Reference Manual 7 - Chapter 2: Definitions

Note: This page contains Chapter 2 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.

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 and tort claims (workers’ compensation). While volunteers are not NPS employees, the same workplace policies apply such as facility access, anti-harassment, ethics, standards of performance, 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 to any non-specific volunteer program.

  • 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 are the NPS staff 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.”

  • Volunteer service agreement: This document governs the relationship between the NPS and volunteer. It includes the description, terms, and conditions of the service to be provided (see Formalizing the NPS/Volunteer Relationship: Volunteer Service Agreements ). This may also be referred to as a “service agreement.”

Last updated: November 20, 2020

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