your volunteer background check policy

4 questions to ask about your volunteer background check policy

Nonprofits, schools and plenty of other organizations rely on the services of volunteers to function. A strong volunteer base can be an organization’s greatest resource to help achieve its goals.

Before your organization recruits any volunteers, however, consider how background checks fit into your recruitment process. Screening volunteers ensures security for your organization and helps you build a reliable volunteer base. Find the best volunteers with these four questions to ask about your volunteer background check policy.

What screenings should we run on volunteers?

At a minimum, your organization should run a standard background check on every potential volunteer. One Source’s TotalCheck service includes checks of county, state and federal criminal records, the national sex offender registry, global watchlists and a verification of personal information.

Some volunteer positions may require screening beyond a standard background check. Take inventory of the roles and expectations for all of your volunteer positions to determine if you will need additional screening: Will volunteers need to operate a vehicle? Screen their driving record. Do your volunteers need any kind of professional training? Verify their education credentials.

Every volunteer opportunity is unique, so work with your background check agency to tailor screenings to each position’s requirements.

How often should we screen volunteers?

Dedicated, consistent volunteers are certainly an asset to any volunteer organization. However, periodically rescreening every long-term volunteer safeguards your organization and customers/clientele. It may seem tedious or intrusive to rescreen volunteers, but it’s the only way to ensure continued safety within your organization.

You do not have control over what your volunteers do outside your view, and the risk of misplaced trust could be detrimental to your organization. It’s always better safe than sorry, so try to rescreen your volunteers once a year.

How can we keep our volunteers’ reports secure?

Background checks can contain Personal Identifiable Information (PII), so it’s important to make sure that information is stored securely. One Source provides a secure portal for you to store, search and view completed reports.

Reports can’t be exported to your volunteer management system software, but One Source’s secure portal can work in tandem with your system to keep your volunteers’ information safe and organized.

What offenses would prohibit someone from volunteering?

Before you can decide whether to accept a potential volunteer, you need to develop consistent guidelines about how you handle volunteer rejections. Think about what infractions on a background report would be deal breakers for you. If your organization works with children, you may not be allowed to hire volunteers with any kind of criminal record. If your organization aims to help former convicts, your guidelines could be less strict.

No matter where you draw the line with volunteers’ backgrounds, just make sure your policy is relevant to the work the volunteers will do and never waver from it. Because of that, tart with those four questions to improve your volunteer background check policy. To find the best screening plan for your organization and to learn more about our offerings for nonprofits, contact One Source Client Relations.