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									                                         Part C Module 1
                                        Table of Contents

Part C Module 1 Screening & Selecting Volunteers ................... 1
      Aim........................................................................................... 1
      Learning Outcomes.................................................................. 1
      Preparation .............................................................................. 1
      National Standards for Involving Volunteers in Not-for-Profit
      Organisations ........................................................................... 2
Resource Module .......................................................................... 3
      Introduction .............................................................................. 3
      What is screening? .................................................................. 3
      Why screen? ............................................................................ 3
      Establishing the Suitability of Volunteers ................................. 4
      Assessing and Managing Risk ................................................. 5
      Arguments Against Screening ................................................. 7
      Ethical Principles in Screening Volunteers............................... 7
      Screening Mechanisms ............................................................ 8
      Notifying Applicants of the Outcome of the Screening and
      Selection Process .................................................................. 14
      Documentation ....................................................................... 15
      Conclusion ............................................................................. 17
Resources.................................................................................... 18
      References ............................................................................ 18
      Acknowledgements ................................................................ 19
Appendices .................................................................................. 20
   Part C: Appendix A Peninsula Community Legal Centre
   Volunteer Information Leaflet .................................................... 21
   Part C Appendix B Volunteer Protocol, Kingsford
   Legal Centre.............................................................................. 24
   Part C Appendix C Position Description Paralegal Volunteer,
   South West Community Legal Centre. ...................................... 26
   Part C Appendix D Volunteer Job Description Volunteer Lawyer,
   Kingsford Legal Centre.............................................................. 29
   Part C Appendix E Volunteer Application Form, Moreland
   Community Legal Centre........................................................... 32
   Part C Appendix F Volunteer File Checklist .............................. 38
   Part C Appendix G Volunteer Information Database Pro Forma,
   Peninsula Community Legal Centre ......................................... 41
                                              Part C Module 1
                              Screening & Selecting Volunteers




                 Part C Module 1
Screening & Selecting Volunteers

 Aim

 To highlight the importance of screening potential volunteers as part of
 the selection process and to explore screening methodology and
 associated issues.

 Learning Outcomes

 This module is targeted at community legal centre (CLC) workers who
 are responsible for the recruitment, selection, training, co-ordination and
 supervision of volunteers.

 After completing the module participants will:

  1.   Have an understanding of the purposes of screening as an
       element of the volunteer selection process;

  2.   Have considered the ethical principles that underpin volunteer
       screening and selection processes;

  3.   Be aware of a range of screening and selection methodology,
       stages at which the methods may be implemented and issues
       surrounding the application of various methodologies; and

  4.   Be in a position to evaluate the community legal centre‟s relevant
       policies and procedures, with a view to enhancing the
       effectiveness of the centre‟s volunteer screening and selection
       processes.

 Preparation

 The following documents are required:

 Internal Documents
  Centre‟s Policy and Procedures Manual, refer to relevant sections.




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National Standards for Involving Volunteers in Not-for-
Profit Organisations

Volunteering Australia has identified eight areas that can contribute to a
best practice approach by an organisation in relation to its volunteer
program. The following are relevant to this module:

Standard 1: Policies and Procedures

An organisation that involves volunteers shall define and document its
policies and procedures for volunteer involvement and ensure that
these are understood, implemented and maintained at all levels of the
organisation where volunteers are involved.

Standard 3: Recruitment, Selection and Orientation

An organisation that involves volunteers shall plan and have clearly
documented volunteer recruitment, selection and orientation policies
and procedures that are consistent with non-discriminatory practices
and guidelines.

Standard 7: Documentation and Records

An organisation that involves volunteers shall establish a system and
have defined procedures to control all documentation and personnel
records that relate to the management of volunteers. (Volunteering
Queensland)




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                                           Resource Module

         Introduction

         Community legal centres involve volunteers to enhance and extend
         their operations and the services that are provided to their communities.
         People are motivated to volunteer for many reasons, the skills and
         commitment that they are able to offer vary considerably. CLC volunteer
         recruitment and selection processes aim to identify prospective
         volunteers and to match their skills and interests with organisational
         requirements.

         This module focuses on „screening‟ as a critical element in the volunteer
         selection process. Drawing on broader community and not-for-profit
         sector research and resources, and CLC specific experience, the
         module aims to assist centres to consider, plan and implement effective
         screening and selection policies and processes.

         What is screening?

         “Screening of applicants refers to the range of procedures and
         processes used by an organisation to carefully scrutinize individuals
         who apply for paid or unpaid positions ...” (Graff, 1999, p6.)

         Implicit in the concept of screening is the understanding that not all
         people who apply to volunteer with an organisation will necessarily be
         offered a position.

         Why screen?

         “Screening volunteers is an important step in the recruitment process. It
         enables organisations to establish the suitability of potential volunteers
         for the roles and tasks they are expected to carry out.

         As well as assessing the general suitability of an applicant for a
         volunteer position, screening assists risk management. Effective risk
         management helps protect organisations against financial loss, the risk
         of criminal or legal action, and/or damage to their reputations.”
         (Volunteering Australia, February 2005, p1.)

         Screening serves the dual purposes of assisting the organisation to
         determine suitability of people interested in volunteering and to manage
         potential risks associated with the role they may undertake.




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         From the organisation‟s perspective, „suitability‟ is usually determined in
         relation the work that the individual may undertake and how the person
         will fit into the organisation generally. Risk management, in relation to
         the selection of volunteers, fits into the broader organisation wide
         process of identifying and assessing risks, taking action to eliminate or
         minimise these, and evaluating how effective this has been.

         To achieve each of these purposes of screening of potential volunteers,
         planning and preparatory work must be undertaken by the centre.
         Preferably, this will happen prior to recruitment strategies being
         implemented.

         Establishing the Suitability of Volunteers

         “Identify the fit – This includes determining the interests and abilities of
         potential volunteers, determining their suitability for particular jobs, and
         assessing their appropriateness for the organisation; its style of
         operation and its mission. „Fit‟ is the interpersonal matching of the
         needs and interests of the volunteer with the needs and interests of the
         organisation.” (McCurley, 1998, p88.)

         Consideration of what skills, qualities and attitudes the centre is seeking
         in its volunteers will assist effective recruitment and selection. The
         “Skills Set” (Muddagouni, 2007) may be further divided into:
          The skills, qualities and attitudes that the person must demonstrate
           prior to being accepted as a volunteer with the centre (pre-
           requisites); and
          The skills, qualities and attitudes that the centre may be able to
           assist the person to develop (through training and supervised
           experience).
         Esmond (2005, pp85-86) calls this a “Volunteer Success Profile” and
         suggests that it may be “easier to teach someone a task than to change
         their attitude”. Another term, particularly for the „pre-requisites‟, is key
         selection criteria.

         Clearly, the “Skills Set” may vary from position to position and between
         organisations. This highlights the importance of reviewing the “Skills
         Set” prior to recruiting for and making an appointment to each volunteer
         position.




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         Those involved in selecting volunteers must decide how they will
         assess if an applicant has the required elements of the “Skills Set”.
         They must also think about what may become apparent during the
         selection process that would signify that the applicant is unsuitable. This
         would then feed into the development of appropriate screening tools.
         For example, a copy of a current practising certificate may be evidence
         of legal skills and knowledge, however, hearing a person‟s responses to
         a case study may be required to assess values and attitudes. See
         Screening Mechanisms, later in this module.

         Once determined, the “Skills Set” will also be useful in other aspects of
         the centre‟s volunteer program; recruitment and promotional materials,
         position descriptions, appraisal and review processes and training
         needs analysis, for example.

         In establishing the „skills set‟ and determining the suitability of potential
         volunteers, remember to apply non-discrimination/equal opportunity
         principles.

         Assessing and Managing Risk

         “Risk management is a process of devising practical strategies for
         identifying, avoiding and administering risks that exist in the work of an
         organisation. These processes give managers, paid staff and volunteer
         staff the confidence to pursue their mission without the fear of legal
         action of harm.

         Risk management begins with identifying all of the problems that could
         arise as a result of the organisation conducting its activities. When
         considered in the context of recruiting volunteers, it begins with the
         consideration of the opportunities for volunteers in your organisation to
         abuse the trust placed in them.

         A „best practice‟ approach to risk management demands that as many
         of these risks as possible are eliminated through planning volunteer
         activities. It also requires the implementation of recruitment processes
         that test the suitability of applicants to perform the volunteer role and
         provide a solid basis for screening out applicants who pose a risk.”
         (Volunteering Australia, 2005, pp1-2).

         CLCs are very familiar with the concept and practice of risk
         management. Requirements of professional indemnity insurance
         coverage and compliance with the Service Standards and Performance
         Indicators Manual serve to highlight the relevance of risk management
         in day-to-day centre operations.



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         In relation to a centre‟s volunteer program, systematic analysis of
         volunteer position descriptions, the work environments and the people
         with whom the volunteers may work will highlight possible risk factors.
         Strategies to eliminate or minimise the risks can then be developed and
         implemented by those who manage the volunteer program. The
         screening of potential volunteers is a key and timely risk management
         tool.

         The extent of screening required will depend on the position itself and,
         implicitly, the level of possible risk to the volunteer, others and the
         organisation. Not all volunteer positions will require the same level of
         scrutiny. Graff (1999, p15.) refers to this as the “Sliding Scale of
         Screening”.

         Our Community (Part 1, 2001), suggests that the following categories of
         potential volunteers may require more intensive screening than others:
          those who may be dealing with organisational or client funds;
          those who may have access to sensitive information and intellectual
           property;
          those who may be placed in positions of trust; and
          those who may be working with vulnerable clients.
         To this list CLC‟s may want to add:
          those who are providing „expert‟ advice and services; and
          those who may be working in isolation or not under direct
            supervision.
         Consider

         Does the centre incorporate screening into its volunteer recruitment
         and selection processes?

         For what purpose(s) does the centre screen potential volunteers?

         Have current screening mechanisms been effective in achieving these
         purposes?

         Are the reasons for screening volunteers and the mechanisms used to
         screen volunteers documented in centre policies and procedures?

         Has a „skills set‟ been identified for each volunteer position?

         Is a „sliding scale of screening‟ relevant to the centre? Do some
         volunteer positions require more intensive screening than others?




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         Arguments Against Screening

         An argument sometimes raised against a formalised volunteer
         screening process is that it can be costly and time consuming, using up
         human and other resources which may be put to „better use‟. Counter to
         this is the argument that if an organisation does not have the resources
         to properly conduct its activities, perhaps it should not undertake them
         in the first place. Also, screening may actually save resources by
         helping to ensure that unsuitable people are not trained and do not
         have to be „dealt with‟ at a later stage.

         Other arguments against screening may include that it is an invasion of
         privacy or that it may create a perception of lack of trust. However, if a
         CLC has a clearly articulated, transparent and consistently applied
         screening process in place, then potential volunteers can be fully
         informed prior to deciding whether to enter into the process. Appropriate
         processes should also enhance a centre‟s reputation as being
         professional and well organised.

         Ethical Principles in Screening Volunteers

         There are a number of ethical principles to be considered by a CLC in
         designing and implementing its volunteer screening procedures and
         ensuring that it treats applicants respectfully, fairly and lawfully.

         Graff (1999) identifies the following ethical principles: full disclosure,
         consent, confidentiality and the right to know results. Consistency,
         timeliness and avenues for appeal/reconsideration could also be added
         to the list. Laws relating to privacy, equal opportunity and anti-
         discrimination are relevant.
          Full Disclosure
           That screening processes are in place and what these are should be
           clear to interested people from the outset, possibly in
           recruitment/promotional materials and certainly when an enquiry or
           expression of interest is first made. Interested people should also be
           advised of any minimum requirements and of any factors that may
           disqualify them from the volunteer position.
          Consent
           Obtaining information about a person other than directly from that
           person, for example through reference checks, should only be done
           with their full knowledge and consent. It is preferable that the
           consent be in writing and that it specifically state the type of
           information to be collected.




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          Confidentiality
             Any information collected about potential volunteers through the
             screening process should be treated as confidential. The information
             should be subject to the same confidentiality policies and procedures
             that the centre uses to protect other personal information that it
             deals with.
            The right to know results
             Applicants should be able to find out the results of any screening
             inquiries that are made and should have the chance to explain any
             negative findings.
             The centre should also consider what obligation it has to provide
             reasons for its decisions to applicants. The answer will have
             implications for the type of details that are obtained and how
             decisions are documented by the organisation.
            Consistency
             The same screening process(es) should be applied to all people who
             are applying for a similar volunteer position within a specified
             timeframe.
            Avenues for appeal/reconsideration
             The centre should consider what avenues may be available to
             applicants who want to seek reconsideration of a decision not to
             offer them a volunteer position. This information should be readily
             available to the applicants.
            Timeliness
             Perhaps more to do with good manners than ethics. What are
             reasonable timelines between the expression of interest/receipt of an
             application from a potential volunteer and them receiving a
             response/action with regard to screening, and then with regard to the
             offer or otherwise of a position?

         Consider

         How are the ethical principles outlined above addressed in the centre‟s
         volunteer screening and selection policy and procedures?

         Screening Mechanisms

         Various mechanisms may be applied at different stages in the volunteer
         application and selection process. Usually more than one mechanism
         will be employed as part of a comprehensive screening process.

         A number of common screening mechanisms and the stages at which
         they may be applied are outlined below.




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         Consider

         List the screening mechanisms currently employed by the centre.

         Consider these in relation to the mechanisms outlined below.

         Applicant Self-Assessment
          Sufficient information provided at an early stage enables the
           interested person to determine whether to make or continue with an
           application.
          Relevant information will be contained in a position description and
           general organisational information.
          It may be provided in writing – sent out or available on the centre‟s
           website, and/or verbally through an initial chat or as part of a “no-
           obligation” information session.

         Written Applications
          Letters or completed application forms assist the centre to obtain
             relevant information from interested people that can be used in
             screening and later processes.
            It is preferable that the written application is in response to a position
             description and that it addresses stated selection criteria.
            A well constructed formal application form enables the centre to
             collect specific and consistent information from applicants.
            Applicant permission to collect information from other sources, such
             as police and referee checks, can be incorporated into the
             application form.
            The form may also request that additional information, such as a
             resume, be attached.
         “We have reached the point where, because we are getting so many
         people expressing an interest in volunteering, we are no longer able to
         invite them all to an initial training session. We have decided to ask for
         written applications addressing specific selection criteria. Having to
         write the application may mean that some people don‟t continue. The
         written application will assist our centre to make an initial assessment
         about the suitability of those who do apply.” (CLC Worker).

         “People interested in volunteering are given a questionnaire to complete
         and return. The questionnaire includes a statement about the centre‟s
         expectations. Once the completed questionnaire is returned, including
         information about experience and expertise, it is taken to a staff
         meeting for consideration.” (CLC Worker).



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         Information Sessions
          “No obligation”, on the part of either the interested person or the
             centre, information sessions may be just that, information, or the
             session may incorporate elements of interviews, see below.
         “Our centre requires that volunteers undertake a two day training
         course. We have an information session for applicants at which the
         training requirements are outlined. We find that this serves as a self-
         selection process. If people don‟t contact us again after the information
         session we don‟t follow them up. We still get enough people interested
         in volunteering and we find that these people are more committed.”
         (CLC Worker)

         Interviews
          Face to face interaction enables more detailed assessment of
             applicants.
            Individual or group interviews may be appropriate.
            Decide on the information that is required to assess suitability of the
             applicants and tailor interview questions and processes to elicit this
             information.
            Consider the level of formality and process(es) to be used – will it be
             a „straight‟ interview, combined with or following an information
             session, a more interactive interview incorporating case studies or
             group exercises in addition to questions and answers?
            Consider who should be involved: different people will bring different
             perspectives to the process, other volunteers may have an interest
             in ensuring that any new people will fit in, legal practitioners may be
             required when interviewing legal volunteer applicants.
            If information or training is to be provided as part of the process,
             having various presenters will help to keep the session interesting
             and will enable „interviewers‟ to have time to observe as well as
             facilitate.
            Prepare „rating‟ tools – a „gut-feeling‟ may be one form of
             assessment, however, tools such as participant observation sheets,
             „skills set‟ assessment sheets or notes against key selection criteria
             will provide consistent and comparable information that can be
             referred to in discussion and decision-making.
            Consider using a range of strategies within an interview. Group
             discussion, role plays or other exercises may demonstrate
             interpersonal skills, responses to a case study scenario may give an
             indication of personal values or how someone will respond in a
             certain situation.


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         A Victorian CLC uses the following process to select paralegal
         volunteers:
          An internal decision to give first preference to 3rd and 4th year law
             students has been made, this assists with initial culling of
             applications.
            Group sessions are organised as required and about twenty people
             are invited to attend.
            The session is run by a combination of staff and management
             members and current volunteers.
            The philosophy and work of CLCs generally and the centre
             specifically are outlined, the expectations of the centre and of the
             potential volunteers are discussed.
            Issues around values are explored, often through group discussion
             about a case study regarding a relevant social issue.
            Those who have run the session meet afterwards to undertake an
             initial assessment of the suitability of applicants. If there is concern
             about a person they may be followed up with a phone call which
             explores the area of concern, or a decision may be made to not
             pursue the person further.
            Those considered suitable are invited to observe a legal advice
             session. They are asked to advise the centre following the session if
             they are still interested in volunteering.
            If the centre has assessed them as suitable and the person still
             wants to volunteer, they will be invited to begin volunteering and a
             formal induction session will be organised.

         Consider

         In your opinion, does the process outlined above adequately screen
         prospective volunteers?

         Would it work in your centre? Why? Why not?

         What else could be done to enhance this process?

         Asking For and Checking Referees

         It is unlikely that a CLC would employ a new paid worker without
         contacting referees, this process may also be relevant for volunteer
         positions.
          Ensure that the person knows that referee checks will be
           undertaken, written consent may be appropriate
          Consider ethical principles in deciding what questions to ask and
           how responses will be recorded.

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         Formal Checks

         Formal checks enable a centre to confirm the details that have been
         provided by applicants. The checks are often undertaken for risk
         management purposes and are usually carried out after suitability has
         been established through other processes.

         Different checks may be required for various volunteer positions. The
         reasons for obtaining this information should be clear and „fishing
         exercises‟ avoided. Ensure that written consent is obtained from the
         applicant, where appropriate, prior to undertaking the check.

         Common types of formal checks include:
          Verification of qualifications – requesting that people produce the
           original proof of their qualification or registration, making a copy and
           keeping it on file. This may be relevant for legal practising
           certificates, first aid certificates, driver‟s licences, etc.
          Police Records Checks
          Working With Children Checks.
         Many qualifications and formal checks are issued for a specific period.
         Procedures may be necessary to track currency and make further
         checks as required.

         Where there are costs associated with certain formal checks, such as a
         Police Records Check, a decision must be made about who will pay -
         the centre, the applicant, will it be shared? If the applicant is required to
         contribute to the cost, this should be made clear from the outset.

         The centre may also need to consider how it would respond to requests
         that may be made after formal checks have been obtained. For
         example, if the centre paid for a Police Records Check, will it release
         the check to the volunteer to use in applications to other organisations?

         “Police checks are sometimes a useful tool to support other screening
         measures, but should never be used as the sole means of screening
         applicants because of the limitations of the information they provide.
         Police checks should always be conducted where the volunteer is to
         work with vulnerable people such as children, disabled people or elderly
         people.

         Police checks should not be used to discriminate against volunteers
         with convictions that will not affect their suitability for the work (eg traffic
         conviction where the volunteer is not in a position where they are
         required to drive.)” (Volunteering Australia, 2005, p3)



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         “We ask paralegal, administrative and other non-legal volunteers to
         complete a Consent to Police Check form. People who will be acting as
         legal volunteers are requested to present a copy of their current
         practicing certificate to the Volunteer Co-ordinator. A copy is made and
         kept on file and the legal volunteer is asked to sign a form giving the
         centre permission to check the currency of their practising certificate
         with the Law Institute on an annual basis. It is assumed that the Law
         Institute would not issue a practising certificate if there was evidence of
         a relevant criminal history, so a formal police check would be a
         duplication.” (CLC Worker)

         Induction and Training
          Observing a person as she or he participates in volunteer training
           will provide further screening opportunities.
          A review meeting at the completion of training, or within a set period
           from the commencement of volunteer work, will provide a formal
           mechanism for the applicant or the centre to address issues.
         “After four weeks we meet with the volunteer to review what they have
         learnt and to identify where further training is required. This is then
         offered on a one-on-one basis.” (CLC Worker)

         Ongoing ‘Screening’

         Initial screening and assessment is the beginning of an ongoing
         process to ensure the suitability of volunteers and to manage risk
         associated with their involvement in CLC activities. Ongoing
         supervision, support, training, regular opportunities to review
         performance and address any concerns, maintenance of up to date
         records and assessing whether further screening is required given
         changed circumstances or responsibilities all contribute to a
         comprehensive approach.

         As noted by Lorraine Street (Graff, 1999, p8), “…screening does not
         stop when someone is hired or engaged. Screening continues
         throughout the length of the individual‟s work with an organisation, it
         takes somewhat different forms after hiring but does and should
         continue. (1996:1.3)”




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         Consider

         Could any of these mechanisms, or specific elements, be incorporated
         to enhance the centre‟s procedures?

         Does the centre use mechanisms that are not suggested above? How
         effective are these?

         Has the centre considered sharing its experience with other CLCs?

         Notifying Applicants of the Outcome of the Screening and
         Selection Process

         Clear procedures and prepared pro forma documents will assist a
         centre to provide timely, appropriate and consistent information to
         people regarding the outcome of their application to volunteer. People
         will usually be advised of the outcome in writing and the letter will
         include detail of further steps to be taken.

         A letter offering a person a volunteer position might include information
         such as:
          Further training that will be required and when it will be offered
          Initial and ongoing volunteer dates, times and locations
          Position description/outline of responsibilities
          Volunteer rights and responsibilities
          Details of supervision and accountability
          Period of appointment and whether any probation or review periods
           apply
          What to do next and who to contact for further information
         It may also be appropriate to provide a copy of the centre‟s Volunteer
         Manual or relevant organisational policies and procedures.

         The letter may also request that the person provide further information,
         if this has not previously been obtained, such as:
          Signed form accepting the position and any associated conditions
          Personal contact details
          Copy of qualifications
          Completed form to authorising a Police Records or Working With
           Children check
          Signed confidentiality and privacy agreement.




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         Timely, formal advice to a person that they have been unsuccessful in
         their application for a volunteer position is important. A letter will help to
         show the person that their application has been appreciated and that
         the organisation has a respectful and professional approach in dealing
         with these matters.

         The letter might include:
          Reasons why the application has been unsuccessful
          An invitation to re-apply at a later time (given changed
           circumstances, further experience or qualifications, etc.)
          An offer to provide more detailed feedback and who to contact about
           this
          Information about internal review procedures
          Information about other internal or external volunteering
           opportunities.

         Consider

         A centre must carefully consider what obligation it has to provide
         feedback, the extent of feedback that it is prepared to provide to
         applicants, who is responsible for providing it, how it will be provided
         and how this will be recorded.

         Documentation

         Effective volunteer screening and selection processes are supported by
         good documentation and record-keeping. This may include:
          General information about the centre, its philosophy and how it
           operates – provides context and an initial basis for self screening for
           people who may be interested in volunteering.
          Specific information about the volunteer program, including
           screening and selection processes, expectations with regard to
           participation in training, length of commitment, signing confidentiality
           agreements, factors that may disqualify someone from volunteering,
           etc. – helps to ensure that transparent and consistent information is
           provided to all interested people. See Part C Appendix A –
           Peninsula Community Legal Centre Volunteer Information Leaflet,
           and Part C Appendix B Volunteer Protocol, Kingsford Legal Centre.




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          Volunteer position descriptions - enable the organisation to
             clearly articulate, both for itself and prospective volunteers, the
             parameters and requirements of the position. See Part C
             Appendix C – Position Description Paralegal Volunteer, South West
             Community Legal Centre and Part C Appendix D Volunteer Job
             Description Volunteer Lawyer, Kingsford Legal Centre.
            Key selection criteria/‘skills set’ – whether stand-alone or
             incorporated into position descriptions, provide specific criteria to be
             addressed in applications and provide a basis for assessment of the
             applicants.
            Volunteer Application Form – enables the centre to collect
             comprehensive and consistent information from applicants and also
             to obtain written consent to obtain personal information from other
             sources. See Part C Appendix E – Volunteer Application Form,
             Moreland Community Legal Centre.
            Documented screening and selection policy and procedures –
             demonstrate that the organisation has thought these matters
             through, that it has a commitment to clear and consistent processes
             and provide direction as to how these are to be implemented.
            Assessment/Rating Tools – provide a format for collecting
             information about potential volunteers and for making fair and
             defensible selection decisions.
            Pro forma letters and other documents – encourage efficiency as
             the documents do not have to be recreated and re-authorised each
             time they are required, ensure that all the necessary detail is
             included in the document and that information is provided in a
             consistent manner to applicants.
            Volunteer Files – include all of the information that the centre
             collects and creates in relation to each volunteer. The details held on
             the file should support any decisions about the person‟s involvement
             at the centre and record relevant „risk management‟ information. See
             Part C Appendix F – Volunteer File Checklist and Part C Appendix G
             – Volunteer Information Database Pro Forma, Peninsula Community
             Legal Centre.




Resource Module              Western Australia December 2007                 Page 16
                                                     Part C Module 1
                                     Screening & Selecting Volunteers




         Conclusion

         Once a CLC does anything further than accept everyone who puts up
         their hand to volunteer it is applying a form of screening. The extent and
         complexity of screening processes can vary considerably, but all are
         basically aimed at assessing the suitability of potential volunteers and
         managing risks associated with their involvement.

         Well thought through and designed, transparent and consistently
         applied screening mechanisms will deliver high quality and fair
         outcomes for all involved. They can also enhance centre effectiveness,
         efficiency and accountability. It is worth remembering that while the
         centre is going through the process of screening and selecting
         volunteers, the interested people are also using this time and process to
         „screen‟ the organisation and assess what it offers them.

         The content of this module and the following appendices aim to
         encourage and assist CLCs to consider and review their own volunteer
         screening and selection processes.




Resource Module             Western Australia December 2007                Page 17
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                                                          Resources

         References

        Community Link Australia (2000) Service Standards Manual for the
        Community Legal Services Program, revised by the Commonwealth
        Attorney-General‟s Department June 2001.
        Esmond, J. (2005) Count On Me! 501 Ideas on Retaining, Recognising
        and Rewarding Volunteers, New Season Publications, Western
        Australia.
        Graff, L. (1999) Beyond police checks: the definitive volunteer and
        employee screening guidebook, Linda Graff and Associates, Canada.
        McCurley, S. & Lynch, R. (1998) Essential Volunteer Management, 2nd
        ed., The Directory of Social Change, United Kingdom.
        Muddagouni, R. (2007) Interview, Fitzroy Legal Service, 7 June 2007.
        Our Community Pty Ltd (2001) Help Sheet – Screening Volunteers
        Part 1: The Case For Screening, Boards, Committees & Governance
        Centre, Our Community Pty Ltd,
        [http//:www.ourcommunity.com.au/boards/boards-
        article.jsp?articleId=1620 accessed 16/02/02].
        Our Community Pty Ltd (2001) Help Sheet – Screening Volunteers
        Part 2: Putting The Theory into Practice, Boards, Committees &
        Governance Centre, Our Community Pty Ltd,
        [http//:www.ourcommunity.com.au/boards/boards-
        article.jsp?articleId=1621 accessed 16/02/07].
        Volunteering Australia (January 2005) 100 point identification check –
        Information Sheet, Melbourne, Victoria.
        Volunteering Australia (February 2005) Screening and the volunteer
        recruitment process – Information Sheet, Melbourne Victoria.
        Volunteering Australia (September 2006) Police Checks and Volunteers
        – Information Sheet, Melbourne, Victoria.
        Volunteering Australia (December 2006) The Volunteer‟s Journey: A
        Step-By-Step Guide to Locating and Recruiting Volunteers, Melbourne,
        Victoria.
        Volunteering Queensland (website), Information & Resources – National
        Standards for Involving Volunteers in Not-For-Profit Organisations,
        [http://www.volunteeringqueensland.org.au/information_resources/natio
        nal_standards accessed 3/12/07].


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         Acknowledgements

         Many people and organisations have contributed to the
         conceptualisation and content of this module:
          Participants in the Victorian Focus Group held in August 2007
          Participants in the Valuing Volunteers Workshop held at the National
           Community Legal Centres Conference, September 2007
          Individuals and CLCs that have shared examples of their policies,
           procedures, documents and other tools used in volunteer screening
           and selection processes. In particular, South West Community Legal
           Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre, Peninsula Community Legal Centre,
           Fitzroy Legal Service, Moreland Community Legal Centre, Women‟s
           Legal Centre (ACT) and Freemantle Community Legal Centre
          Volunteering Victoria
          Those people who have reviewed and made suggestions regarding
           the content and presentation of this module.




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                            Appendices




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                Part C: Appendix A
Peninsula Community Legal Centre
     Volunteer Information Leaflet




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           Part C Appendix B
Volunteer Protocol, Kingsford
                Legal Centre




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Volunteer Protocol
Welcome to Kingsford Legal Centre. Volunteer lawyers have responsibilities both to the client
and to the students.
Students‟ responsibilities are to:
 check for conflict of interests
 complete the instruction sheet data
 interview the client to take instructions
 assist the lawyer in the researching of legal issues
Lawyers must not delegate the responsibility of giving advice to students. Lawyers should listen
to students‟ suggestions regarding client issues and discuss with students the advice which is to
be given before and after seeing the client.
Volunteer lawyers‟ responsibilities are to:
 check that the student has taken all statistical data from the client
 check that the student has checked for conflict of interest
 discuss the advice and issues which arise in giving the advice with the students
 encourage students to express their ideas about the advice and client issues
 provide constructive feedback to student ideas
 give the advice – including advising of relevant limitation periods
 ensure that an accurate record of advice which is given by the lawyer is kept, including
    limitation dates.
 Lawyers are encouraged to record the advice given themselves. Lawyers must ensure that
    all advices are signed and dated
Instruction/advice sheets are later checked by a Centre solicitor
Lawyers‟ advice on advice nights is covered by the Centre‟s insurance
Self Referral
Where a volunteer solicitor is prepared to take on a matter for free they can self refer.
When a volunteer solicitor intends to charge a client for a matter they can only self refer if they
provide the client with the names of two other private solicitors.
If a solicitor does not wish to self refer but the client wishes to see a private solicitor they must be
given a copy of the Centre‟s referral sheets so they can exercise choice in selection of
representation.
All new volunteer lawyers are subject to a three month probationary period. In particular, the
Centre may decide not to continue to invite a volunteer lawyer‟s services if:
 there is dissatisfaction with the quality of service provided to clients or students
 the lawyer is found to be motivated by an objective of “drumming up business” for their own
    benefit, rather than a motive of providing a quality community and teaching service to clients
    and students
 the lawyer fails to attend without making alternative arrangements
If you wish to discuss the roster or to make alternative arrangements because of inability to
attend, or to discuss any other issues regarding your responsibilities, please call Anna Hartree,
Co-ordinator of the Centre.



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                Part C Appendix C
    Position Description Paralegal
Volunteer, South West Community
                     Legal Centre.




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Position Description

Position Title

Volunteer Para-legal

Qualifications

There are no specific qualifications for a Para-legal volunteer, however a
person acting in this role must have an interest in social justice issues and the
law and a desire to work with disadvantaged people.

A Volunteer Para-legal must also have a level of literacy and comprehension
which will enable them to read legal information and forms and explain the
contents to clients as well as assisting clients to complete forms.

Responsible To

The Manager, South West Community Legal Centre.

Position Summary

The Volunteer Para-legal provides general assistance to legal centre staff as
defined in the duties.

Duties
 To act as an intermediary between the lawyer and the client at the first
  interview stage.
 To provide clients with information, advocacy support and assistance with
  legal forms and documents.
 To assist with ongoing case work.
 To assist with project work for example, community legal education and
  law reform.
 To assist with conflict checks.
 Other duties as negotiated.

Key Selection Criteria
 Well developed interpersonal and communication skills.
 Ability to contribute actively as a member of a team.
 Ability to accept supervision in its various forms.




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Benefits
 Learn more about the law and the legal system.
 Improve your understanding of legal issues in our local community.
 Make a difference in the community by:
    assisting disadvantaged people to understand and enforce their legal
     rights; and
    enabling legal information to be more accessible to our local
     community.

Additional Requirements
 The Volunteer Para-legal will be required to undergo a Criminal Records
  Check.
 The Volunteer Para-legal will be required to sign an Agreement as to
  conditions of service.




                    Western Australia December 2007
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                 Part C Appendix D
Volunteer Job Description Volunteer
    Lawyer, Kingsford Legal Centre




            Western Australia December 2007
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Volunteer Job Description

Title:          Volunteer Lawyer

Hours:          Tuesday and Thursday nights
                6.00pm-9.00pm approx.

Duties:         Volunteer lawyers are expected to attend on their rostered
                night. Tuesday night volunteers attend at the KLC on UNSW
                campus, Thursday night volunteers attend at The Junction
                Neighbourhood Centre, ground floor, Bowen Library Building,
                669 Anzac Parade Maroubra. If you are unable to attend,
                please notify the Centre as soon as possible and please
                arrange a replacement if possible. The Centre‟s clients
                depend on the services provided by volunteers.

a. Provide clients with quality advice services
 ensure conflict search is conducted (by students if they are available)
 interview clients in conjunction with students: where students are available
  they should take all initial instructions
 confer with students about advice to be provided and other lawyers where
  necessary
 provide advice which is accurate and clear
 work together with interpreters to ensure clients understand the advice
  given and that the advice is given in a culturally appropriate way
 discuss with advice night supervisor any matters to be referred for ongoing
  assistance

b. Provide a stimulating learning experience for students
 assist in identifying conflicts of interest
 discuss the advice and any ethical issues which arise in giving the advice
  with law students. Discussion should take place both before and after the
  advice is given.
 provide feedback to students relevant to improving their skills and client
  issues and legal issues which arise




                      Western Australia December 2007
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c. Ensure accurate records are kept of client attendances and
   advice given
 ensure all required statistical information is recorded on Client Information
  Sheet
 ensure a clear and accurate record is made of the advice provided
 ensure clients are advised of limitation dates and these are recorded on
  advice sheets
 check with supervising solicitor about updates on law or policy and
  procedures in the Centre, for example, casework policy
 attend training sessions/updates as where possible

d. Qualifications

A current practising certificate in New South Wales; and

e. Essential Criteria
 A willingness to assist disadvantaged clients to gain access to the legal
  profession
 A desire to provide a service to the community
 A willingness to undergo training as and when required
 A willingness to share your experience and expertise with others
 A commitment to working as a team with other volunteer lawyers on the
  roster
 To be an active listener and to show empathy towards clients
 To communicate the advice clearly and sensitively




                     Western Australia December 2007
                                  Part C Module 1
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               Part C Appendix E
      Volunteer Application Form,
Moreland Community Legal Centre




          Western Australia December 2007
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     Part C Appendix F
Volunteer File Checklist




Western Australia December 2007
                                                 Part C Module 1
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The following is an example of the type of details that may be collected and
maintained on the files of solicitor/legal volunteers.

Personal Details
Name
Address
Home telephone
Work telephone
Mobile
Email
Date of Birth
Languages spoken

Emergency Contact
Name
Relationship
Home telephone
Work telephone
Mobile

Application to Volunteer
Application Form Attached
Attended Interview – date
Referees checked

Volunteer Type
Current position description attached

Date Commenced Volunteering

Probation period applies/ends

Volunteering History

Date Ceased Volunteering

Practising Certificate
Sighted/Date
Copy of current certificate on file
Expiry date




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Police Records Check
Undertaken/Exempt
Expiry date
Current Police Check attached

Confidentiality & Privacy Undertaking
Signed
Copy attached

Details of Training Attended
Induction/date
Other, details:

Availability

Areas of Practice/Specialisation

Employing Firm
Details
Include in Referral List




                      Western Australia December 2007
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                 Part C Appendix G
Volunteer Information Database Pro
      Forma, Peninsula Community
                      Legal Centre




           Western Australia December 2007
                        Part C Module 1
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Western Australia December 2007

								
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