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Q&A - Volunteer Records
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"Is there a law that requires us to keep our volunteer records for a certain period of time or is it just good practice?"


There is no legislation in Ontario requiring that records of information about your volunteers be retained for a particular period of time for volunteer management purposes.

Your organization may have policies that address this question for other purposes, such as medical treatment records or requirements for reports on coop students. In those cases, record retention must comply with those standards and policies.

Otherwise, your organization should identify its own reasons for retaining information about volunteers and use this to guide your policy and decisions.

Key questions to ask

  • What is the information in the file?
    • Is the information being used for its original purpose?
      • If not, PIPEDA requires that you destroy it.
      • If relevant to a future hiring/re-hiring decision, that means it is still needed for its original purpose
    • Why are you retaining the info?
      • If for a future letter of reference, what is your organization's time frame for this? For how long after the volunteer's exit date will this be done?
      • If for a chronological record of your organization's volunteer resources, can the amount of information be reduced or minimized for storage?

Your organization can determine the retention period for your volunteer records based on the purpose of keeping the information.


 * All answers are for information purposes only.

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