Administrative Procedure 490

Volunteers

Background

The Division recognizes the value and encourages the use of volunteers in the schools.

The purpose of this Administrative Procedure is to ensure and maintain a safe and secure learning and working environment.

Definitions

Criminal record means a statement of all convictions registered under any federal Act or regulation and for which an official pardon granted under section 3 of the Criminal Record Act, has not been granted.

Security clearance means a certified disclosure of a criminal record background search in accordance with Division procedures.

Volunteer means an unpaid person who assists schools and/or students either in curricular or extra-curricular activities and students volunteering outside their school but does not include guest speakers, presenters, visitors to the school, parents who assist their own child in the school or school council members in their position as school council members. A CUPE member can be a volunteer outside his/her work assignment and must follow the same application and approval process.

Procedures

  1. Purpose of Volunteering
    1. All volunteer positions must have a specified purpose and must be sponsored by a teacher, Principal or the Division.
    2. The Principal must approve all volunteer positions in a school in accordance with this Administrative Procedure.
    3. Volunteers provide support to schools and students either as resource persons or in supportive services.
    4. Volunteers who act as resource persons are individuals
      1. Who have a relevant area of experience and expertise;
      2. Who are involved in an activity on a short-term basis to enhance the education program; and
      3. Whose visits are planned, supervised and evaluated by a certified teacher.
    5. Volunteers who provide support services, assist teachers or groups of teachers directly or indirectly in achieving educational objectives by providing non-instructional services.
    6. A volunteer may not be assigned to assist a teacher without the teacher’s consent.
  2. Operations
    1. Volunteers must comply with Division administrative procedures and any school rules.
  3. Insurance
    1. Volunteers are insured under the Division liability insurance only while they are acting within the scope of their duties as assigned by the Principal, teacher or the Division.
    2. Volunteers are not insured under any Division medical or accident insurance for bodily injuries which they may sustain while volunteering at the Division.
    3. Volunteers acting as chaperones on Division trips are insured under the Division Blanket Student Accident and Sickness Policy only while acting within the scope of their duties on a trip sanctioned by the Division.
  4. Volunteer Registration
    1. All applicants for a volunteer position must complete the Volunteer Registration Form (Form 490-1) and any other school forms.
    2. False applications are grounds for revocation of volunteer application.
  5. Criminal Record Declaration
    1. All applicants for volunteer positions with the District must declare a criminal record, and keep the Division informed of any changes or circumstances that may lead to a criminal record.
  6. Conditions of Volunteer Position
    1. A Volunteer position with the Division is conditional on satisfactory receipt and evaluation of their vulnerable sector criminal record check. Volunteer work should not begin prior to vulnerable sector criminal record check receipt and review by the school.
    2. Volunteers agree to avoid any conflict of interest, real or perceived, and follow the Division’s Administrative Procedure 404 - Conflict of Interest.
    3. Volunteers agree to keep confidential any information they obtain or observe unless unless there is a Duty to Report as per AP 403, such as AP 325 Reporting Child Abuse
    4. If an applicant is being considered for a volunteer position and a security clearance discloses a criminal record which the applicant has not previously declared, the applicant must be offered the opportunity to explain the discrepancy.
  7. Suitability for Volunteer Positions
    1. If an applicant for a volunteer position discloses a criminal record, that applicant may not begin their duties until the Principal of the school or the Senior Manager of the Service Unit where the volunteer position is located, reviews the security clearance information in consultation with either the Deputy Superintendent or Superintendent, to determine the suitability of the applicant for the position.
    2. If an applicant has a criminal record, the Principal will review the applicant’s suitability for the volunteer position based on the following factors:
      1. The type of charge or offence;
      2. The age of the charge or offence
      3. The type of volunteer work the applicant is being considered for;
      4. Whether the criminal record impacts on the applicant’s ability to perform those volunteer duties;
      5. Whether the behaviour associated with the offence(s) if repeated, will pose a threat of physical or sexual abuse to children or others; and
      6. Any other factor(s) which the principal determines to be relevant.
    3. If the Principal determines that the applicant is deemed unsuitable for that volunteer position, the applicant will not be offered that particular volunteer position.
  8. Notification of Criminal Charges
    1. Volunteers must notify the Principal of all criminal charges at the time the charge is issued or pleadings of guilty or no contest to misdemeanor or felony.
    2. Volunteers charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada may be suspended from their volunteer positions depending on the nature of the offence and its relationship to their duties.
    3. Conviction of any criminal offence may result in termination of a volunteer position with the Division.
  9. Confidential Information
    1. All information regarding security clearances is strictly confidential and may only be used or disclosed in accordance with this Administrative Procedure and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  10. Renewal
    1. Security clearances will be deemed valid for a period of five (5) years and subject to renewal and submission to the Division. Pending specific program requirements, more frequent security clearances may be required.
    2. Notwithstanding the five-year renewal period the requirements as set out above must remain in force and be strictly adhered to.
  11. The Division recognizes that the contributions of volunteers are important to the success of its schools and believes that those efforts are to be publicly acknowledged.

Adopted:

December 1, 2009

Amended:

February 22, 2011, December 16, 2015, September 21, 2016, August 23, 2021

Reference:

Section 52, 53, 197, 222, 256 Education Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Criminal Record Act

Cross References

Policy 20 Student Conduct / Welcoming, Caring Respectful and Safe

AP 404 Conflict of Interest

AP 420 Role of the Teacher

AP 430 Role of the Principal

AP 312 Student Safety Patrols

AP 491 Volunteer Coaches and Supervisors

Form 490-1 Volunteers Registration Form