Volunteering: Frequently Asked Questions
How do I volunteer?
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and would like more information, please visit the Apply / Contact Us section to view the application process.
How long is the process to become a volunteer and what does it involve?
Depending on the location, the process to become a volunteer could take between two and four weeks. This process includes the completion of an application form, interview and screening, orientation and training. Once your training is complete, you are ready to begin and enjoy the wonderful benefits of volunteering.
What documentation is required to become a volunteer?
Volunteer Services staff will work with you to ensure the following documents are on file:
- Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Search (required for all volunteers over the age of 19)
- Child Abuse Registry Check (depends on the volunteer program)
- Statement of Health (depends on the location in which you volunteer)
- Reference Check
- Parental Consent Form (for high school volunteers and not required in all facilities)
- Pledge of Confidentiality
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
We welcome members of the community starting at the age of 15 or 16 depending on the facility and program.
What is the minimum commitment required to be able to volunteer?
Many volunteer programs require a minimum commitment of six months, however; depending on the program and time of year a more flexible commitment is possible. Please discuss these expectations and your availability with the Volunteer Services staff.
What is the volunteer placement process?
We take many factors into consideration before accepting volunteers. The interview is an opportunity for us to find out more about you and for you to ask questions about volunteering. We will also discuss volunteer opportunities based on your interests, availability and our program needs. When a successful match is made between your skills and abilities and an available position, Volunteer Services staff will offer you a volunteer placement.
What can I expect from Volunteer Services?
We commit to offering an experience that ensures volunteers work in a supportive and safe environment. We offer every volunteer an orientation and training, as well as, a detailed volunteer position description and recognition for your contributions and accomplishments.
What does Volunteer Services expect of me?
As a volunteer, you will be responsible to:
- participate in orientation, training and any ongoing development opportunities
- maintain a commitment to your regularly scheduled shifts
- regularly communicate with staff regarding any changes to your schedule or any other information that will impact your ability to volunteer
- work within the boundaries of your volunteer position description and NSHA policies
- let us know if you have any questions or concerns
I have received professional training (i.e., nurse, physician, physiotherapist, counselor). May I practice this as a volunteer?
No. While we welcome volunteers with health care backgrounds, volunteers are to work within the scope of duties assigned to their volunteer role. Not all departments and services engage/utilize volunteers.
Can I take holidays?
Of course! It’s important that you communicate vacation plans with Volunteer Services staff, giving them as much notice as possible.
Is parking provided to volunteers?
Yes. Once you are accepted to volunteer, you are eligible to park for free during your volunteer shift. Volunteer Services staff will issue parking tickets/passes to active volunteers.
Can I volunteer if I am an inpatient?
If you are currently an inpatient at a NSHA facility, you are not eligible to volunteer until discharged from hospital and able to participate fully in a volunteer position.