Volunteer role descriptions outline what a volunteer role involves. They are important for helping staff and volunteers understand their roles.
You should give volunteers clear role descriptions. These are often written, but some volunteers may need them in another format, such as in large print or as a video.
Role descriptions should be consistent across your organisation and follow your volunteer policy.
Use them to:
A role description should include:
You could include:
Volunteer role descriptions can look a lot like job descriptions. They are not. Instead, they describe unpaid roles and should only describe expectations of a role.
You must be careful not to imply a volunteer is under contract to perform specific tasks. If it looks like you treat them as an employee, they may be eligible for full employment rights. You could also find yourself in breach of employment law.
When writing your role description, make sure it offers a good volunteering experience. This will make sure the role is attractive to new volunteers.
In January 2019 NCVO published its Time Well Spent report on volunteering. This found eight things that make up a good experience for volunteers.
Check your role description against this list to make sure it will appeal to new volunteers.
Last reviewed: 12 April 2021Help us improve this content
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