Volunteer Policy :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Volunteer Policy

Policy Number: 411

Categorized: Human Resources

Responsible Office: Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Subject: Guidelines for screening and employing volunteers

Related Policies:

Forms: Volunteer Information Sheet; Volunteer Agreement; Volunteer Status/Workers’ Compensation Act; Parking Fee Waiver Request

Additional Information:

Effective Date: 06/26/2018

Last Reviewed Date: 06/05/2019


1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all members of the NOVA community, including faculty, staff, students, and third parties who act as volunteers or who engage volunteers on behalf of the College with the following exception:

This policy does not apply to NOVA College Board members and individuals serving on committees, task forces, advisory panels, and academic related committees, which are not considered volunteering for the purpose of these guidelines. Additionally, these guidelines do not apply to persons contracted to provide services for the College.

2.0 Policy Statement

It is the policy of Northern Virginia Community College to provide and support opportunities for volunteers as business needs permit and/or allow. Volunteer services are generally limited to humanitarian or public services. The College does not intend for volunteers to perform or displace work that is presently being performed by College employees. Volunteer arrangements may not be used to circumvent the established processes that govern standard College-authorized hires. Supervisors may not engage regular service volunteers or student interns until they have received approval from Human Resources.

College volunteers do not have an employment relationship with the College on any grounds or for any reason and are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act or Virginia wage laws, and are not eligible for any College benefit, including Workers’ Compensation. The College has the discretion to select volunteers and determine the length of volunteer service.

Payment for volunteer services is not permitted under any circumstance. Any fees, gifts or perks given to the volunteer by the College must not be used as a substitute for compensation and cannot be linked to productivity.

3.0 Definitions

Volunteer - Any person who, of his/her own free will, provides services without any financial compensation, to the College.

Occasional Service Volunteer - Any person who provides one-time or occasional voluntary service. For the purposes of these guidelines, an occasional volunteer may serve up to five (5) times in one (1) year, starting from the first date of service, before he or she is considered a regular service volunteer. Examples include:

  • Banquet or graduation ceremony volunteer
  • Phone-a-thon or fundraiser volunteer
  • Theatrical production or game day volunteer
  • Clerical work not of a recurring nature (e.g., envelope-stuffing)
  • Student speakers who volunteer at an official NOVA function
  • Guest speakers or lecturers
  • Event volunteers (e.g. STEM Day)

Regular Service Volunteer – Any person who engages in specific voluntary service activities on an ongoing or continuous basis. This includes all Emergency Service Volunteers, regardless of how many times they volunteer. Examples include:

  • Tutoring or mentoring NOVA students
  • Assisting instructors with classrooms activities (e.g., studio help, facilitating small group work, etc.)
  • Assisting in libraries

Student Intern - Person involved in a supervised educational program from NOVA or another educational institution that offers opportunities to gain practical work experience and academic credit concurrently.

Supervisor - The College faculty or staff member responsible for supervising the volunteer.

4.0 Procedures

4.1 Eligibility

  1. Volunteers under the age of eighteen (18) must have written consent of a parent or guardian before volunteering and must comply with all appropriate laws and regulations on child labor. Volunteers must be at least fourteen (14) years old. Supervisors must consult with Human Resources before engaging minors for volunteer services.
  2. If the volunteer is a current non-exempt College employee, the volunteer services performed may not be the same type for which the College employs the individual. Non-exempt employees may not volunteer to complete their normal duties in lieu of overtime, and may not volunteer to complete their normal duties if either the employee or the position has been terminated. Non-exempt employees must be compensated for all hours worked in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  3. Volunteers may not be engaged to provide the same services as employees. Exception: volunteers may serve as tutors and assistant coaches to meet student needs if they have not sought and do not intend to seek paid tutoring or coaching positions at NOVA, and intend to offer their services solely as volunteers.

4.2 Screening of Volunteers

Volunteers performing any of the following activities may be required to submit to a background check, to be determined by Human Resources prior to beginning service:

  1. Long-term or ongoing volunteer services (such as mentoring or tutoring NOVA students)
  2. handling currency
  3. working with minors
  4. working with animals
  5. driving
  6. working with infectious or potentially infectious agents, including human blood
  7. accessing confidential information, including confidential student or employee information, or confidential health information

The College's standard background check includes a seven-year history of the following: statewide criminal screening (Virginia), county criminal screening (outside Virginia), sexual offender index check, social security verification, and residential history.

4.3 Required Forms

For Occasional Service Volunteers: The supervisor will keep a list or sign in sheet including name and phone number of volunteers.

For Regular Service Volunteers:

  1. The supervisor and volunteer must both sign the Volunteer Agreement. By signing, the volunteer agrees to abide by the policies outlined on the Volunteer Information Sheet.
  2. The volunteer must sign Form 105-034 Volunteer Status/Workers’ Compensation Act.
  3. In cases of Student Interns, required forms from the host college (including NOVA) may replace the Volunteer Agreement if all areas have been addressed.
  4. If an individual is a returning volunteer, and the break in service is greater than eighteen months, all applicable forms and processes must be completed again.
  5. In order to receive a temporary parking permit, the supervisor must complete and submit Form 105-114 Fee Waiver Request to a Campus Parking Office.

4.4 Parking

  1. Volunteers are eligible for a Temporary ‘B’ Permit at no charge
  2. An approved Volunteer Agreement must be accompanied by a Fee Waiver Request and provided to a Campus Parking Office for processing

4.5 Responsibilities of Supervisor

  1. Develop appropriate and meaningful opportunities for volunteers involved in its programs and services;
  2. Interview all regular service volunteers to determine whether they are qualified to perform the volunteer service activities;
  3. Take actions necessary to ensure that volunteers and staff understand their respective duties and responsibilities, their relationship to each other, and their respective roles in fulfilling the objectives of the department;
  4. Take actions necessary and appropriate to ensure a receptive climate for volunteers;
  5. Provide for the recognition of volunteers who have offered exceptional service to the College;
  6. Inform volunteers about the College’s policies related to nondiscrimination, civility, and sexual misconduct.
  7. Send Volunteer Form, Form 105-034, and Form 105-114 (if applicable) to HRAdmin@nvcc.edu. Receive approval from Human Resources before engaging regular service volunteers or student interns.
  8. Retain all occasional service volunteer sign-in sheets and all regular service Volunteer Agreements for three (3) years.

4.6 Responsibilities of Volunteer

  1. All regular service volunteers must sign the Volunteer Agreement and Volunteer Status/Workers’ Compensation Act form, and agree to abide by the policies outlined on the Volunteer Information Sheet before beginning any volunteer service.
  2. Volunteers are expected to abide by all Commonwealth of Virginia, VCCS and NOVA policies and procedures that apply to volunteer service.

4.7 Responsibilities of Human Resources

  1. After receipt of all volunteer documents, determine whether background check is required for proposed volunteers.
  2. Arrange for the background check to be completed.
  3. Notify the supervisor when the background check has been completed and the volunteer has been approved to begin services.

4.8 Discontinuation of Volunteer Services

  1. Volunteer service at NOVA is non-contractual. NOVA may discontinue the services of any volunteer at any time. Any NOVA employee serving as a volunteer who violates any NOVA policy or procedure, or any local, state, or federal law, may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal from volunteer service.
  2. Any NOVA employee witnessing a volunteer engaging in misconduct should contact the volunteer’s supervisor. If the volunteer’s supervisor is unknown, the employee should advise the Department of Human Resources, who will relay the information to the volunteer’s supervisor. Upon learning about the misconduct, the supervisor may choose to end the volunteer’s relationship with the College by notifying the volunteer in writing that the volunteer’s service is being discontinued. The Department of Human Resources will retain a copy of the written notification for three (3) years for comparison against future applications from the volunteer.

5.0 Authority

State Government Volunteers Act, Code of Virginia §2.2-3600, et. set.

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