Number: A0622 Last Updated: 16 September 2021 Version 10 – September 2021
1.0 Summary of Changes
This procedure has been updated within section 3.9 to reflect the current training courses required.
2.0 What this Procedure is about
The aim of this procedure is to provide a clear framework for volunteering across the organisation, in particular the procedure will ensure:
A clear understanding for all staff of how volunteers can add value to Essex Police;
Identify opportunities for volunteering within the organisation;
Clear responsibilities and guidance for Single Point of contact (SPOC)
Support mechanisms are in place for the recruitment, training and deployment of volunteers, including a SPOC and supervisor at district or departmental level;
Consultation takes place with the local LPA or Command involved concerning their deployment to prevent their use as a replacement for paid members of staff;
All staff engaging with volunteers are aware of their unique status, particularly in relation to out of pocket expenses.
This procedure applies to all volunteers currently engaged with Essex Police. Volunteers are not employees and have no employment status except under Health and Safety Legislation.
The participation of the volunteer does not create a contract of employment.
The volunteer will be required to sign a volunteer agreement detailing the partnership between themselves and Essex Police.
Either party may cancel the partnership at any time.
Volunteers can apply for Internal and external jobs advertised provided they comply to the following criteria:
Volunteer must have a satisfactory Performance, attendance and contribution;
Applications have been agreed by the Citizens in Policing Team in consultation with the local Volunteer contact.
The priority order for consideration of applicants is internal staff, special contables, volunteers and then external applicants.
Any task undertaken by a volunteer is intended to be additional or supplementary to work currently undertaken by police officers and police staff.
They should not be used as a pre-planned substitute or alternative to fill a role normally performed by full and part time staff.
This will be monitored by the local point of contact on the LPA who would liaise with the Citizens in Policing Team at Local Policing Support Unit HQ.
The volunteer hours should be recorded on local spread sheets to monitor activity.
Employees of all levels are expected to interact positively with volunteers and vice-versa.
Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
This procedure defines the following roles:
3.1 Police Support Volunteer (PSV) and Active Citizens (AC)
A Police Support Volunteer (PSV) is someone who, through personal choice, commits time and energy to perform a task at the direction, and on behalf of, Essex Police without expectation of compensation or financial reward.
An Active Citizen (AC) is a volunteer in a local area who by nature of the title will need to be physically fit and able to be involved in local activities.
This will not preclude volunteers with disabilities being involved and Essex Police will try to accommodate all who want to help.
Special Constables are volunteers but must remain distinct from PSVs and ACs owing to their unique position provided by their operational policing powers.
PSVs do not include Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators or other recognised voluntary organisations.
3.2 Citizens in Policing COMMANDER
Based at HQ Local Policing Support Unit (LPSU) the Citizens in Policing COMMANDER (CiPC) will have Strategic responsibility of the Police Support Volunteers and Active Citizens and will provide advice and assistance to the Citizens in Policing Development Manager and Citizens in Policing Team.
3.21 Citizens in Policing Manager
Based at HQ Local Policing Support Unit (LPSU) the Citizens in Policing Development Manager (CiPDM) will provide advice and assistance to the Citizens in Policing Co-ordinator (CIPC) and the Citizens in Policing Training and Developmment Officer (CiPTD).
The CIPDM will be responsible for overseeing the roles from the centre.
3.3 Citizens in Policing Training and Development Officer (CiPTD)
Based at HQ the CiPTD is responsible for identifying where volunteers can be utilised, retention and the induction training of volunteers around the county providing support to SPOCs and supporting and valuing volunteers in their roles.
3.31 Citizens in Policing Co-ordinator (CiPC)
Based at HQ the CiPC is responsible for assiting the CiPTD in identifying where volunteers can be utilised, retention or volunteers around the county and in addition carrying out all backround checks on applications to establish their suitability prior to any engagement.
3.4 Single Point Of Contact (SPOC)
Each of the volunteers by area or Command will have a SPOC who will be responsible for the local day to day supervision of their volunteers.
It is a matter for districts and departments as to who should be delegated a SPOC, although the SPOC should be supervised by somone at least the rank of sergeant or police staff equivalent.
The SPOC role may be delegated to a PC or PCSO or Police Staff equivalent.
It needs to be recognised that management of the AC volunteers will need support from the local CPT teams, so that when needed events can be staffed by the AC volunteers.
The important thing is for the volunteers to know who they are dealing with locally and so each area of command utilising volunteers should have a named designated SPOC that their volunteers can liaise with locally.
It is not acceptable to have an AC or PSV act as a local coordinator for the other AC’s / volunteers in the LPA or command.
The SPOC or deputy should make regular local contact by phone or email with their delegated volunteers even during periods where Volunteers and AC are not been utilised to ensure they keep them up to date with changes and check on their welfare.
SPOCs of all AC’s and PSVs will be given access to the ESSEX ACTIVE CITIZEN network folder on the LPSU Drive in order that they have the contact details of the Volunteers within their District or Command. The ESSEX ACTIVE CITIZEN folders and their content will be managed by the CIP Team and access restrictions granted according to need of the SPOCs.
3.5 Roles for Volunteers in Policing
To ensure that the general principals of volunteering are adhered to, the following generic role profiles have been created (this is not a definitive list and new ways of working with volunteers is encouraged;
Community Policing Team;
Essex Police Museum;
Cyber Volunteer (Inc. CCTV role, Prevent Role, Frauds and scams).
A full List Of Role profiles can be obtained from the Citizens in Policing Team.
The CiPDM, CiPTD and the CiPC will be responsible for overseeing volunteer recruitment.
The Essex Police website has direct links to apply as a volunteer and enquiries or applications can be sent direct to the In box address shown below. These mailboxes will be Monitored by the CiP team:
Our Police Support Volunteers and Active Citizens must be 18 years of age and can be recruited for any role. It is important their role should conform to one of the approved role profiles, but new profiles can and will be considered due to local needs and should be discussed with the Citizen in Policing Team. The Citizens in Policing Team retain a list of approved role profiles for the Force.
All Volunteers will need to have a minimum of 3 years UK residence provable with documentation . Provable identification passports, driving licences will be required in the vetting process. No previous convictions or cautions will be accepted that might bring Essex Police into disrepute or conflict.
All Applicants will be required to apply to become a Volunteer via electronic means on application form and we ask that they complete an application form A750 (V5) Volunteer application form.
All applicants will be checked prior to acceptance onto the volunteer programme. On receipt of a completed application (A750 v5) local checks will be conducted on the applicant. This will be done at a HQ by the Citizens in Policing Team, where applications will be verified via background security checks PNC and Athena.
Once this has been verified and the applicant assessed as suitable for interview they a will be invited for an informal interview at a pre arranged time and date by the CiP Team. See item 3.7.
If it is decided that at this stage that we are unable to provide a volunteering role to the applicant then the applicant will be notified in writing of that fact.
There is no requirement at this stage to provide information as to why they have not been deemed suitable but it is suggested good practice that a record is retained of the decision process.
If a candidate is successful for a role as a volunteer then they will receive a formal acceptance to volunteering. This should be confirmed in writing to the applicant and arrangements made to ensure Vetting is completed to the vetting level relative to the Role.
They will not have access to police systems nor a current Essex Police volunteer identification card until they have passed the required vetting level.
The CiP Team may issue a Temporary Photo identification document (PID) which will have the Volunteer/AC’s own image and name and the Active Citizen Logo until their vetting has been verified.
This will not be a police ID card and will clearly state this fact.
Once the Volunteer has been accepted to volunteer then they will need to complete appropriate vetting forms.. Vetting applications will need to be verified by the Interviewing officers or the Citizens in Policing Team and then once completed submitted along with the required identfication documents to corporate vetting.
Where the process has been completed outside the CiP Team then a copy of the completed forms must be sent to Active Citizen Essex [email protected] in order for CiP to keep a local record of their application and vetting status.
Where an individual fails to pass the vetting criteria they will be notified as soon as possible but will not be told the reason why they have failed. The Corporate Vetting Department deal with the decision making.
3.7 Interview - Initial Suitablility Interview
The CiP Team will arrange an interview to determine the volunteer’s suitability.
The CiP Team will arrange for an informal interview if the applicant has been successful in their initial application. It will normally be conducted by either the CiPTD or CiPC but in some cases by prior arrangement they will be seen by local officers in their respective Local police areas/Commands. This may be where there may be travel or mobility issues or the Local commands have more detailed knowledge of the volunteer role and the most suitable candidate.
The interview may take place remotely using Teams or similar video platform when face to face interview is not possible.
Applicants will not be accepted where the CiP Team considers there is a conflict of interest, between their obligations as a volunteer and any other role undertaken by them, including any paid office or employment.
The Interviewer should outline the volunteer role and discuss with the applicant the skills and abilities they may be able to offer Essex Police.
These should be based on the standard role profiles outlined above but are not exhaustive.
The volunteer will be informed of the decision to progress or refuse their application on completion of the interview.
All applicants will be required to pass the vetting requirements outlined above to the vetting level dependant on the Volunteering role.
Upon appointment the volunteer will be ask to sign and agree a Volunteering data Process Contract by the Citizen In Policing Team or SPOC. This agreement will set out the relationship between the organisation the role and the individual and will form basis of a working relationship with Essex Police.
Volunteers will be provided with a welcome induction pack by the SPOC or at Local Policing Support Unit which sets out the organisations expectations and includes their role description, health and safety risk assessment and this procedure.
The SPOC will ensure that the health and safety/risk assessment are carried out and are to ensure any copies are sent to the CiPC or CiPTD.
Successful applicants will attend the next available Police Volunteer Induction Day. The CIP Team will contact the volunteer with the next available date.
The induction will include information about Essex Police, SPOC and CiP contact details as well as input on the Code of Conduct.
Any mentoring or additional training requirements identified in the role profile will be provided locally and are the responsibility of the SPOC to organise. Volunteers, once they have cleared vetting, may subject to their role be provided with internal email access to be arranged by the SPOC with the IT Department together with any additional computer access as determined by the role profile.
The CiP Team will keep records of computer access given to any volunteer and is able to provide advice and guidance where necessary.
Volunteers with computer access will be required to complete the following courses on NCALT:
Extranet - New Computer Account Information (ecis.police.uk)
Government Security Classification
Data Protection 2018
In addition all volunteers will be required to complete the workbook entitled Guidance for Safe Moving and Handling.
3.10 Management and Support for Police Support Volunteers
Each volunteer will have a designated SPOC who will be responsible for their day-to-day management and support.
The SPOC will provide feedback to the volunteer on their contribution and will ensure all feedback is copied to the CiP Team for the volunteers records.
The LPA or Departmental Commander will assume overall accountability for volunteers under their command.
The overall performance of a volunteer will be monitored by the CiPTD and the CiPC in consulation with the SPOCs and CiP Managers.
Where the performance is considered exceptional the volunteer will be invited to a ceremony and presented with an award to mark their achievement. Local SPOCs should refer any work they considered to be within this category.
A personal file will be maintained on each volunteer, this will be held by the CiP Team as included on the Force Information asset register. SPOC’s May wish to keep local records of their volunteers but where appropriate should ensure any copies are retained with the CiP team. Supervised access to these files will be granted upon application by the volunteer. A record of training received will be placed on this file together with all other signed agreements.
3.11 Dress Code/Identification
Volunteers will be expected to wear smart casual clothes unless this is inappropriate to their role in accordance with C 3022 Procedure – Standards of Appearance.
Uniform will not be issued or worn except Active citizen jackets and tabards which should be worn when out on public activities these will be issued upon engagement.
Volunteers, once vetted, will be provided with an Essex Police ID card and PIN number. All vetted Volunteers will be given a Force number using the form Pers20a which should be completed either by the LVC or the CiP Team. ID badges are to be worn at all times on police premises. On allocation of a Force Number the volunteer should be provided with a copy of the HR Transparency Notice which details how their data will be retained by Essex Police.
It will be the responsibility of the district/department where the volunteer is based to issue PAC tags.
The SPOC in consultation with the CiP Team will ensure the destruction of security identification and the collection of the PAC tag when the volunteer leaves Essex Police.
3.12 Records of Time Volunteered
Hours volunteered will be mutually agreed by the SPOC and the volunteer with an agreed minimum expectation.
All volunteers will be required to record the hours they have volunteered.
These will be monitored by the SPOC to ensure compliance with the working time directive.
This is of particular importance if the volunteering is in addition to employment outside of Essex Police. If this is the case, the volunteer must inform their supervisors in both organisations of the total hours worked.
The maximum hours a volunteer should complete are 40 hours per month.
A person who is medically unfit to work should not be permitted to perform their role as a volunteer.
A volunteer should contact their SPOC if they are to be absent from their agreed hours.
Whilst there is no requirement to report the volunteer as sick, the LVC should complete form LFL003, if the reason for the absence relates to any injury arising from the performance of their role as a volunteer.
It is the volunteer’s responsibility to check with the local benefits agency that their voluntary activities do not prejudice their entitlements.
Volunteers will be responsible for making the SPOC or CIP Team aware of any change in circumstances that may affect their ability to perform the role of volunteer.
Volunteers will be expected to abide by the policies and procedures of Essex Police.
Any complaint regarding a volunteer made by a member of the public will be recorded in accordance with C 3001 Procedure – Dealing with Complaints against the Police.
The CiPC and CiPM must be notified of any complaint made against a volunteer and document the complaint and keep on record any paperwork given in relation to the complaint.These may be given to the CiPTD or CiPC to progress in consulatation with the SPOC and CiPDM.
If a volunteer wishes to raise a complaint or grievance against a member of staff they should do so in accordance with the grievance procedure.
3.15 Termination of Agreement
The Volunteer Agreement can be terminated at any time and by either party.
Whilst this may be accepted either verbally or in writing from the volunteer, any decision to terminate the agreement by Essex Police will be notified in writing only.
In the event that a volunteer withdraws from the scheme, every effort should be made to hold an exit interview to determine the reason for their withdrawal.
The SPOC, CiPTD or CiPC will update the IT Department to close IT accounts.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – January 2021
5.0 Risk Assessment
All Volunteers should be fully briefed regarding any localised training of a health and safety nature which is deemed necessary for the varied roles they will be carrying out.
This should be given by the SPOC within their supervisory role. These could identify any manual handling, fire precautions or display screen breaks depending on the role they are to do.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Health & Safety
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be subject to monitoring and evaluation by the owner to ensure it remains accurate and compliant with both legislation and national/local drivers.
This procedure will be subject to a review every three years by the owner to ensure it remains accurate and fit for purpose.
Citizens in Policing Team will retain a Force record of all volunteers they are notified of within the Force.
8.0 Governing Force policy. Related Force policies or related procedures
C 3001 Procedure – Dealing with Complaints against the Police
C 3022 Procedure – Standards of Appearance
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)