Screening Isn’t As Complicated As You May Think


One component of Volunteer Alberta’s Volunteer Police Information Check Program is a service that allows you to submit your organization’s screening policies and/or procedures for review before being accepted into the program. Having managed this program since its inception in 2009, I’ve gained a good sense of why people have difficulties with screening. I get a lot of questions about volunteer screening, here are the most common ones:

1.       I’m not sure if I have a policy…

Often organizations will tell me  they don’t have a screening policy or procedure and they need some help. Once I start talking to them and asking questions about their organization, they realize they do in fact have screening procedures but they just haven’t realized it! Screening is an ongoing process that helps to ensure the right fit between the organization and the volunteer. Even having an application form is a way to screen potential volunteers. Look at the other 10 steps to screening for more information.

2.       How often should my volunteers get their PICs done?

I get this one a lot. The truth is, there is no standard across the sector. Some organizations ask that their volunteers renew their police information check (PIC) every six months, others say every three years. Because a PIC is only as good as the day that you get it, it’s impossible to set a standard time frame. This is why the other 9 screening steps are so important.

3.       Do I need to do ALL of these steps?

Not necessarily. The 10 Steps are suggestions and not all may be a good fit for your organization. For example, an organization with 1000 volunteers isn’t going to be able to interview every single one of them or call 3 references for each. Look at the steps and be realistic about what will work for your organization and your volunteers.

Screening is perceived to be a complicated issue, but it doesn’t have to be. What other questions do you have about screening? We can help! Leave a comment and we will address your question!

Lisa Michetti, Member Engagement Manager