Volunteer Management Policy
Singapore Cycling Federation
17th Jan 2020
Singapore Cycling Federation
5 Stadium Drive, #02-44
About the Singapore Cycling Federation
The Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) was established in 1958 and is registered with the Registry of Societies. It is recognized by Sport Singapore (Singapore Sports Council) as the national governing body for the promotion and development of the sport of cycling. It is affiliated to the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), the ASEAN Cycling Association (ACA), the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The SCF is also a Charity and an Institution of Public Character (IPC).
SCF is responsible for the licensing of competitive cyclists, sanctioning of local cycling events, and to ensure compliance with UCI international regulations in competitions world-wide, involving Singapore-registered cyclists and Singapore-registered teams.
SCF represents the interests of six main cycling disciplines of Road, Track, Mountain Bike (MTB), Cycling Esports, BikeTrial and BMX racing.
Volunteering has been on the rise in Singapore. A study conducted by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre states the number of volunteers in Singapore has doubled from 2014 to 2016. The rise of movements such as the Singapore Cares Movement also contributed to the rise volunteering among the youths in Singapore. According to Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCYY), in their annual survey done in 2020, more people have been stepping forward to give their time to good causes. With the advent of technology, Giving.sg, an online website that matches the people with volunteering opportunities, now stands at more than 220,000 registered users, with the number of new users increasing by 35 per cent in the past year. With volunteering gaining such a steady traction, SCF can also consider recruiting volunteers in helping with their operation.
Objectives - SCF Volunteer Management Policy
The SCF Volunteer Management Policy has been developed with the specific intent to provide SCF with guidelines on how volunteers should be managed.
The document policy will include the following:
- SCF’s Commitment to Safe Sport
- Volunteers’ Code of Conduct
- Allowances & Claims
- Volunteer Recruitment & Role Allocation
- Volunteer Data and Communication
- Volunteer Orientation
- Volunteer Training
- Handling of Grievances and Complaints
- Volunteer Recognition and Reward
- Feedback and Review
Rights to amend
The SCF reserves the right to amend the clauses listed in this document, from time to time, in order to protect the interests of the Federation and the volunteer community.
(as extracted from SCF’s Safe Sport Policy)
Singapore Cycling Federation is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and participants. Our policies and procedures seek to address risks to safe sport and to establish safe sport culture and practices. Our Safe Sport Policy is accessible on our website (http://www.singaporecycling.org.sg); and this have been communicated to the SCF Board, Secretariat, and all coaches. We regularly review our policies, gain endorsement of changes and advise our staff (full time and contractual) of changes.
We are committed to safe sport
Through our Safe Sport Framework, we document our clear commitment to keeping sport safe from harassment and abuse. We communicate our commitment to the public, SCF Representatives, Stakeholders, staff, volunteers and participants and give them access to a copy of our commitment statement.
Our staff and volunteers know the behaviour we expect
We ensure that all representatives of Singapore Cycling Federation understand their role and the behaviour we expect in relation to keeping the sport of cycling safe from harassment and abuse through application of the Code of Behaviour. We utilise clear position descriptions which clearly state relevant safe sport requirements. We have a Code of Behaviour, which is approved and endorsed from Sport Singapore that outlines our expectations for behaviour towards participants (including volunteers). Our staff (full time and contractual) is given a copy of and have access to the Code of Behaviour and is indicated, in writing, that they have read and are committed to the Code of Behaviour.
Code of Conduct
The code of conduct aims to ensure that all volunteers understand the standard of conduct which is expected. Volunteers should adhere to the code of conduct when carrying out duties and interactions.
It is important for the volunteers to be aware that their image and behaviour reflects the federation’s image. The federation expects every volunteer to behave with integrity, fairness and trust.
Volunteers are expected to:
- Be present for duties, unless there are unforeseen circumstances which causes the volunteer to not be able to report.
- In the event where the volunteer is unable to report, he/she should immediately inform the volunteer manager and find another volunteer to replace his/her role if possible
- Carry out duties responsibly, safely and in a competent manner
- Maintain confidentiality of all data and information obtained while volunteering
- Observe all safety protocols
Volunteers should not:
- Act in any way that may create liability or bring into disrepute SCF and its name
- Disclose confidential client information to public
- Use SCF’s property, resources, information and funds for unauthorised purposes
- Falsify/change any record documents
- Act as spokesperson for SCF unless prior permission has been given
- Drink alcoholic beverages while on duty or on SCF’s premises
- Smoke while on duty or on SCF’s premises. Smoking is only allowed outside of the office’s building
- Hint, imply or ask federation’s clients directly or indirectly for gratuities or ‘tips’
Breaching the code of conduct will result in disciplinary actions being taken against the volunteer. The disciplinary actions which can be taken are as follows:
- Verbal Warning
For minor breaches of discipline or failure to achieve the required standards of performance, a formal Verbal Warning may be given to the volunteer by the volunteer manager
- Written Warning
For serious offences or because of the volunteer’s failure to improve following a Verbal Warning, he/she may be issued with a Written Warning by the volunteer manager
As a precaution, the volunteer may be suspended from his/her job while SCF investigates any allegations against the volunteer. The suspension is not a sanction against the volunteer and will not prejudice the outcome of any subsequent disciplinary interview with him/her.
If volunteer fails to improve even after committing an offence and receiving warnings (be it verbal or written), his/her volunteer appointment with the SCF will be discontinued.
Volunteers are not obliged to remain in SCF for a minimum period of time and are free to leave as they please. However, for both parties to get the most out of the experience, a period of at least 6 months will be ideal.
Volunteers will only need to report for duty on days where they are needed for event planning or to help with the event execution. The timing to report and duration of the event will vary from event to event.
Allowances and Claims
Volunteers will receive a fixed sum of money as their allowance for the event. This allowance will cover the transport and meal costs of the volunteer. It is important to take note that this allowance is not the volunteer’s salary. The amount of allowance to allocate for each volunteer will be determined by the following factors:
- Location of the event
If the venue where the event is held is not near any MRT stations or bus stops (E.g. Changi Coast), the allowance allocated for the volunteer should be higher to cover their transport costs. Vice versa for when location of the event is held at areas that are accessible via public transport.
- Time of the event
Depending on the time which the volunteers must report to the venue, the availability of public transport will be affected (E.g. 5am reporting time but MRT is not open for operation yet). If reporting time is at such timings, allowance allocated for the volunteer should be higher to cover their transport costs. Vice versa if the timing of the event is when public transport is readily available.
- Hours of event
Consider giving more allowance if the duration of the event is held over long hours. Vice versa if the event is a short one.
- Provision of food
If food and refreshments are not provided and volunteers will have to buy their own meals, the allowance allocated for them should be higher and vice versa if there will be food packed for them.
If a volunteer was instructed to buy something for event use and the money spent was out of his/her pockets, SCF must reimburse the sum of money back to the volunteer. Volunteers must get the claims form from the volunteer manager to apply for their claims. Only claims for items bought under instruction from an SCF staff and for the use in events operation will be approved.
Allowances and the reimbursement of cash (if any) will be either given to the volunteers as cash after the end of each event or be transferred into their bank accounts.
Volunteer Recruitment and Role Allocation
Anyone over the age of 16 years is applicable to become an SCF volunteer.
Before volunteers are recruited to join the SCF, each individual volunteer or group of volunteers will be interviewed and assessed. If any of the volunteers are found to have a criminal background, SCF would exercise caution when recruiting them. For example, if the volunteer has a criminal record involving theft, roles that require the individual to deal with monetary assets would not be considered for the volunteer.
When creating roles for the volunteers, the volunteer manager would also ensure that the roles allow for the volunteer to learn or develop skills instead of merely fulfilling mundane administrative tasks. Furthermore, the risks associated with the roles created should also be carefully assessed.
This would be done through a simple risk assessment to identify the likelihood of the risk occurring and the severity of the risk:
Potential frequency of risk occurring
Severity of risk should it occur
Rare, unlikely to occur
Little damage should the risk occurred
Occurred before, but not often
Moderate impact if risk occurred, but may still be tolerable
Common, high probability of occurring in the future
Catastrophic impact on the organisation
Some of the risks that include:
- People; risk of injury to volunteers/clients
- Equipment; damage to machinery
- Financial; theft and mismanagement of funds
- Confidentiality; divulgence of confidential information
- Reputation; misrepresentation of organisation
- Mission-criticality; risk of important deadlines not met
If both the likelihood of the risk and the severity of the risk is high, the volunteer manager would assign the task to a full-time SCF staff to handle it unless the volunteer manager is able to establish prevention strategies throughout the volunteer programme, such as:
Type of risks addressed
Provide information during induction to inform volunteers of their expected responsibilities and their role in risk awareness & mitigation
Provide training on health and safety measures to equip volunteers with the skills to carry out their tasks safely. Provide training on the Do’s and Don’ts
People, Equipment, Confidentiality, Reputation
Develop contingency plans and safety protocols
Conduct screening commensurate with risk level of the position
Volunteer Data and Communication
As part of SCF’s commitment to create an effective volunteer management system, data collected from volunteers will be stored in an online volunteer database.
Information such as the following will be collated and uploaded onto the database:
- Volunteer contact details
- Volunteer emergency contact
- Next of kin information
- Formal records of volunteer contributions
- Specific volunteer skills and qualifications
- Feedback collected from volunteers during discussions
SCF values the privacy of every volunteer and are committed to protect the personal data collected. The SCF will take all practicable steps to protect against the unauthorised or accidental access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal or any other similar risks. The SCF will also be compliant to the minimum requirements of the personal data protection act (PDPA), regardless of the format in which the data is recorded.
SCF also believes that effective communication contributes significantly in creating a successful volunteer management system. Several channels will be made available to ensure lines of communication are open between staff and volunteers, including:
Open Door Policy:
Volunteers can approach any SCF staff member at any time to provide feedback, ask questions or seek advice.
Online Discussion/Chat Groups:
An online chat group will be created on WhatsApp and be available to all volunteers. It will serve as a platform for the volunteer manager to disseminate important details, for volunteers to have discussions or ask any questions they have. Volunteer efforts and opportunities will also be posted through the chat group on top of other platforms such as e-mails etc.
An individual will be appointed as the role of volunteer manager. He/she will be the focal point of communication between the organisation and the volunteers. He/she will also deal with any grievances of volunteers within the organisation
The SCF website will be regularly be updated and contain all policies and procedures for volunteers to review.
Any new volunteer which joins SCF has would be provided with an orientation session to help them be familiar in their new working environment. This orientation would comprise two aspects, (a) familiarising the volunteers with SCF and (b) familiarising the volunteers with each other. Both aspects of the orientation will be organised and planned by the volunteer manager.
Familiarising the volunteers with SCF
When familiarising the volunteers with SCF, some important aspects to be covered include:
- An explanation of what the SCF does and its history including how it came about and it evolved
- A description of some of the key programmes which the SCF organises and the purpose of these programmes.
- An overview of the SCF, including the organisational structure to enable the volunteer to understand the roles of each employee in SCF
- An introduction and tour of the SCF office and training facilities.
- General policies and procedures, highlighting those which will impact the volunteers the most. (e.g. lines of communication, reporting times, claims and allowances)
- A briefing on the SCF Volunteer Management Policy and to answer any additional questions they might have
Familiarising the volunteers with each other
On top of familiarising the volunteers with the SCF organisational set-up, it is also equally important for them to know one another as the volunteers will be working closely in many overlapping areas. The volunteer manager would organise bonding sessions for the volunteers or to have some ice breaker sessions so volunteers can know each other better. The volunteer manager would ensure that the organised activities would not be dangerous or breach any policies which SCF has in place.
All volunteers will be given access to training and education to adequately fulfil their volunteer role. These training may be in the form of mentoring with an SCF staff, briefing sessions or relevant accredited training courses. Where courses attract a fee, these fees will be covered by SCF if it meets the following criteria:
- Directly improves the quality of work output from volunteers
- It is a pre-requisite for the position
- It appears in the position description for the voluntary role
- Prior approval has been granted by the SCF Board
Some example of the things which volunteers may learn while being on the job include:
- Sports Coaching
Volunteers may get the opportunity to join in for Safe Cycling coaching sessions, be it for students in schools or for organisations (E.g. Thye Hua Kwan). During these sessions, volunteers have the opportunity to learn about basic coaching. This would include the management of a large group of participants, to the breakdown of a task into smaller parts so that participants can better ‘digest’ the information and how to alter a programme to better suit the needs of the participants.
- Events Management
When events and competitions are being held, volunteers will have the opportunity to take up various roles, be it in the planning or the execution of the event. For event planning, some examples of the roles the volunteers can pick up include: Route Plotting, Promotion/Marketing of Event and Liaising with External Partners. For event execution, some examples of the roles volunteers can pick up include: Registration Booth Management, Event Setup, Route Marshalling.
- Facility Management
Volunteers may also have the opportunity to learn more on facility management while at an SCF Training Centre or Academy. They can experience aspects of facility management such as Facility Maintenanceand Scheduling etc. They might also get the chance to help out to assist the appointed coach in the conduct of off-road cycling activities (MTB, BMX, Cyclocross, Cycling Esports)
- Other Learning Opportunities
As a form of upgrading the skill set and competency levels of the volunteers, training for skills that are not necessarily required (E.g. Leadership, communication) may also be provided for the volunteers. These forms of training will likely be held in the form of workshops/classes and may require the help of external service providers to conduct these enrichment programmes. Full time SCF staff can also join in these programmes to help equip all of SCF’s staff with such ‘soft skills’ as they help the SCF be ready to adapt to changes, innovate and develop more effective ways of doing things.
Handling of Grievances and Complaints
In the event of a conflict occurring, whether is it between two volunteers or an SCF staff and a volunteer, it should be resolved and handled swiftly. The volunteer manager and the SCF General Manager would manage these disputes, including those involving a fulltime staff.
Channels would be made available for volunteers to air their grievances. The availability of these channels would also be made known to the volunteers so they know what they should do, who they should go to when they have something they want to clarify.
A general guideline for handling disputes in the workplace is as follows:
- Identify the reason for the conflict and clarify each other’s position
More often than not, conflicts result from a misunderstanding between two parties. The mediator (in this case the volunteer manager or the SCF General Manager) should listen to both sides of the story and provide for the opportunity for each party to fully respond. It is important to demonstrate empathy and patience so all are clear on the issue.
Other common reasons for conflicts include:
- Heavy workload
- Unsuitable job scope
- Volunteers not feeling respected or their efforts are not recognised
- Poor relationship between staff and the volunteers
- Facilitate understanding between both parties
Both parties would be encouraged to discuss the issues, collaborate and compromise. Trying to get both parties to understand each other’s perspective and resolve the conflict or identify a solution to the issue.
- Involve a neutral mediator (optional)
If the volunteer manager feels that he/she will not be able to formulate a neutral stance on the issue, it will be helpful to involve a neutral third party to formulate a mutually agreeable solution – this could include the involvement of the SCF General Manager.
- Commit to the resolution
Once a mutually agreeable solution has been decided upon, summarise and articulate what the parties have agreed upon. Reiterate the remedial actions each party should adhere to.
- Resolve disputes quickly
This is to prevent the issue from further escalating and affecting the dynamics of the team.
Volunteer Recognition and Rewards
Prioritising the retention of the volunteers within the SCF is very important as a huge amount of resources and time would be invested into recruiting and training the volunteers. The best way of ensuring that the retention rate of these volunteers is high will include recognition for them, letting them know that their contributions has made a difference in the SCF and that their voices and feedback are being heard and duly acknowledged.
Some methods which the volunteer manager can explore and implement are:
- Annual Volunteer’s Appreciation Day
The volunteer manager can schedule a day every year to thank the volunteers for their contributions. Awards and certificates can also be presented to volunteers that have displayed exemplary behaviour.
- Have frequent feedback sessions
Hold regular meetings with the volunteer group (E.g. End of every month, after every event) so volunteers can have their input and feedback on whether there are any areas of improvements that SCF can work on to better refine their volunteer management system.
Create an e-newsletter for the volunteers. In the newsletter, the volunteer manager can feature volunteers, update volunteers on upcoming volunteering opportunities and allow volunteers to share more on their volunteering experiences etc. This helps to foster better relationships between them and the organisation.
All volunteers will have the right to discontinue from their voluntary role. When a volunteer decides to leave, the following should take place:
- A Certificate of Appreciation would be presented
- The Volunteer manager and the SCF General Manager will personally contact the volunteer to thank him/her for their service
- Feedback – As a form of exit management, the volunteer will be requested to complete a feedback survey (be it through a written or verbal form) to find out how SCF can improve the volunteer management system
- Testimonial – As a form of good practice, the volunteer manager would provide departing volunteer with a written testimonial detailing his/her character, qualities and contributions.
Feedback and Review
To ensure that SCF is truly able to create and develop a volunteer programme that meets the needs and expectations of the volunteers, having frequent meeting sessions with the volunteers for them to voice their thoughts and opinions will be organised. Reviewing the volunteer management policy is also equally important to see if SCF are on the right track to achieving the goals and objectives. This process can be split into two different components: (a) a review of the performances of the volunteer and (b) followed by a review of the management system.
Volunteer Performance Review:
- The volunteer manager gathers feedback on an individual volunteer
- Feedback can be garnered from other volunteers, full time SCF staff, members of public etc.
- The volunteer manager would then go through the feedback with the volunteer, supporting each feedback with an example if possible.
- Possibilities of future training and developmental opportunities would also be discussed.
- Allow volunteer to voice any feedbacks or concerns they may have.
- The volunteer manager sources for feedback on the volunteer management policy or the broader framework.
- Feedback can be garnered from other volunteers, full time SCF staff, members of public etc.
- Review all feedback to assess areas that needs improvement.
- Also take note of positive feedback received.
- Analyse the feedback in accordance with the policy’s visions and goals to see if SCF is on the right track in achieving their objectives.
When the feedback has been garnered and assessed, the next step will be to refine and make improvements to the volunteer system based on the feedback from volunteers and SCF staff. Discussions and meetings can be held to discuss the next possible step of action and how SCF should go about managing the system in the years to come.