Number: HR 230
Effective: October 16, 2012
Department: Human Resources
Last Revision: July 6, 2017


To provide guidelines for the proper utilization of volunteers at CWI.


Applies to all departments or programs at CWI utilizing volunteer services


Volunteer: a person who performs services and/or engages in activities on behalf of or for the benefit of CWI without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation.  The term “volunteer” does not include CWI students participating in activities that are part of a course or program in which the student is enrolled.

Official Guest: a person who has been invited to a CWI facility or function for a specific purpose that benefits CWI’s mission.  Examples include but are not limited to visiting scholars, dignitaries, donors or potential donors, public officials and guest speakers.


CWI recognizes the contribution of volunteers in its pursuit of its mission and the provision of educational services to its students.  CWI also recognizes that it is critical that the utilization of volunteers be in compliance with applicable law and that certain guidelines be followed when volunteers provide services on behalf of CWI. 


Volunteer Services

Volunteer services generally are limited to humanitarian, educational or public services purposes.  Anyone including alumni, students, parents and former CWI employees may serve as volunteers on behalf of CWI.  Official guests of CWI are not considered volunteers.  However, a current CWI employee who is non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act may not volunteer in any capacity in which he or she is employed at CWI nor perform any volunteer work that is similar to or related to the employee’s regular work at CWI.  Non-exempt employees must receive written approval from the Human Resources Department before engaging in volunteer work for CWI.

CWI volunteers must abide by all applicable CWI policies and procedures, including but not limited to those relating to safety, confidentiality, use of technology, harassment, and drug and alcohol use.  Volunteers are not subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act and are not considered employees for any purpose.  Volunteers receive no compensation or benefits for services rendered.  Volunteers must be under the supervision of a CWI employee at all times.

Parental/guardian consent is required for all volunteers who are under the age of 18.  To give consent, a parent/guardian must fill out, sign and return CWI’s Volunteer Form.  CWI reserves the right to require a criminal background check for volunteer positions or activities.  Thus, volunteers may be required to sign a consent form for a criminal background check.

CWI recognizes three types of activities for which a department or program may wish to use volunteers.  Each type of activity is based on the complexity, duration and relative risk of injury to both the volunteer and other people and property which may be affected and are as follows:

Category 1 Activities (Low Risk/Short Duration)

  • Banquet or graduation ceremony volunteer
  • Phone-a-thon or fundraiser volunteer
  • Theatrical production volunteer
  • Clerical work not of a recurring nature (e.g., envelope-stuffing)
  • Student greeters who volunteer at an official CWI function
  • Public speakers

Category 2 Activities (Higher Risk/Longer Duration) May require Background Checks and Additional Training

  • Services involving travel or any kind, to any place away from a CWI campus
  • Services involving working with animals
  • Services involving working with minors
  • Laboratory work
  • Long-term or on-going volunteer services (such as mentoring)

Category 3 Activities (Higher Risk/Longer Duration)

Volunteers are prohibited from engaging in any Category three activities

  • Operating heavy equipment including vehicles
  • Entering into any contract on behalf of the College
  • Working with infectious or potentially infectious agents, including human blood
  • Handling firearms or weapons of any kind
  • Engaging in services requiring access to confidential information, including confidential student or employee information, or confidential health information.
  • Engaging in any services involving the handling of currency

The identification of activities which fall in each category above is not exhaustive but rather is intended to provide guidelines and examples when considering volunteer engagements.  Questions regarding these guidelines should be direct to the College’s Risk Management Department.  If an activity could fit in more than one category it shall be placed in the higher category.

Volunteering is limited to the premises on which the activity takes place.  Each department or organizer utilizing volunteers for an activity must comply with the application procedure listed below.  They must also provide the volunteer with every form required for the activity so that the volunteer is able to comply with the procedures set forth below.


A supervisor of the department or program utilizing a volunteer must provide the volunteer with, and the volunteer must complete, the following forms:

  1. Authorization for Criminal Background Check Form (if necessary);
  2. Volunteer Agreement Form; and
  3. Description of Volunteer Activity Form. 

The department or program utilizing the volunteer must retain all completed lists of volunteers and related forms for three years.  If an individual is a returning volunteer, but the break in service is greater than one (1) year, all applicable forms and processes must be completed again.

Volunteer service at CWI is non-contractual.  CWI may terminate the services of any volunteer at any time without prior notice.  Any CWI employee serving as a volunteer who violates any CWI policy or procedure will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination.