RSVP Training Requirements

Component 1: Training Requirements

Orientation/Pre-Service (new volunteers)
Suggestions from the RSVP Operations Handbook (2008):

  • Projects should work with volunteer stations, as much as possible, on pre-service orientation for RSVP volunteers.
  • Try combining formal orientation with hands-on experience with volunteer stations.
  • Invite speakers from other community service agencies and volunteer stations to talk about their programs and the importance of volunteers’ contributions.
  • Locally-prepared volunteer handbooks with information about RSVP, the sponsor, policies and procedures are helpful to new volunteers. 

Additional Training (new and ongoing volunteers)
Although volunteer stations are responsible for training volunteers once they are placed, RSVP projects may want to be involved in other ways:

  • Provide suggestions to volunteer stations for topics, materials, and guest speakers
  • Help coordinate a multi-station volunteer training
  • Work with the sponsoring agency to offer periodic trainings
  • Recommend free public lectures and workshops to volunteers

Here is an example of how a RSVP project might train new and ongoing volunteers:

  • New RSVP volunteers attend an orientation meeting conducted by the RSVP project director that includes an introduction to RSVP and the Corporation for National and Community Service, RSVP policies and procedures, and types of services that the sponsor and volunteer stations offer the community.
  • New volunteers attend an orientation at the volunteer station where they will serve that includes policies and procedures, roles and responsibilities. New volunteers might also be matched with tenured volunteers to “shadow” for a week.
  • The RSVP volunteer participates in trainings conducted by the station periodically (hours of training depend on the level of support required for the position).

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