Individuals who devote time and expertise to UCSB on a voluntary basis provide an important service to the campus. Many departments rely on volunteers to help support the University’s mission of teaching, research and public service. In turn, volunteers gain valuable experiences and a sense of personal satisfaction.

UCSB Volunteer Criteria

An individual is acting as a volunteer if the service provided meets the following conditions:

  • The service is provided directly to the University; and
  • The service is performed under the University’s control and supervision; and
  • The service is uncompensated; the volunteer is not paid, derives no academic recognition or any other tangible benefit though volunteers may be reimbursed for transportation, meals, and other incidental expenses.

The following is not considered volunteer service:

  • The service is given in exchange for academic credit, academic recognition or other academic benefit.
  • The service is compensated by an external, non-UC organization.
  • The service is provided by an individual affiliated with a non-UC organization like the Red Cross or United Way.
  • The service is provided off-campus by individuals possibly affiliated with the University but not under the University’s direct supervision and control, e.g. student interns, student teachers, etc.
  • The service is provided pursuant to a court order, fine, restitution agreement, or similar directive.

UCSB Volunteer Registration

At UCSB, departments that want to use volunteers must complete and submit a Volunteer Information Form to the Workers’ Compensation Manager. The WC Manager will review the information on the form to determine if the volunteer applicant meets UC’s volunteer criteria and is eligible for volunteer status at UCSB. Registered volunteers are eligible for coverage under the University’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program. The form is available at the UCSB Workers’ Compensation web page. See Volunteer Info Form and Group Volunteer Info Form.

UC Waiver of Liability

In consideration of their eligibility for coverage under the University’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program and in compliance with University policy, volunteers must sign the UC Waiver of Liability. When volunteers sign the UC Waiver they give up the right to sue the University for injury or loss they may suffer as a result of their volunteer activity.

Risk Mitigation

Departments that utilize the services of volunteers must take appropriate measures to mitigate risks to the volunteers themselves and to the University, its students, faculty, staff, and guests who avail themselves of the services of volunteers. Depending upon the risk involved, this may include providing special training or supervision, personal protective equipment and/or require certifications, immunizations, health assessments, special internal control procedures, and/or criminal background checks. Departments must employ the same measures with volunteers as they would with employees to mitigate and eliminate the risks associated with their activities and they must adhere to University policy and applicable state and Federal law.

Volunteers & Minors

Departments that use volunteers to provide services that involve the care and security of minors must require the volunteer to undergo a criminal background check (see UCSB: HR Background Checks). Departments must also determine if the services the volunteer is providing with respect to minors makes them mandated reporters. If they do, the department must have the volunteer sign the Statement Acknowledging Requirement to Report Child Abuse acknowledging their status as a mandated reporter and their reporting obligations.

Record Keeping

Departments that utilize volunteers are responsible for maintaining written records on each volunteer. The records should include the Workers Compensation Volunteer Information Form, the UC Waiver of Liability, the Statement Acknowledging Requirement to Report Child Abuse, and any other paperwork associated with any background checks and/or criminal checks that are performed. A record should be maintained on any training that the volunteer receives in addition to any equipment that they are issued. Departments are also responsible for maintaining an up-to-date and detailed written description of the services that the volunteer is to provide and a written record of the dates and hours during which the volunteer provides those services.