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 support 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 email us at ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca to discuss your volunteer needs, or complete the web form to request a Better Impact account.

If you have only a few volunteers, or rarely engage them, email us for more information.

To add new administrators to your Better Impact account, please see Adding New Coordinators to Better Impact in the Volunteer Coordinator Resources section below.

We will respond to your request within 5 business days and include information about resources and supports. If you already have a Better Impact account but require additional support for your volunteer coordinator(s), email us at ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024


Volunteer Registration Process

Volunteers are required to register on the Better Impact system. 

The steps outlined here provide an overview of the Volunteer Coordinators' responsibilities throughout the registration process, including compliance requirements for Privacy, Occupational Health and Safety legislation, and Workers Compensation.

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024

Before recruiting volunteers, particularly for positions requiring extensive hours or specialized skills, it is recommended that you contact HR at UService hr@ucalgary.ca (or call 403.210.9300) to ensure that the opportunities you offer fall under the definition of volunteer work.

Departments must retain the confirmation email received from Human Resources within their records and present to Risk Management, if requested.

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024

ALL volunteer coordinators are required to complete the Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation course (EHS036_2023) and present their certificate of completion when requesting administrative access to the Better Impact volunteer registration and management system (VRMS).

Volunteer Coordinators are responsible for ensuring volunteers are informed and fulfill any OHS requirements as detailed in the course.

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024

The sponsoring department will:

  1. set up a Better Impact account to manage their volunteers' registrations
  2. provide volunteer with access (link) to the department's online volunteer application form, which includes some of the items necessary for complying with relevant legislation:
    1. agreement to the Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Assumption of Risks
    2. attestation of age requirement (age 18 and older)
    3. agreement to comply with OHS requirements
  3. 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 so, once entered, volunteers should not be deleted from the Better Impact system.

Rev. Jan 8, 2024

Volunteers are required to:

  • complete the Volunteer OHS Orientation before approved for assignment
  • complete any other Occupational Health & Safety training, as identified and directed by their coordinator
  • sign an appropriately prepared Hazard Assessment
  • participate in a site orientation
  • use any required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as provided by their Volunteer Coordinator

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024

Under Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation, volunteers are considered workers with rights and responsibilities for ensuring their own health and safety.

Volunteer Coordinators are responsible for informing and directing volunteers to fulfill any and all Occupational Health and Safety requirements, including training and provisioning them with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as outlined in the Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation.

For assistance in determining what to include on a hazard assessment or any additional requirements, contact the Environment, Health, and Safety department at ucsafety@ucalgary.ca, or phone 403.220.6345.

Volunteer Coordinators will:

  1. Review the information provided at Hazard Identification, Assessment, and Control 
    1. prepare the applicable Hazard Assessment Form specific to the tasks to be performed:
      1. Hazard Assessment and Control Form (HACF), OR
      2. Field Level Hazard Assessment Form (FLHA)
  2. Prior to commencement of the assignment the volunteer coordinator must:
    1. provide the volunteer with safety information, training and applicable personal protective equipment as identified in the prepared Hazard Assessment form
    2. obtain volunteers' signature on the prepared Hazard Assessment form
  3. Complete any remaining occupational health and safety requirements, if applicable
  4. Faculties/Units/Departments are responsible to retain signed hazard assessments for a minimum of 3 years and ensure records are readily available and easily accessible for audit purposes
    1. Department Coordinator's are responsible for managing and retaining the signed forms.
    2. They can be kept as e-files or in paper form in the OHSMS Departmental Manuals.

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024

To fulfill WCB requirements, 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 and approved. All hours must be up to date in Better Impact by Dec 31st.

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024

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.  Jan 8, 2024

In the Volunteer Coordinator OHS training, Volunteer Coordinators are provided directions and information about:

  • preparing the relevant Hazard Assessments
  • when Hazard Assessments should be presented to volunteers for signature,
  • and how these records should be retained

For additional information about OHS requirements, assistance with preparing the Hazard Assessment, or blank forms, please contact Environment Health & Safety.

All volunteer coordinators are required to complete the Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation one time before beginning to manage volunteers. The Certificate of Completion is required to be granted administrative access to Better Impact.

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024

  1. Volunteer Coordinator OHS Instructions

     

     

     

     

  2. Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation Course

    To access this course, you will require your UCalgary IT credentials to log in to Enterprise Learning.

     

    Rev. Jan 8, 2024

The Volunteer OHS Orientation is 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, Volunteer Coordinators 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.

This OHS training is only required to be completed once. The Better Impact system will restrict the volunteer from repeating the training, and the respective qualification will follow them throughout all volunteering at the University as long as they use the same login for all UC departments. Volunteer Coordinators should confirm that the training was completed by checking the Qualifications tab under the volunteer's profile.

Rev. Jan 8, 2024

  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.  Jan 8, 2024

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


Volunteer Coordinator Resources

Additional coordinators can be added to a Better Impact account as needed. There are two levels of administrative access at the department level, Dept Coordinators and Volunteer Coordinators. Both levels are fully functional in the direct management of volunteers.

All Dept Coordinators are volunteer coordinators, but Volunteer Coordinators are not Dept Coordinators. 

Generally, accounts are limited to two Dept Coordinators, but can have unlimited Volunteer Coordinators.

Dept Coordinators are responsible for the overall management of the Better Impact account. They are the liaison between the department and the Enterprise (RMI). Dept Coordinators are responsible for the various elements necessary to comply with legislation and ensuring that these requirements are being fulfilled by all in the department. Dept Coordinators will also be asked to provide reporting as needed by the Enterprise (RMI).

Dept Coordinators must authorize the addition of any new Volunteer Coordinators by emailing ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca with the request, and including an Oath of Confidentiality signed by the new coordinator that is to be added. Blank Oath forms are available below.

All coordinators must also provide their Volunteer Coordinator OHS Orientation Certificate of Completion before gaining administrative access to a Better Impact account. These can be sent in with the request to add or separately. No access will be granted until both the Oath and Certificate are provided.

Rev. Jan 8, 2024

 

To remove coordinators from the Better Impact account, please send an email with your request to ucvolunt@ucalgary.ca. These requests should be made by Dept Coordinators but not mandatory.

It is important that no one continues with administrative access to Better Impact if they are no longer working for the University and specifically for the department in question. We only know when these people leave if we are told by someone.

Please make it a habit to annually review the people with admin access assigned and advise RMI of any changes.

Rev. Jan 8, 2024

Positions that include volunteer management as part of their duties, should be including a succession plan for taking over administrative access on Better Impact.

Please use the process noted above for Adding New Coordinators and ensure that RMI is advised to remove the previous employee from the Better Impact account.

Rev. Jan 8, 2024

If you have recently acquired a Better Impact account and are a NEW account administrator, please 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.

Rev. Jan 8, 2024

The VRMS 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.  Jan 8, 2024

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

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

Rev.  Jan 8, 2024

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 Risk Management position review and approval before committing to the assignment. 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.

Rev. Jan 8, 2024

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 the detailed text is 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. Jan 8, 2024

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. Jan 8, 2024