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Volunteer Management - Problem Solving Procedure

The Problem Solving Procedure is a transparent and accessible journey through what we would traditionally know as the Grievance or Disciplinary procedures, it is one document which allows both parties effective communication if they are unhappy with something. It takes into account the additional level of complexity which comes with involving volunteers. This adds a buffer of an informal level before the traditionally understood stages. This facilitates more of a dialogue (unless there has been definite gross misconduct and immediate dismissal is required) between both parties. It works both ways and is the same stage if a volunteer has an issue they can make the approach in an more informal way than making a complaint immediately.

The Stages


A chat / reminder / FYI that something has happened or is happening which isn’t desirable from either party without it being big and dramatic but it is noted and taken seriously as a genuine concern. Think of this as the ‘my door is always open’ stage.


This is the more ‘headmaster’s office’ / ‘I want to talk to the manager’ stage where there is a real need for a level of professional seriousness. This is documented like the last stage but more formally. Either party can choose to have an impartial representative with them during this stage.


This can be either a formal statement or an action plan for moving forward with the situation. You may ask the volunteer to put something in writing or you can provide them with some written feedback.


This is the written warning stating that something has to end or action will be taken. From the volunteer side, it can be a letter to the board or your management.


Confirmation, usually verbal (if possible) backed up with a letter of your findings of the investigation if needed or the outcome of the situation. Usually, it can be said that by this stage the volunteer has left or you have decided that the relationship has to end. Often the ‘it’s not you, it’s me and we ought to see other people’ stage. Or, has been a satisfactory outcome for all parties and you can resume service

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Warrington Voluntary Action supports the development of a vibrant, thriving and sustainable VCSE sector to meet the diverse needs of local communities.