Volunteers make valuable contributions to the University of Alberta through various faculties and programs. Departments and administrative units should follow the guidelines below to help the University of Alberta manage potential liability related to engaging volunteers.

University volunteers must abide by and are subject to university policies and regulations.

Please note: The registration process below only requires units to report a total numbers of volunteer hours, not individual volunteer names. Also, volunteers should not perform work that is normally carried out by a paid employee covered by one of the University of Alberta's Collective Agreements. This includes duties pertaining to academic research. Circumstances may vary. Please contact your department or faculty Human Resources representative for clarification or to discuss opportunities and options available.

Who is a volunteer?

  • An individual who provides university-approved and authorized services, duties, or assistance to the university without compensation of any kind (including fees, wages, salary, stipend, or grant funds).
  • University of Alberta employees are considered volunteers when they provide university-approved and authorized services, duties, or assistance for the benefit of the university, outside of their normal job responsibilities.
  • University of Alberta students are considered volunteers only when they provide university-approved and authorized services or assistance for the benefit of the university, outside of their course work (i.e. not for course credit).

Who is NOT a volunteer?

The following should not be considered university volunteers at this time and should not register through this process:

  • Any person performing services for an entity not directly related to the business of the University of Alberta
  • Human subjects in research projects. Please contact the Research Ethics Office for more information about informed consent documents for these situations.
  • Members of Advisory Councils
  • Retired Professors
  • Students' Union executives, staff, or event participants
  • University of Alberta Board and Committee Members
  • University of Alberta Student Group volunteers

Registering volunteers

Volunteers may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits under the provision of Section 14(5) of the Workers' Compensation Act (Alberta) if they are injured in the course of their approved "work duties" on behalf of the university. Volunteer coordinators or supervisors must use this form to register volunteer hours of participants in their unit's programs, events or activities.

The reporting period is January 1 - December 31 but units may report as many times as they need to throughout the year. Please complete this form for each program period and/or each time a volunteer works with your unit in a different capacity. This process will automatically prompt our office to generate a volunteer waiver for this activity. Please complete the form at least 15 business days prior to the program start to receive the waiver in time.

Supervisors are asked to provide their best estimate of the number of hours required. Please do not duplicate hour entries. Insurance & Risk Assessment may contact supervisors near the end of the reporting period to confirm actual hours worked.

Please note that volunteer names are not required for WCB reporting, so coordinators do not need to wait until they know who the specific volunteers will be before reporting the hours required.

Volunteer risk management

In order to manage the risks and liabilities inherent in volunteer activities, university faculties and departments should follow these steps:

  1. Develop a storage, retention schedule, and process for managing volunteer records. (A sample guideline will be developed and shared when the Volunteer Policy is approved and published in UAPPOL).
  2. Register your volunteers so that they may be eligible for WCB coverage.
  3. Require your volunteers to sign a volunteer waiver (or informed consent form for volunteers under the age of 18). This waiver will be sent to the volunteer coordinator after the volunteer activity has been registered. The form clarifies the volunteer's duties, reporting relationship, and duration of their volunteer service.
  4. Store and retain all volunteer waivers in accordance with waiver guidelines.
  5. Ensure that the volunteer receives adequate training, including all site hazard assessment and safety training where appropriate, for carrying out their university-approved duties.
  6. Immediately report any and all incidents including injuries that arise from authorized work of a volunteer on behalf of the university.

Additional information

Where appropriate, volunteers should be reminded that the university does not provide insurance coverage for personal property of any kind, including vehicles.

Approved volunteers who will be driving their own personal vehicles are required to carry a $2,000,000 third party liability limit on their vehicle insurance. Volunteers should be advised that they are responsible for providing and paying for their own insurance.

Reimbursement of any expense would be in accordance with the University of Alberta's Expense Policy. All volunteers should contact their insurance broker to disclose use of their vehicle for volunteer purposes. At no time should a volunteer be compensated by a passenger when using their vehicle for volunteer purposes.

Register Volunteer Hours