When you arrive at one of our program destinations, you will be met by a member of our local team. Once you’ve had the chance to settle in to your surroundings, you’ll join a Program Orientation run by our local team for all new volunteers. The Orientation covers a wide range of topics that are important to getting to grips with the local culture and the program objectives, and it includes a detailed briefing about risks that are specific to your location.
All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to a Risk Management Policy that has been specially designed to acknowledge that no two volunteer programs have the same risk profile. The Policy guides the identification, assessment and mitigation of all material risks associated with each of our programs and despite their differences, each program follows a detailed procedure for ensuring volunteer safety in the following risk areas:
- Accommodation and housing
- Fire control and prevention
- Illness and physical harm
- Assault and theft
- Alcohol and illegal substances
- Natural disasters
- Terrorism and other serious crime
Every procedure has been created by IVHQ in partnership with our local team in each program destination. Local teams are on hand 24-hours a day to provide direct support to volunteer safety and agreed steps are in place to ensure effective and timely communications with senior IVHQ staff should an incident occur.
Our risk mitigation plans for each program are monitored and updated through a formal review every year and compliance checks are completed in-person by visiting . For example, all of our program staff members are required to undertake first aid training and each of our teams has basic first aid equipment on-hand should it be needed.
We also have a requirement that all our host families and all staff directly or indirectly employed by IVHQ undergo thorough background checks before we begin working with them. Regardless of whether a volunteer is staying in the volunteer house or in a homestay, the level of supervision is the same. Beyond the interaction at mealtimes, orientation briefings, project briefings and each day on the project, our staff regularly check-in with volunteers at the accommodation to ensure everything is going well. Our volunteers are also provided with contact details of our local staff who and can speak with them any time at all (24/7).