As a volunteer, you may hear or see confidential information and it is expected that you understand what is confidential information. Broadly speaking, personal and confidential information includes financial, health, sexuality, family and legal issues. It’s also important to note that different people consider different information as confidential. For example, one person may not be concerned about others knowing their age, while others might want this information kept confidential.
The Centre for Participation takes its duty of care towards volunteers seriously. That’s why we will only refer you to positions with organisations that have appropriate insurances. When considering volunteering positions, it’s wise to ask if the organisation has public liability insurance. Some organisations also hold other types of insurance, such as professional indemnity and/or directors and officers liability insurance.
Duty of care
As a volunteer, you need to take reasonable care to ensure people are not harmed or injured as a result of your actions. This is known as duty of care. Duty of care simply means being in a position where someone else is likely to be affected by what you do or do not do and where, if you are not careful, it is reasonably predictable that the other person might suffer harm.
Organisations have a duty of care towards you, their staff, other volunteers, clients and the general public. This is why a number of checks may need to be completed before you start your volunteering term.
The checks involved depend on what type of volunteer position you have chosen. Most organisations will require a National Police Check, particularly if you are working with vulnerable people or if you will be handling money.
Many organisations will pay for these checks on your behalf, but you will need to confirm this with the organisation. You may also be asked to provide the names of character referees (not family members) so that the organisation can learn more about you.
If you volunteer with the Centre for Participation, then you will undergo several checks at no cost to you. We use CrimCheck to conduct our police record checks.