Volunteer Administrators and Coordinators

This page is a resource for individuals undertaking volunteer administrator or coordinator duties for their department. If you have any questions after reviewing the following information, please email us at ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca.


Volunteer Registration and Management System (VRMS)

VRMS is comprised of an online system (Better Impact) and a collection of standardized processes for the registration and management of volunteers at the University of Calgary. Better Impact provides a consolidated approach to managing the required legislative elements when engaging volunteers, including registering, scheduling, hours logging, and communicating with volunteers.

The Risk Management and Insurance department provides training to VRMS administrators and coordinators in setting up a Better Impact account; including the necessary elements to meet legislative compliance; and tips for optimizing the many management features of the Better Impact system.
To get started, complete the web form to request a Better Impact account. We will respond to your request within 5 business days, and provide upcoming training dates.
If you already have a Better Impact account but require training for new volunteer coordinators, see the Training section on this page or email ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca.


Manual Volunteer Registration Process

Use this process if your department has not yet moved to the electronic Better Impact system.

The six steps indicated here must be completed in order to comply with legislation as well as to ensure that the volunteer is covered by the university's liability insurance as well as workers compensation.

Volunteer coordinators are required to complete the Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation course (EHS036). Coordinators will be emailed a certificate of completion that must be retained within their department.

Departments are required to obtain written confirmation from their Human Resources partner or advisor that the duties fall under the definition of a volunteer. Departments must retain the confirmation email from Human Resources with their records.

Under Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation, volunteers are considered workers with rights and responsibilities for ensuring their own health and safety. Prior to advertising an activity, volunteer coordinators must:

  • Prepare the Volunteer Hazard Assessment Form which will assist in ensuring that the volunteer is competent to performing the tasks safely. The department must provide the safety information, training and personal protective equipment identified in the hazard assessment to the volunteer prior to the commencement of the activity.
  • Complete any remaining occupational health and safety requirements as directed in the Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation and as outlined in the Volunteer Coordinator OHS Requirements and Instructions.
  • For assistance in determining requirements for recurring events and programs and completing the respective volunteer hazard assessment forms, contact Environment, Health and Safety department at ucsafety@ucalgary.ca or phone 403.220.6345.

The department must complete their portion of the Volunteer Registration and Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Assumption of Risks form and then distribute it to each volunteer to add their personal information and sign, before the volunteer engages in an activity. The volunteer form must be signed by the volunteer and retained in your department for twelve years as per the retention rules. Scan and send a copy to ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca.

Volunteers are required to complete the Volunteer OHS Orientation course (EHS037) prior to volunteering for the university. The volunteer will be emailed a certificate of completion. The department is responsible to retain a copy of this document in their files as confirmation that the orientation was completed. This may be required in the event of an audit.

At the conclusion of the activity/event or at the end of each academic term for longer term volunteers, the department must complete the Volunteer Hours Reporting form and submit to payroll at payrolluc@ucalgary.ca as well copying ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca. Retain these forms in the departmental records for one year.


Administrator & Coordinator Resources

Full training for administrators is available as live Zoom sessions and only on request. If you have recently acquired a Better Impact account and are a NEW account administrator, please email: ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca to arrange for training.

Starting Sep 8, 2020, any volunteer coordinators interested in refresher training on VRMS and Better Impact, can join us on Zoom any second or fourth Tuesday between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. These sessions will be conducted as informal opportunities to ask questions specific to your situation, or about specific requirements in VRMS; and will only remain open to join for 30 minutes after the scheduled start time. Click the Join by Zoom button below to open the meeting. The password for these meetings is recorded in Better Impact on the Enterprise Message to Administrators.

The VRMS Administrators Guide contains instructions for incorporating all University of Calgary volunteer management processes, and step-by-step instructions for many of the functions in Better Impact. This manual is also available in the Enterprise Document Library of your Better Impact accounts.

The personal information maintained in the University of Calgary’s Better Impact volunteer management system is confidential. All administrators and coordinators must submit a signed Oath of Confidentiality to ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca before being granted access to the Better Impact System.

Generally, volunteers for the University of Calgary must be age 18 or older. However, we recognize that, on occasion, individuals under age 18 are engaged as volunteers. These volunteers have special requirements, so please contact ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca for specific instructions.

When considering using volunteers that are under the age of 18, opportunities should be limited to:

  • Interaction with participants/clients is minimal and supervised by a paid employee;
  • Only public, non-intimate settings and/or open space with high visibility and supervision;
  • Supervisor is regularly present;
  • Casual, non-intimate relationships that occur in brief interactions and/or over short periods of time (ie. classroom or special event volunteer);
  • No required physical contact with participants;
  • No lead positions where participants are also under age 18;
  • No access to personal or confidential information;
  • No assignments after midnight;
  • No driving assignments.

All volunteers must accept the liability waiver before being approved as a University of Calgary volunteer.

The following Privacy Statement must be included on all volunteer applications in Better Impact Volunteer Management System. 

"This Information is collected under the authority of section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. It is required for the recruitment, scheduling, and associated reporting of volunteers and volunteer activities at the University of Calgary. For questions, please contact the FOIP office at 403.210.8405, or at foip@ucalgary.ca, or refer to the University of Calgary Privacy Policy."

OHS Requirements

The following information is also available on the UCalgary Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) website. For specific questions or concerns regarding these requirements, please contact your EHS Consultant.

For assistance in completing the Volunteer Hazard Assessment form, please contact your EHS Consultant

  1. Volunteer Coordinator OHS Instructions

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  2. Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation Course

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  1. Volunteer OHS Instructions

    For those volunteers registered in Better Impact, the Volunteer OHS Orientation is now available in the Enterprise eLearning Module library.

  2. Volunteer OHS Orientation Course

    This module can also be accessed from your Better Impact account under the Enterprise elearning Module library.                                       

If a Volunteer Injury can be Treated by First Aid

The volunteer coordinator must take the following steps:

  • Have a certified first aider treat the injury
  • Call Campus Security to report the injury at 403.220.5333
  • Initiate the Online Accident Reporting Form (OARS) 
  • Contact Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) at 403.220.6345 for assistance with completing the OARS report.

Should reporting to the Worker's Compensation Board (WCB) be required, the volunteer must complete the WCB Worker Report and Staff Wellness will complete the WCB employer report.

Injured Volunteer Requires More Than First Aid

The volunteer coordinator must take the following steps: 

  • Call 911 for an ambulance if required 
  • Call Campus Security at 403.220.5333 immediately to report the injury 

Campus Security will contact Environment, Health and Safety who will also initiate the OARS Report.

Updated: March 28, 2019