FIT Volunteer Policy
Purpose of policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline the framework that applies to volunteering involvement, in particular to the positions and responsibilities, appointment, induction and management of volunteers within the Federation of International Touch (FIT), its member nations, and their affiliated associations.
Policy scope and application
This policy applies to all volunteers appointed by FIT, whether they are members of Commissions, Committees, working parties, or undertaking a specific position in an individual capacity.
Definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness:
- means the body consisting of the Directors as described in the FIT Constitution 2011, Rule 28.
- Federation of International Touch
- means the peak body for the administration of Touch throughout the world. The objects for which the Federation (FIT) is established and maintained are described in the FIT Constitution 2011, Rule 3.
- means where a person believes a complaint or concern has not been responded to appropriately or where they believe their needs have not been adequately met.
- National Touch Association
- means an entity recognised under the FIT Constitution 2011, Rules 11 and 12 as the primary recognised peak governing body of Touch in each country with the object to promote, encourage foster, develop, extend, govern and control the sport of Touch in that country.
- means the sport or game played under the rules determined by FIT from time to time.
- means a person who volunteers their time without coercion and with their own free will, and who receives no financial payment; whether they are members of Commissions, Committees, working parties, or undertaking a specific position in an individual capacity.
- means time willingly given by an individual in contributing to the development of Touch globally and without financial gain.
As FIT is an incorporated organisation registered in New South Wales, Australia, its operations are governed by the legislative requirements of the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of New South Wales, Australia.
Laws, regulations, policies and guidelines that apply to this policy relate to: volunteers, anti-discrimination, privacy and personal information, intellectual property, and health and safety (where applicable).
FIT is committed to ensuring the development and well-being of all volunteers. FIT recognises the commitment, dedication and efforts of volunteers in supporting the development of Touch globally, and highly values the ability of volunteer’s to enhance and contribute to all FIT programs.
Through the engagement of volunteers FIT is able to extend its reach in developing and promoting Touch with the National Touch Associations (NTA’S), and their affiliated associations, facilitating the transfer of skills and knowledge and building capacity at the regional, national and local level.
FIT values the reciprocal nature of the relationship the volunteer has with the organisation, and is committed to providing a volunteer program which both supports FIT’s priorities and work program, and meets the expectations and needs of individual volunteers.
Volunteer commitment is varied in accordance with the position to which the volunteer is appointed.
- The FIT Volunteer policy incorporates the following principles:
- Volunteer involvement is considered and planned as part of FIT’s strategic development and planning activities.
- FIT promotes a culture and structure that supports and values the role of volunteers.
- Volunteers have rights, which include the right to work in a safe and supportive environment with effective management practices.
- Volunteers have responsibilities which include acting responsibly, being accountable for their actions to FIT, and respecting FIT’s values and practices.
- Leadership and management of FIT volunteer involvement
- Responsibility for overseeing FIT volunteer involvement is assigned to the Secretary General.
- FIT will ensure volunteers understand their responsibilities and accountabilities through providing position descriptions, delegated authorities, and documented policies and procedures.
- Volunteer position descriptions include details as to how the role contributes to FIT’s purpose, goals and objectives, as well as the position’s duties, responsibilities and accountabilities.
- Volunteers are provided with information, induction and training on FIT volunteer policies and procedures when appointed to FIT volunteer positions.
- Volunteers are informed of potential risks and are supported to manage or mitigate risk factors.
- FIT will maintain records of volunteer contribution, achievements and acknowledgement.
- FIT will manage relationships with partner organisations and sporting bodies involved in collaborative activities, such as where there is shared responsibility for particular volunteers, through agreed frameworks, documentation, agreements and practice principles.
- FIT commitment to volunteer involvement
- FIT demonstrates its intent, purpose and commitment to involving volunteers through its strategic planning activities, and the work program led by its various commissions and committees.
- FIT provides its volunteers with clothing apparel, as appropriate, and expects its volunteers to maintain appropriate dress standards while representing FIT.
- Details of the reimbursement of out of pocket expenses is provided in Section 6.14.
- Volunteer recruitment and selection strategies and processes
- FIT aims to recruit volunteers through approaches and targeted methods of advertising and communication to attract volunteers with relevant interests, knowledge, skills and attributes.
- Potential volunteers are provided with relevant information about FIT, the volunteer position and the recruitment and selection process.
- Volunteer applicants are informed of recruitment and selection outcomes and offered feedback, as relevant to the position.
- Volunteers are selected based on interest, knowledge, skills and attributes relevant to the position with selection processes consistent with anti-discrimination legislation and relevant laws.
- Screening processes, including reference, criminal and disciplinary history checks, and working with children checks are applied, where necessary.
- Volunteer support, development and change to volunteer appointment or position
- Volunteers are supported and developed to equip them to perform their roles well and in line with FIT’s goals and objectives.
- Changes to the involvement of a volunteer are undertaken fairly and consistently, with fair and transparent procedures in place for changing the position or involvement of a volunteer, as well as ending the involvement of a volunteer, for whatever reason.
- The FIT Board may terminate volunteer appointments in its absolute discretion.
- As this is a volunteer relationship, any termination by the FIT Board will not entitle the applicant to any contractual, employment or other claim against FIT, the FIT Board or any member of FIT.
- Health, safety and wellbeing of volunteers
- Processes are in place to protect the health and safety of volunteers, with volunteers insured for personal injury and liability.
- Expectations and limits of volunteer positions, including time commitments and any designated hours are agreed with volunteers and included in the relevant Position Description.
- Volunteers have access to grievance and complaints procedures, and these are managed consistently, transparently, equitably and in line with the principles of natural justice (refer to Section 6.16 below).
- Volunteer recognition
- Volunteers are informed about how their contributions benefit FIT and the Touch community, including feedback on the impact and value of their contributions.
- FIT regularly acknowledges the contributions made by volunteers through planned and scheduled activities, where appropriate, considering the volunteer position, and being respectful of cultural values and perspectives.
- Ongoing review and monitoring of the performance of volunteer involvement
- Volunteer involvement is regularly reviewed, and performance monitored and reported to the FIT Board, NTAs and volunteers.
- Opportunities are provided for volunteers to provide feedback on FIT’s approach and management of volunteer involvement and relevant areas of work.
- Volunteer performance or misconduct issues are promptly identified, recorded and addressed in line with the principles of natural justice (subject to potential time, financial, and geographical limitations) (refer to Section 6.9 and Section 6.10).
- Breaches of this policy and other FIT polices, regulations and by-laws
- It is a breach of this policy for any person or organisation bound by FIT policies,
regulations and by laws to do anything contrary to this policy, including but not limited
- Breaching the FIT Volunteer Policy and FIT codes of behaviour.
- Bringing the sport and/or FIT and its members into disrepute.
- Failing to follow the FIT policies and procedures.
- Discriminating against, harassing or bullying (including cyber-bullying) any person.
- Victimising another person for making or supporting a complaint.
- Engaging in an inappropriate intimate relationship with a person that he or she supervises, or has influence, authority or power over.
- Verbally or physically assaulting another person, intimidating another person or creating a hostile environment within the sport.
- Disclosing to any unauthorised person or organisation any FIT information that is of a private, confidential or privileged nature.
- Making a complaint that they knew to be untrue, vexatious, malicious or improper.
- Failing to comply with a penalty imposed after a finding that the individual or organisation has breached FIT policies, regulations, and/or by-laws.
- Failing to comply with a direction given to the individual or organisation as part of a disciplinary process.
- It is a breach of this policy for any person or organisation bound by FIT policies, regulations and by laws to do anything contrary to this policy, including but not limited to:
- Disciplinary measures and factors to consider
- FIT, its NTAs and their affiliated associations may impose disciplinary measures on an
individual or organisation for a breach of this policy. Any disciplinary measure imposed
- Fair and reasonable.
- Applied consistent with any contractual and employment rules and requirements.
- Be based on the evidence and information presented and the seriousness of the breach.
- Be determined in accordance with FIT policies, regulations, by-laws, and/or the rules of the sport.
- Disciplinary measures that may be applied to an individual - subject to contractual and
employment requirements, if a finding is made by a Tribunal that an individual has breached
this policy, or any other FIT policies, regulations and by-laws, one or more of the
following forms of discipline may be imposed:
- A direction that the individual make a verbal and/or written apology.
- A written warning.
- A direction that the individual attend counselling to address their behaviour.
- A withdrawal of any awards, scholarships, placings, records, achievements bestowed in any tournaments, activities or events held or sanctioned by the relevant body.
- A demotion or transfer of the individual to another location, role or activity.
- A suspension of the individual’s membership or participation or engagement in a role or activity.
- Termination of the individual’s membership, appointment or engagement.
- A recommendation that the relevant body terminate the individual’s membership, appointment or engagement.
- In the case of a coach or official, a direction that the relevant organisation de-register the accreditation of the coach or official for a period of time or permanently.
- A fine.
- Any other form of discipline that the relevant body considers appropriate.
- Disciplinary measures that may be applied to an organisation - if a finding is made that
FIT, its NTAs and their affiliated associations has breached its own or this Member
Protection Policy, one or more of the following forms of discipline may be imposed by the
- A written warning.
- A fine.
- A direction that any rights, privileges and benefits provided to that organisation by the international body or other peak association be suspended for a specified period.
- A direction that FIT cease to sanction events held by or under the auspices of that organisation.
- A recommendation to FIT that its membership of the international Body be suspended or terminated in accordance with the relevant constitution or rules.
- Any other form of discipline that the national body or peak organisation considers reasonable and appropriate.
- Factors to consider - the form of discipline to be imposed on an individual or organisation
will depend on factors, such as:
- The nature and seriousness of the breach.
- If the person knew, or should have known, that the behaviour was a breach of the policy.
- The person’s level of contrition.
- The effect of the proposed disciplinary measures on the person, including any personal, professional or financial consequences.
- If there have been any relevant prior warnings or disciplinary action.
- The ability to enforce disciplinary measures if the person is a parent or spectator (even if they are bound by the policy).
- Any other mitigating circumstances.
- FIT, its NTAs and their affiliated associations may impose disciplinary measures on an individual or organisation for a breach of this policy. Any disciplinary measure imposed will be:
- Volunteer agreement
- When appointed, a volunteer acknowledges and agrees that:
- The appointment is to a volunteer role and no contractual relationship exists between FIT and the volunteer.
- By providing an appropriate acknowledgement as requested in the letter of appointment, and completing the Volunteer Agreement (Appendix 1), the volunteer understands and agrees to the conditions of volunteer appointment.
- For appointment to the FIT Board, the volunteer appointment will be subject to the approval of the volunteer’s NTA (with such approval not to be unreasonably withheld).
- When appointed, a volunteer acknowledges and agrees that:
- Responsibilities of a volunteer when appointed to a FIT position
- Perform the responsibilities of the position as detailed in the relevant Position Description.
- To promote the objects of FIT as set out in the FIT Constitution 2011 (the Constitution) and act within the powers delegated by the Constitution or appointment Terms of Reference.
- To act in the best interests of FIT at all times, in accordance with its philosophy, values and principles and in accordance with the FIT Code of Behaviour Policy.
- To exercise reasonable expertise, skill and care in contributing to any decision-making.
- To declare any actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest, both generally and more specifically, if relevant, at the beginning of any meeting or when making decisions in accordance with the FIT Conflict of Interest Policy.
- To provide a voice for any relevant interest group but to vote in the best interests of the sport from the global perspective, FIT and its objectives.
- Volunteers, as members of Boards, Committees and Commissions are expected to support each other, as well as the decisions and recommendations made by their relevant Board, Committee and Commission.
- Intellectual property
- The following applies to volunteers on all FIT Board, Committees or Sub-Committees, and
- Any creation of, or contribution to, intellectual property in the course of the FIT volunteer appointment / role remains the property of FIT and not the property of the volunteer.
- Intellectual property includes but is not limited to any policies, rules, resources (print or electronic) etc, whether written, digital, pictorial, video, audio or otherwise.
- The following applies to volunteers on all FIT Board, Committees or Sub-Committees, and Commissions:
- As a volunteer there is no remuneration for time contributed to performing FIT duties.
- Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed provided there is prior written approval for the expenditure by the FIT Board. Further details of costs that are considered suitable for reimbursement and associated approval processes and delegations are found in the FIT Financial Management Policy.
- It is expected that volunteers will video conference using free internet-based communication and that the volunteer will be responsible for their own computer, internet and other communication requirements.
- Requirements of National Touch Association (NTA) in relation to FIT Board nominations
- The respective NTA of the Board volunteer is required to confirm that it endorses the nomination and appointment of the volunteer to the FIT Board.
- Volunteer grievances and the procedure for managing
- Volunteers have the right to raise and have resolved any grievances about an issue or concern relating to a decision, behaviour, act or omission that they feel is unreasonable.
- A grievance exists where a person believes a complaint or concern has not been responded to appropriately or where they believe their needs have not been adequately met.
- There is an underlying assumption that complaints are made in good faith and with an intention to seek resolution (as opposed to retribution) and are not vexatious or malicious.
- Grievances should be resolved in a timely manner and as harmoniously as possible with careful attention to procedural fairness and the principles of natural justice.
- Volunteers are encouraged in the first instance to raise concerns with the most appropriate person within FIT, NTA or Association with the intention to seek to resolve the matter at the local level.
- A grievance that is not resolved at the local level is to be escalated to the NTA/Region for further consideration. Should the grievance not be resolved at the NTA/Region level, the matter may be referred to FIT in writing and addressed to the Secretary General. The complaint should set out clearly the grounds of the grievance and any information to support that complaint.
- On receipt of the written complaint the Secretary General shall consider the complaint and decide whether the complaint warrants investigation.
- In the event the Secretary General decides that the complaint warrants investigation he/she shall inform the person against whom the complaint is made of the existence and particulars of the complaint and give him/her an opportunity to provide a response. The Secretary General shall undertake such investigation as he/she deems appropriate. Upon completion of the investigation the Secretary General shall decide whether any action is warranted and take any necessary steps to facilitate the implementation of any recommended action.
- The Secretary General will confirm in writing to the complainant and the person(s) against whom the complaint was made the outcome of the investigation including any actions to be taken. This shall conclude the grievance process.
- At all times appropriate levels of confidentiality will be maintained.
- This policy excludes complaints regarding anti-discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, and child protection matters which are managed through the FIT Member Protection Policy.
Enquiries in relation to this policy should be directed to the FIT Secretary General.
Related polices and documents
Refer to the following related policies and documents:
- FIT Coaching Commission Policy
- FIT Code of Behaviour Policy
- FIT Conflict of Interest Policy
- FIT Constitution 2011
- FIT Financial Management Policy
- FIT Member Protection Policy
- FIT Referees Commission Policy
This document has been authorised by: