National Association of 
Voluntary Services Managers

Lead, promote and develop best practice in 
Volunteer Management in the NHS and Healthcare

Best Practice Policy Writing


Job substitution


Voluntary Service Managers (VSM) are constantly looking for new volunteering opportunities as well as being approached by staff members requesting volunteer assistance. In this current economic climate, not only are staff being made redundant, departments restructured and work loads increasing but at the same time, with increased unemployment, more volunteers are approaching VSMs looking to volunteer to give them the exposure to the workplace and environment they need to apply for paid work in the NHS. Although some basic guidance exists around what is or isn’t acceptable in terms of volunteer roles, this line is often blurred and there is often a concern that VSM's maybe asked to place volunteers in roles which could be considered job substitution. NAVSM is committed to ensuring that volunteers are not used as a substitute for paid staff and supports the charter between the TUC and Volunteering England for strengthening relations between paid staff and volunteers which is attached below. Read the attached best practice guidance for information and advice about avoiding this situation.