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Volunteer (Including Volunteer Researcher) Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The engagement of volunteers allows the University to strengthen its strategic relationships with local and international institutions and with community stakeholders. It also enables members of the wider community to engage with and support the activities of the University.

(2) The engagement of volunteer researchers is a particular form of volunteer involvement. It assists the University in the global competition for human capital by supporting collaborative partnerships and enhances the University's international research profile.

(3) This document is supported by the provisions of the University's Volunteer (Including Volunteer Researcher) Procedure and should be read in conjunction with that document.

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Section 2 - Policy Intent

(4) This policy seeks to enhance the relationship between the University, other institutions and the community by providing a framework for engaging and managing volunteers.

Policy Objectives

(5) To mitigate risk by ensuring compliance with University policy and with legislative and statutory obligations.

(6) To ensure consistency in the engagement of volunteers.

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Section 3 - Scope

(7) This policy applies specifically to:

  1. persons undertaking research as volunteers without remuneration;
  2. individuals who volunteer their services to assist the University without receiving remuneration; and
  3. individuals with approval to undertake a program of vocational development through work experience activities at the University.

(8) This policy does not apply to:

  1. volunteers offering to be the subject of a research trial or project;
  2. staff and students of the University engaging in work integrated learning activities;
  3. individuals attending the University as part of a formal student exchange program or collaborative research arrangement;
  4. individuals attending the University to engage in routine academic, operational or business activities;
  5. community members appointed to University committees; or
  6. visiting or conjoint appointments.
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Section 4 - Policy Provisions

Engagement of a Volunteer

(9) A volunteer, volunteer researcher or work experience volunteer may only be approved to undertake a voluntary role or work experience by an officer with delegated authority in accordance with the University of Newcastle Delegation of Authority Policy - Human Resource Schedules.

(10) Volunteers may only be engaged by the University when the supervision and infrastructure necessary to support their activities are available and have been assigned.

(11) An intellectual property agreement must be established where volunteers are engaged in research activities with potential for commercialisation.

(12) An initial Safety Risk Review detailed on the Volunteer Checklist will be completed prior to the engagement of a volunteer, volunteer researcher or work experience volunteer.

(13) Where consistent with standard discipline or organisational practice a Health and Safety Risk Assessment will be completed prior to the engagement of a volunteer, volunteer researcher or work experience volunteer.

(14) Steps must be taken during the engagement of a volunteer to ensure the safety of children, families or other members of the public (including students) who may be involved in dealing with a volunteer undertaking approved activities. Specific to the context of their engagement such steps may include undergoing working with children and/or criminal record checks and/or a Statutory Declaration.

Volunteer Responsibilities

(15) Volunteers engaged by the University will be subject to the legislative and statutory obligations of the University, and the provisions of University policies and procedures.

(16) Volunteers must not disclose, disseminate or make use of confidential information relating to the University's affairs gained during the course of their engagement as a volunteer.

(17) Volunteers should acknowledge and observe the University's Code of Conduct in all of their University dealings.

Supervisor Responsibilities

(18) Supervisors are required to provide adequate supervision, ensure that suitable training, information and instruction are provided and that the controls identified in any Safety Risk Review or Health and Safety Risk Assessment are implemented and monitored.

Access to Information Technology

(19) Volunteers should seek access to information technology services through registration as an IT affiliate. Information regarding IT affiliate access is available on the Types of User Account webpage.

Withdrawal of an Invitation

(20) An invitation to participate as a volunteer may be withdrawn at the discretion of the approving officer or nominee.


(21) Volunteers may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses subject to the conditions set out in the Volunteer (Including Volunteer Researcher) Procedure.


(22) Volunteers will be covered by the University's Public Liability Policy for damage they may accidentally do to other people or property in the course of their approved University activities.

(23) The University will provide limited personal accident insurance for volunteers of the University subject to the conditions set out in the Volunteer (Including Volunteer Researcher) Procedure.

(24) Work experience volunteers will not be covered by the University's personal accident policy.

(25) Volunteers are not employees of the University and are not covered by the University's Workers Compensation Policy.

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Section 5 - Privacy

(26) The University will comply - in all of its dealings with volunteers - with the privacy principles set out in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 No 133 (NSW) as set out in the University's Privacy Management Plan.