Checklist for Processing New Volunteers
Records Management
File Maintenance
Classifying Volunteer Files

  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Red

Tracking Volunteer Screening with a Roster Template
Tracking Volunteer Screening with 4-H Online
Incomplete Files

Records Management

Agents will set up a filing system for individual volunteer files. Individual volunteer files will include the Volunteer Application Packets (completed applications, reference reports, background check results, sex offender registry results, interview notes, incident report forms, child abuse reports, and related materials). Additionally, the minutes of the CPC shall be kept in a separate file in this file cabinet. This documentation and all related materials should be kept in a locked, fireproof filing cabinet that is accessible only to individuals designated by the Agent and the Client Protection Committee. There should be three sections of volunteer files:

a. Active volunteers

b. Inactive volunteers

c. Rejected or declined volunteers

Establish a filing system to record:

a. The names of those authorized to view the files (includes Cooperative Extension Agents, and members of the Youth & Client Protection/Risk Management Committee).

b. Dates of file review, names of individuals reviewed, and purpose of the review of the files.

c. Any files being reviewed. (Files may be reviewed by the agent, CPC chair or the CPC only.)

The supervising agent is responsible for discussing confidentiality requirements with each person authorized to use and observe the files. Each individual designated by the agent must sign and have on file a Volunteer Services Confidentiality Statement (found in Chapter 3.)

Establish a system with the office manager or office assistant for confidential handling of applications and supporting material received by the county Extension office. Envelopes should be opened only by the agent or the designated individual(s) responsible for the volunteer application process, incident report form or child abuse reports. Avoid leaving these materials lying in “in-boxes,” on desks, or in a place where unauthorized persons might see or have access to them.

Applicants may have access only to materials that they have completed during the application procedure. Do not share materials provided by others with the applicant or volunteer. These materials would include references, interview notes, notes regarding the background check, and committee notes.

Note: Volunteer files are highly confidential and are to be kept in a secure, fire-proof, locked filing cabinet with access restricted to the agents and their support staff and the CPC Chair.

File Maintenance

Keep files in sealed envelopes in the designated locked location indefinitely for:

a. abuse/neglect complaints/reports
b. applicants who have been rejected
c. volunteers who have been disengaged
d. those who have filed a grievance or complaint regarding procedures or actions taken.

All records should be kept on file for six years after the volunteer is no longer involved in a KY CES program due to the statute of limitations for filing civil and criminal actions.

Establish two sections for each approved volunteer.                           

Section One will contain the personal and confidential information. This section should be secured.

Section One - Secure Files

Application in Process

Make a folder for each application as it is received. Add information as it is collected. Keep the folder in this section while a decision is pending.

Applications Rejected/

Disengaged Volunteers

Make a separate sealed file for each individual and use it to store all information (including application packets) related to that applicant or volunteer.

Applications Inactive

This section contains application packets for volunteers who have served in the past but are no longer active. If an individual wishes to return as a volunteer within one year, the individual should update the application packet and meet with the agent or CPC Chair. If an individual wishes to return as a volunteer more than one year after completing a volunteer assignment, the individual must complete a new application and follow the process for new volunteers.

Section Two is a working file and available to those responsible for the management of the specific program. It is for all applications that have been reviewed and applicants approved for placement as volunteers in the program. It is for those who are currently active in a volunteer role. Filed alphabetically, there should be:

  • Volunteer application form
  • Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service Expectations of Volunteers (signed)
  • Current volunteer position description(s) (signed)
  • Evaluation forms
  • Awards or special recognition
  • Activities/certification/volunteer education
  • 4-H ACCESS form
  • Background check results
  • Reference letters
  • Interview forms

Classifying volunteer files

Each agent, working collaboratively with the CPC Chair or the Client Protection Committee member representing their program area, will classify each volunteer application packet for the agent’s program area:

  1. Green
  2. Yellow
  3. Red 
  • Green applications are complete, have “clean” background checks, positive, supportive references, and are well-suited for the position for which they are applying. 
    • Green applications are accepted as volunteers. 
  • Yellow applications include those with some question regarding their suitability as volunteers, have incomplete applications, have a question or issue which needs to be resolved, have two or more moving vehicle violations in the past 24 months or may not be well suited for the specific role being sought. 
    • Yellow applications will go to the full CPC for review and a face-to-face interview.
    • Yellow applications must undergo an face-to-face interview using both sets of interview questions, plus any pertaining to the clarification of issues that need to be probed or resolved.
  • Red applications are those which have information which renders the application objectionable or unable to be placed.  Red applications go to the full CPC for review and rejection.   

Tracking Volunteer Screening with 4-H Online

Each agent should instruct his/her administrative assistant to maintain an up-to-date volunteer roster in 4-H Online.  At least once a quarter, a new print-out should be placed in the secure volunteer file, with the date it was generated.  At a minimum, the spreadsheet should contain the following categories of information:

  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Alias / Maiden Name
  • DOB (Date of Birth)
  • Gender
  • Address
  • City
  • Zip Code
  • Program Area (4-H, FCS, ANR, Hort, FA)
  • Volunteer Role(s) served
  • Restrictions
  • Date of Acceptance
  • Date of most current BG check
  • Status (Active / Inactive)

Incomplete Volunteer Files

Volunteers whose service began on or after January 1, 2012 must have a complete VAP (or TVAP for those educational professionals whose volunteer role is limited to their classroom during regular school hours), in an individual volunteer file, located in a locked, fire-proof filing cabinet in the Extension Office.

Volunteers whose service began prior to January 1, 2012, must have a complete VAP, except for volunteer interview notes and references. These documents include the Volunteer Application, Motor Vehicle Request**, signed Expectations for Volunteers, Criminal Records Check results, CAN Check results, Sex Offender Registry Results, signed Volunteer Position Description.

** A Motor Vehicle Request is required for those individuals who will transport people, equipment or supplies.