Shy Wolf Sanctuary | Volunteer Level Progression
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Volunteer Level Progression

The volunteer training program was outlined many years ago and, as with everything else, it has to go through growth changes when the sanctuary itself grows and evolves. One of the ways this has happened is with the increased numbers of volunteers, the need for training those volunteers, and the need to ensure that all volunteer training is consistent and thorough. We obviously have additional concerns with liability and the fact that some of the resident animals we house are deemed dangerous under certain circumstances.
The LEVEL system was created as a means to have guidelines and minimum standards met for volunteers to achieve and move on to the next “level” in animal care. It was never intended that all volunteers meeting the minimum number of hours would automatically graduate. Moving up to the next level is a great achievement and should be recognized as such for the volunteer’s commitment to the sanctuary and our programs. It is a good basis and has worked for us in the past. As with all things, there are always ways in which we can improve. One of those improvements was the “Train the Trainer” program. With this in mind, we are seeking to create a Training Committee that will be a subcommittee of DOVAC and will consist of volunteers currently training others. Committee members must be willing to serve for a minimum of six months and will be crucial to the improvement of the Volunteer Training and Retention Program.
The Board of Directors (BOD) has approved the creation of this subcommittee and the following guidelines for gradtuation through the levels:
Level 1: minimum of 12 hours, checklist, online quiz, Emergency Safety Training, and TWO senior trainers willing to sign off – subcommittee approval required for progression; Successful completion of IS 10 to this level (animals in disasters: awareness & preparedness)
Level 2: minimum of 25 hours, checklist, online quiz, Animal Handling Training, and TWO senior trainers willing to sign off – subcommittee approval required for progression; Successful completion of IS 11 to this level (animals in disasters: community planning)
Level 3: minimum of 50 hours, checklist, online quiz, Train the Trainer Training, and TWO senior trainers willing to sign off – subcommittee approval required for progression; Successful completion of IS 100 (introduction to incident command system)
NOTE: the TWO volunteers signing off MUST have worked with the candidate volunteer for a minimum of one day on the tasks required for that next level.
Level 4: minimum of 100 hours, checklist, online quiz, Visit Guide & Event Training, and TWO senior trainers who have worked with the candidate volunteer in the Level 4 enclosures each a minimum of 5 times (10 total visits), and are willing to recommend to the subcommittee graduation to level 4. Subcommittee will recommend to the BOD approval or denial. This level no longer is required to “run the sanctuary” but will be required to manipulate and understand Level 5 enclosures and locks and must demonstrate the ability to discern unsafe situations and to step in to prevent an incident. Waivers are required. BOD approval is required prior to keys being issued. Successful completion of IS 242 (Effective Communication)
Level 5: minimum of 1 year continued service with no absences greater than three weeks, checklist, online quiz, and TWO senior trainers who have worked with the candidate volunteer in the Level 5 enclosures (if entering with an animal) a minimum of 5 times (10 times total), and are willing to recommend to the subcommittee graduation to Level 5. Subcommittee will recommend to the BOD approval or denial. This level requires the volunteer be able to “run the sanctuary” so prior to recommendation for graduation, volunteer candidates will be required to fulfill that role for a minimum of a day. Level 5 waivers are required prior to keys being issued. BOD approval is required prior to keys being issued. Successful completion of IS 244 (Developing and Managing Volunteers)
NOTE: IS 700 & 800 will not be required for volunteers graduating to Level 4 or 5, but will be required for any volunteer who may take on a leadership (Incident Commander) role for a natural disaster such as we had for the wildfires and hurricane. This level of training will be voluntary but is critical to the sanctuary and it’s future well-being.
BOD wants to recognize and invites all volunteers graduating to level 4 or 5 to a meeting as a thank you and recognition of your commitment.