BestMatch (formerly Best Practices in Volunteer Screening Program) aims to ensure appropriate volunteer screening policies and practices are in place in organizations that serve vulnerable populations. The Program provides education and one-on-one support to local community benefit organizations about the appropriate use of volunteer screening tools.
Non-profit and charitable organizations can apply to become part of the program and, if eligible, will be able to obtain free Police Records Checks for their volunteers who work with vulnerable populations. Funded by the City of Guelph, this program is based on a model that has been successfully operating in Alberta since 2009.
UPDATE April 15, 2020.
Please note: BestMatch Volunteer Screening Applications will continue to be processed when submitted however there are changes to Police Record Checks being handled at Guelph Police Services during the COVID – 19 situation. For details about what type of police record checks application are being processed and how to apply, check out Guelph Police Services.
For questions, contact Emily Vincent at: [email protected]
UPDATE February 13, 2020.
As follow up to a Community Dialogue session, please see the following link for recorded notes.
In order to participate in the BestMatch program, organizations must meet ALL of the following criteria:
- The organization must be a member in good standing of PIN – The People and Information Network
- The organization must perform a community service in the City of Guelph
- The organization must be a registered non-profit or charitable organization
- The organization must involve volunteers who work in eligible roles
For more detailed information about eligibility, click on the Q&A document in the list of resources below.
What You Need Before You Begin:
- Your organization’s Volunteer Screening Policy and Procedure (if your organization does not have a policy or procedure see the ‘Policy Development Tool’ in the list of resources below).
- Descriptions of the volunteer positions in your organization that involve volunteers in eligible roles (see “Eligible Role” description in Q&A document in the list of resources below)
- General information about your organization, including client description, and services provided.
What to Expect:
- Complete the online application with the information required.
- You will receive a copy of your completed application in an email; keep a copy for your records.
- The Program Coordinator will review your application and will provide a results report (via email) if clarification is needed or the application is incomplete.
- The Program Coordinator will send a letter of approval (via email) once your application is approved. At this point, you will receive an authorization number for each position that is deemed ‘eligible’.
- You will be advised to create a letter for your volunteers with the names of the positions, authorization numbers and expiration date to take to Guelph Police Services when they are requesting a Police Records Check. The number and expiration date will allow the volunteer to receive a Police Records Check without a fee.
- Guelph Police Service: Obtaining a PRC in Guelph
- Q & A
- Volunteer Screening Tools
- Volunteer Screening Policy Development Tool
- Policy Development for your Volunteer Program
- Volunteer Role Design
- Sample Letter for Volunteers
- Understanding Police Records Check
- LEARN – UPDATED Guidelines for Police Record Checks
- 2012 Edition of the Volunteer Screening Handbook
- Best Practices Guidelines for Volunteer Screening
- Volunteer Canada Screening Main Page