Orientation is the process of introducing the new volunteer to the organisation making them feel welcomed and comfortable. It is conducted after recruitment and selection have taken place, and prior to the volunteer commencing their role with the organisation.

Orientation can be done formally or informally; with a group or individually.

Regardless of how you choose to involve people in orientation, the following areas are key questions that volunteers will need answered:


Orientation to the cause introduces new volunteer/s to the organisation’s mission, core business and programs. It may include: mission and vision, ideals, aims, strategic plan, program history, and more broadly, the field or sector.


Orientation to the system provides an overview of the structure and management of the organisation. It may include channels of communication and reporting (what they are and how they work), guidelines and policies, structure, funding sources, and rules where applicable.


Orientation to the people introduces the new volunteer to the staff (paid and unpaid) with whom they will be working. This may include introduction to staff, management, board members, and other volunteers as well as discussion of the relationships and reporting arrangements, both direct and indirect.


Orientation to the work looks at the scope and boundaries of volunteer work including roles, modes of work and job descriptions.


Orientation to the workplace provides information on the work areas, the amenities, where key staff or machinery are situated and an orientation to workplace health and safety elements including fire exits and equipment.

Following selection and orientation of volunteers, training ensures volunteers have the skills, knowledge and understanding of the organisation to fulfil their volunteer role with competence and confidence.

Training may be one-to-one or group based, formalised or informal, and facilitated from within the organisation or externally to the organisation. Topics covered by skills training are as diverse as the roles and the work in which volunteers now become involved.

Working together

Orientation to the culture provides information about the culture of the organisation, such as appropriate forms of dress, behaviour, language, social interaction, or where to have lunch.

Not-for-profit Law have developed an e-learning module covering the legal obligations involved in the process of recruiting volunteers. It includes interactive activites, instructional videos and realistic scenarios to help you recruit volunteers fairly and safely, while maintaining a high quality...
Queensland Government media release Queensland is home to more than 700,000 active volunteers, each playing their part in making the state’s thriving communities more resilient and vibrant places to live. Today (5 December) is International Volunteer Day, an opportunity for Queenslanders to...
The Australian Government is inviting applications via an open process to apply for funding to support volunteers under the Volunteer Grants Activity. Volunteer Grants aim to support the efforts of Australia's volunteers. The grants provide small amounts of money that organisations and community...
Queensland Government media release Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford has urged Queenslanders to celebrate the efforts of volunteers who ensure the safety of communities right across the state. Mr Crawford said like all Queenslanders, he was in awe of the “ordinary people,...
National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation's volunteers. From 21-27 May 2018, thousands of events will be held across the country to say thank you to the six million Australians who volunteer their time. The week-long celebrations will...
Blue card services has announced a new online form which allows applicants to click through to complete. The new form is part of a commitment by Blue Card Services to streamline the application process. The form has built-in smarts to make sure all the information required is provided on the first...
Volunteering Queensland offers accredited training for volunteer managers with a Certificate IV in Coordination of volunteer programs. The qualification is appropriate for workers who are responsible for the coordination of volunteers within a program or organisation. Volunteer coordinators provide...
The 2018 Queensland Volunteering Awards are now open for nominations. These awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of volunteers, volunteer managers and volunteer-involving organisations, and promote the importance of volunteering. This year alone 980,000 individual...
International Volunteer Day is celebrated worldwide, on 5 December, to recognise the positive solidarity of volunteers around the world. Estimates suggest that there are a billion people in the world who volunteer each year and those numbers rise when tragedy strikes. In Queensland, alone, more...
Volunteering Queensland’s State Volunteering Conference will take place on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 June, in Brisbane. The conference will offer attendees strategies and good practices to maximise the contribution of volunteers and enhance the impact of a volunteer program. There will be the...


Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
Volunteering Services Australia (VSA) is a national network of community development services, that aim to assist the hundreds of not-for-profit and charitable organisations with the recruitment and management of volunteers. It is a member-based organisation committed to community engagement and...
The Queensland Disaster Management website and the Get Ready website have a range of information and useful resources that can assist you to plan and prepare for an emergency. As part of your preparedness and planning for weather events, access regular weather forecast updates from the Bureau of...
A Blue Card Services online learning portal has been launched. The portal contains 10 videos which provide an overview of the legal requirement for organisations to develop a child and youth risk management strategy. View these resources on the Blue Card Services website .
Industrial relations legislation in Queensland can be found on the Fair Work Commission's website . The main pieces of legislation are: Fair Work Act 2009 Fair Work Regulations 2009 Fair Work Commission Rules 2013
There are a range of legal structures which may be suitable for Queensland not-for-profit community groups. The four main options are: an incorporated association: Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD) and Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD) a company limited by guarantee:...

December is the perfect month to do some good by helping those most in need over the festive season.

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By sparing your time as a volunteer you could ease...

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