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Volunteer policy

Purpose of this Policy

This Policy demonstrates the Library’s commitment to and management of volunteers. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Library volunteers are valued, acknowledged, managed, and supported in accordance to Volunteering Australia’s National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2015).

For more information, contact the People & Projects team at [email protected].

Who this Policy applies to

This Policy applies to everyone who works at the Library, including all employees, contractors, consultants, and volunteers.


  • Volunteers at the Library make a significant contribution to the ongoing delivery of our operational success, and we recognise and value the skills, experience, passion and insights they bring.
  • The Library operates a structured volunteer program, where volunteer involvement is a considered and planned part of the Library’s strategic development.
  • Volunteer roles are clearly defined, well managed and volunteer management practices are continually reviewed and improved.
  • Volunteers complement, and do not replace, the contributions of paid team members.
  • In alignment with the peak body, Volunteering Australia, we define volunteering as 'time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain’.
  • All team members are expected to comply with this Policy and to report any behaviours they observe that are not in line with this Policy.

The Library and its employees are committed to meeting the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2015) developed by Volunteering Australia as best practice in volunteer management in Australia. The aims and principles are as follows:

  • Volunteer involvement should be a considered and planned part of an organisation's strategic development, aligning with the organisations strategic aims and incorporated into its evaluation framework.
  • Effective volunteer involvement requires organisational leadership and a culture and structure that supports and values the role of volunteers.
  • Volunteers have rights, which include the right to work in a safe and supportive environment with appropriate infrastructure and effective management practices.
  • Volunteers have responsibilities, which include acting responsibly, being accountable for their actions to the organisation, and respecting the organisations values and practices.

Key expectations

Everyone is responsible for supporting the principles of this Policy. Additional responsibilities apply to different roles within the Library.

Board and Executive

  • Endorse and oversee implementation of the Library’s volunteer program

Branch heads

  • Supporting appropriate and meaningful volunteering opportunities.
  • Appointing and supporting Volunteer Supervisors within their Branch, with regard to Volunteering Australia’s National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2015).
  • Ensuring high standards of professional conduct are maintained with all who have dealings with the Library and its volunteers.

Volunteer Partner

  • Partner with Branch Heads and Volunteer Supervisors to oversee volunteer program operations to promote and support consistent, high-quality volunteer management across the Library.
  • Central coordination of the volunteer framework. This includes providing support and education to the work areas that engage volunteers.

People Leaders

  • Lead Volunteer Supervisors with regard to Volunteering Australia’s National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2015).
  • Work with Volunteer Supervisors and Branch Heads in conjunction with the Volunteer Partner to oversee the successful delivery of volunteer program operations.
  • People Leaders should support and lead Volunteer Supervisors to deliver consistent, high-quality volunteer management.

Volunteer Supervisors

  • Supervising and coordinating volunteers in accordance with this Policy and supporting requirements.
  • Ensuring that volunteers are appropriately selected, supported and inducted into the organisation with consistency across programs.
  • Each work area is responsible for the ongoing support of individuals who volunteer their time to the Library.
  • Ensuring the volunteer lifecycle, including recruitment, induction, engagement and cessation is recorded and contained within the volunteer management system (Better Impact).


  • Maintain appropriate standards of conduct, in line with the Public Sector Code of Conduct and Values and in accordance with Library values and policies.
  • Obtaining and maintaining a valid Working with Children Check.
  • Complete training as directed and satisfy other commitments as outlined in the Volunteer Agreement.

What does this mean in practice?

Volunteering at the Library Volunteers contribute to the Library’s strategic goals by supporting the delivery of Library services, programs and events. Volunteers enhance the work of paid employees, never replace or supersede it.

Volunteers at the Library will be a positive contributor to the Library and uphold the Library’s values while contributing to a safe working environment for other volunteers, paid employees, and members of the public in accordance with the Library’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy.

The roles that can be performed by volunteers are determined by the People & Projects team in consultation with Library Branch Heads and their relevant team members. Volunteer roles could be either public-facing or back-of-house roles.

The Library will communicate clear expectations and where feasible provide written role descriptions relevant for each volunteer role. Role descriptions must be approved by People & Projects team.

Who can volunteer?

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, and legally permitted to volunteer in Australia (e.g., under any applicable work visa).

Library employees interested in volunteering will be considered to do so on a case-by-case basis by the relevant Branch Head in consultation with the People and Projects team. Approval is required to ensure that the employee is supported and able to carry out their regular work activity.

Former employees interested in volunteering, will also be considered to do so on a case-by-case basis by the relevant Branch Head in consultation with the People and Projects team.

Volunteer Recruitment, Induction and Engagement

Where a volunteer role or opportunity is approved in consultation with the People and Projects team, the Volunteer Partner will work alongside and in support of the Volunteer Supervisor or relevant employee throughout the interview and selection process.

Recruitment processes including advertising and role descriptions require approval by People and Projects before volunteer recruitment can commence.

Volunteers must provide references and relevant checks in support of their application.

The Library may choose not to engage a person that does not satisfy any of these checks or whose motives or objectives are inconsistent with the specified role.

The Library is committed to maintaining an equal opportunity workplace, including for volunteers. Recruitment of volunteers must align with our Inclusion, Diversity and Access Policy and our Workplace Behaviours Policy.

Each designated work area will provide an appropriate program induction, including an explanation of the Library's expectations, values and behaviours.

Volunteer health, safety and wellbeing

Volunteer Supervisors are responsible for the health and wellbeing of volunteers and their safe work practices. Volunteers are entitled to expect the Library to be, as far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to their health. Volunteers are also responsible for their own and other people’s health and safety while volunteering. The Library’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy describes what’s expected, including how volunteers can report health and safety incidents and get support, including access to our Employee Assistance Program.

Volunteer Management

Volunteers are managed in line with the Volunteer Experience Procedure and supporting materials.

Volunteers may be required to wear a uniform. In these instances, when wearing the uniform, it is expected that the volunteer will be mindful that they are representing the Library and are required to act in a professional manner in line with the Library’s Uniform Policy.

Cessation of Volunteers

The volunteer programs and services delivered are at the sole discretion of the organisation, and at any time the Library may cease volunteer engagement.

Possible grounds for cessation, other than reaching the natural conclusion of volunteer engagement, may include, but are not limited to breaches of policies, procedures and the Volunteer Agreement.

Volunteer Agreement

All volunteers will be required to read and agree to the Volunteer Agreement before volunteering commences. This sets out commitments and expectations of volunteers including complying with this Policy.

On signing a Volunteer Agreement, volunteers are covered under the State Library’s Group General Accident Insurance Policy.

What happens if I breach this Policy?

It’s your responsibility to understand and comply with this Policy. Non-compliance is a serious matter and may result in disciplinary action, which could include the cessation of a volunteer arrangement or (for paid team members) other forms of discipline.

If you observe behaviour that you know or suspect is not in line with this Policy, you’re expected to report it. Please speak with your supervisor or other people leader, or a member of the People & Projects team.

Related Documents

Legislation, regulations and codes

Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic):

  • Victorian Public Sector Code of Conduct for Employees
  • Victorian Public Sector Values

Policies and supporting materials

  • Inclusion, Diversity and Access Policy
  • Workplace Behaviours Policy
  • Health, Safety & Wellbeing Policy
  • Child Safe Policy
  • Volunteer Experience Procedure
  • Volunteer Agreement (as signed by each volunteer individually)

Version control

This policy will be regularly reviewed by the People & Projects team.

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