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Resolving volunteer issues

The involvement of volunteers is usually a positive experience for everyone involved. However, there may be times when an issue about volunteering or a volunteer needs to be addressed. It’s important that there’s a quick, fair and transparent process for doing so.

What type of issues are covered in the Resolving Volunteer Issues (RVI) policy?

Issues relating to a volunteer/s might include:

  • A volunteer behaving in a way that is not in line with our Code of Conduct e.g. making public derogatory comments about the MS Society, bullying or harassment, racism, breaching confidentiality, or a refusal to work with others to resolve conflicts.
  • Refusing to do ‘must do’ training.
  • Not following our policies and processes.
  • Failure to work collaboratively with other volunteers and/or staff.
  • Conflicts of interest or using a volunteer role to pursue personal issues.
  • A volunteer not fulfilling their agreed role description or acting outside the boundaries of their agreed role.

Issues relating to a volunteers’ experience might include:

  • Dissatisfaction with their volunteering role e.g. the amount of time it is taking up, the tasks within it or a need for additional support or learning.
  • Dissatisfaction with how their local group is operating e.g. its priorities, how decisions are made or disagreements within a volunteer group.

Our RVI policy links to other policies. If you aren’t sure which policy to use, have a look at our flowchart.

  1. Download our Which policy when flowchart

How to raise an issue

Anyone can raise an issue verbally or in writing. For more information about how to raise an issue, what you can expect and record keeping have a look at our guidance.

  1. Download our RVI Guidance – for someone raising an issue.

What if I’m involved in an issue?

If someone raises an issue that involves you, you’ll be invited to a meeting to discuss the issue. For more information about the principles and steps involved in resolving the issue have a look at our guidance.

  1. Download our RVI Guidance – for someone who’s had an issue raised about them

Resolving issues

The majority of issues should be resolved informally.

  1. See our Informal Process flowchart to find out more about the steps involved in resolving issues informally.

The informal process should involve conversations with all parties involved. Use our note taking template to help you take notes during these meetings.

  1. Download our note taking template.

Sometimes, a formal process is needed straightaway, for example if allegations of bullying, harassment or criminal behaviour are made, there is a significant and/or deliberate breach of our policies or a volunteer hasn’t responded to reasonable requests for contact as part of an informal process.

  1. See our Formal Process flowchart to find out more about the steps involved in resolving issues formally.

Back to Dealing with Problems