Risk Management

Volunteer Assignment Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to provide clarification and guidance for requesting assignment of Volunteers at Cal Poly Pomona.

Individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to the University provide important services to the campus and to the surrounding communities. Volunteer assignments are made in accordance with the CSU Volunteer Policy (HR 2015-10).


A Volunteer is an individual who performs work or provides services without compensation for a semester, academic year, calendar year, session or any part thereof, not to exceed one year. Volunteers should not replace or supplant the work performed by employees (represented or non-represented) and may not be used in full-time, long-term assignments. Special rules may apply regarding Volunteers with teaching assignments as outlined in provision 12.29 of the collective bargaining agreement between the CSU and California Faculty Association.

Volunteers are eligible for workers’ compensation and state liability coverage. Volunteers may be authorized to drive a vehicle on official state business, in accordance with the CSU Use of University & Private Vehicles Guidelines. Additionally, a Volunteer may be entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses in accordance with University procedures for reimbursement of travel expenses and allowances.

Academic Manual Policy No:  1303 Appointment of Volunteer Faculty and Support Staff

Volunteers may perform a variety of functions in support of campus activities while under the oversight of CSU staff or faculty. Examples of volunteer work include, but are not limited to: Volunteers who decorate the Rose Float, Volunteers who teach or assist in teaching; Volunteers working in the University Library or learning centers; students who volunteer to assist with campus activities; Volunteers who drive vehicles on official University business such as field trips or athletic events; Volunteers who perform general office work; and Volunteers who assist at campus events.

Volunteer activities do not include: a guest lecturer, “Professor for a Day” or other similar role, assisting at an athletic event, a participant in community service programs sponsored by the University, a participant in an activity or service on a committee sponsored by a University support group.

Volunteers are required to sign and date a Volunteer Identification Form, which must be renewed annually, prior to the work being completed. Once completed and signed by an appropriate administrator, the form must be kept on file in the appointing department for the duration of one year.  A copy of an appropriate license or certificate, if applicable, must also be attached. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure all appropriate forms and, if necessary, a background check have been completed before the volunteer can begin work.

If a person receives any kind of compensation from a campus for services, an Employment Authorization Form I-9 needs to be completed and the person needs to be appointed as an employee.

If the Volunteer will drive on behalf of the University, they are required to take Defensive Driver Training and authorize the University to check their driving record. If the Volunteer will drive their own personal vehicle, they will also need to complete and submit the STD Form 261--Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicle on State Business (PDF). This form needs to be re-certified annually and maintained in the employing department sponsoring the Volunteer.

All Volunteers are considered Limited Mandated Reporters under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA). More information can be found on the CANRA site. Volunteers must be notified of the Act and the availability of training. Volunteers must also sign a statement acknowledging their role as a Limited Mandated Reporter with each volunteer appointment.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires non-U.S. citizens to have work authorization in the USA for volunteer work at Cal Poly Pomona.

Volunteers are required to undergo a background check if they:

  • Perform duties that would require a background check by law.
  • Will have access to or responsibility for detailed personally identifiable information about students, faculty, staff, or alumni that is protected, personal, or sensitive.
  • Will have regular or direct contact with minors.
  • Will have access to controlled or hazardous substances.
  • Will have building access or possession of building master or sub-master keys for building access.
  • Will be responsible for the care, safety and security of people (including children and minors), animals and CSU property.
  • Will operate a commercial vehicle, machinery or equipment that could pose environmental hazards or cause injury, illness or death.

If any of the above apply, the Volunteer must submit to an appropriate background check. When a background check is necessary based on the criteria above, it is the responsibility of the department sponsoring the Volunteer to initiate the process and follow the available Background Check procedures.

The department sponsoring the Volunteer is responsible for ensuring the Volunteer receives any training that is appropriate or required for the services being provided prior to work being performed.  This includes safety training.  Training specific to volunteer activities must also be provided and access may need to be coordinated through Environmental Health & Safety.

CSU Volunteers may be under the age of 18. There are certain restrictions that govern the minor’s ability to volunteer. Per CSU Employment of Minor Policy (HR 2004-24), minors may not work in occupations that involve power machinery, kitchen work, and certain work in connection with the maintenance of cars, trucks, machines or equipment, or work in warehouses. In addition, minors cannot perform any other duties that would require a background check.