Reference Manual 7 - Chapter 2: Definitions

(See DO-7, § 4)

Note: This page contains Chapter 2 of Reference Manual 7 (RM-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.

The following terms are used throughout this Reference Manual:

  • Volunteer: As defined in 29 CFR 553.101, a volunteer is “An individual who performs service under a current, signed individual or group volunteer service agreement without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services rendered is considered to be a volunteer, provided such service lies within the scope of statutes authorizing the bureau’s or office’s use of volunteers.” Volunteers are members of the public and are not considered employees except in the cases of liability, tort claims, and workers’ compensation. While volunteers are not NPS employees, the same workplace policies apply, such as but not limited to: facility access, anti-harassment, standards of performance or conduct, and safety. Volunteers may also be referred to as “VIPs.”
  • Volunteers-In-Parks/VIP Program: The servicewide Volunteers-In-Parks Program is referred to as the “NPS VIP Program.” The term “volunteer program” refers generally to volunteer programs within parks and programs.
  • WASO IE&V: The Washington Support Office Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers Directorate, which oversees the administration of the NPS VIP Program, is referred to as “WASO IE&V.”
  • Volunteer management: Volunteer management is the strategic management of volunteer resources. Volunteer management is also known as volunteer engagement, volunteer coordination, and volunteer administration (see the Program Administration section for more information).
  • Volunteer manager, coordinator, and supervisor: The terms volunteer manager, administrator, and coordinator are often used interchangeably throughout the field of volunteer administration. For purposes of this document, “volunteer manager” will be used to refer to the person overseeing the volunteer program at a park or program. Park and program divisions or work groups may have volunteer coordinators. “Volunteer supervisors” will be used to refer to the person directly overseeing the volunteers’ work.
  • Service description: The terms volunteer position description, job description, service description, and description of service are used interchangeably in the field. This document will use the term “service description.” The service description is a part of the volunteer service agreement.
  • Volunteer service agreement: These documents govern the relationship between the NPS and the volunteer or volunteer group. The volunteer service agreement includes the OF301a form and for volunteer groups the OF301b form, as well as service description, and job hazard analysis (see Formalizing the NPS/Volunteer Relationship: Volunteer Service Agreements). This may also be referred to as a “service agreement.”

Last updated: December 4, 2023


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