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Are you ready to recruit volunteers? 3 resources to help you get started

Recruiting and engaging volunteers is much more than requesting a police information check or simply putting an ad up on social media that says, “volunteers needed!” It’s an ongoing process that matches the right volunteer with the right opportunity creating a meaningful and mutually beneficial experience.

At Volunteer Alberta, we believe that a successful volunteer recruitment and engagement program is crucial to onboard and retain outstanding, dedicated volunteers. So, is your organization ready to recruit volunteers? Here are three resources to help you get started:

1. Watch the 10 Steps to Screening video

If you don’t know where to start, watch the 10 Steps to Screening video. In this video, we adapted the Ten Steps from Volunteer Canada’s Screening Handbook to give you a quick overview of the screening process.

We also recommend taking a deeper dive into the Screening Handbook to guide you through important information like risk and liability, police checks, privacy, and social policy. The handbook is also a great resource to demonstrate the value of screening in case anyone in your organization needs convincing.

2. Create captivating volunteer position descriptions

Once you’re familiar with the principles of screening, you can start creating volunteer position descriptions. Our handy template will help you to develop specific positions and identify risks and relevant policies.

When creating position descriptions, we encourage you to think about tasks, roles or skilled work that would interest volunteers. Make sure the description is captivating enough to motivate potential volunteers to apply!

Bonus resource: The Window of Work can also help you to create an engaging volunteer posting.

3. Complete a risk assessment

Now that you’ve mapped out your volunteer positions, you can complete a risk assessment to determine what information you’ll need to screen volunteers into your organization.

Our risk assessment matrix can help you determine whether you need a police information check (PIC) or a vulnerable sector check (VSC). Generally, the higher the risk, the greater the degree of screening is necessary for the position.

Looking for more learning resources on volunteer recruitment and screening? Check out our seven-part webinar series starting February 26, 2020! Learn more.

VSP Member Resources


Enhance your organization’s screening practices to maximize participation, protection, and privacy for your volunteers, staff, and clients.

VSP Education and Training is here to help.


With support from the Government of Alberta, the Volunteer Screening Program (VSP) includes education and training opportunities for Alberta’s nonprofit sector. Enhance the work you are currently doing, maximize volunteer engagement strategies in your organization, and support a deeper understanding of volunteer screening practices.

Participate in a workshop, webinar, or forum, and access our free tools, templates, and other resources to help your organization be efficient and effective in your screening practices.

10 Steps to Screening Video and Webinars

Learn about the “10 Steps to Screening” and how to implement these steps within your organization to enhance volunteer screening practices. This video will provide an overview of the following topics:

  • Learn about the important steps in the screening process
  • Learn how to plan for hiring a volunteer and implementing the important steps in the hiring process
  • Begin to identify ways to scale these steps for your organization

Watch for the download icon for opportunities to access additional resources from our sidebar!

Still have questions? Register for a free, upcoming 10 Steps to Screening webinar to participate in live question and answer with knowledgeable Volunteer Alberta Staff. 

Vulnerable Sector Check Fee Waiver:

This fee waiver helps to alleviate costs associated with Vulnerable Sector Checks and is available to organizations operating in current participating communities where a service fee is required. Eligible organizations must work with vulnerable populations and engage volunteers in approved positions of trust or authority.

All Voluntary Organization Authorization Numbers (VOAN) have expired as of June 30, 2017, and are no longer in use.

If your VOAN has expired and your organization has not applied for a new Volunteer Screening Program Number (VSPN), but would like one, please download and fill out the application form below.

A VSPN is issued to eligible organizations and provides access to a fee waiver for approved volunteer positions requiring Vulnerable Sector Checks in current participating communities. Check the Vulnerable Sector Check Fee Waiver eligibility criteria.

Are you a participating organization? Check out the Terms of Use.

Have a question? Check the Volunteer Screening Program FAQs.

Volunteer Screening Forums

Volunteer Screening and Engagement Forum are delivered in-person across the province. Explore the issue of volunteer screening and the impact of police information checks on volunteer engagement in Alberta.

The forums include a workshop version of our webinar, Screening Volunteers In. Not Out., as well as a stewardship dialogue and strategic thinking session related to the issue of volunteer screening, engagement, and police information checks.

We look at the issue through the “three P’s of screening” – participation, protection, and privacy. Using a systems thinking approach and iceberg model, we dive deep into underlying mindsets that inform volunteer screening. We explore the big picture of volunteer screening and the role that we, as nonprofit leaders, play to engage in meaningful dialogue, uncovering new considerations, and helping to guide discussions about what is important in volunteer screening and management.

Check out upcoming forums or connect with us to schedule a forum for your community.

Additional Learning

For additional screening-related learning, check out upcoming dates for our webinar Screening Volunteers In. Not Out.

FREE Templates & Resources





















From the Vault: Five Reasons to Invest in Learning this Spring!

This blog was originally posted March 17, 2015

Spring is an opportunity to invest in learning and professional growth.

Here are five reasons that spring is a great time to learn:

  1. The days are longer. The sun is up early and nightfall comes later; there is much more time for activities, making spring a great time to start investing in you. With more hours of daylight, we often feel a burst of energy with the added vitamin D, which is a great excuse to add a class or two to your schedule. Learning something new this spring will give you the time to achieve goals throughout the year, and undoubtedly by the time winter rolls around again you will see the benefits.
  2. Create momentum through learning. Learning begets learning. Possibilities present themselves to those who choose to learn, and opening up to these opportunities creates momentum to grow. Don’t think of learning like a bucket to be filled, but more as a fire waiting to be lit. So burn baby, burn!
  3. Grow personal and professional networks. Learning provides a comfortable space to meet new people and makes for a great icebreaker, giving you a common topic to talk about. Depending on what learning opportunity you choose to invest in, the potential to establish both friendship and professional connections are abundant.
  4. Digital culture makes learning easy! We live in a time where inspiration is attainable and often learning opportunities are much closer than you think. The opportunity to be “wowed” is everywhere online. The possibilities are endless and it doesn’t take a huge commitment to gain knew knowledge. There are countless online courses being offered for free, YouTube tutorials, webinars, how-to-guides and amazing newsletters that can provide you with learning opportunities. All you have to do is keep an eye for what wows you and find out more.
  5. There are lots of ways to learn. Investing in learning this spring doesn’t have to be traditional in any sense of the word. You don’t have to attend a lecture, or strive for an A+.The practice of teaching and learning has experienced tremendous growth in terms of methodology and engagement. There are countless ways to acquire the knowledge you seek, it’s simply a matter of which method is the most fun for you.

Most importantly, make it “fun for you”! For some, learning can be synonymous with the unpleasant, frustrating, and even a means to an end. By completing just one investment in learning this spring that really wows you, you can complete something to be proud of and maybe even shift your perspective (as well as gain some new skills) along the way.

Visit our Community Learning Opportunities page to find learning opportunities near you and online.

Drew Noiles
Volunteer Alberta



Community Learning Opportunities

Expand your knowledge and improve your skills with online and in-person learning opportunities from across Alberta

2015-125-VA-Icons-individual-LearningWe make it easy for you to find learning online or in your community with our list of communities. Here you will find workshops, seminars, courses, and webinars – browse Online Learning or select a region to find upcoming sessions in a community near you.

Check back often for more learning opportunities!

If you know of a learning opportunity or learning provider you think we should add to the list, please let us know.


Online Learning

Charity Village
Active Learning




Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council Application

Apply to join the ESCC Interim Collective Leadership Group

Event Calendar

Sherwood Park

Volunteer Strathcona
Events & Workshops

Spruce Grove/Stony Plain

Stony Plain FCSS
Events & Workshops

North Region

Fort McMurray

Fuse Social
Upcoming Opportunities & Events

South Region


Register for winter workshops with Cochrane FCSS and build capacity for your nonprofit. Topics include: fund development, living your charitable purpose, hr basics, and more!

Winter Program & Activity Guide.


Upcoming Events
Featured Programs & Events

Red Deer

Volunteer Central
Future Workshops


Volunteer Lethbridge
Upcoming Events

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