3. Member and Status Reports

3.1 Member Categories

It is the intent of Therapeutic Dog Services to clarify the definitions of classifications so that you understand your status and benefit eligibility.





Employee

is “a person who works for another in return for financial or other compensation. (Please refer to employment classifications section) Casual, Part time and Fulltime.

Trainee

The main role of a Trainee is to gain experience of all aspects of their selected AAI career. These people can learn all required skills for their future roles by doing different real AAI work duties through community work in a volunteering capacity.

Volunteer

A Volunteer is defined as “a person who gives his/her services without any express or implied promises of remuneration”

Volunteers give freely of their time, talents, skills, and energy with no expectation of monetary compensation.

​assigned to work on an intermittent and/or unpredictable basis. While they receive insurance coverage, they are ineligible for all Therapeutic Dog Services other benefit programs.

Volunteer Activities

Therapeutic Dog Services refers to Volunteering Australia’s definition of Formal Volunteering that is as follows:

Formal Volunteering is an activity, which always takes place through a not-for-profit organisation or project and is:

  • Of benefit to the community and the participant.

  • Undertaken of the participants own free will and without coercion.

  • For no financial payment

  • In a position not designated as paid, and.

  • Underpinned by the Volunteering Australia’s ‘Principles of Volunteering’ (see General Principles of Volunteering below)

The contribution of Volunteers is vital to Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated operations.

We recognise and value the reciprocal nature of the relationship between the group and the individual, and is committed to providing a volunteer experience which both:

  • Supports the work of Therapeutic Dog Services.; and

  • Meets the needs and expectations of individual participants.

General Principles of Volunteering

Therapeutic Dog Services adheres to the principles of volunteering as defined by Volunteering Australia :( Reference www.volunteeringsa.org.au)

Volunteering:

  • benefits the community and the Volunteer.

  • is always a matter of choice;

  • is an activity that is unpaid and not undertaken for the receipt of salary, pension, government allowance or honorarium.

  • is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community;

  • is a vehicle for individuals or groups to address human, environmental, and social needs?

  • is an activity performed in the not-for-profit sector only?

  • do not replace paid workers nor constitute a threat to the job security of paid workers.

  • respects the rights, dignity, and culture of others.

  • promotes human rights and equality.

Introduction to Volunteering

Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteer Staff

Volunteers are a valuable resource to our organisation. Therapeutic Dog Services Inc recognises that without the skill, generosity, and commitment of our Volunteers, it would be impossible to maintain the quality of our service.

Volunteers have the right to be given meaningful volunteering opportunities, receive adequate information and a clear job description of what the Volunteer role entails, have their personal details kept in a confidential manner, be adequately insured, be treated equally and respectfully, to receive ongoing and effective support and to be recognized for their contribution.

In return, Volunteers agree to actively perform their duties to the best of their abilities, to ask for support when needed, be accountable and to remain faithful to the philosophies, policies, and procedures of Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated.

Rights of Volunteers

Volunteers have a right to:

  • Receive adequate information and a clear job description of what is expected and to understand why they are doing a task and how it fits into the program.

  • Be assigned a suitable project, task, or job and to refuse tasks they are unable to do, or would rather not do, and to request a new job.

  • To have on the job supervision provided by a designated staff member.

  • Receive respect and support from their co-workers as well as recognition and feedback from their supervisor for their work.

  • Be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses, providing prior approval is obtained from the Supervisor or Manager.

  • Be briefed on the broader aspects of Therapeutic Dog Services and discuss with their Supervisor or Manager whether volunteering is suited to them or whether they are suited to Therapeutic Dog Services.

  • Request a reference from their Supervisor when applying for a job, providing the Volunteer has worked at Therapeutic Dog Services for a minimum period of three months.

  • Provide feedback, suggestions and recommendations regarding their job or the wider program.

  • Have access to dispute resolution procedures and to be supported through such a process.

  • Have personal details kept in a confidential manner.

  • Work in a safe and healthy environment.

  • Be provided with a place to work and suitable resources.

  • Be adequately insured.

Responsibilities of Volunteers

We ask that our Volunteers agree to:

  • Be reliable and commit, where possible, to regular weekly or fortnightly day and time of work so tasks can be planned accordingly.

  • Keep Therapeutic Dog Services informed of changes of address and phone number.

  • Be responsible to and consult with their Supervisor.

  • To ask for support when needed.

  • Agree to do the job training necessary to carry out duties as stated in the Duty Statement.

  • Abide by any Therapeutic Dog Services policies regarding their work.

  • Appreciate and respect the confidential nature of information that may be acquired during duties.

  • Discuss any grievances or problems with their supervisor. If they remain unresolved speak to the Manager.

  • Not to spend money or order goods on behalf of Therapeutic Dog Services without prior approval.

  • Notify their Supervisor if they are no longer able to work

  • Show enthusiasm, loyalty, and belief in the work of the organisation.

  • Agree to work in a safe and healthy way and not jeopardize the health and safety of others.

  • Inform of any pre-existing medical conditions or special needs that we should be aware of, that might affect the Volunteer’s ability to undertake certain tasks.

  • Report any accident or injury immediately to their supervisor, head office and completed accident report forms

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3.2 ACCESS TO PERSONNEL FILES

Therapeutic Dog Services maintains a personnel file on each member. The personnel file includes such information as the members job application, resume, records of training, documentation of performance appraisals and other relevant records.

Personnel files are the property of Therapeutic Dog Services, and access to the information they contain is restricted. Generally, only supervisors and management personnel of Therapeutic Dog Services who have a legitimate reason to review information in a file can do so.

Members who wish to review their own file should contact the Human Resources department. With reasonable advance notice, members may review their own personnel files in Therapeutic Dog Services offices and in the presence of an individual appointed by Therapeutic Dog Services to maintain the files.

3.3 PERSONNEL DATA CHANGES

It is the responsibility of each member to promptly notify Therapeutic Dog Services of any changes in personnel data. Personal mailing addresses, telephone numbers, number and names of dependents, individuals to be contacted in the event of emergency, educational accomplishments, and other such status reports should be accurate and current at all times. If any personnel data has changed, notify administration or human resources department.

3.4 PROBATION PERIOD

The probation period is intended to give new members / volunteers the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to achieve a satisfactory level of performance and to determine whether the position meets their expectations. Therapeutic Dog Services uses this period to evaluate members capabilities, work habits, and overall performance.

All new and rehired employee/ members / volunteers work on a probation basis for the first 90 calendar days after their date of hire. Any significant absence will automatically extend the probation period by the length of the absence. If Therapeutic Dog Services determines that the designated probation period does not allow sufficient time to thoroughly evaluate the participants performance, the probation period may be extended for a specified period.

Upon satisfactory completion of the probation period, members enter the "regular" members classification.

During the probation period, new members are eligible for those benefits that are required by law, such as volunteer insurance.

3.5 MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS

Therapeutic Dog Services relies upon the accuracy of information contained in the membership application, as well as the accuracy of other data presented throughout the process and registry membership. Any misrepresentations, falsifications, or material omissions in any of this information or data may result in the exclusion of the individual from further consideration for registration membership or, if the person has been accepted, termination of membership, employment or volunteering will occur.

3.6 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

Supervisors and members are strongly encouraged to discuss job performance and goals on an informal, day-to-day basis. Additional formal performance evaluations are conducted to provide both supervisors and members the opportunity to discuss job tasks, identify and correct weaknesses, encourage, and recognise strengths, and discuss positive, purposeful approaches for meeting goals.

After the member has completed his probation period of 3 months, the immediate supervisor evaluates the performance of the member and makes necessary adjustments if necessary.

3.7 JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Therapeutic Dog Services makes every effort to create and maintain accurate job descriptions for all positions within the organisation. Each description includes a job information section, a job summary section (giving a general overview of the job's purpose), an essential duties and responsibilities section, a supervisory responsibilities section, a qualifications section (including education and/or experience, language skills, mathematical skills, reasoning ability, and any certification required), a physical demands section, and a work environment section.

Therapeutic Dog Services maintains job descriptions to aid in orienting new members to their training and volunteering, community work jobs, identifying the requirements of each position, establishing criteria, setting standards for participants performance evaluations, and establishing a basis for making reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

The human resources department and the hiring manager prepare job descriptions when new positions are created. Existing job descriptions are also reviewed and revised to ensure that they are up to date. Job descriptions may also be rewritten periodically to reflect any changes in the position's duties and responsibilities. All members will be expected to help ensure that their job descriptions are accurate and current, reflecting the work being done.

Members should remember that job descriptions do not necessarily cover every task or duty that might be assigned, and that additional responsibilities may be assigned, as necessary. Contact the human resources department if you have any questions or concerns about your job description.

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