National Association of 
Voluntary Services Managers

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

Placement of volunteers


Developing roles and role descriptions

One of the key skills of a VSM is to match the right volunteer with the right role.


When new in post, VSMs may spend a considerable amount of time meeting with staff members to discuss volunteer opportunities particularly when there hasn’t previously been a volunteer services department at the Trust. Throughout a VSM’s career they will be continuously developing new volunteer opportunities as services change and new services are introduced.


Every volunteer role should have a role description which outlines the role and its responsibilities, discusses boundaries of the role (what volunteers are / are not allowed to do) and who the volunteer is responsible to (typically they will report to the manager of the area that they are volunteering in).


Role descriptions should be approved by you and by the manager of each area and issued to the volunteer to ensure that there is no confusion about what volunteers should be doing.


An example of a role description can be found attached.