You can minimise problems occurring in the first place by ensuring that you have planned well for volunteer involvement.
You should have clear procedures in place for dealing with problems that may arise.
All complaints should be resolved openly, fairly and quickly.
While we do not have legal duties towards volunteers, and do not wish to create a contractual relationship with them, we feel that it is important that problems or complaints are dealt with fairly, openly and consistently. To help with this we have put in place the following procedures.
If a volunteer has a complaint about the Museum, a member of staff or another volunteer:
We hope that most problems can be solved informally. But if this is not the case the volunteer should raise the matter formally with the volunteer co-ordinator. If the complaint is against the volunteer coordinator, then the volunteer should request a meeting with the appropriate senior manager (see your induction pack for details).If the issue is not resolved then it should be put in writing to the appropriate senior manager. The matter should be dealt with within 14 days.
If there is a problem with a volunteer’s behaviour:
Again, hopefully this can be resolved informally. Many ‘problems’ are simply due to training needs, a lack of support, inappropriate roles and so on.
Where informal measures are not enough the volunteer coordinator will raise the issue in a formal meeting with the volunteer. The volunteer will be entitled to put their case forward. If it is felt necessary an informal warning may be issued, with steps agreed to improve conduct.
If the issue is still not resolved a meeting involving the volunteer, volunteer coordinator and the appropriate senior manager will be called. This may result in a formal warning, with the understanding that after another warning the volunteer will be asked to leave.
If a volunteer is believed to have behaved in a manner that has or could have seriously affected the museum, for example theft, bullying, or violence, they will be immediately suspended while the matter is investigated by the volunteer coordinator and the appropriate senior manager. The volunteer will be able to put their case forward, and a decision will be made within 14 days. If the complaint against the volunteer is upheld they will be excluded from volunteering. In all cases volunteers have the right to be accompanied at meetings on these issues by a volunteer, member of staff or friend.
Volunteers can appeal decisions to the senior management team, and will receive a response within 14 days.