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Volunteer Procedure

Classification number ADM 1321.1
Parent policy Volunteer Policy
Framework category Administrative
Approving authority University Administrative Council
Policy owner University Secretary and General Counsel
Approval date November 20, 2020
Review date November 2023


The purpose of these Procedures is to establish processes for recruiting, training, maintaining and terminating Volunteer relationships at the University.


For the purposes of these Procedures the following definitions apply:

“Approval Authority” means the supervisor responsible for approving volunteer positions in a department, faculty or organizational area. Normally this would be the dean of a faculty, or director of an administrative unit.

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

Scope and authority

These Procedures apply to all Volunteer Supervisors and all Volunteers providing services for 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 these Procedures.



  1. All Volunteer Supervisors must complete the Volunteer Application Form and submit a copy to the applicable Approval Authority for approval.
  2. A copy of the Volunteer Application Form may be found at the following link: [insert link]

Selection and Recruitment

  1. Volunteers will be recruited by the Unit as needed. Note: Research volunteer placements are meant to be short-term and faculty members are limited to hosting two volunteers at any given time, unless special permission is given by the Dean.
  2. The Volunteer Supervisor will ensure the Volunteer has the necessary experience, qualifications and training for the tasks to be performed. It is the responsibility of the Volunteer Supervisor to ensure Volunteers know their roles and responsibilities, as well as the time commitment required.
  3. All Volunteers must agree to abide by all applicable University policies and procedures.
  4. As appropriate, Volunteers in certain areas may be asked to complete screening procedures to ensure the Volunteer may safely perform the task, which may include a criminal records check (e.g. police criminal record check, police vulnerable sector check). Police vulnerable sector checks are required for Volunteers working with minors. Volunteers who do not agree to this may be refused a Volunteer assignment.
  5. Applications must be approved and signed off on by the Approval Authority, the Volunteer Supervisor, and the Volunteer. Volunteers will be notified of decisions via email.

Volunteer Letter of Engagement

  1. Volunteers will be provided with and acknowledge receipt of a letter of engagement that includes:
    1. the Volunteer Activity and associated learning outcomes;
    2. specific terms or conditions for the Volunteer assignment;
    3. accountabilities;
    4. any restrictions or requirements; and
    5. the name and contact information for the Volunteer Supervisor or person to contact if there are questions or concerns.
  2. It is the responsibility of the Volunteer Supervisor to determine the nature and extent of the Volunteer agreement required.
  3. Volunteer Supervisor to ensure the Volunteer Letter of Engagement form is completed for each Volunteer before they engage in an activity.
  4. The Volunteer Letter of Engagement form must be signed by the Volunteer and retained in the department for 1 year after the termination of the Volunteer agreement as per the retention rules.
  5. All Volunteers must be eligible to work in Canada. The Volunteer Supervisor will complete a checklist to indicate that they have seen a valid Social Insurance Number or valid work/study permit, as applicable. The checklist will be retained with the signed volunteer letter of engagement.

Employees as Volunteers

  1. Employee Volunteer activities should involve work that is outside the scope of normal responsibilities and be undertaken freely and willingly by the employee.

Training and Performance

  1. It is the responsibility of the Volunteer Supervisor to ensure that all Volunteers have proper training applicable to their duties, including health and safety, accessibility, and privacy training, as applicable, prior to initiating any duties on their first day.
  2. Volunteer Supervisors will also provide to research volunteers introductory orientations to their labs or research centres.
  3. Volunteers may need to complete WHMIS training, as indicated by their Volunteer Supervisor. ( The WHMIS manual can be found at
  4. Other useful compliance training that may be required include:
    1. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act:
    2. Violence in the Workplace:
    3. Health and Safety Awareness:
  5. The Volunteer Supervisor will be available to the Volunteer for consultation and assistance. The Volunteer Supervisor will be responsible for reviewing and assessing the performance of the Volunteer.


  1. Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all personal or confidential information to which they have access while serving as a Volunteer. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in termination of the Volunteer’s relationship with the University. The completion of a confidentiality agreement may be required prior to volunteering.

Conflict of Interest

  1. A conflict of interest exists when a Volunteer’s interests, whether personal or financial, interfere, or may be seen to interfere, with their role as a Volunteer and the performance of their Volunteer responsibilities for University.
  2. Volunteers should avoid actual or perceived influence of personal or financial considerations or relationships in their role as a Volunteer and should undertake their role objectively and without direct or indirect benefit.
  3. Volunteers must communicate to Volunteer Supervisor, as soon as they become aware of a potential conflict of interest and discuss whether or not they can modify the Volunteer responsibilities or if they need to terminate the Volunteer arrangement.

Notify Risk & Insurance

  1. Notify the Director, Risk Management, with the name, and start and end dates of the Volunteer.


  1. Both the University and the Volunteer shall have the right to terminate the Volunteer relationship at any time, without cause or prior notice.
  2. Any email accounts, keys, ID badges and other equipment issued to a volunteer remain the property of the University and must be returned upon termination.

Monitoring and review

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

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 Policy
Volunteer Application Form
Volunteer Letter of Engagement
Informed Consent Risk Acknowledgement form

Occupational Health and Safety Management System
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy