It is good practice for an organisation to produce a detailed set of financial procedures. Financial procedures are a set of instructions that any stakeholder, including new members of the committee or staff, can use to find out exactly: what tasks need to be done; who will do these tasks; and who will ensure the tasks are done properly.
Types of insurance policy
Following is a brief summary of various types of insurance available:
Employer's Liability Insurance
If your group or organisation employs staff (full time or part time) it is required by law to purchase Employer's Liability Insurance. This covers paid employees in the event of accident, disease or injury caused or made worse as a result of work or of employer's negligence. In order to cover volunteers, in addition to staff, the policy must explicitly mention volunteers.
By law your organisation must have a written health and safety policy if you employ five or more people. (Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978 section 2 (3))
Your policy should contain:
A Management Committee that has all of the following measures in place will have significantly limited the risk of personal liability.
Use this sheet as a checklist to assess how your committee measures up!
Features of good practice
The attached templates (produced by Volunteer Now) can be downloaded and adapted for use within your own organisation.
The smaller template may be more appropriate for smaller organisations or those with limited experience of conducting risk assessment. It requires less detail to complete and will make the process less cumbersome.
The Volunteers and Insurance information sheet from Volunteer Now explores what insurance cover organisations should have in place in relation to volunteers and their activities.
This booklet, entitled Protect your Profit, has been produced on behalf of the 26 Councils in Northern Ireland and HSENI to help small organisations manage health and safety in the workplace.
The booklet includes:
Volunteer Now was commissioned by the Department of Health (formerly DHSSPS), to develop this publication, which contains minimum standards of best practice and guidance for organisations working with adults who may be at risk, in the voluntary, community and independent sectors.
This strategy should be appropriate to the size, responsibilities and capacity of your organisation. The questions below can help form your checklist:
1. Who will be responsible for carrying out the initial risk assessment?
Will this be a Management Committee member? Senior staff member? A volunteer? An external consultant? Judgement should be made based on the level of detail and time involved (see point 2), the expertise or knowledge required and the size of the organisation.
It builds in a process for regularly updating and reviewing the assessment based on new developments or actions taken. A risk management strategy can be developed and implemented by even the smallest of groups or projects or built into a complex strategy for a multi-site international organisation.