Our Screening Process

Victim Services of
Waterloo Region

Suitability and Safety comes first

VSWR Volunteer Screening Process

Due to the nature of the service provided the Organization shall actively screen all potential volunteers to ensure suitability. In addition, this process ensures that volunteers pose no threat to the victims they will be serving.

According to Volunteer Canada (2012 Edition of the Screening Handbook) screening is a process that helps match people with volunteer positions while improving the quality and safety of the programs and services offered in communities.  It’s an ongoing 10-step process performed by an organization to ensure that volunteers’ involvement is meeting the needs of the organizations, the populations they serve and the volunteers themselves.  Screening involves much more than police record checks. While police record checks are one of the 10 Steps of Screening, screening is a comprehensive process that begins long before a volunteer is selected and continues beyond his or her involvement with the organization

People who indicate an interest in volunteering for the Organization need to be screened and interviewed before being accepted into the training program. Character qualities to look for are dependability, maturity, stability to fulfill commitments, ability to take direction, good judgement, the ability to remain calm in the face of crisis, the ability to put the needs of others first and comfort in dealing with a wide variety of people. Special attributes of value to the service are knowledge of different languages, cultures and other special skills. Under this premise, the initial screening process involves the following:

Reference Check

All applicants must provide the Program Manager with a minimum of one personal and one professional reference. References are expected to have known the applicant for a minimum of one year in some capacity i.e. employer, instructor, professor, other volunteer position, or friend.

Family members are not acceptable as references. All references will be asked a standard set of questions with their answers recorded on the reference check form. This shall be filed and remain in the volunteer’s personnel file.

Criminal Record Check

Our Organization works with vulnerable members of our community. It is the applicant’s responsibility to fill out the personal history form in an honest and accurate manner, and to submit it to the Program Manager for processing. Failure to submit the completed form will result in an incomplete and void application.

The Program Manager will review the processed form and all information on it will remain confidential. The acceptance of any applicant is a matter of judgement – if there are doubts about an applicant, final judgement may be deferred to the Executive Director.