SOP 15 recruitment of volunteers

Purpose and Objectives

The purpose and objective of this policy and procedure is to effectively provide Peterborough Sailability with high calibre volunteers, to enable the organisation to provide an excellent tailored, safe sailing experience, to a wide range of local clients with disabilities.

It is fully appreciated that volunteering for Peterborough Sailability is a 2 -way process. The individual needs to find out whether the organisation and the roles we have to offer are of sufficient interest that they wish to join and give of their personal time. At the same time the organisation needs to be reassured that they are genuinely interested, have appropriate motivation for the right reasons, receptive to training and development, able to operate safely without constant supervision and will not pose a risk to the organisation or its clients.

The Recruitment Process has been designed to achieve the above Purpose and Objectives

  1. Complete the Volunteer Application Form. This requires the individual to provide personal information on their reasons for applying, any relevant skills and experience they may have to offer. It also provides them with the opportunity to advise what they are seeking to gain from being a volunteer and in what areas they would like to operate, learn and develop. The application form also requires the individual to make a declaration on whether they have any criminal convictions and gains their acceptance that if successful in the application process and they wish to pursue their application it will be dependent upon:
  • gaining an enhanced DBS clearance
  • Satisfactory References

To provide further clarification on the reason for seeking a criminal conviction declaration the Volunteer Applicant will be provided with a copy of Peterborough Sailability’s policy on the Recruitment of Ex-offenders.

  1. The individual will have a personal discussion with a designated volunteer who will use the completed Volunteer Application form as the starting point for an “interview” to gain and provide more information. To ensure a consistency of approach and process, all interviewers will use the Interview Checklist as the framework for the interview. The responses will be recorded.
  1. The interviewer will decide, after assurance that the applicant wishes to pursue the process, whether the applicant is suitable to join as a volunteer. If they feel it is appropriate the interviewer can request to speak to other members of the interviewing team, prior to making or communicating a decision to the applicant. At this stage the clearance to start as a volunteer is subject to
      • a successful enhanced DBS clearance.
      • the receipt of two satisfactory references. (References must be considered satisfactory in the opinion of the Lead Safeguarding Officer and if there is any ambiguity or cause for concern, the decision on suitability will be in the opinion of the Trustees.)   
  1. The Lead Safeguarding Officer will organise and set up the Applicant Volunteer to complete the online DBS application process.
  1. The Applicant Volunteer will be required to provide The Lead Safeguarding Officer or Nominated Deputy with three documents in the name of the Applicant, One from Group 1, such as a current valid passport and two further documents from either Group 1, 2a or 2b. At least one document must show the Applicant’s current address. The Applicant will be advised of the accepted Group lists of documents.
  1. After the Applicant has completed the on-line DBS form the Lead Safeguarding Officer will be required to verify the Identity of the Applicant on-line with the details provided under 5. Above. 
  1. Using the Referee information provided by the Applicant Volunteer in the Volunteer Application Form the Lead Safeguarding Officer will seek two personal references. Reference one will normally be the Volunteer Applicant’s current or most recent previous employer. Reference two can be another previous employer within the last 10 years, or a suitable (non-related) professional referee that has known the Volunteer Applicant for a minimum of the last 10 years. References will be sought using the Volunteer Applicant Employer Reference request form and Volunteer Applicant Personal Reference Request Form.
  1. Whilst references are being sought the Volunteer Applicant will be offered a “Taster Day” to enable them to gain an appreciation of what takes place on a typical Sailability day and to give them some understanding of the roles played by the volunteers in different functions. The Volunteer Applicant will be fully chaperoned at all times during the “Taster Day.”
  1. Other than the “Taster Day” the Volunteer Applicant will not be able to attend at Sailability until the DBS check has been completed and returned and two satisfactory references have been received. If references are delayed it will be the responsibility of the Volunteer Applicant to chase their referees. If references are still not returned the Volunteer Applicant may provide alternative referees.
  1. When the DBS check has been completed the Applicant will receive a DBS certificate. The Applicant should show this to the Lead Safeguarding Officer or Nominated Deputy. If the Applicant volunteer has no criminal convictions, cautions or barring this should detail a negative result with no content. The Lead Safeguarding Officer will record and retain in accordance with the “Policy on the Secure handling, use storage, retention and Disposal of Disclosure certificates and certificate information” the Applicant’s name, DBS Certificate number and Date of issue. Sailability and the RYA do not receive a copy of the DBS Disclosure Certificate. If the online system indicates there is content on the certificate the detail of the content can only be provided by the Applicant showing their certificate.
  1. If the DBS check is negative and two satisfactory references have been received the Volunteer Applicant will be advised that they can now be accepted as a volunteer and are able to attend on Peterborough Sailability days.
  1. At this point the new volunteer will be asked to complete:
  • a confidential Health Questionnaire to enable Peterborough to understand any health conditions or disability related needs they may have and to make any reasonable adjustments to enable the new volunteer to carry out tasks successfully and without detriment to their health and safety and that of other volunteers or clients. As a completed Health Questionnaire may contain health information that could be sensitive it will not be stored. The information will solely be retained for the purpose detailed above and the relevant details will only be shared with those individuals that need to be advised for the above operational reasons. The form will be returned to the new / existing volunteer for their disposal. It will however remain the responsibility of the Volunteer to ensure they do not carry out any tasks that could be a detriment to their health or safety, or those of others. They must advise on any changes to their medical conditions or any new conditions that could have an impact on their ability to carry out any of the volunteer tasks, or could impact others. The Health Questionnaire may be reissued to all members at other times during their volunteer term.
  • A DBS Update Consent Form to give Peterborough Sailability permission to access their data via the DBS Update service, to view any changes that have taken place to view their DBS certificate. This eliminates the need for the volunteer to complete further DBS checks when the term of the original check has expired.
  1. If either the initial DBS check or any subsequent updates reveals a positive result, indicating a criminal conviction, caution or barring the Lead Safeguarding Officer will investigate the nature of this and if necessary seek further information from the applicant. The Lead Safeguarding Officer will complete the Sign Off For Positive DBS Disclosures Report Form. This report form will be provided to the Trustees who may choose to contact the RYA Safeguarding Manager for further advice. The Trustees will decide whether the new Volunteer Applicant can be accepted or if an existing volunteer can continue their voluntary term with Peterborough Sailability.
  1. Prior to undertaking any Sailability tasks the new volunteer will receive an induction, including a health and safety briefing and Safeguarding. They will also be provided with any necessary Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), such as a life jacket or buoyancy aid, and given appropriate training as required.

This copyright information compiled by Peterborough Sailability ©

SOP 15 Recruitment Policy And Procedure (Ver. 02) 3 March 2023