Role Descriptions

Why are role descriptions so important?

A role description is important for volunteers because it allows them to know exactly what they are taking on, what is expected of them and how they will be supported. It also gives them the opportunity to make an informed decision about the role. Having role descriptions shows that your club is organised and committed to looking after its volunteers. A role description is also important when it comes to the Volunteer Protection Act (2001), which protects both the club and its volunteers.

When developing role descriptions, make the role achievable. If necessary, split the role and offer people the opportunity to share it. Some people are happy to volunteer, but they don't want an on-going commitment. Consider breaking down positions to cater for short-term volunteering opportunities or one-off activities. Remember, flexibility is the key.

What should a role description include?

  • Role/title
  • Description
  • Qualifications needed
  • Duties/responsibilities
  • Skills/knowledge required
  • Experience required
  • Training available
  • Whether this position is mandated to notify (child protection)
  • Main point of contact/who the position reports to
  • Approximate number of hours required
  • Tenure
  • Location
  • Developing a Role Description
    1. List all the roles in your club that need a role description.
    2. Determine if any can be broken down into smaller roles (to share the load).
    3. Contact your State Sporting Organisation who may already have examples you can adapt or templates you can use.
    4. Browse the internet for samples already developed (The Australian Football League Community website has some simple examples).
    5. If you can’t find any, use the template in this tool to get you started.

The Role of the ‘Virtual Volunteer’

  • Have you considered virtual volunteering? Virtual volunteers complete a role partly or wholly via the Internet. Roles suited to a virtual volunteer include writing the club newsletter, updating records, preparing promotional material, writing articles for a local paper, research and applying for grants or monitoring social media sites.

    • To best manage a virtual volunteer, the club will need to:
      • ensure good lines of communication exist.
      • establish how it will recognise and reward volunteers.
      • promote what the virtual volunteer does. Because the volunteer is mostly 'unseen', some club members may have trouble thinking of them as 'real'.
      • ask how the volunteer is doing on a regular basis to avoid ‘burnout’.
      • set clear expectations and timeframes.
      • consider if insurance coverage is needed.
    • To best fulfill the role, the virtual volunteer will need to:
      • have Internet access.
      • demonstrate good written communication.
      • stick to deadlines and set realistic timelines to complete tasks.
      • be able to work autonomously.
      • be self-disciplined and self-motivated.
      • answer e-mails promptly.
      • be flexible.
      • understand the commitment.
      • report to the committee or VC at least once a week.
      • follow the policies of the club.

Add to Action Plan  Action Plan Tips

Description: Create an Action Plan for your club:

• Click on suggested actions and send them directly to your Action Plan.
• Login in to modify/tailor your Action Plan.
• Save and revisit your plan.
• Share access with others.
• Keep track of completed tasks.
  • List all the roles needed in the club and if they could be divided into smaller roles
  • List roles/tasks that could be performed by 'virtual volunteers'
  • Determine who should update or write each role description
  • Research available example role descriptions
  • Create role descriptions for all roles in the club
  • View your Action Plan
  • Click to view Templates for this Section
  • Handbook Tips View Handbook contents page to download templates & information
    Description: Create a Volunteer Management Handbook for your club:

    • Download information or templates.
    • Select the entire handbook or specific sections or pages.
    • Modify/tailor the handbook to suit your club.
    • Use the handbook to store records.
  • Next