A British Science Association volunteer is someone who gives their time freely, to help the British Science Association achieve its aims and objectives.
The British Science Association exists to advance the public understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering.
In line with this mission the British Science Association seeks to involve volunteers because we believe that by involving volunteers we can extend the
expertise incorporated into our programmes and their geographical and societal reach and scale. Volunteers who assist with our mission to advance the
understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering are a valued resource for the organisation.
This policy is underpinned by the following principles:-
The British Science Association will ensure that volunteers are properly integrated into the organisational structure and that mechanisms are in place for
them to contribute to the British Science Association’s work.
The British Science Association will not introduce volunteers to replace paid staff.
The British Science Association expects that staff at all levels will work positively with volunteers and where appropriate, will actively seek to involve
them in their work.
The British Science Association recognises that volunteers require satisfying work and personal development and will seek to help volunteers meet these
needs, as well as providing the training for them to engage effectively.
3. Practice Guidelines
The following guidelines deal with practical aspects of the involvement of volunteers. More detailed information, including the various documents referred
to, is provided on the British Science Association website.
As recruitment procedure varies depending on the nature of the volunteering role, please refer to the relevant recruitment guidelines of the specific
All volunteers will be reimbursed for travel expenses and other expenses associated with their volunteering role. The travel and expenses policy sets out
what can be claimed and what the limits of reimbursement are.
3.3. Induction and Training
All volunteers will receive an induction into the British Science Association and their own area of work. Guidance from your staff contact and support from
the British Science Association head office will be provided as necessary to enable volunteers to fulfil their roles. Where appropriate, volunteers will be
entitled to receive additional training on the same basis as staff.
All volunteers will have a named person as their main point of contact. They will be provided with supervision to feed back on progress, discuss future
development and air any problems.
3.5. The Volunteer’s voice
Volunteers are encouraged to express their views about matters concerning the British Science Association and its work. Feedback can be directed to staff
contacts or to the Volunteering Development Officer. We welcome feedback about the experience of volunteers and our volunteering policies and procedures.
All volunteers are covered by the British Science Association’s public liability insurance whilst they are on the premises or engage in any work on the
British Science Association’s behalf.
3.7. Health and Safety
Volunteers are reminded that they have a duty to take reasonable care for their health and safety at work and for that of your fellow volunteers, and to
co-operate in carrying out any duty or requirement relating to health and safety matters that is imposed upon the British Science Association as a
volunteer-involving organisation. A copy of the full health and safety policy statement is available to all volunteers. Further copies may be obtained if
required from the HR Manager.
3.8. Equal Opportunities
The British Science Association operates an equal opportunities policy for both staff and volunteers. Volunteers need to have an understanding of and
commitment to our equal opportunities policy.
3.9. Problem Solving
We aim to identify and solve problems at the earliest possible stage. A procedure has been drawn up for dealing with complaints either by or about
volunteers. A copy of the procedure is available on the British Science Association website.
3.10. Reward and Recognition
The British Science Association values the contribution its volunteers make to the aims of the organization. All volunteers are eligible for the measures
detailed in the Reward and Recognition Policy, which is available on our website.
4. Volunteer Conduct
4.1. Attendance and timekeeping
This is applicable to volunteers working directly with a member of British Science Association staff, either at head office, a regional office or at a
British Science Association event, such as the British Science Festival. Volunteers are expected to ask their staff contact in advance should they need to
be absent from or late to their placement for any reason (including all forms of leave). The Association recognises that there may be times when this is
not possible, and in these instances they should contact their staff contact at the earliest opportunity.
4.2. Personal appearance
Whilst at public facing British Science Association events, dress should be appropriate. The Association wishes to convey an impression of efficiency and
organisation. Therefore, without wishing to impose unreasonable obligations, volunteers are nonetheless requested to look smart in appearance.
4.3. Personal use of the British Science Association’s resources
This is applicable to volunteers working at a British Science Association office. The resources of the Association (which include, but are not limited to,
supplies and equipment such as telephones, photocopiers and Internet facilities) are for official use only. However, the Association does recognise that
volunteers may occasionally need to use these resources for personal reasons. Such use is permitted only in accordance with the following criteria:
The cost to the Association must be negligible;
Use must not interfere with the obligation to carry out duties in a timely and effective manner;
Use must in no way undermine the use of the Association’s resources for official business;
Use must neither express nor imply sponsorship or endorsement by the Association;
Use must be consistent with legislation regarding obscenity, libel and discrimination or other inappropriate activities.
In all cases volunteers should demonstrate a sense of responsibility and not abuse this privilege.
Volunteers have a duty of confidentiality towards the British Science Association. Copyright, patents and intellectual property rights in any invention,
project or materials in any medium produced on behalf of the British Science Association during the course of volunteering, belong to the British Science
Association. Volunteers have a duty to keep confidential, information and materials relating to the affairs of the British Science Association which are by
nature confidential, both during and after volunteering. This does not include anything which is published by the British Science Association or which
comes into the public domain by another means.
4.5. Gross misconduct
Volunteers are reminded that instances of gross misconduct can lead termination of their placement.
Examples of gross misconduct include (but are in no way limited to) the following:
theft, fraud and deliberate falsification of records
serious bullying or harassment
being under the influence of alcohol or drugs during working hours
serious damage to property
4.6. Safeguarding children
The purpose of the Safeguarding Children Policy is to ensure that all British Science Association employees, activity providers, partners and volunteers, wherever they may be based, act in a positive way to ensure the safety and protection of children and / or vulnerable adults, understand the importance of child protection in their activities and are aware of the steps they must take to secure this.
making sure they are wearing British Science Association or other appropriate badges
ensuring they are registered upon entering a public space and
making sure they are not left in a position where they have unsupervised access to, or responsibility for, children and / or vulnerable adults.
The British Science Association regards as absolutely unacceptable any behaviour in relationships of trust involving children and adults (vulnerable or
otherwise) during or after British Science Association activities, that could be construed as:
smoking, alcohol or drugs
inappropriate offers of transport
inappropriate internet, email and other forms of communication
Ultimately, any employee, activity provider, partner or volunteer who has evidence suggesting inappropriate behaviour must take steps to protect children
assessing the situation;
intervening appropriately to stop it;
ensuring the child and / or vulnerable adult is safe and secure until further help is at hand, and
reporting the situation to the staff contact or line manager who will then take appropriate action.
The British Science Association takes seriously and will investigate all cases of alleged breaches of the British Science Association Volunteer Policy and Safeguarding Children Policy. Failure to act responsibly in the manner described above may make employees subject to the British Science Association’s disciplinary procedure, and may forestall any future relationship with the British Science Association for activity providers, partners and volunteers.
In all cases, no such action will be taken until a full and impartial investigation has been conducted. However, suspension from involvement in British
Science Association activities involving children and /or vulnerable adults (or in the case of employees from all British Science Association work) may be
deemed appropriate in certain circumstances whilst an investigation is in process.
Further information on child protection and police disclosures are available from the NSPCC website, www.nspcc.org.uk, and from the Criminal Records Bureau