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The Society's Policy for Managing Volunteering

The Milestone Society, Reg Charity No. 1105688

Volunteering Management Policy

The Milestone Society was established in 2001 to "identify, record, research, conserve and interpret for public benefit the milestones and other waymarkers of the British Isles".

The Society consists solely of volunteers, both members and active supporters, and has no employed or paid staff. Governance is by an elected Committee, of which there are five Executive members, the Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership Secretary, who may take decisions on behalf of the Society. (see 'The Constitution')

While most of the Society's roles are filled by member-volunteers, on the Committee and as Advisers (see website, from time to time there are specific roles or tasks for which there is no identifiable expertise within the Society's members or existing supporters.

For such roles or tasks, the Society looks externally, recognising that such opportunities are likely to be beneficial for those that wish to accept the challenge, in terms of personal development, enhanced learning and new skills, as has been the case with our members.

The Society also recognises that this involves accepting the 3Rs (Getting it Right, aiming for Reconciliation if anything goes wrong, accepting Responsibilities for the volunteers' wellbeing) as postulated by Volunteering England. As volunteers ourselves, we believe that 'Treating volunteers well is not a luxury. It is fundamental to our world view and our vision of the sort of society we want to create.' (Mike Locke, Head of Volunteering and Development at NCVO).

Hence we set out formally our Policy on Working with Volunteers, which applies to all members of the Society: executive responsibility is vested in the Committee.
The policy statement aims to give guidelines to ensure that volunteers are fully supported when carrying out their volunteer role and to help ensure fairness and consistency when involving a diverse group of people.

1. Definition of a 'volunteer'

In The Milestone Society, a volunteer is a person who commits their time and energy to contribute to and enhance the work of the organisation on an unpaid (expenses only) basis.

Volunteers choose to give their time to organisations. Their time is a gift, so they are not legally bound to the organisation and cannot be compelled to do specific tasks.

2 Nature and Scope of the Volunteering Opportunity

Each volunteer will be provided in advance with full information about the specific volunteering role and opportunity, with a role description as appropriate; a Volunteering Agreement will be made between the Volunteer and the Society, setting out the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

3. Recruitment

We will endeavour to recruit from as wide a population as feasible for a small organisation with limited resources; we positively welcome applications from those members of the community who are under-represented in our Society.

Those who are interested in a specific volunteering opportunity will be requested to write to the nominated contact (by hard copy or email), indicating why they are interested in the role and what they feel they can contribute / gain. The contact will follow this up with a brief discussion before short-listing applicants; those who are short-listed will be asked to complete a brief application form and to nominate suitable referees.

The next stage is likely to be an interview by phone, Skype or in person, depending on location. The Society is a 'virtual organisation' and has no premises or offices, other than a registered address; all members/volunteers operate from their home bases.

Applicants will be given feedback by the interviewer in accordance with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's good practice guidelines.
The successful applicant will be given access to full information about the Society and how they will be mentored as part of an induction process. Information on claiming expenses (which must be agreed in advance of being incurred) and other procedures will be provided. Progess reviews will continue to be held at appropriate intervals during the volunteer's performance of the role.

Should the volunteer have any complaints or concerns that they cannot resolve with their primary contact, they should refer these to a member of the Executive Committee, who will investigate the situation within fourteen days or as soon as practicable, attempting to resolve the concerns amicably or through third party mediation.

Any complaints or concerns regarding the volunteer's behaviour or performance should be addressed in the first instance to their primary contact; should (s)he not be able to resolve these, (s)he should refer the matter to a member of the Executive Committee who will investigate the situation within fourteen days or as soon as practicable, attempting to resolve the issues amicably. Should this not be possible, the volunteer's services may be terminated.

4. Concluding the volunteering experience

A termination date should be mutually agreed between the parties. The Society intends that the volunteering experience should be enriching for both the volunteer and those they encounter during that experience; they should be motivated to become some of our best ambassadors in the future!

22nd August 2013

Jan Scrine MSc, ChFCIPD, MCIArb, Accredited Mediator