Volunteer Induction and Training

It’s considered good practice to organise systems that properly induct and train volunteers so that they can reasonably be expected to be able to successfully carry out their role- as set out in their role description.


The Induction session is the most important training you offer a volunteer because it is their first impression of your organisation and the volunteer programme. Induction is the processes of making volunteers understand the workings of the organisation. It should be designed to provide them with background and practical information that will help them identify their own role within the overall function of the organisation, and to better understand how they can contribute to the purpose of the programme.

Plan your Induction

Properly plan for the induction. Think about the following questions:

* What must the volunteer know about your organisation to understand it?
* Who does the volunteer need to know?
* What are the goals and objectives of the organisation?
* Why do you want volunteers?
* What can they contribute?
* What support is available for the volunteer?

Induction Box of Supplies

Put together a box of supplies for your induction sessions and keep it well stocked so that you do not have to run around at the last minute gathering materials. Check the box after your induction and restock.

Induction Agenda

Your agenda might include some of the following:

* Welcome
* Housekeeping (bathroom location, kitchen facilities, drinking water)
* History of organisation
* Description of Programmes and Services offered by organisation
* Major upcoming activities and Events
* Organisational Chart and Introduction to key staff
* Description of Volunteer Programme
* Training structure and requirements
* Explain volunteer programme opportunities
* Description of Volunteer Policies and Procedures
* Support and communication system for volunteers
* Talk about recognition/awards
* Show sample uniforms, service awards, name badges, etc.
* Tour of Facility

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Commitment and Requirements


Training can encompass anything that helps to increase the volunteer’s potential.


Include a tour that points out things such as kitchen facilities, phones, conveniences, etc. Take photos of new volunteers and put them on the notice board under a welcome sign. You might put a short description of the person’s interests and list the area they will be working in.

General Volunteer Training

Conduct your training with more than one staff member if you can, so a volunteer can hear more than one impression. Give an overview of the organisation and explain the workings of various departments. If your organisation welcomes visitors or clients, they will respect a volunteer’s name badge and think that they should have all of the answers – so provide the volunteers with as much information as you possibly can.

On-The-Role Training

This provides volunteers with the opportunity to extend their knowledge, improve their skills, and perfect their performance in practice via one-to-one instruction, group sessions, or role-play scenarios. This type of training is especially helpful with clerical, shop and activity volunteers.

Specialised Training

Offer customised training for those volunteers who are involved in specialised roles. It will help volunteers to reach their full potential. These training sessions can be presentations given by existing staff members, which in turn will help them in their professional growth.

Training Considerations

* Physical Surroundings (space, lighting, temperature, seating, parking, name tags, refreshments, audio visual aids, etc.)

* Organisational (planning, structure, information literature, program theme, advertising, displays, budget, evaluation, etc.)

* Methodology (lecture, role play, audio visuals, panel discussions, tours, exhibits, observation, etc.)


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