Human Resources
Mitchell 1st Floor, MS: 7425
Phone: (509) 963-1202
Fax: (509) 963-1733

Student Volunteer Policy & Procedure

Volunteer Policy

You only need a background check on your student volunteer if they are performing any of the duties listed below:

a. That requires the individual to have unsupervised access to children under sixteen years of age or developmentally disabled persons or vulnerable adults, or
b. That requires the individual to have unsupervised access to cash, credit cards, or financial transaction data, or
c. Where there exists a grant or statutory requirement to possess a criminal background check on individuals assuming the position.

Volunteer Procedure


Volunteer programs at CWU need to be effective for both the volunteers and the University. The term "volunteer" needs to be defined and departments need to be aware of CWU´s liability to the volunteers.

Both students and non-students may volunteer services to the University. The same insurance requirements, procedures, and "Letter of Agreement for Volunteers" (discussed more below) apply to both groups of volunteers.

Based loosely on RCW 51.12, a volunteer is: a person who performs any assigned or authorized duties for the state or any agency thereof, brought about by one´s own free choice, receives no wages, and is registered and accepted as a volunteer by the state or any agency thereof, for the purpose of engaging in authorized volunteer service. The volunteer shall be deemed to be a volunteer even if the person is granted maintenance and reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in performing his or her assigned or authorized duties. Student volunteers shall perform duties under direct supervision.

The University also has responsibility to its volunteers. CWU is obligated to cover the volunteers for Labor and Industrial Insurance under RCW 51.12 so they will be taken care of if they are hurt while volunteering for CWU programs: Any and all premiums or assessments due under this title on account of service by a volunteer shall be paid by the employer who has registered and accepted the services of volunteers and has exercised its option to secure the medical aid benefits under chapter 51.36 RCW for the volunteers.

The stipulations for the University to be covered by L&I are under WAC 296-17-925 and 930 which basically state: Any employer electing to insure volunteers under the authority of chapter 51.12 RCW as now or hereafter amended shall give notice in writing on a form prescribed by the department. Any employer having elected to insure volunteers shall maintain office records of all hours of work performed by volunteers. Such office records shall include notice in writing as a registration of each person who has been recognized by the school and accepted by the employer to perform or observe the work of the employer. A report of such hours will be included with the employer´s regular quarterly report of payroll as prescribed by the department, and will include the payment for the premium based on such hours and at such rates per hour as assigned by the department.

Procedures to follow when you are accepting the services of a volunteer:

The volunteer must fill out and sign the "Volunteer Application."
a. This volunteer application must be turned in to the Payroll Office before the person may offer any services to you or your department. (The volunteer application is on the Payroll website under Payroll Forms and Checklists)
The volunteer must keep a timesheet of his/her hours worked and turn it into his/her supervisor at least once a month.
b. The supervisor must sign the timesheet and turn it in to Payroll at the end of every fiscal quarter. i.e.; March, June, Sept & Dec. (A "Volunteer Hourly Timesheet" is on the Payroll website under Payroll Forms and Checklists)
The volunteer must not be paid wages for any services performed.
c. Reimbursement is allowed only for any actual expenses incurred in performing his or her assigned or authorized duties.

Student volunteers must be supervised at all times by CWU authorized personnel or sponsor.

Departments cannot use volunteers to perform the same jobs for which other departmental employees are paid.

Individuals are prohibited from volunteering to perform services similar to those for which they are routinely and regularly employed.

Volunteers who drive a state motorpool vehicle must meet all State of Washington training requirements. Contact Motorpool at x3259 for more information on these requirements.

Return to the Student Employment Page