Administrative Manual on University Volunteers

This manual supplements the University’s policy on Volunteers (VI.B.2). Please refer specific questions to the appropriate contacts listed in the policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Assessment of Volunteer Services to be Provided
    1. Prohibited Volunteer Services
    2. Services Not Requiring a Volunteer Agreement
    3. Services Requiring a Volunteer Agreement
  2. Screening Volunteers
    1. Volunteer Registration and Verification
    2. Non-U.S. Citizens as Volunteers
    3. Minors as Volunteers
    4. Checking the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website
    5. Checking the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry
    6. Verification of a Match
  3. Volunteer Agreements
  4. Additional Background Screening
  5. Reimbursement of Expenses
  6. Annual Reports

Appendix A — Sample Volunteer Registration Form (Word)

Appendix B — Sample Consent to Volunteer Form (Word)

Appendix C — Sample Volunteer Agreement and Release (Word)

  1. Assessment of Volunteer Services to be Provided

    Departments/units are advised to consider the following questions prior to enlisting the services of a Volunteer.
    • Is the task clear enough to be understood?
    • Are duties and responsibilities clear?
    • What resources are available for this assignment?
    • Who will be the advisor or supervisor for the Volunteer?
    • How long will the Volunteer position last?
    • What qualifications are required?
    • What are the benefits to the Volunteer?
    • What are the expectations from this position?

    The following lists are intended to serve as a guide to departments/units when assessing the services a Volunteer may be expected to provide and are not considered comprehensive or exhaustive. Departments/units must consult with Human Resources with regard to specific tasks or activities to determine their appropriateness.

    1. Prohibited Volunteer Services
      1. Any work that displaces paid work performed by an employee or contractor of the University or any work that does not meet the definition of volunteer work according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
      2. Volunteers may not perform any service that places the Volunteer, the University or the community in substantial risk, including:
        • Any activity considered inappropriate for an employee
        • Operating heavy equipment
        • Work with hazardous materials
        • Work with or having access to export-controlled materials
        • Entry into any contract on behalf of the University
        • Commitment of the expenditure of University funds

    2. Services Not Requiring a Volunteer Agreement

      In general, services that involve the following types of activities do not require a completed Volunteer Agreement.
      • Clerical work
      • Greeting or directing individuals at a University event
      • Phone-a-thon services
      • Distributing or collecting items at a University event
      • Public speaker

    3. Services Requiring a Volunteer Agreement

      Services that involve the following types of activities or access require a completed Volunteer Agreement. Refer to section 3 for more information on Volunteer Agreements.
      • Key access to a building or facility
      • Direct contact with minors or other vulnerable populations (e.g., patients, persons with mental disabilities)
      • Direct contact with animals
      • Access to cash, cash equivalents, checks, credit card account information or financial information of any kind
      • Access to protected, personal, or other sensitive data or other confidential information
      • Work in a laboratory
      • Work in a facility in which biological, chemical, radiological or other hazardous materials are present
      • Services that require travel of any kind (driver or passenger)
      • Professional services

  2. Screening Volunteers


    Each department/unit may choose to either create and maintain its own database for storing and reporting on Volunteer screenings or use the Online Volunteer Screening Verification Submission Form provided by Human Resources. Units that choose to create their own database must record the following data:
    • Volunteer’s name
    • Volunteer’s home address
    • Volunteer’s date of birth (if obtained)
    • Name of the employee who verified the ID (if ID was provided)
    • Date the state registry check was performed
    • Date the national registry check was performed
    • Results of the registry checks
    • Name of employee(s) who performed the checks
    • A copy of any match found on either registry

    1. Volunteer Registration and Verification

      A Sex and Violent Offender Registry Check must be performed on all potential Volunteers (see policy for exclusions). Departments/units may require potential Volunteers complete a Volunteer Registration Form and provide a government-issued photo ID for verification of identity. A sample form can be found in Appendix A.

    2. Non-U.S. Citizens as Volunteers

      As stated in the policy, a non-U.S. citizen who is in the United States on a visa may be prohibited from serving as a Volunteer or limited to certain Volunteer roles by federal law. A non-U.S. citizen who serves as a Volunteer for the University, but is not authorized by the federal government to do so, puts their legal status at risk. Departments/units need to exercise due diligence in obtaining verification that a non-U.S. citizen is permitted to serve as a Volunteer for the University in the specific role the department/unit is trying to fill. This manual provides a starting point for obtaining that verification.

      1. Individuals Prohibited from Serving as Volunteers by Federal Law
        • Anyone holding a B-1 or B-2 visa.
        • Anyone traveling under the Visa Waiver Program under an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) document.
        • An individual holding an R-1 or R-2 visa may only volunteer for the religious organization sponsoring them and only for work approved through their visa process.

      2. Individuals Advised by an Attorney that They May Perform Volunteer Work

        For all visa statuses other than those listed under 2.B.i above, the department/unit must recommend to the individual that they consult with a qualified immigration attorney. If the individual has done so and was advised that they may serve as a Volunteer, the department/unit may engage the individual as a Volunteer only in positions that meet all of the following criteria:
        • The service is not listed as prohibited under section 1.A above.
        • The work is performed for a civic, charitable or humanitarian purpose.
        • A U.S. citizen would typically perform the same type of work without pay under similar circumstances.
        • There is no promise, expectation or implication that the individual will receive any type of compensation or remuneration, including non-monetary benefit or future employment.
        • The Volunteer is not performing the same services for which they were previously or are currently employed in a paid position to do and/or for which they expect to be hired in the future.
        • The individual is not coerced or pressured in any way into performing the services.

        Examples that typically meet these criteria:
        • Help at a special University event outside the course of regular operations, such as a walk for cancer or a phone-a-thon to raise funds for a department.

        Examples that typically do not meet these criteria:
        • Work in a lab at the University.
        • Filing or administrative work that would otherwise be performed for compensation.
        • Routine work of a department/unit that occurs on a regular and recurring basis, even if only temporary or periodic in nature.

      3. Students and Scholars with Special Work Authorizations

        Individuals with the following visa statuses may be subject to further restrictions on volunteering than those listed in section 2.B.ii above. The department/unit must consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars before engaging the following individuals as Volunteers.
        • Students and scholars with a work authorization for curricular practical training (CPT), optional practical training (OPT) and/or a STEM OPT extension.
        • Non-students holding a J-1 visa.

      4. Questions may be directed to the Office of International Students and Scholars at 765-494-5770 or iss@purdue.edu.

    3. Minors as Volunteers

      The parent or legal guardian of a potential Volunteer under the age of 18 must sign a Consent to Volunteer Form. A sample form may be found in Appendix B. Individuals under the age of 18 may only provide services that do not require a completed Volunteer Agreement (see section 1.C above); the same applies to parents or guardians who are supervising a dependent child under the age of 15. This provision does not apply to minors who serve as volunteers in 4-H programs.

      The department/unit must perform the Sex and Violent Offender Registry Check on the minor and the parent or guardian if the parent or legal guardian will be supervising the minor.

    4. Checking the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website
      1. Visit the registry website: www.nsopw.gov/Core/Portal.aspx
      2. Click the option to search for sex offenders.
      3. Read the conditions of use and agree to them.
      4. Search for the individual’s name.
      5. If a match(es) is found, click on the name to see the detailed information and verify whether it is the same person.

    5. Checking the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry
      1. Visit the registry website: www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54663&disc=
      2. Use the search by name.
      3. If a match(es) is found, go into the details to verify whether it is the same person.

    6. Verification of a Match

      In the event the potential Volunteer’s information matches a record on one of the registries that individual may not volunteer. The department/unit will need to forward the information to its campus Human Resources department for further verification. Only if Human Resources is able to determine that the person listed on the registry and the potential Volunteer are not the same person may the individual volunteer.

  3. Volunteer Agreements

    If a Volunteer will be providing services that require a Volunteer Agreement (see section 1.C above), the department/unit must consult with human resources regarding language that should be included in the agreement. The agreement must be signed before any services are provided by the Volunteer, and annually thereafter if the Volunteer provides ongoing services. A sample agreement is provided in Appendix C.

  4. Additional Background Screening

    Any services that require the completion of a Volunteer Agreement (see section 1.C above) may also be services for which it would be in the best interest of the University to require additional background screening. Human Resources will assist departments/units in assessing the need for additional screening, which may include the following:
    • Educational verification
    • License verification
    • Employment verification
    • Credit history check
    • Criminal history check
    • Limited criminal history check

    Departments/units must consult with Human Resources prior to conducting any additional background screening in order to ensure appropriate procedures are followed. The cost for background screening will be borne by the department/unit.

  5. Reimbursement of Expenses

    Departments/units may reimburse Volunteers for actual and reasonable expenses in accordance with standard University reimbursement policies and procedures. Reimbursements are not a form of compensation nor are they linked to productivity or the performance of services.

  6. Annual Reports

    Departments/Units utilizing the Online Volunteer Screening Verification Submission Form provided by Human Resources to track their Volunteer registry checks will receive in September of each year a copy of the annual report run by Human Resources of all checks performed for the previous year.

    Departments/Units maintaining their own databases are required to submit to Human Resources by September 30 of each year a report that includes the following information for each registry check performed during the previous 12 months:

    • Volunteer’s name
    • Volunteer’s date of birth (if captured)
    • Date the state registry check was performed
    • Date the national registry check was performed
    • Results of the registry checks
    • A copy of any match found on either registry

Appendix A

Sample Volunteer Registration Form (Word)

Appendix B

Sample Consent to Volunteer Form (Word)

Appendix C

Sample Volunteer Agreement and Release (Word)

Contact Information
Ernest C. Young Hall, 10th Floor
155 S. Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114
Phone: 765-494-5830
Fax: 765-494-1295
E-mail: vpec@purdue.edu 

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