Our Volunteer Screening Program (VSP) helps build a thriving, resilient civil society by supporting Alberta’s nonprofit organizations to develop a deeper understanding of volunteer screening and engagement practices as well as community safety.
With funding from the the Government of Alberta, VSP provides educational opportunities, online resources, and financial support to ensure nonprofit organizations have the tools you need to develop and implement good practices* in volunteer screening and engagement, and risk management.
* We use the term “good practice” instead of “best practice” to reflect the goal of having organizations engage in practices that suit your work and serve your purposes, instead of striving for “best practices,” which may not be specific or adaptable enough to your local or cultural context to be useful. “Best practice” may imply a one-size-fits-all approach to volunteer screening practices, which we know do not really exist.
To access financial support, nonprofit organizations must serve/work with vulnerable populations and must engage volunteers in positions of significant trust or authority with vulnerable populations.
For the purposes of the Volunteer Screening Program:
- A vulnerable person is defined as: One who, because of their age (under the age of 18 or over the age of 65), or a disability (mental or physical disability or mental illness), is in a position of dependence on others or is otherwise at greater risk than the general population of being harmed by a person in a position of trust or authority towards them.
- A position of trust or authority is defined as: A position in which a volunteer has a significant degree of authority or decision-making power over a vulnerable person and unsupervised access to a vulnerable individual. A position of trust may also include the development of a close, personal bond between the volunteer and the individual (e.g. mentor). A significant level of trust and authority must be inherent within the position, and not incidental or occasional.
The Volunteer Screening Program is responsible for the development of new volunteer screening resources. If your organization needs educational support for its volunteer screening work, check out our resources page for tools, templates, tip sheets, guides, and more.
If you can’t find what you need on our resources page, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask how else we can assist you.
Screening Development Grant
Volunteer Screening Development Grant applications for 2022 have now closed! All applicants will be notified of the status of their submission by the end of August.
This grant supports the development of effective screening practices and processes. We provide up to $3,000 to support nonprofit organizations facing resource and capacity challenges in the area of volunteer screening.
Approved applicants for the Grant must participate in foundational learning by viewing the webinar, Screening Volunteers In, Not Out. Approved applicants will be sent the link to prerecorded webinar and the related guides which can also be found through our resources page. Additionally, throughout the granting period we will be checking in to see the progress of your proposal and to be available for any support we may offer. At the end of the granting period a Final Report Survey will be required to be completed.
Vulnerable Sector Check Fee Waiver
This fee waiver helps to alleviate costs associated with Vulnerable Sector Checks (VSC). It is available to organizations operating in current participating communities where a service fee is required.
A Volunteer Screening Program Number (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: Airdrie, Camrose, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lacombe, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, St. Albert, and Vegreville.
Have a question? Check the VSC Fee Waiver FAQs (last updated September 2020).
Before filling out your application, please take a look at the Vulnerable Sector Check Fee Waiver eligibility criteria.
Need help filling out the applications? Check out our application guide for more info.
Need an example of a VSPN letter to send to police/RCMP, click here.
Applicants without an existing Volunteer Screening Program Number:
Applicants with an existing Volunteer Screening Program Number: