofvolunteers to identify who is formally endorsing the appointment of individual volunteers(whether solely at local volunteer program level or seeking senior line management approval)and to consider whether it would be appropriate for HR teams to review appointments. Thiswould ensure that any issues with individual appointments could be identified beforecommencement.Whilst the requirements for fitness for duty are different to paid staff, the application of theprinciple of fitness for duty to volunteers may be useful. Only one of the volunteer programpolicies analysed included a medical declaration. Volunteer programs may identify a need toseek an assurance of fitness for duty (appropriate to their institution and following legal advicebeing sought by the institution) both on commencement, and annually, from volunteers to assistappropriate people management support.Cultural institutions and volunteers need to be aware and committed to the necessity for securitychecks on volunteers, more specifically for volunteers working directly with collection materialand for volunteers who work with children. The level of security assessment appropriate forother volunteers would vary from institution to institution. At present there is no consistency inthe approach to this issue across the institutions surveyed.InductionIn keeping with existing practices, it is recommended that cultural institutions provide a clearand comprehensive induction for volunteers at the commencement of service. This inductionshould outline the expectations of the institution and also state the institution’s commitment to itsvolunteers. Specifically it should include:• general information about the institution;• strategic directions and goals of the organisation;• organisational structure;• guidelines on behaviour as governed by the code of conduct;• media policy;• occupational health and safety guidelines;• clear instructions on what to do in an emergency;• training opportunities and expectations;• performance management requirements including the frequency of assessment;• appropriate avenues for giving and receiving feedback;• appropriate avenues for seeking advice and assistance;• volunteer rights and responsibilities; and• institutions commitment to volunteers. 9│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version The National Library and Questacon offer new volunteers the opportunity to attend the same formal induction sessins as paid staff and this may be a cost effective solution for HR departments to have greater involvement in this activity with little to no additional workload imposed. Performance Management Results of the volunteer survey showed that approximately 43% of volunteers did not participate in a formal performance review process. Almost 60% of the volunteers surveyed did not know what the frequency of their review process should be. In direct contrast to this, 80% of the volunteers surveyed felt that regular performance feedback was important to them in their work as volunteers. Given that some cultural institutions have as many as 280 active volunteers and relatively few staff to manage them, in order to institute regular performance reviews, any potential performance management framework would need to be simple, efficient, effective and enable the volunteer managers to be able to respond to the volunteers needs and suggestions and allow staff to identify any potential problems easily. Additionally, many institutions take volunteers on an ongoing basis without instituting a regular performance management cycle. This ongoing relationship must be managed and if no regular review mechanism exists, the institution has no basis from which to assess the relationship and potentially manage the retirement or dismissal of volunteers when issues arise. The Project Team proposes that institutions provide volunteers with a simple agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties. This document could also be used as a simple self-assessed performance review tool. It is envisaged that the document would be valid for a period of 12 months or more and that the statement would be ‘renewed’ and re-signed by both parties on a regular basis thereby forming an ongoing performance management cycle. The cyclical renewal of the agreement would also provide a milestone for discussion of any issues with volunteers and serve as an exit strategy for the volunteer manager to be able to initiate discussion with a view to terminating the association if deemed necessary. It is envisaged that the document would be a pro-forma self-assessment allowing the volunteer to comment on all aspects of their volunteering experience but would also serve as a binding agreement between the individual and the institution. It is proposed that the document broadly contain the following elements: • A statement in which the volunteer confirms their commitment to volunteering for the period of the agreement and indicates their willingness to abide by the policies and procedures of the institution including the institutional code of conduct, relevant policies and OH&S and emergency procedures. • A statement in which the institution confirms their commitment to the volunteer and outlines their obligations toward providing the volunteer with a safe workplace, level of insurance coverage (where applicable), ongoing training and any other benefits that the institution wants to offer. 10│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version• This statement should also be accompanied by a questionnaire so that the volunteer can provide feedback to the institution regarding: – training needs; – health and safety issues (including any issues that may affect fitness for duty ); – times of availability and level of commitment to the institution; – advice on any commitments that may impact on their ability to volunteer; – the level of satisfaction of the volunteer with their work; and – an opportunity for general feedback from the volunteer.It is envisaged that in the majority of cases, the volunteer manager would simply co-sign thedocument on behalf of the institution and return a copy to the volunteer thereby completing theperformance review. However if the volunteer manager felt that there was an issue that neededdiscussing with a volunteer, such discussion would take place before the institution co-signed theagreement and the parties could discuss and resolve the issue before either renewing orterminating the agreement.RetirementAnalysis of the volunteer policies collected from the participating institutions clearlydemonstrates that no single policy covers all of the issues that may arise in the retirement orresignation of volunteers. An effective volunteer policy should give a framework for managingthe exit of volunteers through voluntary retirement, managed retirement, resignation ordismissal.Research showed that the process of resignation or retirement was found to be largely directedby volunteers who might wish to terminate their relationship with the institution because ofreasons of health or other commitments.Voluntary retirementThrough the adoption of the agreement proposed in this paper, the volunteer can signal theirintention to retire through the performance review process, they can nominate the timeframe inwhich they intend to cease volunteering and be recognised appropriately by the institution fortheir commitment. Volunteers should be given the opportunity to complete an Exit Survey toenable the institution to build a record of the effectiveness of a volunteer life cycle within theinstitution to allow for continuous improvement.Managed retirementThe proposed self assessment also allows the volunteer to indicate to the institution anyproposed reduction in their commitment and provides a mechanism by which the volunteer orthe institution can signal any future issues that may impact on the volunteer fulfilling theirduties. This may mean that the institution, through discussion between the parties, can managethe retirement of the volunteer by scaling back or adjusting their duties and/or hours ofcommitment accordingly or simply choosing not to renew the agreement in extremecircumstances. 11│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version4 POLICY FRAMEWORK AND GOVERNANCE An analysis of a sample of volunteer program policies within cultural institutions was conducted. The analysis identified elements covered by the agreement and results are set out in Appendix D. The analysis shows that there is a diverse range of elements covered in the policies that govern volunteers in national cultural institutions, but that there is variation in the level of detail and scope. Where the policy document provides a framework for the engagement and management of volunteers as well as constituting the primary document distributed to volunteers upon commencement (in this case it may be known as the volunteer handbook), it becomes the key document to formally outline the relationship between the volunteer and the institution. For this reason, it is essential that volunteers are given clear and comprehensive information about what is expected of them. We suggest that institutions consider the range of information being included in the policies analysed as all these aspects provide clarity around the relationship between the volunteer and the institution. In particular, if the policy, or a version of it, is the main documentation provided to individual volunteers, then institutions may wish to include (but not be limited to) the following content: • the basis on which volunteers are appointed (i.e. that they are not employees of the institution); • the length of the appointment as a volunteer and how this is reviewed/renewed; • corporate information about the institution; • duties to be undertaken and expected behavioural standards; • performance framework; • procedures for voluntary and managed retirements; • communication mechanisms; • information that volunteers need to know – insurance, police check requirements dispute resolution etc; • key general policy information on matters such as OH&S, fire and emergency procedures, harassment etc; • information about the representational role, if any, that volunteers are expected to undertake (including guidelines on any public representations where they may identify themselves as a volunteer of a particular institution); and • ask volunteers to acknowledge receipt of the policy and agreement to the expectations and procedures outlined in it (as a new volunteer and whenever the policy is reviewed and distributed). 12│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final VersionSome policy management principles that institutions may wish to consider are:• dedicate resources to undertaking regular comprehensive reviews of the policy (including seeking advice from enabling teams such as HR and OH&S and asking for feedback from volunteers);• provide sufficient detail in the policy around key processes such as performance management and retirement so that expectations and procedures are clear; and• seek legal advice on policy documentation and content to ensure that it is appropriate for the institution.Program GovernanceOur discussions with Volunteer Coordinators from the different institutions showed thatvolunteer programs are located within the public program/visitor services areas of theinstitutions. Programs manage significant numbers of volunteers, ranging between 60 to 280active volunteers. These figures suggest that volunteer coordinators have significant peoplemanagement responsibilities and further suggest that institutions see their volunteer programs asimportant to the delivery of high-value visitor experiences. Adequate resourcing of the volunteerprogram is therefore an important factor in the effectiveness of the program. We would considerthat the position of the volunteer program in the institutional structure, program resourcing andgovernance arrangements are all important to the effectiveness of the program.The following considerations may be useful for institutions in the ongoing management of theirvolunteer programs:• If the volunteer program is located within the public programs/ visitor services areas, what is the functional relationship to other teams such as HR and senior executive?• What is the business objective for the volunteer program?• How are the specific goal(s) for the volunteer program identified within the broader context of business planning (through to the institution’s corporate plan)?• How is the program considered in strategic forward planning (i.e. what kind of volunteer program does the institution want in two years time and in five years time?)?• How often do institutions review volunteer programs and their efficacy?• What are the decision-making arrangements surrounding the volunteers program? What role do volunteer associations have in the planning and direction of the program? What consultative mechanisms are in place (or could usefully be in place) for institutions to seek input from volunteers about the program?• How do institutions manage volunteer numbers? Is recruitment linked to business priorities or the number of available volunteers applying? How do institutions measure maximum program capacity (i.e. what is the maximum number of volunteers able to be managed in the program at existing resourcing levels)? 13│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version5 RECOMMENDATIONS The project team makes the following recommendations to enable cultural institutions to enhance their volunteer programs. Recommendation 1 - Recruitment That institutions consider adopting recruitment practices (detailed in Section 4 – Policy Framework and Governance) which are more closely aligned to staff recruitment practices with regard to: (a) appropriate selection and appointment processes; and (b) consideration of an assessment for or declaration of, fitness for duty. Recommendation 2 - Induction That institutions consider the creation of induction programs which include the elements set out in Section 4 to ensure new volunteers are appropriately inducted into the institution or consider the extension of existing staff induction programs to include volunteers. Recommendation 3 – Performance Management That institutions consider the creation of a simple agreement (detailed in Section 4) to be signed by the volunteer and the institution which sets out: (a) the agreed length of the volunteering arrangement; (b) a duty statement detailing the expectations and obligations of both parties; and (c) is regularly reviewed as part of an ongoing performance management framework. Recommendation 4 – Retirement That institutions consider the creation of a volunteers’ exit strategy which includes the elements set out in Section 4 to establish formal procedures for both voluntary and managed retirements. Recommendation 5 – Policy That institutions consider the creation of policy for their volunteers program which includes the elements set out in Section 4 and which: (a) is a stand-alone document providing volunteers with a complete set of reference materials; and (b) commits the institution to dedicating sufficient resources to undertake regular comprehensive reviews of the policies to ensure effectiveness and currency. Recommendation 6 - Governance That institutions consider the most appropriate governance structure of the volunteers’ program within the broader institutional structure, having regard to the elements detailed in Section 4. 14│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version6 BIBLIOGRAPHY Volunteers: making a valuable contribution to our cultural life, Arts & Culture Magazine, July- December 2009, Department for the Environment, Water, Heritage & The Arts. 15│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version7 APPENDICES Appendix A – Questions and Survey Results from Volunteer CoordinatorsQuestions asked of the Volunteer Coordinators were divided into four sections and a Summary ofFindings follows the list of questions.List of Questions Asked Management Does the institution have a volunteer policy? Does the institution have a volunteer coordinator? Where is the volunteer coordinator placed in the institution? How many volunteers does the institution have? What types of volunteers does the institution have? Is there any interaction between staff and volunteers? Does the volunteer policy cover risk management? Are statistics kept on the volunteer program? How does the institution communicate with volunteers? Do the volunteers have their own institution/network? Does the institution measure the cost benefit of the volunteer program? Recruitment How are volunteers recruited? Is there a selection/interview process? Do volunteers sign a contract? Is the contract one-off or renewed on a regular basis? Are volunteers required to sign any other documents? Are any checks performed on volunteers before they start? Does the process include/allow for OH&S, medical, special needs requirements? Do volunteers have a probation period? How does the institution match volunteer’s skills/abilities with institutional needs/expectations? Does the institution’s policy outline the volunteer working conditions (i.e. hours of duty, worker’s compensation, and security)? Training and Do volunteers have an induction process? What’s included? Performance Do volunteers receive ongoing training? Do volunteers undergo performance reviews? If so, with whom? Does the institution have procedures for managing poor performance? If yes, what are they? Is there a recognition/rewards/benefits program for volunteers? If yes, what’s included? Retirement/ How is the retirement/resignation process managed? resignation Are volunteers required to complete an exit survey? Do volunteers receive recognition for service on retirement/ resignation? 16│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final VersionSummary of FindingsVolunteer Coordinators from all of the cultural institutions surveyed confirm that policies andprocedures specific to the management of their volunteers exist in their institution. The position ofthe Volunteer Coordinator is placed within the access services areas of each institution including thedepartments of education, public programs and visitor services. Volunteer numbers sit fairlyconsistently between 70 to 80 in total with the exception of the Australian War Memorial who have280 active volunteers. The Australian War Memorial and the National Gallery of Australia conductannual recruitment drives whereas the other institutions accept volunteers on an ongoing basis.A number of different roles are undertaken by volunteers throughout the various institutions. Theseinclude:• guiding collections;• children’s tours;• curatorial assistance,• membership administration; and• research.The majority of volunteers are involved with ‘Front of House’ duties which put them in regularcontact with visitors.Statistics are kept on volunteer activities including the number of visitors and tours conducted.These are reported regularly to senior executive staff and are included in annual reports.In terms of training and performance, it was found that all volunteers participate in extensiveinduction processes, that all institutions provide ongoing training and that all institutions conductvarying levels of performance review with the main focus at the commencement of duty.Most institutions have some procedures for the management of poor performance, however, this isnot always formalised and tends to be handled on a case-by-case basis. All institutions haverecognition and rewards programs for their volunteers when significant milestones are reached andupon retirement or resignation. 17│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version Appendix B – Questions and Survey Results from Human Resource ManagersHuman Resource Managers were surveyed for their thoughts and opinions on the management ofvolunteers in Canberra’s cultural institutions. The survey was divided into two parts – the firstinvestigated actual involvement and the second sought to assess the degree to which HR Managersfelt they should be involved. The Summary of Findings follows the list of questions.List of Questions Asked On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = no Recruitment involvement and 5 = full involvement) Induction how involved is your HR department Medical assessment/fitness for duty with volunteers with respect to: Training – work specific Training – emergency evacuation procedures On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = no involvement and 5 = full involvement) Dispute Mediation how involved do you consider your Occupational Health and Safety – awareness, training HR department should be with and workplace assessment respect to: Occupational Health and Safety – incident reporting and management Performance Management Ensuring adherence to APS Code of Conduct and Ethics Resignation/departure Process Recognition of Service/Contribution to the Institution Does your institution value volunteers in the same way as paid staff? If no, is there a reason? Given that volunteers donate their time to your institution, from an HR perspective, what allowances or flexibility should be extended to volunteers that would not apply to paid staff?Summary of FindingsQuestion 1 Current HR Department Involvement with VolunteersOverall, there is minimal involvement by HR departments in the management of volunteers. This isleft to volunteer coordinators and their supporting departments.There is minimal to no involvement from HR sections in assessing new recruits for fitness for dutyhowever there is more active involvement across the board in OH&S awareness and training.Whilst HR at the National Museum and National Gallery are not directly responsible for deliveringOH&S awareness and training, they join the other institutions in being actively involved withincident reporting and management of OH&S issues.HR departments at Questacon and the War Memorial are actively involved in ensuring thatvolunteers adhere to the Australian Public Service (APS) Code of Conduct and Ethics whilst theremaining institutions do not formally mandate behavioural standards for volunteers in line withthe APS Code. 18│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final VersionHuman Resource departments across all institutions show very little to no involvement in trainingor emergency evacuation procedures, performance management, resignation or retirementprocesses. With the exception of the National Museum there is little to no HR involvement withrecognition of activities by any of the institutions.Question 2 Expected HR Department Involvement with VolunteersOverall, there was a minimal shift in the desire for HR Managers to move from the current level ofHR involvement to a more active involvement in the management of volunteers. The mostsignificant changes include the desire for HR to be involved in medical assessments to establishfitness for duty of new recruits, greater involvement in ensuring adherence to the APS Code ofConduct and maintaining an active involvement in OH&S awareness and training where applicable.All HR departments want to remain actively involved in incident reporting and management andremain committed to providing advice when it is required.With the exception of Questacon, HR Managers considered no additional involvement in therecruitment of volunteers necessary. The National Library and Questacon maintain a commitment toinvolvement in volunteer inductions. HR departments at Questacon and the War Memorialmaintain their commitment to ensuring adherence to the APS Code of Conduct with increasedinterest registered by the remaining institutions.HR across all institutions (with the exception of Questacon) did not consider that they need toincrease their minimal involvement in the performance management or resignation/retirementprocesses associated with volunteers. With the exception of Questacon and the National Museumthere is little desire for HR to become involved in departure processes and recognition of service.HR Managers indicated that the major allowance afforded to volunteers is flexibility in terms oftheir hours of service. 19│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version Appendix C – Questions and Survey Results from VolunteersVolunteers were surveyed using the online tool SurveyMonkey. A total of 129 responses werereceived and summarised below. A total of 11 responses from Questacon were received in hardcopy and were analysed separately, showing overall consistency with the results from the electronicsurvey.1. Which cultural institution(s) do you volunteer at? [You can specify more than one] Response Response Percent Count Australian War Memorial 58.9% 76 Questacon N/A N/A National Gallery of Australia 36.4% 47 National Library of Australia 0.8% 1 National Museum of Australia 4.7% 6 Old Parliament House 3.1% 4 answered question 129 skipped question 02. Why did you choose to volunteer at this institution? Volunteers indicated the following reasons for their chosen institutions. • Match between interest/hobby and institution; • Enjoyment of working with people, general public and passing on knowledge; • Learning experience and personal enrichment; • Recommended as a worthwhile activity by friends/family; and • Regular visitor to institution over the years and wanted to become more involved.3. How long have you been a volunteer? Response Response Percent Count 0 – 5 years 36.4% 47 6 – 10 years 34.9% 45 11 – 15 years 16.3% 21 16 – 20 years 7.8% 10 20 + years 4.7% 6 answered question 129 skipped question 0 20│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version4. What kind of volunteer work do you perform? [You can select more than one answer] Response Response Percent Count Guides/tours 71.3% 92 Research 27.1% 35 Education 16.3% 21 Administration 2.3% 3 Other 15.5% 20 Other (please specify) 30 answered question 129 skipped question 0 Other (please specify) responses included: • working with children and on children’s programs; • working with specific exhibits/collections ie master and crew of paddle steamer Enterprise; • conducting oral history interviews; • assistance at specific functions; and • assist general public/researchers with specific information requests.5. How much of your time do you volunteer per week? Response Response Percent Count Less than 4 hours 38.8% 50 Between 4 and 10 hours 57.4% 74 Greater than 10 hours 3.9% 5 Other (please specify) 15 answered question 129 skipped question 0 Other (please specify) responses included: • total time includes volunteer work at institutions other than cultural institutions; • weekly hours dependent on rostering arrangements; and • volunteer hours included work performed at home or away from the cultural institution. 21│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version6. Have you ever worked in a Cultural Institution or the Public Service? Two-thirds of respondents (87 people or 67.4%) had worked in a cultural institution or the public service.7. Which age demographic do you fit into? Response Response Percent Count Less than 20 0.0% 0 20 to 45 5.4% 7 46 to 60 19.4% 25 61 to 75 65.1% 84 Greater than 75 10.1% 13 answered question 129 skipped question 08. Are you male or female? The gender balance of volunteers was fairly even with 61 males and 67 females. One person declined to answer.9. Upon commencing volunteer work at your institution, did you attend an induction session? Of the 98 respondents, 93 people or 94.9% indicated that they had attended an induction session.10. If yes, please select topics covered from the list below [you can choose more than one]; otherwise please go to question 11. Response Response Percent Count General information about the institution 89.8% 88 Strategic Directions and goals of the institution 45.9% 45 Organisational structure 49.0% 48 Code of Conduct/Work Standards 62.2% 61 Occupational Health and Safety 61.2 60 Emergency Procedures 62.2 61 Performance Management 23.5 23 Media Policy 11.2 11 22│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version Response Response Percent Count Communication Skills 49.0 48 Collection handling and care 32.7 32 Volunteer rights and responsibilities 74.5 73 What the institution provides to volunteers 68.4 67 Work to be undertaken 77.6 76 Can’t remember 5.1 5 Other (please specify) 15 answered question 98 skipped question 31 Other (please specify) responses included: • some topics covered in on-the-job training; • subject specific training; and • training on web-based resources.11. Does your institution offer training to volunteers? There were 98 respondents to this question, of which 95 (96.9%) indicated that their institution offered training.12. In the last 12 months, which of the following training courses have you attended? [You can select more than one] Response Response Percent Count Job specific ie for each exhibition or project 61.2% 60 Institutional specific training 38.8% 38 Occupational Health and Safety 8.2% 8 Emergency Procedures 8.2% 8 Customer Service/Communication Skills 11.2% 11 Computer Courses 8.2% 8 Collection handling and care 7.1% 7 Not applicable 18.4% 18 Other (please specify) 9 answered question 98 skipped question 31 23│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version Other (please specify) responses included: • training new guides; • did not attend any training; and • talks/updates on institutional projects.13. Do you participate in Performance Reviews? There were 98 respondents to this question of which 56 (57.1%) said they participated in performance reviews and 42 (42.9%) did not participate. 31 respondents did not answer.14. If yes, how often are the Reviews conducted? Response Response Percent Count Annually 28.6% 28 As problems arise 14.3% 14 Don’t know 57.1% 56 Other (please specify) 39 answered question 98 skipped question 31 Other (please specify) responses included: • the majority of respondents reported that reviews were conducted every 2 to 3 years; • most other respondents were unclear on when reviews occurred; and • some respondents reported that there was no performance review or the question was not applicable to them.15. How useful is the Performance Review process to your role as a volunteer? Response Response Percent Count Very useful 24.5% 24 Useful 30.6% 30 Not useful 10.2% 10 Don’t know 34.7% 34 Comment 20 answered question 98 skipped question 31 24│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version Comments provided showed that there was a great variation in volunteers’ attitudes to performance review. Answers ranged from finding the review process very helpful as a learning and growth tool, to finding the process stressful, irrelevant and in some cases a non- event.16. Do you know where to find the following information? This question was asked to ascertain volunteers’ awareness of key institutional documents, policies and guidelines. The majority of the 98 respondents answered that they know where to find most of the information with the exception of ‘How To Deal with the Media’. Response Yes No Not Sure N/A Count Volunteer Guidelines/Policy 86.7% (85) 7.1% (7) 4.1% (4) 2.0% (2) 98 Institution’s Strategic Directions 73.6% (67) 14.3% (13) 11.0% (10) 1.1% (1) 91 and Goals Occupational Health and Safety 67.7% (65) 19.8% (19) 11.5% (11) 1.0% (1) 96 Guidelines Dispute Resolution Guidelines 36.7% (33) 31.1% (28) 20.0% (18) 12.2% (11) 90 Emergency Procedures 73.7% (70) 16.8% (16) 9.5% (9) 0.0% (0) 95 Collection Care and Handling 44.0% (40) 26.4% (24) 8.8% (8) 20.9% (19) 91 How to Deal with the Media 26.1% (24) 33.7% (31) 7.6% (7) 32.6% (30) 92 answered question 98 skipped question 3117. Do you know where to report the following? This question was asked to ascertain if volunteer’s know where or how to report on incidents or situations that they may encounter. Response Yes No Not Sure N/A Count Compliments and complaints 92.9% (91) 2.0% (2) 5.1% (5) 0.0% (0) 98 Emergencies (ie fire/bomb threat) 91.8% (90) 2.0% (2) 5.1% (5) 1.0% (1) 98 Hazards 89.7% (87) 4.1% (4) 4.1% (4) 2.1% (2) 97 (to people and/or collections) Suspicious behaviour 92.8% (90) 2.1% (2) 4.1% (4) 1.0% (1) 97 Accidents and injuries 91.8% (89) 3.1% (3) 5.2% (5) 0.0% (0) 97 answered question 98 skipped question 31 25│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal Version18. Do you believe volunteers should have the same corporate rights and responsibilities as staff members? Response Response Percent Count Yes 67.4% 64 No 20.0% 19 Don’t know 12.6% 12 answered question 95 skipped question 3419. Should volunteers observe the same behavioural and ethical standards as staff members? Response Response Percent Count Yes 97.9% 93 No 1.1% 1 Don’t know 1.1% 1 answered question 95 skipped question 3420. As a volunteer, how important are the following issues to you? Very Not Response important Important Important N/A Count Safe Workplace 77.9% (74) 22.1% (21) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 95 Training 74.5% (70) 22.3% (21) 2.1% (2) 1.1% (1) 94 Performance Management 29.0% (27) 50.5% (47) 12.9% (12) 7.5% (7) 93 Dispute Resolution 23.7% (22) 44.1% (41) 24.7% (23) 8.6% (8) 93 Access to current information 78.7% (74) 21.3% (20) 0.0% (0) 1.1% (1) 94 Reward/recognition of service 25.8% (24) 53.8% (50) 19.4% (18) 1.1% (1) 93 Access to counselling and 23.7% (22) 32.3% (30) 31.2% (29) 12.9% (12) 93 support answered question 95 skipped question 3421. Do you have any further comments about your volunteer work? 45 respondents provided further comments. 26│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for All Final Version Appendix D – Volunteer Program Policies within Cultural InstitutionsAnalysis of the Volunteer policies was undertaken for the Australian War Memorial, NationalMuseum of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and Questacon.Research was conducted to extract the level of detail in policies in relation to the following content:• institutional corporate information;• volunteer program corporate information;• general statement of volunteer rights and responsibilities;• institutional rights of refusal and/or termination;• code of conduct;• asked to commit (in writing) to the volunteer code of conduct;• volunteer duty statement;• asked to commit (in writing) to the duty statement;• level of insurance cover as a volunteer;• procedures for reporting accident/incidents;• fire and emergency procedures;• working with children policy;• dealing with inappropriate behaviour;• harassment policy;• recruitment procedures;• requirement for police checks;• commitment to minimum period of volunteering/regular availability;• volunteer training;• formal performance appraisal procedures;• recognition program;• procedures for performance issues;• resignation notification;• procedures for termination;• intellectual property waiver;• negation of employment and representation;• medical declaration;• dispute resolution procedures;• policy review;• commitment (in writing) to the volunteer policy;• exit survey;• grievance procedures;• health and safety; and• first aid procedures. 27│28 19 October 2009
    • Volunteering – Maximising the Benefits for AllFinal VersionSummary of FindingsBy way of analysis, there is a strong level of consensus between most if not all institutions on thefollowing inclusions:• corporate information;• volunteer rights and responsibilities;• institutional rights of refusal and termination;• code of conduct;• insurance;• recruitment procedures;• minimum guiding requirements;• volunteer training;• recognition of service; and• occupational health and safety issues.The most obvious gaps are highlighted by the inclusion of policy information and procedures bysome institutions and not others. Most notably two out of five policies include:• fire and emergency procedures;• formal performance appraisal procedures;• procedures for dealing with issues arising from performance assessments;• resignation notification;• intellectual property waiver;• formal written commitment to the volunteer policy; and• first aid procedures.The following are found in only one out of five policies:• written commitment to code of conduct;• written commitment to duty statement;• working with children policy;• termination procedures;• medical declaration; and• exit survey.Other categories covered by three out of five policies include:• volunteer duty statement;• incident reporting procedures;• dealing with inappropriate behaviour;• harassment policy;• requirement for police checks;• negation of employment and public representation;• dispute resolution procedures; and• grievance procedures. 28│28 19 October 2009