In addition to the registration/application form, credentials are a part of the volunteer vetting and onboarding process. A credential is something a volunteer must attain in order to perform certain actions within the volunteer portal or kiosk. Think of them as pre-requisites to volunteering - something they must do or attain prior to their volunteer work.
Types of Credentials
There are four different types of credentials – agreements, certifications, learning, and background checks. Credentials can be automatically approved upon application (e.g., electronically signing an agreement) or have an approval process (an administrator must review documentation before granting approval or integrated approval with a 3rd party provider).
- Agreement Credentials
Agreement credentials provide the ability to post an electronic statement to which a volunteer may “sign”. Depending on the credential setup, the signature can be achieved by checking a box (“I agree”), by entering their initials, or by typing their full name. You may also configure special rules to prompt for a parent/guardian signature if the volunteer is under a specified age. Agreements are typically automatically approved (default status = approved) upon signing and do not require an approval process.
- Certification Credentials
Certification credentials can prompt the volunteer to upload documentation to support their certification. Examples include a drivers license, medical license, or other professional certificate. They volunteer or administrators may upload documentation to the credential. Certification credentials typically require an approval process (default status = review) as an administrator will likely have to review the uploaded documents to confirm their legitimacy and change the status accordingly. Available in the Professional subscription and above.
- Integrated Background Check Credentials
Integrated background checks are checks that are performed through our system with the aid of a 3rd party partner. For example, when a volunteer applies for the background check, they fill out the background check application form in VolunteerMatters. Their information is electronically passed to 3rd party provider to complete their submission. The 3rd party automatically notifies our system of the check’s progress. If the check comes back blank (without any convictions), the system can automatically approve the background check credential (configuration dependent). If there is anything on the background check, the system will set it’s status to “review” so that an administrator may review the report and approve or decline the application based on their findings. VolunteerMatters makes the link to the background check easily accessible. However, the actual report resides on the 3rd party background check provider's website and any changes to status would be done from the background check provider's link which will automatically update the credential status. We currently offer integrated background checking with Intellicorp and Sterling Volunteers. Enterprise subscribers may integrate with background check providers of their own choosing (subject to special pricing). Integrated background check credentials cannot be configured entirely by you, the subscriber. Integrated credentials require the help of the VolunteerMatters support team. Please reach out via live chat or by submitting a support ticket via email.
- Manual Learning Credentials
Learning credentials are either manual or integrated. Manual learning credentials are courses that are performed outside of our system (Live or Online). They provide the ability to post an electronic statement (i.e., volunteer instructions and agree-to-statement) to which a volunteer may “sign”. It also allows an administrator to define the issuing organization, issue and expiration dates. Available in the Professional subscription and above.
- Integrated Learning Credentials
Learning credentials are either manual or integrated. Integrated learning credentials are Learning Management System (LMS) courses that are performed through our system (Professional and above) or your own 3rd party LMS system (Enterprise subscribers). For example, when a volunteer applies for the learning credential, they are temporarily passed to 3rd party LMS to complete their course, then the LMS automatically notifies our system of the course's progress. If the volunteer meets the minimum scoring or passes the course, the system automatically approves the learning credential. Integrated learning credentials cannot be configured entirely by you, the subscriber. Integrated credentials require the help of the VolunteerMatters support team. Please reach out via live chat or by submitting a support ticket for assistance.
- Always Required vs Job-Specific Credentials
Some credentials are required of all volunteers (e.g., signing a liability waiver) and other credentials are specific to the volunteer's desired role or position. For example, you may not require require a background check for all volunteers, only those volunteers whose work has them interacting with children or another at-risk population.
- Credentials are Cumulative
If you should require multiple credentials for the same role/position, this means that the volunteer must attain ALL credentials to be compliant. For example, if you should say the volunteer must have a criminal background check, drivers license, and Medical Training, they must have a criminal background check AND driver's license AND Medical Training. You can't have an "OR" between credential requirements.
If you have multiple ways in which a volunteer may satisfy a prerequisite then it must be handled within one credential. For example, in order to satisfy the "Medical Training" credential above you may accept a Physician's license, Nursing Certificate, or EMT License. In this case, there would be one credential "Medical Training" and the instructions to the volunteer would detail what types of documentation would be acceptable for them to submit in order to attain the credential. If you created three credentials and added all three to a volunteer role/position then the volunteer would be required to be a physician AND a nurse AND an EMT.
- Credential Expiration
Credentials can be "forever" or they may expire over time, requiring the volunteer to attain the credential again. Expiration rules can be set to "None" (once they attain the credential it never has to be repeated), "Duration" (it expires a certain number of months from when they last attained it), or "Annual" (it expires on a specific day of the year for all volunteers)
- Credential Age Exemptions
Some credentials may be required of a volunteer, but we would like to make exceptions based on the volunteer's age. For example, we may have a position that requires a background check, but we would like to exempt volunteers under the age of 16 from this requirement. In a case where a volunteer is exempt if they are below a specified age, VolunteerMatters would be exempt them until they reach the specified age. In a case where we exempt a volunteer above a certain age, they would be exempt forever.
- Credential Age of Consent
For those credentials that require an electronic signature, you may specify an age under which the system will prompt for a parent/guardian to electronically "sign" the agreement in addition to the minor volunteer.
For help creating and editing credentials see: https://support.volunteermatters.com/hc/en-us/articles/5151663427091