National Association of 
Voluntary Services Managers

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

Management of Volunteers


Problem solving - complaints from or about a volunteer


There may be times when problems arise with a volunteer which, if they were a member of staff, would be addressed through a grievance or disciplinary procedure. However, grievance and disciplinary policies for paid staff are not appropriate to be used when dealing with complaints from or about a volunteer. There should be a separate problem solving procedure specifically for volunteers, written using clear, non-jargon, plain English language. Volunteers have the same legal rights as the general public (for example, health and safety and data protection), but they are not covered by employment legislation. Having a problem solving procedure specifically for volunteers helps to ensure that volunteers are treated fairly, are not discriminated against, understand how to complain, and what their rights are if a complaint is made against them. It also creates consistency and demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to volunteer management best practice. Below is an example of a problem solving procedure for you to download.