How to Register a Volunteer

Registration Status Update

We are currently working on volunteer Registration Step 1 packets submitted on

June 28, 2015

Responsibilities of the hosting site

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While the Research & Academic Volunteer Services office handles the majority of the paperwork and required compliance components, our office does need your help in registering and maintaining volunteers in your area.

Your responsibilities for hosting a volunteer include: 

  • Assessing the applicant volunteer to ensure they are a good match for your department
  • Accurately completing the Job Site Information form; resubmitting as needed if duties change
  • Only assigning duties to a volunteer that have been cleared through the Research & Academic Volunteer Services office
  • Requiring and tracking completion of any further training needed for the volunteer to perform their duties safely and responsibly
  • Ensuring that the volunteer is logging his or her hours each week in Volgistics
  • Informing our office when a volunteer leaves or takes a leave of absence
  • Informing our office if any problems or concerns regarding the volunteer
  • Maintaining a department file for all volunteers located in your area - See what should be kept in the department file here

Step A: Is Your Volunteer Eligible

A volunteer is someone who:
  • Is participating in the activities of the hosting site* without any compensation (school credit does not count as compensation. However stipends/funds from their home institution, or outside organization, does count as compensation)
  • Performs activities that are flexible and in support of the work of a paid employee, but not comparable in scope. Volunteers can never displace regular employees
  • Will serve a total of at least 40 hours (no duration specified); but less than or equal to 25 hours per 7 day week
  • Is at least 16 years of age
  • Volunteer Supervisors cannot oversee volunteers who are family members, or members of their household
  • The volunteer's duties should be similar to training which would be given in an educational environment - it is expected that hosting a volunteer will occasionally impede on the operations of the work area
  • OHSU should not derive immediate advantage for the intern's activities; all assigned work should be in assistance to paid staff, and therefore volunteers' duties performed wouldn't be sole contributions that immediately advantages the work area
  • The work should provide experience for the benefit of the volunteer
  • Volunteers are to be under the close supervision of existing paid OHSU personnel
  • OHSU is not committed to hire the volunteer at the conclusion of the training period
  • OHSU and the volunteer agree that (s)he is not entitled to wages for the work performed (this is captured in writing on the Rights & Responsibilities form collected and filed in the RAVS office)
  • Someone who is not volunteering under the authority of family member

This definition tracks the test for unpaid interns who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements (See U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71, available at, as well as ensuring OHSU stays in compliance with our union labor contracts  and general OHSU labor/employment policies .

What duties are volunteers not allowed to perform? Some examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Volunteers cannot perform duties that are comparable in scope to that of an OHSU paid position
  • Volunteers cannot drive as part of their duties
  • Volunteers cannot have direct patient contact, or provide patient care
  • Volunteers cannot have non-human primate contact
  • Volunteers cannot use or work with "sharps" (e.g. needles, surgical tools, etc.)
  • Volunteers cannot perform high-level/high-risk duties (e.g. rodent surgery; rodent blood draws; exposure to radiation; handle/maneuver certain equipment and machinery, etc.)
  • Volunteers cannot supervise or oversee OHSU personnel (paid or unpaid)
  • If the volunteer is also an OHSU employee, they cannot volunteer to perform duties that are similar to their paid OHSU position (however, volunteers may not volunteer to perform very different duties within the department in which they are employed at OHSU)

Questions? E-mail us.

If your prospective person does not meet these qualifications, please see the Visiting Scientists and Other Affiliates Policy and contact your HR Business Partner/HR Consultant  about more appropriate classifications.

*hosting site: hosting Department, Division, Institute, Center or School

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Step B: Registering A Volunteer

1 -  Complete a Job Site Information form and a Background Disclosure Request  form with your volunteer.  

Anticipate an approximate 1 week turn around time to process and approve these forms.

2 - Preparing for Orientation

  • The volunteer will be invited to attend an upcoming orientation session
  • Further registration materials will be given to them to complete

3 - Orientation

  • Volunteers will submit all completed registration materials at orientation

Anticipate an approximate 1 week turn around time to process these forms.

4 - Obtain an ID Badge

  • Once processed and approved, we will e-mail the volunteer the required documents to obtain their OHSU ID badge

5 - Start volunteering!

  • Once the volunteer has an ID badge they can start volunteering!

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Summer 2015 Registration Information

Over the years RAVS has learned many lessons about how to process the increased volume that comes during the summer, but in 2013, to gain further insight and perspective on the matter, RAVS invited volunteer supervisors and coordinators to come to a series of focus groups to talk about lessons learned and brainstorm new ideas. Four main changes were proposed, discussed and utilized every summer since:

  1. Deadlines: RAVS has established four series of deadlines that, if followed, will result in a guaranteed start date. Some restrictions will apply – be sure to read up on all the details. Find all summer deadlines below.
  2. Increased frequency of New Volunteer Orientation: To accommodate the varying schedules of summer volunteers, and to simply process the larger volume, RAVS will offer one New Volunteer Orientation Session every week of June, unless registration numbers don't warrant such frequency.  Volunteers are INVITED to register for orientation – and should not sign up before RAVS has requested them to do so. Please reference the Summer Deadline Schedule for orientation dates.
  3. Status updates: Many of the emails RAVS receives during the summer months from OHSU personnel are requests for updates on the registration status of their volunteer(s). To cut down on this number, and to increase RAVS' e-mail response time, a section of the RAVS website will clearly outline what documents are being currently processed based on the submission date.
  4. Expedite options: When a hosting volunteer site desires to have their volunteers' registration materials expedited, the hosting volunteer site can process the volunteer's background check, rather than RAVS coordinating this process. This can cut several days off the turnaround time for RAVS to process your volunteers. However, backgrounds will need to be requested in a very specific manner to ensure consistency, so please learn how to expedite your volunteer's materials correctly below.

Step 1 Paperwork Due

RAVS Orientation Dates / Step 2 Materials Due*

Start Date**

Friday, May 01, 2015 Wednesday, May 06, 2015 Monday, May 18, 2015 . Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015 Monday, May 18, 2015 Wednesday, June 03, 2015 . Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Friday, May 29, 2015 Wednesday, June 03, 2015 Thursday, June 11, 2015 Monday, June 15, 2015 Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Friday, June 12, 2015 Monday, June 15, 2015 Thursday, June 25, 2015 Wednesday, July 1, 2015 Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015 Wednesday, July 1, 2015 Tuesday, July 7, 2015 Monday, July 13, 2015 Wednesday, July 15, 2015
After June 26, 2015 - All registration materials will be processed in the order received. No new applications excepted August 1-31, 2015
*Orientation sessions will be held once a week in June, unless registration numbers don't warrant such frequency.  Volunteers are INVITED to register for orientation – volunteers should not sign up before RAVS has requested them to do so. 
**Start dates will only be honored by RAVS if each step of registration materials are turned in entirely completed by each deadline outlined above. Additionally, RAVS is not responsible for delayed background checks due to the volunteer's lack of participation, by OHSU's background check vendor Pre-Employ, OHSU Public Safety, or OHSU Human Resources. Delayed background checks, or incomplete registration materials will interrupt the registration process schedule above. In the event that RAVS completes registering the volunteer before the outlined start date, the volunteer is welcome to start as soon as their receive their RAVS issued OHSU ID badge.

Expediting Process

Hosting sites may cut several days off the turnaround time for RAVS to process their volunteers by performing the volunteer's background check themselves. However, backgrounds will need to be requested in a very specific manner to ensure consistency, so please learn how to expedite your volunteer's materials correctly below:

Complete Background Checks

Expediting your volunteer's background

  •  In "Comments"
    • Include "Summer Volunteer with RAVS"
    • This ensures that Public Safety knows you are registering your volunteer with RAVS
    • Submit background clearance email with completed Job Site Information form

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Step C: Other items to consider for your volunteer


Any other duty-specific training needed?

Area Specific Guides

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