Volunteering guidelines

Welcome to the RSPCA volunteer team. Volunteers are crucial to helping us deliver our important animal welfare, and we value the time and energy that every volunteer donates.

Before starting as a volunteer you'll need read the points below. Your volunteer coordinator will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Whether you volunteering for the national RSPCA or a participating Branch, your details will be held securely in our Volunteer management system, Assemble.

  1. An RSPCA "volunteer" is a person who commits time and energy for the benefit of animal welfare and who does so freely through personal choice, without expectation of financial reward except for the reimbursement of actual out of pocket expenses
  2. The volunteering arrangement can be cancelled at any time by either party, no legally binding contract is in place.
  3. Volunteers are covered by the RSPCA's liability and personal accident insurance policy. Please check the terms of the cover provided and obtain additional cover if necessary.  A summary of the insurance is available from your Volunteer coordinator.
  4. We aim to ensure that volunteers clearly understand their role and are provided with appropriate information on policies and guidelines, as detailed in the Volunteer Handbook (see point 8 below). Please ask if you are unsure of anything as failure to adhere to policies may result in you being asked to cease volunteering.
  5. You may prefer to volunteer for the national RSPCA, Registered charity number 219099, or your local RSPCA Branch, a separate volunteer run charity in its own right. Find out more about your local RSPCA Branch online. Some policies may vary depending on where you volunteer (for example expenses).
  6. For certain volunteer roles, you will be asked to provide two referees, one of which should know you in a professional capacity, where required  this will be indicated in the role information.
  7. If your role involves direct contact with children/vulnerable groups we will ask you to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check before you start, this will be indicated in the role information.
  8. Regular volunteers for the national Society will be provided with a copy of our Volunteer Handbook. Some RSPCA branches may have their own handbooks, please ask your Volunteer coordinator.
  9. Volunteers must respect the need for confidentiality, please be aware of our Privacy Policy and maintain confidentiality at all times.
  10. As a volunteer it is important that you understand your personal responsibilities towards your own health and safety and that of others around you. All volunteers must complete our online Health & Safety training before starting as a volunteer.
  11. Volunteers must ensure any fundraising activities adhere to published RSPCA policies and guidelines, please refer to our fundraising terms and conditions for more detail.
  12. Age restrictions apply to certain volunteer roles in accordance with our insurance cover, for most roles you will need to be 16 or over and  if you are under 18 we will request consent of your parents / guardian before you can volunteer. 
  13. If you do something that threatens or damages the reputation of the RSPCA we will ask you to stop volunteering immediately.
  14. As a volunteer you must fully support the aims and objectives of the RSPCA, including our approach to animal welfare.
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