An induction is a way to introduce a new volunteer to your organisation. This helps them feel part of the team and helps you make sure they have all the information they need to have a great experience.
That is completely up to you and what you think your volunteers need. You might deliver it face to face with a group of volunteers, you might want to give a handbook and allow people to read it in their own time or you could deliver it online. You might even use all these options!
Depending on the size of your group or organisation and the type of volunteering role the induction could be over a longer period of time. If you are meeting face to face this could be arranged anywhere that suits both you and the volunteer.
If you do choose to do it face to face it may take a number of meetings with the volunteer to cover it all and completed the induction.
Meetings don’t have to be in the main building of the organisation though; it could be in the place where the volunteering will take place.
Remember people are giving up their free time to attend your induction so try to make it as interesting as possible rather than simply talking them through all the policies and procedures relating to the volunteer.
It can be useful to use the experience of existing volunteers and involve them developing the induction for new volunteers.
Every organisation is different, but we’ve included some common questions volunteers have when they start and some ideas on how to answer them.
It can be useful to create an induction checklist with content relevant for your organisation or group leaving a space for the volunteers name, a signature and date. A copy in the volunteer’s induction pack means they can see what’s coming and the progress they’re making.
You could keep these completed checklists in the volunteer’s personal file as evidence of their training and support. For the organisation it shows you’re fulfilling your Health and Safety requirements.
Remember to regularly to review the checklist and keep it up to date. It is useful to get feedback from volunteers and involve them in the review process. Even if you don’t make big changes, by looking through it and refreshing it you are emphasising its importance to the organisation.