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Community Recreation Non-Profit Resource Directory

Screening & other Volunteer Resources

In 2012 Public Safety Canada, in partnership with Volunteer Canada, created the “The Screening Handbook”. The introduction tells us:

What is Screening and Why is it Important?

Screening practices help define the relationship between people and organizations and increase both the quality and safety of programs and services in communities. Screening takes into account the skills, experience, and qualifications that are required for an assignment and puts in place an ongoing process to engage people best suited to fill the role. It also allows organizations to explore the interests, motivations, and personal goals of applicants. Screening puts in place touchstones, throughout a volunteer’s involvement, that support mutual benefit while reducing risk for everyone concerned.

The benefits of screening are threefold:

  • To better match people’s skills and experience to the needs and opportunities in organizations;
  • To improve the quality and safety of programs and services in communities;
  • To reduce the risks and liability for both people and organizations.

Screening practices play a critical role for organizations in fulfilling their moral, legal, and ethical responsibilities to all those they reach, including members, clients, participants, employees, and volunteers. This obligation is even greater when they are working with vulnerable people, including children, youth, people with disabilities, and senior adults. Every organization has a unique set of considerations, depending upon its mandate, the population it serves, the nature of its activities, and the jurisdiction in which it is located. Each position within an organization has a unique set of requirements, risks, and benefits. Boards of Directors need to establish screening policies that address the range of roles and circumstances within the organization.

As you review the websites and resources, pay particular attention to the 10 Steps to Screening.