Reference Manual 7 - Chapter 10: Reporting

Note: This page contains Chapter 10 of Reference Manual 7 that accompanies Director's Order 7, Volunteers-In-Parks. Users of RM-7 are strongly encouraged to check this page for updates before utilizing previously viewed, printed, or downloaded materials.

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(see DO-7, § 12)

Annual Reports

The NPS VIP Program requires an annual report each fiscal year. Reporting requirements are announced via an official memo from WASO IE&V every summer.


For consistency, volunteer managers across the NPS should count volunteer data using the following standards:

  • A recurring individual volunteer is counted once in a fiscal year per unit.

  • Countable hours (also referred to as “on duty” time) are the only hours for which the volunteer is covered under workers’ compensation/liability. These include:

  • Time performing service or attending meetings or training at the duty station

  • Time performing service or relevant training at home or off-site, as approved by the NPS

  • After arriving to their duty station, “on duty” travel time within the park or to the assigned work location

  • Hours that are not counted include:

    • Commute time to and from the residence to the daily duty station

    • Travel time to and from the duty station for an extended work period (e.g., travel from the volunteer’s home in Florida to a park in New Jersey)

    • While on travel status during “off the clock” time

    • Meal times (30 minutes per eight-hour shift)

Record Keeping

Parks and programs must maintain an accurate and current volunteer program records system. Volunteer program files should be established under the direction of the volunteer manager and contain all pertinent information, such as local policy, needs assessment information, service descriptions, recruiting information and strategies, training materials, etc.

Separate files should be maintained for each volunteer or volunteer group in the volunteer program. The files should contain the originals or copies of all forms associated with the volunteers (volunteer service agreements, service descriptions, etc.) and logs listing dates and hours worked, type of work, reimbursement, evaluation, comments, and other pertinent information.

Because these documents contain PII that may be covered under the Privacy Act, the files should be secured appropriately. However, because the volunteer service agreement contains emergency contact information for volunteers, parks should ensure there is a way for a designee to access that information within a reasonable timeframe if the volunteer manager is not around to do so.

The NPS Records Schedule, Partnerships, Item 7 (N1-79-08-6) states that volunteer records are temporary and should be destroyed three years after the volunteer service agreement has been terminated. This timeline allows for access to the volunteer’s information if the volunteer returns to the same park again or travels to other parks and seeks references, as well as to document any liability or OWCP claims made after the position has been terminated.

Last updated: November 20, 2020


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