We are happy to announce a new update to VolunteerMatters!
VolunteerMatters is excited to announce the July 31st release of VolunteerMatters. This release represents a significant investment in improving credential management and its related volunteer user experience. The release offers a number of new features and provides the infrastructure to expand integration with new 3rd party services.
Improved Permissive Credentials
The system provides the ability for a volunteer to apply for a new credential as part of their sign-up for a need. The volunteer is assigned to the need while their credential application is being processed. This is now being referred to as a permissive credential. The system has improved the mechanisms for reminding the volunteer about their pending credentials when the organization is waiting on them to do something. For example, the system will now include instructions for resolving credential conflicts via confirmation and reminder emails. It will also present on-screen alerts on the volunteer portal landing page and my profile page whenever the volunteer must act to resolve a credential conflict for an upcoming assignment.
In addition to permissive credentials, you may also designate a credential to be “strict” which means the volunteer must apply and be approved for a credential prior to allowing a sign-up. On-screen messages will identify those credentials that are required for a particular need and prevent the volunteer from signing up for that need until the credential has been earned/awarded.
Credential Audit Trail
Whenever a status change is made to a credential the system now provides a detailed audit trail. The audit records include the any changes made, along with a time-stamp and information on why or who made the change. For example, the record details whether the change was made by the system (in accordance with a business rule), by a 3rd party provider (e.g., background check provider), or an administrator (detailing the user’s information).
Administrators Can’t Override Credential Approvals
An integrated background check credential in VolunteerMatters has a status that corresponds with the status of their background check in a 3rd party service (e.g., Verified Volunteers). For example, if you approve a background check in Verified Volunteers, the Verified Volunteers service (by way of our integration) will automatically change the corresponding credential in VolunteerMatters to an “approved” status. VolunteerMatters provides deep links into the Verified Volunteers system to approve/decline background checks. Therefore, the administrative user must have a proper account with the Verified Volunteers service to effect background check credential approvals. Simply stated, a VolunteerMatters administrator will no longer have the ability to approve the integrated background check credential without logging into the Verified Volunteers service. However, a VolunteerMatters user will continue to have the right to exempt, cancel, or expire a background check credential.
Login Not Required for New Applicants
Every new registrant is required to fill out an application form and submit any credentials that may be required of all volunteers (e.g., liability waiver) and those that may be required for a specific assignment that may have inspired the registration. Previously, the volunteer was required to login after filling out the application form but before the system prompted them with their required credentials. With this release, the volunteer will be automatically logged in and will skip right to the credentials after completing the application form.
Credential Age Exemptions
The system previously allowed an organizer or administrator to exempt volunteers from a credential if they were under a certain age (e.g., exempting children under a certain age from a background check until they reach a specified age). In addition to this capability you may configure to exempt a volunteer over a specified age (e.g., credentials you only want to apply to child or teen volunteers).
Improved Credential Checking Upon Login
Each time a volunteer signs in to the volunteer portal, the system will check all future assignments and prompt the volunteer for any required credentials that they are missing, incomplete, or have expired and require a new application.
Agreement Credential Signature Match
Aside from requiring a valid first and last name, the system will now require that the name the volunteers signs to an electronic agreement must exactly match the name they have on record with your organization.
Simplified View of Required Credentials for Volunteers
When viewing a volunteer opportunity, we previously listed all credentials required for the need. We now only list those credentials the logged in volunteer must acquire to be compliant. In other words, we no longer list credentials the volunteer already has acquired. Additionally, we have simplified the way we present credentials to the volunteer. Rather than emphasizing the credential’s status, we instead color code the requirement with red, yellow or green. Red means they don’t have the credential (missing, expired, canceled, or a strict credential that has yet to be approved), Yellow means the credential is in-progress and the credential is permissive (submitted, incomplete, review) which allows them to be assigned during the approval process. Green means the credential has been approved.
Verified Volunteers Background Check Integration
VolunteerMatters implemented support for hold and cancel statuses recently added by Verified Volunteers. Additionally, we have modified the order of operation for sign-ups that require a Verified Volunteers background check. Rather than passing the volunteer to the Verified Volunteers website and awaiting their return to allow a sign-up, we instead sign them up for the need with the understanding they will be required to complete the background check as the last step in the process. This will significantly improve completion rates for assignments that require a Verified Volunteers background check.
Multiple Integrated Background Check Products
The system will now allow multiple background check products (e.g., driving record check, sex offender registry check, criminal background check, etc.) from potentially multiple providers as separate integrated credentials for volunteering.
This release also offers an expanded set of mechanisms to notify and alert the volunteer should they neglect to complete the background check on Verified Volunteer’s website. For example, the system will now include alerts and instructions for completing their background check via confirmation and reminder emails. It will also prompt the volunteer to complete the background check at login and present on-screen alerts on the volunteer portal landing and my profile pages. As always, organizers/administrators can be notified either daily or weekly of any missing or incomplete background checks.