; Beyond Induction - Youth Work Essentials

This final section explores ways to review volunteer induction and provides ideas for continuing support and training:

When is volunteer induction completed?

Volunteer induction can take anything from a weekend training programme, to a programme lasting over a period of months. However long the induction period is, it is important to recognise when it is complete. This gives a strong message of encouragement to new volunteers, and marks a new phase in their development and learning.

It is a good idea to:

  • Be clear from the start when you expect volunteer induction to be completed.
  • Get the volunteer and the youth group representative to sign and date important paperwork such as: the induction checklist and important policy information.
  • Give volunteers a folder for collecting together all their induction materials.
  • Celebrate that your volunteer team has grown!

Reviewing the induction period

At the end of the induction period it is very useful to have an informal review meeting with volunteers. This provides an opportunity to reflect on the induction process, the volunteer’s progress, and consider future developments.
An informal review meeting also gives both the youth group and the volunteer a chance to say 'no thanks' to each other.

You need to spend some time to:

  • Reflect on the volunteering experience so far.
  • Provide feedback on progress to date.
  • Discuss potential specific training needs. 
  • Discuss any suggestions/ideas for the group.
  • And discuss the volunteer’s continued involvement.

A Volunteer Induction Review template is included in the Documents Library.

Volunteer progression

In 2010 Youth Scotland carried out a consultation for the CLD Standards Council.  The consultation found that volunteers recognise three different stages of involvement; beginner, developing and experienced volunteer. The table below shows different volunteer needs at different stages:

A beginner needs... A developing volunteer needs... An experienced volunteer needs...
Induction or introduction. Interpersonal skills and attributes, and skills development for example: arts and crafts, games. Training and development opportunities to build on their introductory knowledge and skills. Refresh and update skills and knowledge, and wider opportunities to get involved for example: train the trainers.
Support to provide encouragement, guidance and build confidence. Ongoing support and opportunities for sharing skills between volunteers.
Opportunities to support, develop, and mentor others.

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