Volunteer Coordinators

This page is a resource for individuals undertaking volunteer 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 a web-based 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 (RMI) department provides training to VRMS 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, review the information below then complete the web form to request a Better Impact account. If you have only a few volunteers, or rarely engage them, please contact us at ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca to discuss before requesting a Better Impact account.

We will respond to your request within 5 business days and include information about training supports. If you already have a Better Impact account but require training for volunteer coordinator(s), see the training page.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

Volunteer Registration Process

Volunteers are required to register on the Better Impact system. 

The steps outlined here must be completed in order to comply with health and safety legislation, and to ensure that the volunteer is covered by UCalgary's liability insurance and Workers Compensation.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

Departments are recommended to contact HR through UService at 403.210.9300 or email hr@ucalgary.ca to ensure that the duties fall under the definition of a volunteer. Departments must retain the confirmation email received from Human Resources within their records.

Rev.  Aug 17, 2022

ALL 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.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

The sponsoring department will:

  • set up a Better Impact account,
  • provide volunteer with access (link) to the department's online volunteer application form, which includes:
  • advise volunteer once all requirements are met and they are approved for assignment

*Registration records must be retained for twelve years, as per UCalgary retention rules.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

Volunteers are required to complete the Volunteer OHS Orientation before being approved to volunteer with the University. Volunteer coordinators will:

  • direct the volunteer to complete the Volunteer OHS Orientation
  • the volunteer coordinator will advise the volunteer when requirement is fulfilled
  • before assignment, volunteer's must review and sign the prepared hazard assessment form

*Retain signed documents in department files for audit purposes.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

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 the Environment, Health and Safety department at ucsafety@ucalgary.ca or phone 403.220.6345.
  • Document Management and Retention - Faculties/Units/Departments are responsible to retain hazard assessments for a minimum of 3 years and ensure records are readily available and easily accessible for regulatory and audit purposes. Documents may be retained in hard copy in OHSMS Departmental Manuals or electronically by the Department Administrator.

Rev.  Mar 23, 2023

At the conclusion of the activity/event, or at the end of each academic term for longer term volunteers, the department will ensure the volunteers' hours have been logged accurately to fulfill WCB requirements. All hours must be up to date in Better Impact by Dec 31.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

Administrator & Coordinator Resources

Customized training tutorials for UCalgary volunteer coordinators are CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW but will soon be available on our Training page.

If you have recently acquired a Better Impact account and are a NEW account administrator, please review the recorded tutorials, then join us on Zoom any second Monday between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. for follow up support.

These Zoom sessions will be conducted as informal opportunities to ask questions specific to your situation; using the Better Impact system; or complying with specific VRMS legislated requirements. The meetings will only remain open to join for 30 minutes after the scheduled start time. The link to join is in the Admin News section on your Better Impact account dashboard.

Revised: Aug 09, 2022

The VRMS Administrators Handbook contains instructions for incorporating University of Calgary compliance processes when using volunteers to support UCalgary programs and events. Instructions for some of the functions in Better Impact are also provided. This handbook is also available in the Enterprise Document Library of your Better Impact account.

Rev.  April 3, 2023

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

Blank forms can be obtained below, or from the Enterprise Document Library on your Better Impact account.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

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. The full process is available on the Enterprise Document Library in your Better Impact account.

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 (i.e. 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.

Revised: April 26, 2022

All volunteers must accept the liability waiver before being approved as a University of Calgary volunteer. This question is included on all application forms and will be available to them under their myImpactPage profile. Should they wish to have a hard copy for reference, you can download it from here, or from the Enterprise Document Library in your Better Impact account.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

The following Privacy Statement is included on all volunteer applications in Better Impact Volunteer Management System. Should the volunteer wish to have a hard copy, you can download it here or from the Enterprise Document Library in your Better Impact account.

"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."

Rev.  April 26, 2022

Health & Safety 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.

Rev.  March 23, 2023

For assistance in completing the Volunteer Hazard Assessment form, please contact your EHS Consultant. Additional safety information is available from the EHS website.

Revised April 26, 2022

All volunteer coordinators are required to complete the Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation one time before beginning to manage volunteers.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

  1. Volunteer Coordinator OHS Instructions


  2. Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation Course

    To access this course, login to Enterprise Learning with your UCalgary IT credentials.

To improve accessibility, the Volunteer OHS Orientation is now hosted as an eLearning module within the Better Impact system. New applicants should be directed to complete this training by sending them a link to the eLearning module (generated in your Better Impact account), or to access it from their profile, under the Training menu option, on the myImpactPage portal. The volunteer should not be approved for assignment until they have completed this training.

Upon completion, you will receive an email notification that the volunteer has successfully completed the training, and the Volunteer OHS Orientation qualification on their profile in Better Impact will automatically update.

The Better Impact system will restrict the volunteer from repeating the training, and the qualification will follow them throughout all volunteering at the University. Volunteer Coordinators should confirm it was completed by checking the Qualifications tab under the volunteer's profile.

Rev.  April 26, 2022

  1. Volunteer OHS Instructions

    Volunteers registered in Better Impact will have access to this course from their profile on the myImpactPage portal. Volunteer Coordinators can also generate a link to the course by going to the Enterprise eLearning module in their Better Impact account.

    Rev.  April 26, 2022

If a Volunteer Injury can be Treated by First Aid

The volunteer coordinator must take the following steps:

  • 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.

Rev.  March 23, 2023