UCR Policies and Procedures

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Policy Title:                      Volunteer (without salary) Appointments


Policy Number:                650-85


Responsible Officer:

Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources

Responsible Office:

Human Resources

Origination Date:


Date of Revision:


Date of Last Review:



Guidance Concerning Volunteer Appointments on Campus

 I.        Policy Summary

This policy provides guidance for the use of volunteer services, promoting safety, reducing risk and protecting the interests of the University of California, Riverside (UCR) campus, its volunteers, and the community it services. 

     II.        Definitions

Student Intern is a student seeking to enhance their academic and career goals by gaining supervised practical experience and applying classroom theory to real world situations.

Volunteer an individual providing service directly to and under the supervision of the university with no promise or expectation of compensation.

  •      The following groups are not considered volunteers:

a.    Individuals whose service is provided in pursuit of personal educational goals or to earn educational credit.

b.    Individuals receiving payment for services rendered from a non-university of California pay source (e.g., visitors receiving per diem or support from home institutions, employees of an organization with a contract to use university facilities).

c.    Individuals affiliated with and providing services on behalf of an external agency or service organization (e.g., Red Cross volunteers)

d.    Off-campus volunteers sponsored by but not under the direct supervision of the university (e.g., student teachers).

e.    Groups or individuals providing fundraising, public outreach, or other support services as described in UC Policy on Support Groups, Campus Foundations, and Alumni Associations.

f.     Individuals holding academic “without salary” appointments.

g.    Retired employees desiring occasional access to university facilities. 

     III.        Policy

Individuals who perform service for their own benefit (including staff, faculty, retirees, students, alumni, and others not associated with the university) in furtherance of the humanitarian, educational, or service missions of the university and/or to gain professional experience through their service to the university. All volunteers covered under this policy are uncompensated and provide services without any expectation of compensation.

A.   Volunteer support may be used to help further the university mission of teaching, research and public service, and to provide valuable experience to the volunteer.

B.   Volunteer support may be utilized whenever an individual volunteers assistance or services to the university and receives no compensation.

1.    Volunteer service may be utilized at the sole discretion of the department for which the volunteer provides assistance.

2.    A volunteer assignment must be established prior to the commencement of work.

C.   Volunteer support cannot:

1.    Displace/replace a paid position.

2.    Be appointed to a volunteer assignment after the commencement of work.

3.    Conduct duties that are identical or similar to current or past compensated work performed at the university.

D.   Volunteer Assignments

1.    Volunteers should be at least 18 years old.

a.    Volunteers under 18 require additional reviews, approvals, and parental permission.

b.    Volunteers who are minors (those under 18 years of age) and who have not graduated from high school are encouraged to provide a completed work permit prior to beginning their assignments.

c.    Review the California Child Labor Law pamphlet and contact your Human Resources representative for information on volunteer assignments for minors.

d.  The University governs the presence of minors in any University laboratory or shop that uses hazardous chemicals, biohazardous or infectious materials, radioactive materials or radiation-producing equipment, or where there are physical hazards including (but not limited to) compressed gases, high voltage, extreme temperatures, excessive noise, or lasers. The UC Policy on Minors in Laboratories and Shops applies to all minors involved in summer internships, volunteering in research projects and participating in a scheduled assignment in a laboratory setting. In addition to completing a work permit, forms within the policy (pages 9 – 13), must be completed by the appropriate parties. For additional information, review the UC Policy on Minors in Laboratories and Shops or contact your Human Resources representative.

2.    Volunteers shall not be assigned tasks that require any of the following:

a.    Access to university financial accounts or funds (e.g., cash, cash equivalents, checks, credit/debit cards, university property, disbursements or receipts).

b.    Access to master keys.

c.    Access to confidential records or information (e.g., student records or confidential data, protected health information).

d.    Operation of university vehicles.

e.    Access to controlled substances including contact with hazards that require medical monitoring.

f.     Contact with hazards that require medical monitoring

3.    Volunteer assignments that involve any of the following are considered sensitive/critical and require a criminal history check. The volunteer’s background check must be cleared prior to the start of the volunteer assignment and they must receive special training or supervision:

a.    Care, safety and security of people, including children and minors, or property, including personal and university.

b.    Handling animals.

c.    Handling cash.

d.    Use of building or office keys.

For a comprehensive list, refer to PPSM: 21 – Selection and Appointment.

4.    Volunteers shall be supervised by departmental staff or faculty. No volunteer may supervise an employee (including a student employee) or another volunteer.

5.    Volunteer services may be terminated without notice at the discretion of the department. 

      IV.        Procedures

Volunteer appointments without salary are to be utilized when an individual volunteers their assistance or services directly and under the supervision of the university without promise or expectation of compensation. 

Departments should first determine the duties to be performed and determine if the volunteer is 18 or over. Note: Volunteer applications for minors (under the age of 18) may require additional reviews, approvals, and parental permission.

A.   Unpaid Student Intern

All unpaid student intern volunteers who are performing service solely for their personal educational goals unrelated to the pursuit of their academic degree should be appointed as a Student Intern, Title Code TC 4740.

B.   Unpaid Volunteers

All other unpaid volunteers should be appointed as a Volunteer, TC 9900

C.   Volunteer Appointment Procedures

Volunteer appointees with a duration of two weeks or less are not required to have their appointments entered into the payroll system, but are subject to all other aspects of this policy

1.    Volunteers must complete the following forms prior to the start of their volunteer assignment:

a.    Volunteer Application Form

b.    Volunteer Registration Form

c.    UC State Oath of Allegiance, Patent Policy and Patent Acknowledgement

d.    Volunteer Background Check Authorization Form

2.  Volunteers must complete the following form upon completing or if extending their volunteer assignments: 

       •       Volunteer Extension/Separation Form 

3.    The department shall:

a.    Retain the forms in a department/organization unit volunteer file for a period of three (3) years.

b.    Determine a reasonable end date for the assignment.

c.    Maintain a record of service hours, including the date of service and the time the volunteer arrived and left the office.

d.    Volunteers may be compensated for incidental expenses in accordance with appropriate university policies.

1)    In those instances, the department must provide an I-9 to the volunteer for completion.

2)    The I-9 information must be recorded within three (3) days of the incidental expense and/or mileage reimbursement.

e.    Formalize the volunteer appointment using the appropriate TC (4740 or 9900) in PPS using a “WOS” DOS code.

f.     Submit a copy of the completed Volunteer Application Form for eligible volunteers in TC 9900 to Workers’ Compensation.

g.    Provide and document all necessary safety training and personal protective equipment needed by the volunteer to safely perform the volunteer service.

D.   Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Volunteers are covered by Workers’ Compensation when acting within the capacity and scope of the volunteer assignment.

1.    The Volunteer Registration form must have been completed prior to the volunteer assignment for coverage to be in effect.

2.    Any volunteer injured within the course and scope of service must immediately notify the supervisor of the injury.

3.    If medical treatment is needed, volunteers are authorized to be treated only at the approved medical treatment facilities listed.

Additional information is available on the Workers’ Compensation webpage or call 951-827-4207.

E.   UC General Liability Insurance Coverage

Qualified volunteers may be covered by the Insurance Program (BUS-81). Additional information is available on the Risk Management website or call 951-827-8221. 

     V.        Forms/Instructions

     VI.     Contacts




Alex Najera

Employee & Labor Relations (ELR)



Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S)



Risk Management



Workers’ Compensation



VII.      Related Information

     VIII.        Frequently Asked Questions 

       IX.        Revision History