Skilled Volunteer

Registering a Skilled Volunteer

While the Office of Visitors & Volunteers (OVV) 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 Volunteer Information form; resubmitting as needed if duties change
  • Only assigning duties to a volunteer that have been cleared through the OVV
  • 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 OVV when a volunteer leaves or takes a leave of absence longer than 30 days
  • Informing OVV 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)

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
  • Does not have a current Professional Services Contract with OHSU
  • Volunteers can never displace regular employees
  • Will serve a total of at least 40 hours (no duration specified), allowable hours per week may vary depending on assigned duties, but generally, are limited to 6 hours per week
  • Is at least 16 years of age
  • Supervisors cannot oversee volunteers who are family members, or members of their household
  • OHSU should not derive immediate advantage for the volunteer'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
  • 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 volunteer assignment
  • 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 OVV office)

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 (i.e. no physical contact that could be considered clinical in nature or could be interpreted as unnecessary or inappropriate)
  • 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 research 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).
  • See EHRS VIF Review Matrix  as a supplemental (not exhaustive) document to assist with evaluating what tasks can and cannot be assigned, and/or what trainingsmay be needed based on interactions, environment, and possible exposures.

Questions? E-mail

If your prospective person does not meet these qualifications, please contact and contact your HR Business Partner/HR Consultant about more appropriate classifications.

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

1. Complete a Volunteer Information form

Once these items are reviewed and approved, OVV will initiate the background check, request an External EID and request computer access. Background checks can take 7-10 business days for processing.

2. Preparing for Orientation

  • After the background clears, the volunteer will be invited to attend an upcoming orientation session
  • Further registration materials will be given to them to complete (Compass training, signing documents, and medical clearance if applicable)
  • Volunteers can register for orientation via Compass
  • Volunteers will submit all completed registration materials 1 week prior to orientation for processing

3. Orientation

  • Volunteers attend orientation, which is offered twice a month during the academic season, and weekly during the late spring/early summer
  • If everything required was submitted prior to orientation, OVV will issue them their ID badge order forms

4. Start volunteering!

  • Once the volunteer has an ID badge they can start volunteering!
  • Any other duty-specific training needed (Responsible Conduct of Research, Rodent Handling, etc.)?
  • Any other paperwork to be completed (e.g. Patient Confidentiality Agreement)?