1 Plan

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1. PLAN

On this page, you will learn about the PLAN stage of the volunteer lifecycle and how to apply this to various TSA volunteer types. This page will have 2 components

  1. Overview of plan - the general principles you should know in the planning stage
  2. Volunteer types: unique processes and/or resources

Tip: don't forget to click on the volunteer type(s) you are looking to engage to ensure you have all the information and resources needed to safely and effectively involve that type of volunteer. 


Volunteers make up the largest proportion of our workforce, with 30 000 volunteers committing themselves to mission delivery on a regular basis. The value and service volunteers bring to mission delivery is invaluable - they allow us to do more good and reach more people than we could without them. It is vital that we look at intentional strategies to best involve volunteers which deliver on their motivations and our mission. 

The first stage of successful volunteer engagement is PLAN.

There are 3 components to PLAN:

  1. Clarify the purpose of the volunteer position
  2. Assess whether you and your team can adequately support a volunteer in their position
  3. Prepare to find the right person for the position

Clarifying the purpose of the volunteer position is key to successful engagement.

Why is the volunteer position needed? Is it:

  • An existing position that a current volunteer can no longer do?
  • Going to support the team complete tasks that no one has the capacity to complete?
  • A position which your existing team doesn’t have the expertise to do?
  • A support position to another?
  • To create a shared position to reduce dependency on one another?
  • Supporting a one-off event or fundraiser?

Here you will need to assess what resources will be required to support this volunteer position through engagement with TSA.

  • Recruitment: who will be responsible?
  • Equipment: do you have all the necessary equipment and resources required?
  • Induct: can you, or someone in your team adequately complete all required induction items?
  • Supervision: can you or someone in your team supervise the volunteer and be a point of support and contact?

To prepare recruiting for a volunteer, take the time to articulate your needs in a Volunteer Position Profile.

A Position Profile:

  • Explains what skills, attributes, experience, and qualifications the successful volunteer needs to possess to succeed
  • States the boundaries, expectation and standards of the volunteer, position, line manager and TSA 
  • Time requirements
  • Enable an objective recruitment process
  • Aids with performance management
  • Clearly identifies what background checks are required

Legal Risks 

If the volunteer position is not clearly articulated, it may cause confusion and the volunteer may expect employee entitlements. If the volunteer is also an employee, things may be further blurred. It is recommended that when a TSA employee volunteers, it is in a program/position unrelated to their paid role. It is best to contact your VR Advisor for assistance. 

Justice Connect is another great resource you can refer to for additional information on legal risks. 

VR Tips

  • involve your current team in the planning stage. This will help them understand the importance of the volunteer position and ensure it doesn't threaten their own involvement with your mission expression
  • if you are involving volunteers for the first time or starting a new volunteer-involving program, you must contact your VR Advisor before proceeding.

Corps-facing

  • Planning for volunteer involvement for Corps-facing positions follows the above principles. Make sure you clarify, assess and prepare and then articulate the role in a Mission Volunteer Position Profile. You can find some standard Corps-facing Position Profiles here

Planning resources

Contact the VR Helpdesk for assistance vrhelpdesk@salvationarmy.org.au 

Community-facing

Planning for volunteer involvement for community-facing positions follows the above principles. Make sure you clarify, assess and prepare and then articulate the role in a Mission Volunteer Position Profile. You can find some standard community-facing Position Profiles here

Planning resources

Contact the VR Helpdesk to get started: vrhelpdesk@salvationarmy.org.au

Student Placement

Before we jump into the planning principles for Student Placement volunteers, let's clarify what we mean by Student Placement Volunteers. 

Student Placement Volunteers are those who are required by their education provider to complete supervised, practical vocational experience in order to satisfy professional standards. While the student is engaged with TSA, they must be supervised by a qualified practitioner to assess their ability to meet those professional standards. This often leads to receiving professional accreditation.

High school and tertiary students who only require attendance do not fall into this category. If there is no need for a professionally accredited supervisor and there is no formal MOU or agreement in place, the student should be engaged as a corps or community-facing volunteer. 

Planning for Student Placement Volunteers has additional considerations you need to think about before proceeding. 

Approvals

  • Do you have a central function that must approve the placement? Check with your Corps Officer/Line Manager before proceeding. 

Supervision

  • Does your mission expression have a qualified supervisor, or does one need to be organised through the education provider? 
  • Is there someone willing to supervise the student's day to day activities? 

Project/Activity

  • Does the work you have planned meet the needs of your team as well as the student's learning outcomes? 

Education Providers

  • Do you have an established relationship with an education provider? If so, we encourage you to continue that relationship and review it as needed. 
  • If a student has come directly to you, is their education provider a reputable one? For more information read Assessing the Education Provider

If you are planning to engage Student Placement Volunteers for the first time, you should contact your VR Advisor before proceeding. 

Planning resources 

Work for the Dole

Work for the Dole (WfD) is part of the Australian Government’s jobactive initiative. It is designed to help job seekers gain skills, experience, and confidence in order to move from long-term unemployment or welfare into paid work. The second-largest jobactive Provider and the biggest not-for-profit (NFP) organisation is Employment Plus (EPlus) which is part of The Salvation Army (TSA).

Before taking on a WfD contact, you must fully understand the process, the documentation required and the various parties (both internal and external) which need to be involved in the planning stage.  

Host Organisation:As well as being a jobactive, TSA is also an eligible host organisation,  Each TSA site can individually host job seekers and receive funding to support their WfD activity from Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

Jobactive Provider: Jobactive providers work with host organisations to identify suitable opportunities for WfD participants. If EPlus is a provider in your region, they must be given preference for any WfD Agreement. 

Approved Activities: Examples of approved activities include retail work, administrative support, food and meal assistance, warehouse duties, gardening and maintenance.

WfD participants cannot be engaged with children, vulnerable people, be a primary carer or in a supervisory role. They are not permitted to work on private property or drive TSA vehicles.

WfD Agreement: The Agreement will include the scope of the WfD activity, each party's responsibility, budgeted items, insurance, as well as a separate risk assessment. The Agreement is between the Host Organisation (your site) and the jobactive provider. The contact must be approved by TSA Contract Services. 

Planning resources

Other Government Sponsored

Other Government Sponsored Volunteers include: 

  • Community Correction Orders 
  • Juvenile Justice/Youth Justice
  • Work Development Orders 

Community Correction Orders (CCO):  Courts can use CCO to punish offenders for crimes that do not warrant imprisonment, but are too serious for a simple fine or penalty. Courts may opt for community service hours with an approved host organisation. 

Juvenile Justice/Youth Justice: Is program which offers young offenders an opportunity to get their life back on track. Part of the program includes an opportunity for community services or volunteering. 

Work Development Order (WDO): This is a scheme that allows eligible people to clear (all or part) of their fines by undertaking volunteer work, approved courses, counselling, treatment programs etc. 

Note: terminology and processes may differ from state to state. You should contact your VR Advisor before proceeding with any Government Sponsored Volunteers. They will assist you through the Plan stage and help ensure the engagement is safe and effective. 

Planning resources

Corporate

Corporate or employer-supported volunteering encourages employees to donate their time to community causes. The Salvation Army attracts a lot of interest from corporates, often groups but also individual employees keen to help for a day. This can provide valuable extra hands to do a variety of things including gardening, painting, fundraising and much more. 

When planning to host corporate volunteers you must consider the following: 

Activity: Is your activity both valuable to you, and meaningful for the corporate volunteers?

Timing: When do you need the activity completed by? Does it require a half or full-day commitment? 

Number of volunteers: How many volunteers do you need to complete the activity? 

Cost: Is there cost or donation (monetary or in-kind) you need to request from the corporate group? Most corporate volunteers are happy to cover the cost of the day. Speak to your VR Advisor if you are unsure how to approach this. 

Approvals

The following approvals may be required - it is best to discuss this with your VR Advisor. Some approvals may include: 

  • Have you completed an Activity Approval Form and submitted it to DHQ (Corps activities only)? 
  • Has the activity been risk assessed? Contact your WHS Consultant for support if needed. 
  • You should contact insurance@salvationarmy.org.au if you are running a new program to ensure our insurance covers your intended program/activity 

Planning resources

VR Tips for you 

  • When designing an activity, it is best to design one that does not require any background checks such as a police check or WWCC/VP
  • If you plan to recruit for a corporate group, start early! Some times it takes 2 months to find the right group and complete and the required processes. 

 

Once-off & Event

Corporate or employer-supported volunteering encourages employees to donate their time to community causes. The Salvation Army attracts a lot of interest from corporates, often groups but also individual employees keen to help for a day. This can provide valuable extra hands to do a variety of things including gardening, painting, cleaning, fundraising and much more. 

When planning to host corporate volunteers you must consider the following: 

Activity: Is your activity both valuable to you, and meaningful for the volunteers?

Timing: When do you need the activity completed by? Does it require a half or full-day commitment? 

Number of volunteers: How many volunteers do you need to complete the activity? 

Approvals

  • Have you completed an Activity Approval Form and submitted it to DHQ (Corps activities only)? 
  • Has the activity been risk assessed? Contact your WHS Consultant for support if needed. 
  • You should contact insurance@salvationarmy.org.au if you are running a new program. 

Planning resources

VR Tips for you 

  • When designing an activity, it is best to design one that does not require any background checks such as a police check or WWCC/VP