Volunteer strategy

Volunteer recruitment and deployment

Volunteer management and retention

Volunteer development and training

Pillar 2: Volunteer recruitment and deployment

|||  PILLAR 2

Volunteer recruitment and deployment

||| Sub-Pillar 2.1

2.1 – Developing volunteer role descriptions


This section provides guidance on how to clearly set out the roles you have in mind for volunteers, including the duties and responsibilities, time commitment and skills required. This activity will help you double-check that you have accurately mapped your workforce needs. It is also particularly useful in helping interested individuals to decide whether your volunteering opportunity is something they would like to pursue.

Key research findings – did you know that:

Desk research and volunteer interviews show that:

> Sport volunteers need to have a clear description of what they are expected to do. This makes their volunteering experience more productive and enjoyable.

Content area 1 : Identifying different volunteer roles: duties and responsibilities and skills

Pillar 1, sub-pillar 1 (click here) concentrates upon the process of analysing your overall volunteer needs and identifying the gaps across your sport organisation. Building upon this, it is strongly advised to identify in detail the requirements of each role. This is useful in clarifying that all key tasks have been accounted for and will enable you to record the outcomes in writing (see next section). V4V has investigated sport volunteering across a range of categories, including board or committee membership, coaching + instructing, officiating and operational tasks. This means that the number of potential roles that can be filled by volunteers in sport organisations is huge, and each role will differ according to the type of organisation and many other local circumstances.

The best place to start is to think of all the individual jobs that need to be done in order for your sport organisation to function successfully. At this stage, it is might not be the best thing to group them into roles. Try not to be influenced by precedent; just because somebody has occupied a role previously does not mean that that is the most appropriate way for your organisation to structure its work tasks. In the majority of sports organisations there is work to be done across the range of occupational categories, from governance to technical through to maintenance and other operational tasks. In smaller sport organisations, all of these roles are performed by a tiny number of people. It may be desirable to map the volunteer tasks in your sport organisation in order to be able to expand the volunteer base; however, it can also be an extremely useful activity to help you redistribute responsibilities in a more efficient manner.

If we try to list all of the individual duties that make your organisation run smoothly this could run into the many thousands! It is therefore necessary for us to be sensible about this and to identify the most important duties, perhaps clustering areas of work in a way which makes sense to you and will therefore make sense to newcomers to your sport organisation. For instance, your sport organisation may have financial responsibilities including setting budgets, producing accounts and monitoring cash flow throughout the year. These activities can be grouped together in order to form the basis of a potential role within your volunteer workforce. Do this exercise on all of the main work categories in order to identify the range of meaningful duties and responsibilities to be undertaken by volunteers in your sport organisation. As a guide you can use the V4V classification system:

  • Board or committee member/ governance
  • Administration/ managemen
  • Coaching/ training/ instructing/ leading activities
  • Officiating (e.g. referee, umpire, judge)
  • Organising or helping to run sport events
  • Maintaining sport equipment and/ or sport facilities
  • Supporting day to day sport organisation activities (e.g. bar, merchandising, transport)

Prepare for surprises as duties come to the fore that are currently ‘taken for granted’ but require greater attention. As well as listing all of these duties it is also incredibly useful to identify the skills required to perform each of them. Again, this does not have to be a highly complex task, but it is useful to think of the ‘soft’ skills such as communication and leadership as well as the ‘hard’, technical skills like budgeting and setting up a playing area that are required in each case. Whilst a task such as this may initially be quite time consuming, it is a worthwhile investment for your sports organisation as you will have a far clearer idea of your volunteer requirements now and into the future.

Content area 2 : Developing role descriptors that are transparent and attractive

Building upon content area 1 within this sub-pillar, once the main duties and associated skills have been identified and recorded it is now possible to group duties together to form volunteer role descriptors. As highlighted in content area 1, this exercise is best conducted without too many preconceptions so that you can find the best configuration of tasks and therefore the ‘ideal’ make-up of your volunteer workforce. This can serve the dual purpose of getting the best from your existing volunteer base and allowing you to develop exciting roles for the recruitment of new volunteers. You can generate as many role descriptors as you like, and in many sport organisations numerous roles will be taken on by certain individuals, either because this makes the most sense or because of the limited number of volunteers available at that time.

Make your role descriptors as clear and dynamic as you can; for every task there is someone out there that finds it exciting and interesting even if others do not. Itemise duties in meaningful clusters, thinking about how you can run your organisation more efficiently and effectively if all of these roles are fulfilled.

Through your board/ committee all other communication channels, talk to existing members of your sport organisation about their existing roles and how clear they are. This may lead to some redistribution of responsibilities, leaving you with a more motivated current workforce and the opportunity to plan for any identified gaps to be filled. You can base your role descriptors around the typical job description-person specification format that is used by many employers across Europe. This means that you will have created a full profile of each available role, making it easier to communicate your requirements when publicising volunteer vacancies.

This exercise also gives you the opportunity to identify lines of responsibility within your sport organisation: in each role descriptor you can state to whom the role holder will report. The amount of detail you need to provide will vary greatly according to the size of your organisation and the range of volunteer roles identified. If you have a large governance structure with your board or committee sitting at the top, then it is extremely helpful to clearly state to all stakeholders who is responsible for what and to whom.



Here is a simple format that you may wish to adopt in your organisation:



(Eg Under 15s basketball Head Coach)

(Eg The under 15s coaching team and officials, assisting the Safeguarding Officer to ensure player welfare, etc.)

(Eg The Head Basketball Coach and the Safeguarding Officer.)


(Eg Level Z accredited coaching certificate, leadership, teamwork, team-building, planning and organisation.)

*Using the V4V classification system shown in content area 1 of this sub-pillar.



Developing and maintaining a library of role descriptors in a consistent format will create a fantastic resource for your sport organisation – give it a try!

||| Sub-Pillar 2.2

2.2 – Finding, attracting and recruiting volunteers


Do you have problems identifying potential volunteers, attracting and persuading them to contribute to your organisation?

This section features resources to support you with this, such as innovative ideas for recruiting your next generation of volunteers. Drawing upon marketing communication good practice as well as established approaches to recruitment, you can also find guidance on how you can run a campaign that is accurate and attractive to potential volunteers.

Key research findings – did you know that:

Recruiting sport volunteers needs energy, determination and creativity.

Our Global Survey results show that sport organisations find recruiting for the following roles either difficult or very difficult:

  • Officiating (referees/umpires/judges etc.) – 71%
  • Board/Committee members – 69%
  • Coaching/Training/Instructing/Leading – 67%
  • Maintaining sport equipment and facilities – 65%
  • Supporting day-to-day activities (such as catering, transport, bar work) – 60%
  • Organising and helping to run sport events – 56%
  • Administration/Management – 50%

The Global Survey results indicate the main difficulty in recruiting sport volunteers are:

  • Not enough people interested in doing this kind of role – 62%
  • Low number of applicants generally – 60%

But we can also see from our Global Survey that most sport organisations only target their immediate network:

  • 84% recruit volunteers from current or past members of their organisation,
  • 62% recruit volunteers from parents and family of members.

Very few sport organisations look outside their immediate network when they recruit:

  • Only 33% target the wider community,
  • Only 21% reach out to schools and universities.

Survey results show recruitment methods are also limited:

  • 73% simply talk to people and try to persuade them,
  • 59% rely on word of mouth,
  • Only 39% advertise volunteer opportunities on websites or via social media,
  • Only 17% use posters and flyers,
  • Only 5% use volunteer agencies or platforms.

When your organisation is considering attracting and recruiting volunteers, you might benefit from looking more widely for at opportunities to reach out to people in the wider community, schools and universities and using less traditional recruitment methods.

Content area 1 : Identifying volunteer recruitment channels

Recruitment is the process of finding people who are interested in volunteering and showing them how they could add value in your organisation. Recruitment is vital in maintaining and building a strong volunteer workforce, yet our research suggests that recruiting motivated and skilled volunteers is one of the main issues facing sports organisations. Due to advances in technology, we now receive our information differently, so you may need to consider using a blend of recruitment channels and methods to engage with potential sport volunteers.

Planning your recruitment

Sport volunteers become ambassadors for your organisation so it is important to recruit people that are not only passionate and who have the necessary skills and expertise, but who will represent your organisation accordingly. Before you start to engage in a recruitment process, consider the type of volunteer you wish to attract or require and how will you make a good offer to prospective sport volunteers.

  • What might attract them to volunteer for your organisation? Think about what motivates people to become volunteers.
  • How can your recruitment strategy emphasise the benefits of volunteering and engage with prospective volunteers?
  • What are the best channels to use to recruit the volunteers that your organisation needs?
  • If you are looking for specific skills, think about where you will find people with those skills. Organisations typically look for attributes and transversal skills rather than technical skills, so it is important to be clear about what you require from potential volunteers.
  • Be clear about what you can offer potential volunteers and why they should volunteer with you.
  • What is your unique selling point?

You may also wish to consider how your sport organisation can draw upon a diverse range of volunteers who are reflective of the community the organisation serves. These can help to enrich your organisation by bringing to it their own influences, cultures, and life experiences. You may therefore also need to consider using a diverse range of advertising, recruitment materials, and/or outlets to engage with a more diverse range of potential volunteers.

Recruitment channels and ideas

While many of your volunteers are returning as long-standing volunteers, it is important to keep building and growing your volunteer workforce. There are a range of channels that sport organisations can use to engage with prospective volunteers. Don’t just rely on one or two recruitment ideas, try different ones and see which ones work the best. Recruitment may involve recruiting sport volunteers from both inside and outside your existing supporter and membership base.

The simplest method of recruitment is to ask somebody who is already known to your organisation, this may include:

1. Include call outs in your newsletters.

2. Put notices up on your news boards and advertise on your website.

3. Write out to club members. Ask for them to volunteer and to also help recruit volunteers from their own personal networks. Some organisations have used approaches such as ‘refer a friend’.

4. Contact people who have volunteered previously, even if it hasn’t been for a year or so. Their situations and availability may have changed.

5. If you are a sports club, registration nights for players can be a great volunteer recruitment tool. They present a great opportunity for recruiting new volunteers, since they are attended by parents who might be new to the area and might be keen to ‘stay and play’ with their children.

6. In addition, sports clubs could consider approaching retired or retiring players. Each year, a number of players retire, or coaches whose children have moved through the club, come to the end of their involvement. Without a focused effort to keep these people involved, they can drift away.

This approach may enough but ask yourself if you are really reaching all of the people who may be available and could have something to offer For example, disabled people, unemployed people, people from marginalised communities and people who are socially isolated may be very passionate about your sport, but they are not in contact with your organisation, so the methods listed above are unlikely to get your message to them. If you really want to diversify and broaden your volunteer workforce and fill all the roles you have, consider the following.

If you need to go beyond the organisation itself to recruit volunteers, you may wish to consider the following recruitment channels:

1. Hold an open day or information night at your organisation for prospective members or volunteers to attend. An open day is a great way to bring people from the community to the organisation, particularly those who are new to the area. An open day full of activity will let people see that the organisation is well organised and well managed. It can also be of great way to encourage people to volunteer in the club. Again, ask people to volunteer in specific areas in the club and in an area that suits their particular skill set.

2. Use social media. This focuses on the use of technology to communicate with prospective volunteers. Communications can often be informal but have the potential to reach a wide range of individuals. You could put call outs on your organisations Facebook page or tweet opportunities via your Twitter account using related hash tags such as #sportvolunteering #volunteer etc. Add photographs of, and quotes from, existing volunteers within your organisation to create a positive image of these opportunities.

3. Contact your local or national volunteer organisation. They can often advertise opportunities for you via their membership.

4. Advertise in your local newspaper or radio. They are often keen to run community stories about volunteers and recruitment drives.

5. Education establishments. Local colleges and universities often have their own volunteering programmes for their students and will share opportunities with them. You may also wish to contact academic staff teaching on sport-related or event management courses (dependent on the nature of the volunteering opportunities) as they may be able to help you target specific students or connect your opportunities into modules and teaching activities. Equally, however, students will return home and may be able to volunteer during college or university breaks. Suitable roles could include involvement in short-term projects, teaching someone a skill or helping organise an event.

6. Employer-supported volunteering schemes. Many companies operate corporate volunteering programmes as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives. Corporate volunteers are often given a day (and sometimes up to a week) of charitable leave to volunteer with an organisation of their choice. Contact the Human Resource Manager within the company to share your volunteer opportunities. There is also the possible that an initial volunteer placement may become longer term.

7. Form a partnership with other organisations who use / need volunteers. This may be particularly useful if your organisation runs sports events where volunteers are likely to have the skills to work across different sports etc. If you only need volunteers for a few shifts a year, why not combine your efforts with another similar organisation?

8. Attend local community events. This can be a great way to advertise your sport organisation and recruit volunteers and members.

Be flexible!

Volunteers may bring talents that you had not considered but could add value to your service. Be prepared to adapt or create a role around specific skills and make sure volunteers know you are open to offers.

Increase your chances of attracting a greater number of volunteers by provide a wide range of ways to volunteer. This could involve a blend of regular roles plus ‘one-off’ events which don’t require a regular commitment.

Consider creating team or group opportunities. Offering the opportunity to volunteer as a family, a couple or a group of friends can also attract people. 

Content area 2 : Principles of promotion

Recruiting sport volunteers can be seen as a similar process to advertising (for example, you are selling the benefits of the volunteering) and, as with any advertising, it is critical that you have a clear message. It is therefore important that you have a good understanding of why people volunteer. You can find out more about volunteer motivations here.

Engaging sports volunteers will take more than just saying ‘if you want to volunteer, come here’. Sport organisations need to target potential volunteers, make a clear offer to them, and convince them that giving up their time will result in a positive and worthwhile experience. Therefore, it can be useful for those tasked with recruitment in sport organisations to consider how principles of promotion can help to create clear messages and attractive, successful recruitment campaigns.

What is ‘promotion’?

Promotion is a marketing tool, used as a strategy between to communicate between the ‘sellers’ (in this case, the sport organisation looking to recruit volunteers) and the ‘buyers’ (the potential sport volunteer). By using different promotional techniques, the seller tries to influence and convince the buyers to engage with their ‘product’ or ‘services’ (the volunteering opportunities on offer). Promotional activities can include raising the profile of your sport organisation and increasing awareness of the volunteering opportunities it has to offer. Crucially, it also involves making the volunteering opportunities appealing and attractive to potential volunteers.

Promotion is usually viewed as one component of the marketing mix along with product, price, and place. Product in the sense of sport volunteering, relates to the volunteer offer from your organisation. This may include the volunteer roles available and the ‘fit’ between these and the potential volunteer, but also the other benefits that a volunteer would receive from volunteering at your organisation. This could therefore also include ongoing support, training, rewards and the social benefits accrued from their involvement. You can find out more about these aspects of developing a good volunteer experience here and here. ‘Price’ is less relevant to sport volunteering, whereas ‘place’ may relate more to where you recruit volunteers from. This is covered in previous guidance on ‘recruitment channels’. Whilst the other elements of the the marketing mix will contribute the development of a good volunteer offer, we now focus our attention on promotion, more specifically the development of an effective promotional mix.

Developing your promotional mix

A promotional mix will include a combination of marketing methods including advertising, sales (in terms of engaging and subsequently recruiting potential volunteer), public relations and direct marketing. There are five key elements of a promotional mix which can be used to help guide your efforts to recruit sport volunteers.

This helps to spread the word or create awareness about your sport organisation and is likely to be key in promoting volunteer opportunities. The idea is to reach as many of the right people as possible to maximise your chances of recruiting good volunteers. For suggestions on how to do this see the section on ‘possible recruitment channels’. You may need to consider the suitable of the different recruitment channels for the type of volunteer and the skill set you require.

Public relations.
A key aspect in recruiting new volunteers into your club (and retaining existing volunteers) is to send out the right messages about your sport organisation and how it supports and develops its volunteers. Positive news stories on your organisation’s website or via its social media channels can help to create an image of an organisation which values, supports and looks after its volunteers. This can help to supplement adverts or attempts at recruitment as it creates positive images and stories that potential volunteers can see. It may be helpful to coordinate public relations efforts with specific volunteer recruitment campaigns your organisation is running to ensure there is consistency in communications.

Direct promotion / marketing.
This refers to advertising which is directly targeted at potential volunteers. The link above takes you to information on potential recruitment channels. Depending on which of these channels are deemed most suitable as a method to recruit potential volunteers, it is important to ensure the messages and communications used are appropriate to the specific group of potential volunteers you are targeting. For example, it you are attempting to recruit volunteers from colleges or universities you may need to stress the personal development benefits and opportunities connected to volunteering, whereas if you are looking to recruit parents of existing members you may emphasise the value of their contribution to the organisation.

Sales promotion.
Although the recruitment of volunteers does not include financial sales, recruitment still involves communicating with potential ‘customers’ – in this case, potential volunteers. There may be specific times of the year when your organisation requires more volunteers, for example, to support the delivery of events or if you are a sports club, during the season. Therefore, one important consideration is the timing of any recruitment drives, or in business language, the timing of your ‘sales push’. You need to allow adequate time from advertising volunteer opportunities, through recruitment and selection process, any induction or training needed, to ensure that your volunteers are ready to go when needed.

Personal selling.
Who are the best people within your organisation to recruit volunteers? This may be a named volunteer coordinator, or it could be several individuals who are good communicators or have a natural ability to enthuse and engage others. You may also wish to consider using existing volunteers as role models who are able to use their own experience (a form of personal selling) to help recruit other volunteers from similar backgrounds. First impressions are important so choose your representatives carefully!

Content area 3 : Creating attractive recruitment communications

By the time your organisation reaches the point of considering its recruitment communications, you will have hopefully identified possible recruitment channels and considered your promotional mix. You now need to think about creating appropriate and attractive recruitment communications. The tone and wording of any recruitment communications, plus any visuals selected may be as important as what you say. Therefore, having a clear strategy for what you want to say, how, and to whom is important.

A good place to start is to assess your existing organisational skill base and available resources. Are there any individuals within the organisation that have marketing or IT skills that could help develop recruitment communications and advertising? Do you have a budget that could be used to help with the production of materials (this could be posters or leaflets through to website design etc)? Consider the best way to use these resources to help you develop attractive recruitment communications. 

Here are ten tips to consider

1. Use language in the recruitment ‘ads’ that is tailored to and will engage with potential volunteers from specific groups or organisations.

For example, if you are looking to recruit a volunteer who can help with the organisation’s social media output, you may wish to stress the specific skills and knowledge required. This may be different to if you are looking for volunteers who can help with more generic tasks.

2. Focus on promoting the benefits of volunteering (again these might be specifically tailored to a target group of potential volunteers).

For example, being part of a team, social benefits, opportunities for personal development, opportunities to learn more about a specific sport or gain new skills, and the chance to contribute to the local community or put something back into a sport.

3. Discuss different levels of commitment from the ‘one-hour commitment’ to longer term commitments.

Remember, if 20 people are willing to commit one hour per week, that’s 20 hours of work. Each recruitment drive should start with the most basic unit of voluntary commitment and give examples of the sort of tasks this might equate to, whilst also providing examples of what a longer-term commitment or contribution might be. You don’t want to put prospective volunteers off because they presume that they don’t have enough time to contribute.

4. Choose appropriate visuals that communicate an image of your organisation as organised, professional, and proud of its volunteer workforce.

You may also wish to represent the diversity of individuals who volunteer for you and the different roles that they undertake.

5. Use stories and quotes from your current volunteers which highlight what the organisation, community and individual can gain from being part of the volunteer team.

These can be particularly powerful tools in engaging prospective volunteers and can help create a positive impression of your organisation and the benefits gained from volunteering within it.

6. Make it snappy! If your communications are too long or text-heavy, they are likely to deter individuals from reading or engaging with them.

The title or heading used on promotional material needs to stand out from the crowd – just stating ‘volunteers wanted’ is not eye catching and may be unlikely to generate interest. Consider using humour or unusual titles/descriptions to catch people’s attention. These can be coupled with images and visuals for maximum effect. It might be tempting to base your messaging around the shortage of volunteers but try to emphasise positive aspects which highlight the benefits of volunteering within the organisation.

7. Consider your unique selling point.

What might make your organisation or volunteer opportunity different to others?

8. Develop consistency across your promotional materials.

For example, do you have an organisation logo, or organisation colours that could become the foundation for all advertisements or promotional materials?
Could you develop an organisational brand and tone of voice that is used consistently – again this suggests an organised and professional organisation.

9. Try and use language and images that reflect and welcome diversity.

For example, if your organisation is located within a diverse community do you need to provide promotional material in different languages etc?

10. Make sure the call to action is clear.
Once you have piqued someone’s interest, how do you want them to respond?
Completing an online form, via email etc?
Make sure you also provide contact details for where prospective volunteers can get further information!

Content area 4 : Managing the recruitment process

Once you have engaged and interested potential volunteers in volunteering with your organisation, it is important to manage the subsequent recruitment process professionally. You may wish to consider setting up a ‘recruitment sub-committee’ or equivalent who can oversee recruitment activity and ensure that if one member of the committee is unavailable, other members can deal with enquiries from prospective volunteers. You do not want to lose out on potential volunteers because nobody is checking an email account or responding to enquiries. Having a committee or identified group of individuals jointly responsible for managing the recruitment process can also help to share the workload and coordinate an appropriate recruitment process.

The first key task in the recruitment of volunteers is managing the volunteer application process.

Volunteer applications

You should try and provide as much information as you can for prospective volunteers so that they have a good understanding of volunteer roles and responsibilities. This may include providing role descriptions, here and information on your organisation. The more professionally you deal with prospective volunteers the more likely they are to volunteer with your organisation.

As part of the recruitment process, it is good practice to require prospective volunteers to complete an application form outlining their skills, knowledge, and experience and why they are interested in volunteering with your organisation. The information they provide may then form the basis of any subsequent interviews or conversations with the volunteer.

Using a simple application form will help make sure your recruitment process is fair and not too onerous and off-putting to the prospective volunteer. Where appropriate you may want to provide the application form in different languages. If the form is available online, make sure it is accessible to everyone. You can access a template volunteer application form here. Remember some people may need support to complete form – for example if they have dyslexia or a learning disability. This should not stop them for applying to volunteer. Therefore, you may wish to provide an opportunity for prospective volunteers to request additional support if required.

Remember that the overall aim of any fair selection process is to allow all potential volunteers to give the best of themselves and application forms do not allow everybody to do this. If you are going to use a form to take details, be clear about what information you need and why. For example, many organisations ask for a volunteer’s date of birth when all they actually need to know is if someone is above or below a minimum or maximum age.

Responding to applications

Once a volunteer shows interest in a role within your organisation it is vital that you act quickly and follow up on their application or enquiry quickly. If you leave contacting them for a long period of time they may go elsewhere or presume that you are not interested. Remember the volunteer is usually very keen to do their volunteering role and start as quickly as possible. You may wish to contact them initially by phone or email to arrange a more detailed conversation or interview at an appropriate time. As a minimum, you should acknowledge receipt of their application or inquiry and provide details of when the prospective volunteer can expect a full response.

Considerations for recruiting Young Volunteers

Young volunteers are an excellent resource and ensuring there are relevant opportunities for them could mean attracting a volunteer for life! Think carefully about how to recruit young volunteers and the types of roles they might be interested in.

Parental Permission Parental consent should be sought when involving young volunteers. Parental responsibility continues until the age of 18, unless the young person is 16 or older and married or is living independently. Both the young person and their parent or guardian should fully understand what the voluntary work entails.

Provide clear information about the organisation and the work the volunteer is expected to do, preferably via a role description. Make sure that they are aware of time commitments, where the work will take place and how it will be supervised. Often those roles that provide variety and the opportunity to gain experience and learn new skills are more attractive to young volunteers.

Checks and references

Checks and confidentially information should only be requested if it is needed for the recruitment process, do not ask for criminal records information unless the role requires this. It is important to follow your countries guidance on safeguarding and criminal records checks, particularly if your volunteering opportunity involves contact with children or vulnerable adults.

You should only ask for independent references to be provided if you feel you need these to judge a prospective volunteer’s ability or appropriateness for a role. However, in certain countries it may be standard practice to ask for references in support of a volunteer role, so again, check the guidance provided by your government. If you do not to request references, these should be from individuals who are at least 18 years old, have known the volunteer for at least 12 months, and who are not a relative. References should be taken on the volunteer’s ability to fulfil a particular role, therefore when sending out the request for a reference its good idea to also send a copy of the role description. You can find a template Volunteer Reference Form here.

References are only the views of another person; their accuracy or detail may be limited. A good informal interview process is far more effective than just relying on a reference as this may well reinforce any information that is given at interview.

Do’s and don’ts in the recruitment process

  • Do interview or speak to all prospective volunteers. Find out why they want to volunteer, what their interests and skills are and what their availability is. This will not only help determine if they are suitable but also what other roles they might be interested in. Even if you have no suitable roles available at the time of the interview, you may have in the future, and this is a way of creating a bank of potential volunteers you can draw upon in the future if needed.
  • Do clearly explain roles so that people without sport-specific experience (e.g. without coaching qualifications) can see that they can still volunteer and it opens your workforce up to a much larger pool of people.
  • Do create teams of volunteers, for example events team that are committed to helping and can be trained up just to work at events.
  • Do large recruitment drives at intervals throughout the year. This will avoid constant call outs to volunteers, which can become exhausting for the club/event and the volunteers. See guidance on recruitment channels for ideas.
  • Don’t recruit volunteers if you have no roles for them. You will quickly lose disengaged volunteers with nothing to do. You most likely will have just lost volunteers that would not only have been very valuable but will tell others not to apply.
  • Don’t accept any volunteer that applies. Make sure you interview or speak to them, (even if it is over the phone rather than face-to-face) to ensure they are right fit for the role/s you are recruiting for. See guidance on conducting volunteer interviews here.
  • Don’t recruit unsuitable volunteers just to fill a spot or office bearing position on a committee. In the long term it will create more work.

2.2 Case studies

||| Sub-Pillar 2.3

2.3 – Conducting a volunteer selection process


Here you will find support to enable you to conduct a transparent, fair and rigorous selection process that will meet the needs of both your organisation and potential volunteers, including staging interviews if needed. Working in this way will hopefully ensure a better match for all parties.

Key research findings – did you know that:

Recruiting sport volunteers is not like recruiting paid staff. The incentive for the volunteer is not a salary but their own motivation to give their time and efforts.

Our desk research and interviews suggest that:

  • When they are selecting sport volunteers, organisations should put more emphasis on soft skills (such as communication, people skills and teamwork) and personal qualities (such as reliability and motivation). These are difficult to teach.
  • It is not so important to look for people with the right technical skills (unless they are vital at the start of the volunteer role, for example a coach or official). Technical skills can be learnt after they are engaged.

When your organisation is selecting potential volunteers, you might benefit from finding ways to check their soft skills and personal qualities, including their willingness to learn. Technical skills can always be taught after they are recruited.

Content area 1 : Selection good practice including shortlisting

Having conducted a comprehensive and attractive recruitment process, you will hopefully have generated interest from a diverse range of applicants for your sport volunteering opportunities. In most cases it will now be necessary to determine which applicants should reach the next stage of the process and be interviewed to establish whether there is a good fit between them and your requirements for the sport volunteering role. This process is usually known as shortlisting, and involves comparing each applicant to the criteria you set for the sport volunteering opportunity. Producing a clear and fair job description and person specification in the first place makes the process of creating a shortlist of candidates to interview much more straightforward.

Shortlisting process

Shortlisting should ideally be conducted by the people who generated the original specification for the sport volunteering opportunity, and the same person or people should also undertake the interviewing phase. It is preferable for several reasons for a ‘panel’ of more than one person to manage the entire recruitment and selection process, as this allows for a range of opinions to be considered and promotes greater fairness and transparency. However, in the case of many smaller sports clubs the ‘panel’ might consist of just one person. As stated above, best practice in shortlisting revolves around using the same role criteria you created when originally promoting the sport volunteering opportunity. For clarity and consistency, use a simple scoring system so that each application is treated in the same way as the others. For example, for each criterion you could rank the candidate, based on the information in their application, as Ideal, Good, Worth considering for other volunteering roles or Not Suitable. Otherwise, you could use a numerical ranking system or similar. The most important considerations are to be fair and consistent regardless of the precise nature of your approach to scoring.

Use of a ranking system such as the one discussed above should enable the panel to sift through the applications and only interview those with a genuine chance of being successful. The size of the shortlist you develop will depend upon factors such as the number of applications received and the number of sport volunteering opportunities available in this specific area. As a guide, if you have received a relatively large number of applications for a single role, a shortlist of 3-6 candidates is usually appropriate. You should ideally attempt to interview all candidates that seem to meet the criteria to a sufficient enough extent that they might be suitable, but equally you do not want to make the interview process unwieldy or waste people’s time. It may be necessary for the panel to meet more than once to agree the final shortlist – do whatever you can to make the best decision for your sport organisation and the individuals that are interested in volunteering with you.

To summarise:

  • If possible, form a panel of more than one person;
  • Use the role criteria as your guide;
  • Utilise a scoring system to ensure fairness;
  • Try and interview all candidates that meet the role criteria.

Communicating with applicants

All applicants should have a positive experience of interacting with your sport organisation. This includes making sure that you communicate with them throughout the process. Make sure that each application is acknowledged and that you tell people the key dates by which they will hear back, when interviews will be conducted and so on.

Unsuccessful applicants that do not make the final shortlist should be contacted to:

  • thank them for their interest
  • offer the opportunity to receive feedback
  • encourage them to apply for future opportunities

Try to be as objective as possible in any feedback you provide, illustrating to the unsuccessful applicant how they did not meet the criteria for the role on this occasion and making constructive suggestions as to how they can further develop themselves. As part of the selection process, the panel might also identify applicants that were not suitable for the specific opportunity under consideration but who might be a good fit for other roles within your sport organisation. Do not miss this chance to maintain contact with them and discuss other ways they can get involved.

They have shown interest in starting or deepening their involvement with your sport organisation, so take the opportunity to engage them!

Content area 2 : How to conduct fair interviews

Volunteer interviews are a key tool in any recruitment and selection process. This is a great opportunity to meet the people face-to-face and find out if they really have the skills and personal qualities you are looking for. As you are recruiting for volunteer positions, there is no need to make the process overly formal and intimidating. Indeed, rather than use the term ‘interview’ you may prefer to simply say that you will invite the potential volunteer in for a ‘chat’. Despite this, it is important that all applicants are treated fairly throughout, hence the shortlisting process discussed in the preceding section.

Purpose of the interview

Volunteer interviewing is primarily about exploring whether there is a ‘fit’ between the sport organisation and the prospective volunteer. In addition, a key aspect of the interview is to allow the potential volunteer to decide whether they would like to volunteer for your sport organisation.

The volunteer interview can be used to:

  • Find out their reasons for volunteering
  • Discuss the volunteer’s background and skills
  • Be very clear about the volunteer role and what it involves
  • Determine the volunteer’s level of interest in a particular role and whether they have the necessary skills to perform it
  • Find out from personal interaction with the applicant whether they really do have the attitudes and personal attributes you are looking for
  • Establish whether the volunteer has other interests and skills that might be used to create a different role for him/ her
  • Share information about your organisation and consider whether the volunteer would fit comfortably into the work environment
  • Give the applicant a positive impression of your organisation and what it seeks to achieve – motivate them to be part of what you are doing
  • Discuss their expectations of volunteering in your organisation
  • Explore what support, if any, the volunteer would need when volunteering
  • Respond to the volunteer’s questions and concerns
  • Negotiate how the role could be made more flexible/adapted to meet the volunteer’s personal circumstances.

Preparing for the interview

Before the interview takes place, you should check with the volunteer if they have any support needs or accessibility requirements and take these into consideration when deciding where and when to conduct the interview. It is also worth checking whether the volunteer would like to know in advance what you will intend to discuss with them.

The panel conducting the interview should prepare by:

  • Ensuring that you have a suitable location for the interview – somewhere quiet where you will not be interrupted
  • Making sure that the volunteer is clear on where the interview will take place and who they will be meeting
  • Considering the layout of the interview space – try and make it friendly and informal
  • Gathering the role descriptions for which volunteers are needed; this makes it easier to offer alternative options to someone who may not be suitable for the specific role they are applying for
  • Having a list of questions or topics that you would like to discuss with the volunteer (these may be specific to certain volunteer roles and can be based on the role description)
  • Ensuring that any questions you may ask are open-ended (i.e.. that require a detailed response as opposed to ‘yes’ or ‘no’) and use simple wording
  • Having any additional material to hand that you may need (such as forms or policies)

Conducting the interview
You can choose to meet the prospective volunteer on a one-to-one basis or with another person – this will be determined by the make-up of the ‘panel’ that created the role criteria and conducted the shortlisting exercise. If there are multiple people involved in the interview, assign specific questions to each person so that the interview runs smoothly and competently. Interviews should also take into consideration any communication needs of the volunteer – for example, volunteers with a learning disability may have difficulty maintaining concentration. Try to keep the interview reasonably short while covering all the points you want to cover and giving the applicant an opportunity to speak and ask questions.

Although the interview should be informal, it does need to have some structure. There will be specific information that you need to provide about the organisation and volunteer role, and information that you will require from the volunteer.

Tips for conducting a good interview are:

  • Start by explaining the purpose of the interview, to put the person at their ease
  • Have a list of the information you want to give the volunteer, and what you want from them, but don’t let it stifle natural conversation. You might want to tell them about:
    • The aims of the organisation, the benefits it delivers for participants and the wider community and the vital role of volunteers
    • The role description for the volunteer
    • How they will be supported
    • Your expectations regarding equal opportunities, health and safety and other volunteer conduct
    • Any financial compensations they will receive for expenses
  • What benefits they might get from joining your organisation, such as uniforms/tee-shirts, social events, training, travel with the teams, volunteer reward schemes
  • Give them real-life scenarios about the kind of problems which volunteers have to solve and ask them what they would do
  • Don’t forget that you also want to find out about their level of motivation, whether they really understand what volunteering is about, if they really have the time, and whether they will prove to be reliable
  • Provide space for the volunteer to talk about themselves and ask questions
  • Ensure both parties know what the next step in the process is and when it will take place

It’s good practice to keep a record of your questions and the potential volunteer’s responses. A ‘volunteer interview record’ template can be found here.

Potential interview outcomes

The interview may close by making an offer of a volunteer role or explaining that a decision has been made not to make an offer at this time. If an offer of a role is made, you may wish to give the volunteer time to consider whether they still want to volunteer for the organisation. Agree a date by which they will confirm their decision. You may also want to provide information on what the next steps would be should they accept the role. You may also wish to negotiate with the prospective volunteer, for example, if they have skills your organisation requires, but are not able to commit as much time as you would like. Ideally, try and agree a suitable compromise that suits both party’s needs.

If a decision is not made during the interview, the potential volunteer should be told how and when they will be notified of the outcome. If the applicant is not offered a role, let them know why, as this will help them think about whether they really want to do this type of work. This should always be done sensitively.

Possible reasons for rejecting volunteers include:

  • There is no suitable role
  • The volunteer has expectations that the organisation cannot meet
  • The volunteer’s values substantially differ from the organisation’s values
  • The volunteer refuses or is unable to comply with the organisation’s requirements (references, training commitments, etc)

2.3 Case studies

||| Sub-Pillar 2.4

2.4 – Agreeing expected volunteer contributions


Building upon the volunteer role descriptions you will have already developed, this section will support you in working with each newly appointed volunteer to agree how the role should be implemented, including the levels of responsibility and time input being asked of the volunteer.

Key research findings – did you know that:

Key research findings – did you know that:

  • Survey results show that the biggest barrier to sport volunteering is lack of time (72%).
  • Therefore, organisations must show flexibility in negotiating win-win situations that suit both what the organisation needs and what the volunteer feels they are able to contribute.
  • Desk research suggests that potential volunteers can be discouraged if they feel they are making a long-term commitment. Many sport organisations now benefit from offering ‘micro-volunteering’ opportunities for short-term roles.
  • Interviews with sport volunteers indicate that they welcome having a clear description and understanding of what the sport organisation wants them to do.
  • When you are agreeing what you want the volunteer to do in your organisation, you might benefit from negotiating flexible arrangements which meet the volunteer’s personal situation and availability. Offering small ‘micro-volunteering’ opportunities at the beginning may help to draw them in to volunteering on a longer-term basis when they begin to see the benefits.


Content area 1 : Agreeing the level of time commitment with the new volunteer

The advice in this section applies principally to new volunteers entering your sport organisation, but the principles apply equally well to situations in which you are working with existing volunteers to ‘renegotiate’ their commitment. The recruitment process (and accompanying role descriptors) should have provided an opportunity to clarify expectations, contributions and time commitments, now it’s time to finalise the details of the volunteer’s engagement with your sport organisation.

A key aspect of providing positive volunteer experiences, is that your volunteers understand what is expected of them, and what support they will receive in return from the sport organisation. A common reason for losing volunteers is confusion about their role, responsibilities, and expectations. This section of the toolkit will therefore provide suggestions and advice on how to work through this process with sport volunteers.

Volunteer agreements

Many organisations use a formal document as a means of recording expectations and any agreed commitments made between the volunteer and the organisation. If this approach is used, the document needs to be a two-way agreement, which outlines what the sport organisation and the volunteer can expect from each other.

This may be phrased in terms of ‘rights and responsibilities’ or ‘hopes and expectations’. Volunteer agreements are being used more widely nowadays to clarify and record the agreement between a volunteer and organisation for future reference. The agreement is not put in place just for the organisations benefit, they also ensure that the organisation provides a good volunteer experience and that the volunteer receives appropriate support to get what they want out of the arrangement.

Therefore, the key aspect of any agreement is to focus on achieving a ‘win-win’ situation i.e. that any agreement works for the organisation and the volunteer. It is really important for the organisation to take full account of what the volunteer can contribute and take account of the time they have available, their level of commitment, skills, other commitments and personal resources. Ideally, the organisation should try to ‘fit around’ what the volunteer can offer. Many volunteers are concerned about making long-term commitments and if the organisation senses this, it may be better to offer some ‘micro-volunteering’ opportunities first. When making an agreement, it might also be important to consider what the volunteer’s motivations/incentives are and try to ensure some of these are addressed.

A volunteer agreement may be a documents which is signed by the volunteer and a representative of the sport organisation, although it is important to note that this is an aspirational document, not a legally binding obligation. If a signed document feels too formal, you don’t have to adopt this approach. It is however important that there is clarity for both the organisation and the volunteer around expectations, therefore you may wish to consider how you would work through this process and ensure an ‘agreement’ has been reached. For example, discussions on expectations, roles and responsibilities could be undertaken in an interview and then reinforced via an induction process. The key aim here is to ensure that agreement is reached, irrespective of whether it is formalised in a signed volunteer agreement statement or more informally agreed. This establishes the commitment on both sides, as well as recognising the roles and responsibilities for both the sport organisation and the volunteer.

Content area 2 : Clarifying expectations and contributions, including to whom the volunteer is responsible

The benefits of using a volunteer agreement

To summarise the previous discussion, the benefits and limitations of using a formal volunteer agreement are:


  • Provides a written understanding of the relationship and expectations between the volunteer and sport organisation
  • It establishes what each party can expect from the other and can be used to help ensure both parties fulfil their commitments.


  • There is a risk that the formality of a volunteer agreement may be off-putting to volunteers
  • The agreement is not legally binding, so is ultimately dependent on the commitment of both parties to fulfil

It is also important to ensure that a volunteer agreement does not sound like an employment contract. Therefore, although you may discuss time commitments, you may wish to avoid including these in a written agreement and instead focus on agreeing specific roles and responsibilities. In addition, agreements to provide training for volunteers and details of how volunteers can claim reimbursements for legitimate expenses (and what these might include), could also be included. You may also wish to state very clearly in the volunteer agreement that this is not a legal contract with the volunteer.

What an agreement should cover:

  • A brief introduction thanking them for becoming a volunteer and your commitment to them.
  • Their name and your organisations name.
  • Their volunteer role, responsibilities, and start date. Roles and responsibilities should ideally be set out in a role descriptor.
  • Expected time commitments associated with their role. ‘Time commitment’ can be defined in a number of ways and is dependent upon the role. For instance, you may require someone for one, forty-hour week a year to support a major event, whilst another might be required for four hours a day for six weeks to support summer camps, whilst another might be required for three hours every week to officiate at regular competitive fixtures.
  • A named person with the organisation to act as their main contact and who can provide additional support if required and who the volunteer can contact if they are not available as planned or if they are experiencing any issues.
  • Your commitment to them, which could include providing them with adequate information, training and support, equipment and clothing so that they can carry out their volunteering role.
  • Details of any other perks or benefits they may receive through their volunteering, for example free attendance at events etc.
  • Details of how they can claim back any legitimate expenses associated with the role, and what these are.
  • What you expect of them: i.e. to perform to the best of their ability, to adhere to the organisations ethos and to meet time and duty commitments as agreed.
  • Details of when the agreement might be reviewed with the volunteer so that if needed, adjustments can be made to help everyone get the best from the arrangement.
  • Signature of both parties.
  • A final sentence emphasising that this is not a legal contract, for example “this agreement is not a legally binding contract between us and may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of either party. Neither of us intends any employment relationship to be created, either now or at any time in the future”.

You can find an example of a voluntary agreement below.

Finally, you might ask your volunteers to keep a record of the time spent supporting your sport organisation’s work. As well as helping you to recognise the contribution made by your volunteers, this kind of data can be useful in funding applications and other mechanisms for building the capacity of your sport organisation.

||| Sub-Pillar 2.5

2.5 – Providing a volunteer induction programme


This sometimes-overlooked aspect of the recruitment process is crucial in helping new volunteers to feel part of your organisation from the outset. Advice and guidance can be found on how to design and implement an induction programme, including volunteer orientation as well as initial training. This should ensure an induction experience that is personalised, informative and welcoming.

Key research findings – did you know that:

Desk research and interviews show that people are likely to have a poor experience of sport volunteering if they are not properly prepared for their volunteering roles.

Unfortunately, our Global Survey results show that:

  • Only 13% of organisations said that their volunteers were already trained and qualified when they joined the organisation.
  • Most sport organisations only provide induction training for coaches, trainers, instructors and leaders – 81%, officials (referees, umpires, judges etc.) – 83%, and events volunteers (52%).
  • Less than 50% provide induction training for board/committee members, administrators/managers, volunteers who support day-to-day activities (catering, transport, bar work etc.) and volunteers who maintain sport facilities and equipment.

When your organisation has recruited sport volunteers, you might benefit from providing helpful induction programmes to prepare your volunteers for their new roles and tasks.

Content area 1 : Good practice in inducting new volunteers

New recruits to your sport organisation are likely to be excited about the new opportunity that awaits them, but they will probably also be somewhat nervous about the unknown aspects of the role you have agreed with them. In order to ensure a positive experience for both parties, it is important to formally and informally welcome the new volunteer and ensure they are given all the information they need to perform their role with distinction. This welcoming process is usually thought of as induction, just as professional organisations induct new staff recruits.

The next content area deals with the detail of putting together an induction programme, but first let’s look at the principles of good practice in making sure your new volunteers are properly taken care at the commencement of their volunteering journey:

Welcome and orientation:
it is important not only to help the volunteer feel at home in your sport organisation, but also to ensure they have all of the essential information they require to navigate around your physical facilities and systems, as well as being introduced to key people.

Communicating the culture of the organisation:
as discussed elsewhere it his Toolkit, it is critical to establish a welcoming and inclusive culture within your sport organisation. One of the purposes of the induction process should be to demonstrate this to the volunteer, adding to their sense of welcome as well as making it clear ‘how we do things around here’. Any boundaries or ‘ground rules’ should be established as part of the process.

Clarifying communication channels:
part of the induction process should enable the volunteer to understand in more detail who to report to and who to consult for information and approval.

Providing a buddy or mentor:
where possible, a new volunteer should be assigned to an experienced individual that can ‘show them the ropes’ – how everything works and how to get the best from the experience.

Formal training:
this can mean many different things, depending upon the size of your sport organisation and the nature of the volunteer’s role. However, it is important not to leave anything to doubt and instead to formally provide the volunteer with any technical training and other information they require. This may be important in terms of legal compliance and safeguarding.

Mutual probation period:
the volunteer, once fully inducted and established in the role, might be having a wonderful experience and will hopefully stay with your sport organisation for many years. However, in order to get to that position there should be an opportunity for both the organisation and the volunteer to evaluate how things are going and for either party to be able to withdraw from the arrangement if it is not working.

Adhering to these principles during the initial weeks and months of the volunteer’s time in your sport organisation will maximise the prospects of a mutually successful arrangement. The next content area discusses how to put them into practice.

Content area 2 : Designing a bespoke induction programme including integration into the team, facilities etc.

This section deals with the induction programme for new volunteers, which is not the same as any technical, role-specific training that might need to be offered (this is covered in Content Area 3 of this sub-pillar). Here, we draw upon the principles outlined in Content Area 1 in order to design a personalised induction that is consistent with the induction experiences of other volunteers and ensures that the safe operating practices and culture of your sport organisation are preserved and enhanced. It is important to note that whilst induction and training should be thought of as part of the same process, they are presented here separately in order to isolate best practice in all aspects of the volunteer’s integration in your sport organisation.

Some key questions for you to consider are:

  • Duration of the induction process:
    for how long should the volunteer be considered to be on probation?
  • Do we need to put on special welcome event?
    This might be relevant in the case of multiple volunteers starting at the same time.
  • What are the essentials of inducting someone into your sport organisation?
    What do they need to know on day 1 versus day 51?
  • Can information be segregated into essential and desirable categories?
    It will be important not to overload new volunteers with non-essential information.
  • Does the volunteer have additional needs that should be accounted for?
    This process should begin as soon as they commence induction.
  • Do we have the right people in place to look after the induction process?
    Do we have training and development needs to address amongst our existing volunteers in order to be able to provide an excellent induction experience?

Once these questions have been resolved it is possible to design and provide a suitable induction programme. The volunteer should be notified of when this begins, what it entails and what your expectations will be. The best way to do this and provide clarity for all parties is do communicate the details of the programme in writing. An email from an official account in the name of your sport organisation is probably the best approach.

This written communication can confirm all of the essential details, namely:

  • Key dates (particularly the length of any ‘probation’ period)
  • Key people (to whom the volunteer should report with question or comments, details of any buddy/ mentor, etc)
  • All activities that are induction-related rather than part of the volunteer’s main role
  • How the volunteer will be informed that the induction/ probation period has ended

The person that oversees volunteer induction does not necessarily need to be the same person to whom the volunteer reports for their regular role, although there should be good communication between the two if they are different people. The nominated induction supervisor may need to be prepared to keep track of multiple volunteers at different stages of their induction programmes, so it is vital that this person is carefully selected and given the resources they need to do the job effectively. With all of these principles and practices inn places, it is to be hoped that the volunteer’s induction/ probation process ends with both parties wishing to continue the arrangement well into the future!

A ‘volunteer induction checklist’ template has been provided below to help you work through this process.

Content area 3 : Identifying and meeting initial training needs

We have highlighted this aspect of the volunteer induction process as a topic in its own right. We have done this as it has the potential to be one of the more complex, critical and resource-intensive elements of the process. As we have stated in other content areas, one of the reasons volunteer training may be necessary is in order to ensure that the volunteer and your sport organisation are complying correctly with relevant legislation focused upon safeguarding, land use, financial management and a host of other aspects of your organisation’s business. In addition, sporting federations may require volunteers to be formally trained in order to promote safe sport in all its forms. Depending upon the agreed role, some new volunteers may only require basic, informal training to familiarise themselves with the physical spaces, equipment and procedures that are appropriate to their roles. Others may need to undertake more formal training that could be accredited/ certificated. Whatever position the volunteer’s role occupies on the formal-informal spectrum, this should have been identified in advance and communicated when the opportunity was promoted.

At this stage it is important to emphasise that training is a specific form of personal and organisational development focused on enhancing knowledge, skills, and competencies related to specific tasks or roles. It differs from other forms of personal and organisational development, such as coaching, mentoring and broader development programmes, and this is why it has a distinctive place in the volunteer’s wider induction programme. Equally, training that is commenced during the induction programme might not have been completed by the end of the induction/ probation period. For instance, a certificated coaching badge might not be assessed for some weeks or even months after the initial training.

The first step in the training process is to identify the volunteer’s initial needs based on any skills gaps. A ‘skills gap’ is the difference between the requirements of a role and the volunteer’s existing skills. Even though, in another part of this Pillar, sport organisations are encouraged to conduct rigorous recruitment process when acquiring new volunteers, the ‘best’ volunteer for a given role might be identified on the basis of their personal attributes and might therefore have a skills gap or two to fill. This is perfectly normal and fine. Remember, what we are talking about here is the volunteer’s initial training needs – in Pillar 4 you can look into how best to provide ongoing training and development for volunteers as they progress within in your sport organisation. Once you have worked with the volunteer to identify those formal and informal areas in which training will be required, a programme can mapped out for them.

Some of the key considerations at this point are:

Essential versus desirable:
which training activities must be undertaken at the initial stage of the volunteer’s engagement with your sport organisation, and which are to some or other extent discretionary?

Timescale and phasing:
the dates for the volunteer’s training will be dependent upon the availability of instructors, courses, facilities and so on, so timescales should be agreed and communicated in advance. It may also be possible to achieve economies of scale by providing training for multiple volunteers at the same time.

what finance, expertise, connections, equipment etc are available to support the training programme?

Additional support:
will the volunteer require expenses to be met, help with transport or other forms of support in order to access and complete the training?

Of greatest importance is the content of the training. If it is being provided within your sport organisation, suitably qualified and experienced people should be on hand to plan and deliver it. Otherwise, you may need to outsource the training, even if it is not a certificated/ accredited product linked to compliance in some way.

Training can be provided in each of the seven V4V volunteering categories; here is an example in each case:

Board or committee member:
attending a short workshop outlining the responsibilities of the board and/ or committee, showing how the volunteer’s roles fits into the broader structure, facilitated by experienced board/ committee members.

Administration/ management:
completing an online tutorial in order to be able use accounting software to manage the sport organisation’s finances.

Coaching/ training/ instructing/ leading:
undertaking a certificated coaching qualification with attendance at workshops and online/ in-person assessment.

Officiating (referee, umpire, judge etc.):
undertaking a non-certificated officiating course, delivered online.

Organising/ helping to run sport events:
taking part in a briefing led by senior event organisers in which learning is imparted that will be applicable to all future events involving the sport organisation.

Maintaining sport equipment/ facilities:
completing a short, online safety tutorial; being taught ‘on the job’ by experienced volunteers and recording the outcomes.

Supporting day-to-day sport organisation activities:
completing a short, online cash handling tutorial; being taught ‘on the job’ by experienced volunteers and recording the outcomes.

These are merely examples. There is an almost limitless selection of training options for you to discuss with and provide for your new volunteer. This is the beginning of what will hopefully be a fruitful association between the volunteer and your sport organisation. Demonstrating a strong culture of supporting volunteers’ induction though training will help them to get off to a good start and encourage them to pursue further development opportunities as their involvement progresses.

2.5 Case studies