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Volunteer Policy

Classification number ADM 1321
Framework category Administrative
Approving authority President
Policy owner University Secretary and General Counsel
Approval date November 11, 2020
Review date November 2023


The purpose of this Policy is to set out the responsibilities and obligations of Volunteers at the University and to ensure that all University Members engage with Volunteers in a manner that protects the interests of the University and that minimizes risk to the Volunteer and the University.


For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

“Unit” means the department, faculty, or area that is retains a Volunteer.

“University Member” means any individual who is:

  • Employed by the University or holding an appointment with the University, including paid, unpaid and/or honorific appointments;
  • Registered as a student, in accordance with the academic regulations of the University; and/or
  • Otherwise subject to University policies by virtue of the requirements of a specific Policy and/or the terms of an agreement or contract.

“Volunteer” means an individual who willingly provides services or assistance to the University without payment of fees, wages or salary and without any expectation of any kind of compensation other than a pre-approved honorarium, if applicable.

“Volunteer Activity” means a description of the duties/responsibilities associated with a Volunteer’s position at the University.

“Volunteer Supervisor” means an individual responsible for supervising a Volunteer.

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to all Units of the University and all Volunteers providing services to the University.

The University Secretary and General Counsel, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.


The University values the contribution of volunteers to the mission of the University. Volunteering is a way for employees, students and members of the community to act as an ambassador for University to both the internal and external community.

The University will develop procedures for the selection, recruitment, training, maintenance and termination of Volunteers in the University.

The University will ensure that Volunteer Supervisors are provided with information and instruction that will enable them to assist Volunteers in understanding their role at the University and responding appropriately to support Volunteers.

All Volunteers must demonstrate they have understood and signed the Volunteer Letter of Engagement and the Informed Consent to Risk Acknowledgement form. All Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian sign the Volunteer Letter of Engagement and Informed Consent to Risk Acknowledgement form on their behalf and provide the name and signature of a witness.

Volunteers are expected to conduct themselves consistent with the standards of ethical conduct expected of University employees.

Volunteers who engage in any behaviour or activity that violates University policies and procedures will be held accountable and may be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of volunteer position.

The University will ensure that insurance is in place to cover any incidents that may occur while a Volunteer is performing their Volunteer Activities. Incidents that occur as a result of adverse weather conditions, misuse of equipment, improper attire, and/or any negligence on the part of Volunteer in carrying out his/her duties in a safe manner are not included. Coverage does not apply to a Volunteer who acts in a manner that is determined to be noncompliant with the University’s policies and procedures.

The University will not reimburse Volunteers for any expenses incurred as a result of their participation in Volunteer Activity, except where the Volunteer Supervisor agrees to cover expenses in advance. Such expenses may include but are not limited to: parking, transportation, mileage, and/or food services.

The University will not be responsible for the insurance of any personal vehicles and/or vehicles leased/rented or temporarily used while travelling to and from the Volunteer Activity.

The University will not cover the Volunteer through the employee benefits plan.

Personal Information collected under this Policy will be used only for the purposes of administering this Policy, and will be disclosed only on a need-to-know basis, to the extent disclosure is required to fulfill the University's legal obligations under the Human Rights Code, the Occupational Health & Safety Act, and any other applicable law and/or legal obligations, including any applicable collective agreement. Subject to applicable law, Personal Information collected, used and disclosed under this Policy will otherwise be kept confidential, and will be stored and disposed of in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the University’s Records Management Policy.

Volunteers may refuse to work, or do particular work, where they have reason to believe that Workplace Violence is likely to endanger the Volunteer.

Monitoring and review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Director, Risk Management, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant legislation

Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O. 1

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31

Employment Standards Act, 2000

Related policies, procedures & documents

Volunteer Procedure

Ethical Conduct Policy

Harassment and Discrimination Policy