Volunteer policy

  1. Introduction
    • IPEM fulfils its charitable objective and its mission primarily through members who volunteer their time and professional knowledge. As such, IPEM has a strong culture of volunteering and volunteers are valued for their contributions, which have a considerable impact.

    • Volunteers fulfil numerous and diverse roles in various parts of the organisation including but not limited to (listed alphabetically):
  • Assessors
  • Trustees
  • CPD Auditors
  • Course and centre accreditation
  • Expert witnesses
  • IPEM groups and panels focusing on standards, science, and training
  • Engineering Professional Advisory Group
  • Media spokespeople
  • Mentors
  • Outreach volunteers
  • President’s Advisory Committee
  • Professional Standards Council
  • Science and Research Council
  • Special Interest Groups
  • Standing Committees
  • Task and Finish Groups
  • Technologist training supervisors and moderators
  • Volunteers also include those members who write books and reports or edit journals which are published by IPEM and/or its publishing partner organisations.
  • Working parties

In addition, many IPEM members represent IPEM and the profession on boards, committees and working groups organised by our stakeholders regionally, nationally and internationally.

1.3 In general, volunteering is planned and managed in line with IPEM’s governance and strategy.

  1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the responsibilities volunteers, and of IPEM in managing the engagement of volunteers.

  1. Scope

Compliance with this policy is mandatory for volunteers and staff at IPEM. Individuals should act in accordance with the spirit as well as the wording of this policy.  This policy offers guidance but is not intended to modify any legal duty which would otherwise apply.

  1. Guidance

4.1 Volunteers are people engaged in the delivery of IPEM’s charitable objectives, without pay or other benefit-in-kind.

Volunteering with IPEM

  • Our commitment to volunteers is to:
    • Treat members, volunteers and staff with respect, consideration and appreciation and to act in a way that does not discriminate against or exclude anyone and cannot be seen as harassment or inappropriate behaviour.
    • Value the contribution of volunteers and communicate the impact and value of volunteering to IPEM’s governance and strategy
    • Ensure a fair and open recruitment and appointment process
    • Ensure volunteers have a clear idea of their responsibilities, including the length of time they are expected to be involved
    • Provide volunteers with support through induction, handbooks, training and reimbursement of pre-approved expenses, in line with IPEM’s Expenses Policy,where appropriate to help them carry out their role.
    • Volunteer effort is factored in IPEM’s plans and budgeting.

  • To help us fulfil our charitable objective and have a mutually beneficial relationship with IPEM, we ask volunteers to:
    • Treat other members, volunteers and staff with respect, consideration, and appreciation and to act in a way that does not discriminate against or exclude anyone and cannot be seen as harassment or inappropriate behaviour.
    • Set an example by adhering to IPEM’s values and the IPEM Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct (where applicable).
    • Act in a professional way when representing IPEM in public.
    • Work in a planned way, in line with IPEM’s Governance and Strategy, collaborating with staff and other volunteers.
    • Provide any reports that are required as part of their role, in a timely and helpful manner.
    • Follow IPEM’s other rules and policies, including terms of reference, terms of office and recruitment.
    • Provide as much notice as possible if they are unable to fulfil their volunteering commitment, or if they no longer wish to be involved.
    • Be reliable, attend any meetings and/or fulfil other related commitments such as completing the actions they have agreed in a timely manner.
    • Ask staff members for help if they are unsure about procedures or roles and responsibilities.
  • Where appropriate and in certain roles (e.g. Assessor on specific courses) IPEM will provide a range of information about the role and related IPEM policies and procedures. We will require volunteers to sign a declaration in these circumstances to the effect that they have read and will abide by the relevant policies, rules and procedures. This will be in addition to any data protection, confidentiality and conflict of interest declarations.

Recruitment and Diversity

  • We are committed to ensuring our volunteer cohorts reflect our membership by advertising volunteer roles widely and openly. All volunteers will be asked to complete a volunteer application form.
    • The form includes a diversity monitoring form to make sure our posts are not only open to everyone but also so that we have a diverse and representative body of professional contributors.

Induction, Training and Support

  • We want to ensure our member volunteers are confident to carry out their role. We will provide online inductions meetings to introduce new volunteers to IPEM’s President, CEO and staff members responsible for the particular committee or group.
  • Staff time dedicated to supporting volunteers.
  • For more detailed information committee and role specific handbooks will be available where necessary.

Addressing concerns

  • If there are concerns around a volunteer’s behaviour and that behaviour is in breach of IPEM’s expectations as outlined in this policy we will try in the first instance to resolve the problem informally and amicably.
    • Complaints against members will be dealt with under the Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure.
    • Complaints against staff will be handled via the IPEM Complaints Procedure and dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure applicable to members of staff.

      Health & Safety
  • IPEM is committed to looking after the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone who works for us and this commitment applies equally to our volunteers.
    • Any activities carried out on a voluntary basis are covered by the same health and safety legislative requirements as those carried out by IPEM staff. It is therefore important that volunteers understand and accept their personal responsibility towards promoting and maintaining health and safety standards.
    • Specific circumstances may occasion the need for risk assessments to be carried out by volunteers on behalf of IPEM in order to, for example, safeguard personal or public health.
    • We expect volunteers to take reasonable precautions when travelling on IPEM business.


4.10.4 Volunteers are covered by IPEM’s insurance.

Professional Indemnity insurance

Protects IPEM, IEL, and members against legal claims regarding their professional work when working on IPEM’s or IEL’s behalf.  But this insurance will not cover any claims based upon, or arising directly or indirectly out of any dishonest, malicious, reckless or fraudulent act or omission.

Public liability insurance  

Protects IPEM, IEL, and Members against claims for accidental injury sustained to a person, accidental damage to property and accidental nuisance when working on IPEM’s or IEL’s behalf.

Confidentiality and data protection

  • Volunteers must maintain confidentiality. All volunteers on committees and groups who have access to any personal data need to sign a Data Protection and Confidentiality declaration as well as signing to say that they have received a copy of this policy.
  1. Roles and Responsibilities

    • The EDI and Member Networks Manager is responsible for the delivery of this policy, delegated by the Board of Trustees.
    • Individuals are required to:
      • Read, understand and comply with this policy and IPEM’s arrangements for managing volunteer engagement;
      • Immediately report any concerns to the EDI and Member Networks Manager, Head of Operations and Finance (Management Staff); Chief Executive Officer (for concerns regarding the Head of Operations and Finance) or Chair of the Board (Trustees).
  1. Breach of Policy

6.1 Any breach of this policy should be reported to any member of the senior management team.

  1. Training and Infrastructure

    • Volunteers will be provided with an induction and role specific training where necessary.
    • Relevant staff will be trained in the management of volunteer engagement.
  1. Governance

The Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for this policy.

  1. Review

This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees at least every three years, when there is a change in UK law and/or best practice or when an incident occurs that highlights a need for change – whichever occurs first.

  1. Other Relevant Policies