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Volunteer Policy FAQs

Why is it necessary to perform sex and violent offender registry checks on volunteers?
Safety is our number one concern. The stipulation that no individual listed on the registry may volunteer helps to minimize risk to the University community.

Are emeritus faculty considered volunteers?
Retired faculty, emeritus or otherwise, are volunteers when they are performing services for the University without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation.  Departments who have retired faculty as volunteers need to follow the selection process just as they do for any other volunteer.

Are advisory board members considered volunteers?
Yes.

If I signed up through Boiler Volunteer Network to work as a volunteer, am I considered a volunteer under this policy?
When you volunteer your services to an entity other than the University you are not considered a volunteer under this policy.

My class does service-learning projects for various local businesses, schools and organizations. Does that mean the students are volunteers under this policy?
No. The students are merely fulfilling the requirements of a course.

Our department coordinated a group of volunteers to help out with clean up after a tornado. Would we have to perform the registry checks first in order to do this in the future?
No. When you volunteer your services to an entity other than the University you are not considered a volunteer under this policy and are not subject to our selection process.

We have a table at the Indiana State Fair every year. Are the people who staff the table considered volunteers?
If the individuals are current faculty or staff or currently enrolled students, no. If the individuals are anyone else (e.g., alumni, retired faculty/staff, donors), they are considered volunteers and are subject to the selection process.

Where do I find the Volunteer Registration form?
The form is Appendix A of the Administrative Manual on University Volunteers.

My department already has a registration form and a volunteer agreement that it’s been using for several years. Can we continue to use it or do we have to use the ones in the manual?
Please have Human Resources review your forms to ensure they meet the requirements of the policy.

Does a volunteer need to fill out both the Volunteer Registration form and the Volunteer Agreement/Release form?
Most individuals will only need to fill out the Volunteer Registration form.  However, if an individual is performing any of the following tasks he or she will need to do both forms:

  • 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

Can the registry checks be completed before the volunteer comes to campus?
Yes, the individual can send his or her completed registration form to the department ahead of time and the checks can be performed from the information on the form.

Is there a central list of approved volunteers?
No.

Since current faculty, staff and students are not considered volunteers under this policy, does that mean that my department can’t require them to sign an agreement before they volunteer for us?
If the services the faculty or staff member or student will be performing qualify as volunteer services and would normally require the volunteer to sign an agreement, the department may require the faculty or staff member or student to sign the agreement as well.

The Volunteer Agreement/Release talks about medical insurance. If I am a current faculty/staff member and I sign the agreement, am I still covered by my insurance?
Yes. The language is intended to let individuals who do not work at the University know that if they volunteer they do not qualify for benefits. University faculty and staff who have medical insurance through the University are still covered by it, even while they are volunteering for the University.

How do I perform the registry checks?
Steps for performing checks may be found in the Administrative Manual on University Volunteers.

We had a volunteer work for us last semester, and he is volunteering for another project in our department this semester. Do we need to check the registries again since it’s been less than a year?
No. You only need to perform the check if the individual has not volunteered for your department before or it has been more than a year since you last checked.

Our volunteer will have access to some sensitive information. Are we allowed to perform a more thorough background check?
Your department must consult with Human Resources regarding any additional checks to be performed in order to ensure that they are appropriate and adhere to applicable laws, regulations and policies.

What do I do if I find a volunteer’s name on a registry?
That individual may not volunteer. The department may 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.

Is there a format for the annual report our department provides to HR?
Human Resources has developed a Web-based database for departments to report registry checks performed on volunteer applicants. This database will serve as the annual report required by the policy. You can access the online reporting tool at http://www.purdue.edu/bs/vbc/index.php.

Are the annual reports to HR due each calendar year or each fiscal year?
Calendar year (i.e., by Feb 28).