How to Register a Volunteer

How to Register a Volunteer

Responsibilites of the Hosting Site

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 obtain patient consent for research studies that are high-risk and/or involve interventions. For low-risk studies volunteers must be added to the study IRB protocol and thoroughly and properly trained. Lastly, for low-risk studies, volunteers' work must be checked/audited by paid staff to ensure such work is performed accurately, legally, and per the study protocol.
  • 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 regardless of location within the institution (e.g. a paid Patient Access Specialist (PAS) in Healthcare cannot volunteer to perform data entry in Research - as both positions involve data entry).

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

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!

Step C: Other Items to Consider for Your Volunteer

  • Any other duty-specific training needed?
  • Any other paperwork to be completed (e.g. Patient Confidentiality Agreement)?
  • If needed, request computer access for your new volunteer (request your volunteer review and understand the OHSU Acceptable Use Policy)
  • If needed, request an employee ID number (for eIRB, CoIR, etc.)

OHSU Area-Specific Guides (Research & Clinical)