Volunteer Orientation Manual (2023)

Below you will find links, pages, and information that is necessary for you to have a successful volunteer experience at CHEO! Please be sure to read through everything below.

As someone who grew up here in Ottawa, I have known and admired CHEO as anorganization that is driven by people with compassion, incredible depth in skills, and a deep commitment to caring about children and their families.

What many people may not know is that CHEO only exists today because, back in the 1960s, a group of determined volunteers – led by young moms – raised awareness, argued the case, and generated the support to turn the dream of a children’s healthcare facility into a reality. CHEO was founded by the dedication of volunteers, and to this day, our volunteers continue to be a solid foundation allowing us to provide excellent patient care to children and youth in the community. Every day our team of passionate staff, physicians, and volunteers make it possible for kids to get healthy, stay healthy and thrive.

As a CHEO volunteer, you are an ambassador for the organization and your interactions with kids and families shape how people feel about the institution. It is volunteers like you who help give CHEO the great community reputation we pride ourselves on. Here is a great little example from a letter I received from a parent whose four-year old child came to our Emergency department earlier this year:

“As a parent, I can say first hand that it is invaluable to have a facility that is geared totally to children. From the washrooms with fixtures closer to the ground (where a woozy little boy can still do things “by himself”), to volunteers handing out colouring pages in the waiting room, to the wonderful educator who explained everything to him perfectly so that he wasn’t scared of the unknown, we left that day very thankful for all the extra thought and effort that goes into treating our little people”

Every volunteer role at CHEO is valued by staff, children, youth and their families. You help us help the kids of this community.

On behalf of all CHEO, I am pleased to welcome you to our team.

Tomorrow starts right here!


Volunteer Orientation Manual (1)

Alex Munter
President and Chief Executive Officer

CHEO's Mission, Vision, and Values

CHEO is made up of one team.

This includes everyone - including volunteers! It's important for all volunteers to understand the vision, mission, and values of our organization.


The best life for every child and youth.


We provide exceptional care and advance how children, youth and families obtain it through partnership, research and education.


  • We respect each other.
  • We support people on their journey.
  • We innovate and challenge the status quo.
  • We create new knowledge, learn and teach.
More than a hospital

CHEO is constantly redefining what it means to be a hospital.

Exceptional and integrated care is what families, children and youth deserve.

We are committed to partnering with them and the community to provide this care — where, when and
how it’s needed.APatient Declaration of Valuesserves as a guide for how we plan to achieve true partnership among children, youth, families, caregivers and staff. It is our commitment to care.

Read more here about how we are redefining what it means to be a hospital.

This is how care at CHEO should feel:


We are honest and trust each other. We protect privacy. We are sensitive to everyone's life experiences by respecting culture and differences.


We communicate in a clear, meaningful and timely way. We create a safe space to express personal and differing views, ask questions and share feedback. We talk to our audiences in their preferred language and format.


We work together in an honest, purposeful and fair way to benefit everyone. We include everyone's input in all parts of our work.


We support each other's needs. This includes physical, developmental, social, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. We provide a place to learn and grow together, and partner on shared goals. Safety is always a top priority.

French Services at CHEO

French Services at CHEO

Over half a million Francophones live in Ontario, the largest group of French-speaking people outsideQuebec. At CHEO, we’re proud to offer services in French to better meet the needs of francophonepatients and families.

The French Language Services Act:

In May 1986, the Government of Ontario introduced the French Language Services Act. The Actguarantees the public the right to receive services in French in:
Ontario Government agencies and ministries;Offices in or serving areas designated under the Act.

Official bilingual designation

CHEO was granted a partial bilingual designation in 1993. We continue to work toward making sure all ofour public services meet full bilingualism requirements. To achieve a full bilingual designation, CHEOmust continually demonstrate a commitment to offer services in French. This means CHEO will identifyclients who are Francophone or who prefer to speak French when they arrive at CHEO. We will do this atmany points along the way: during pre-admission, admissions, and clinic visits. Services available to staffinclude:

  • Language profile to determine language requirements for employees.
  • Language assessments when hiring staff or monitoring language ability.
  • French language training available to employees at CHEO
  • Translation services to have documents translated into French, or proofread

Bilingualism at CHEO:

Since 1982, CHEO’s Bilingual Services department has been offering:

  • Language testing
  • Training
  • Linguistic profiles
  • Designated positions

CHEO’s Advisory Committee on French Language Services meets regularly to ensure the French languageis an integral part of services and life at CHEO. For more information on CHEO’s Official LanguagesPolicy, please ask the team in Volunteer Resources.

Family and Youth Advisors

It is important that we involve families and youth in decision making at CHEO, not just for their own personal health decisions, but also in organizational decisions. Family and Youth Advisors provide feedback to CHEO and bring forward their own ideas, to ensure that what we do is for familes and meeting the needs of our patients and families.

Read more about our Family and Youth Advisors:

Family Advisory Council

Youth Forum

Who is Volunteer Resources?

The Volunteer Resources teamis responsible for the overall management of the volunteer program, carrying out the recruitment,screening, selection, placement, orientation, support and recognition of volunteers. They advise andsupport staff who engages with volunteers. The review of a volunteer’s involvement is a sharedresponsibility between Volunteer Resources and staff. Volunteer Resources is dedicated to making avolunteer’s experience enjoyable and positive!

CHEO fosters a One Team culture in which every employee, physician, trainee, volunteer and partner feelspart of a single team that is equipped, empowered, educated and engaged; united with purpose on asingle vision.

Role of Volunteers at CHEO

The purpose of the volunteer programat CHEO is to engage volunteers in programs and activities that support and enhance the care that isbeing delivered to the children, youth and families, that supports a family centered care philosophy.

Volunteering at CHEO can be both a rewarding and learning experience. We hope that you have apositive experience and gain a great sense of satisfaction.

The Basics of Volunteering at CHEO
Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct sets out expectations and provides a guide for appropriate and consistent behaviour in delivering services. All employees and volunteers will abide by the values of the organization, specifically: any conduct that does not respect the children, families, co-workers or general public will result in disciplinary action. All volunteers will begin volunteering at CHEO with a probationary period of three months.

Probationary Period:

Each new volunteer will undergo a trial probationary periodto allow a volunteerand program staff to assess and adjust to a new volunteer engagement and determine that the volunteer is the right fit for the role. During this time the program supervisor will have the opportunity to evaluate a volunteer's learning, address training needs, and discuss with the volunteer as to whether or not they feel that the role is a good fit for the volunteer's skills and/or interests. This may be done formally (a sit-down meeting) or informally (on-going conversation and observation throughout probationary period).

Once a volunteer has been actively engaged for three months and their probationary period is over, the volunteer can request a refund for their Police Records Check fee.

It is understandable that volunteers will have compassion for the patients and families they support. Volunteers function in a position of trust.

Always respect and protect the confidentiality of patients and their families. Details of a child’s care, treatment, condition or other facts about a patient are strictly confidential and must not be discussed or disclosed. Do not ask questions about a patient’s illness/condition. Avoid asking questions in the presence of other patients, family members and staff.

Volunteers read and sign the same Confidentiality Agreement that staff sign and are held with the same accountability to comply with these requirements during and beyond their involvement with CHEO.


Patients and families have every right to assume that confidential information about them will not be discussed among volunteers and staff. Volunteers are held with the same accountability as employees, to protect and maintain this confidentiality. Conversation with patients should not invite confidences, or offer opinions on personal matters or pertaining to their medical treatment. Volunteers are to refrain from discussing patient’s illness or their own.

Volunteers are to immediately notify Volunteer Resources if he/she has been charged and/or convicted of a Criminal Code offence, and or has engaged in conduct that may result in negative public relations and /or damage to the reputation of CHEO. It is understood that failure to immediately notify Volunteer Resources may result in the summary release of a volunteer from their service to CHEO. Furthermore, Volunteer Resources may, in absolute discretion, release them from their relationship with CHEO in light of disclosure of the above conduct.

Volunteers are to practice active listening, and not offer personal or medical advice to patients/families, or relate their own personal experiences. There may be situations where it is appropriate or necessary to share / disclose information, such as a patient who is suspected to have experienced, or are at risk for abuse or neglect, with program staff.

Personal boundaries include keeping patients/families separate and distinct from a volunteer’s personal and social life. Ensure that your relationship with patients/families does not extend beyond your role as a volunteer. This includes, but is not limited to, exchanging gifts/treats and sharing contact information (phone numbers, Email, home address, Facebook), offer transportation / financial arrangements (i.e. lending/borrowing of goods or money), or do favours, photographing patients/family members. Should families/patients wish to offer their appreciation, suggest that they make a donation to the CHEO Foundation.

Physical Boundaries: Respect personal space and refrain from physical contact (hugs). Volunteers are to govern their physical behaviours accordingly. Convey messages of empathy with words and facial expressions that let patients / families know they care without having to touch.

Emotional Boundaries: Humour, "playfully" joking or teasing is to be avoided. Refrain from offering advice or relating personal experiences.

Financial transactions: Volunteers do not enter into financial transactions with clients, their family members or caregivers, either purchasing (as a donation or gift), lending or borrowing in either direction.

Social Media: Volunteers may not take photographs of staff, volunteers, patients, family members, and visitors with their camera or cell phone. Posting details of your volunteer experiences on social media sites is strictly prohibited.

Volunteers are responsible for complying with CHEO’s guidelines, policies and procedures, and fordemonstrating exemplary behaviour while striving to be appropriate role models.

It is understood that volunteers will not be utilized to displace any paid employees from their role oractivities. Volunteers recognize that they will not receive remuneration, salary, wage, payment or anyemployee benefits in return for volunteer services. Volunteer service does not establish an employmentrelationship with CHEO.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest:

It is recognized that volunteers engaged to perform duties with CHEO have a primary duty to the patients, families and staff. Volunteers have the right to carry on outside activities subject to the following:

  • That such an activity does not impact on their ability to perform the duties they have agreed to perform.
  • That such an activity does not bring the CHEO or employees into disrepute or cause embarrassment in any way, such that it impacts on our ability to work towards our Mission, Values, and or raise funds for CHEO.
  • That such activity does not result in any real or perceived conflict of interest.
  • It is agreed that volunteers will not solicit business for personal or professional gain, conduct any kind of outside business on CHEO premises, use supplies and/or services, or collect funds for an unaffiliated organization.

Prior to any action or statement that might affect or obligate CHEO, volunteers are to seek prior consultation and approval from Volunteer Resources. These actions may include, but are not limited to, public statements to the media, or any agreements involving contractual or financial obligations. Volunteers are to act as representatives of CHEO outlines within their role description. If you are contacted by the Media regarding your volunteer role, please inform Volunteer Resources directly for guidance.



The children, youth, families and CHEO staff have confidence in the commitment made by all volunteers. Please be courteous by arriving on time for your shift. Report your absence to your program staff. Ensure that you exchange the contact information with your supervisor (email, phone). Program staff will address frequent absences.

Taking a vacation or requiring a leave of absence is acceptable during your involvement. Please notify your staff support and Volunteer Resources with as much notice as possible – minimum two weeks.

For continuity of programs, volunteers taking an extended holiday or leave of more than two months (eight weeks or more), cannot be guaranteed their same role and/ or shift upon return. Every effort will be made to find a suitable new role. For security purposes, volunteers must return their ID badge to the Volunteer Resources office, where it will be kept for your return.

The Volunteer Resources office is closed on all statutory holidays, where volunteers are not required to report for their assignment: New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

When the time comes to end your volunteer relationship with CHEO, please ensure that Volunteer Resources and your program staff have been consulted, with as much notice as possible. Your ID badge, lanyard and vest must be returned to the volunteer office. Volunteers may also be asked to participate in an Exit survey to improve our program and overall satisfaction.



Volunteers are to register their presence by using the touch screen Kiosk to perform a check-in and a check-out for their assignment.

From a Security and Liability importance, the Volunteer Resources team and staff need to know who is volunteering when and where. For example, in the event of an emergency or incident, we must be able to locate you and account for your presence.

From a Recognition impact, it is very important that we properly track your investment for the hours and years you dedicate your talents and energy!

From an organizational need, details of hours and years of investment, serve to produce much needed statistics to demonstrate the value added by our volunteers who support our clients, patients and families.

Volunteers register their presence by using the Touch Screen Kiosk to perform a “check-in and a check-out” for their assignment. The sign-in and sign-out procedure is demonstrated with each new volunteer at Orientation, prior to or on the 1st day of assignment.

COVID-19 Check in Procedure:
Daily Entrance Screen

You must complete your Entrance Screen no earlier than 2 hours before your shift. You find the volunteer screen onthe Staff Portal website: https://www.cheo.on.ca/en/staff-portal.aspx before you arrive. This survey works best in a CHROME browser. You must complete your screen before arriving for each and every shift. Select the "Volunteer" option when presented. The volunteer screen now gets sent to VR automatically.

Note: you may be asked to show your screen results upon entry to the building, and if you have your phone handy please do so. Or simply point the auditor to the Volunteer Resources office and we’ll gladly share your confirmation email with them. Either way, together we’ll complete the necessary reporting.

How to understand your screen
Volunteers can attend their shift at CHEO when they receive a CLEAR message.
If you receive a message that indicates that you should SELF-ISOLATE or SELF-ISOLATE AND GET TESTED - please follow the guidance of our Occupational Health and Safety Team listed at the bottom of the screen and in your confirmation email.

If you are ever confused or concerned about whether or not you should come to CHEO for your volunteer shift, do not hesitate to reach out to us at vresources@cheo.on.ca - we are here to support you! And when in doubt, stay home and take good care.

Always alert a member of the healthcare team when you are concerned about a patient’s condition (changes /deterioration or is in visible danger). The healthcare team will assess the situation and decide on how to proceed.

Whenever you are required to leave your placement site, always inform your program staff of your whereabouts. In the event of an emergency, we must be able to locate you and account for your presence.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing:

To be able to know where volunteers travel within the in-patient units, please remember to add your name to the sign-in sheet at the main desk of inpatient units so that we have a way to contact trace anyone who was on a unit/area at a given time. Be sure to indicate that you are a VOLUNTEER. Some volunteers flow from unit to unit, and we want to make sure that we capture volunteers, in addition to your mandatory sign-in in the volunteer office.

Staying informed and up-to-date with CHEO’s and volunteer resources activity is extremely important. Volunteers are to notify the Volunteer office with any changes to their name, address, contact information, and or emergency contact information. Volunteer files are confidential.

Dress Code
ID Badge and Vest

Volunteers wear our uniform in order to be identifiable to all children, youth, families, staff and visitors.The uniform consists of a vest which is to be worn over an appropriate shirt, and a CHEO photo IDbadge.

Volunteer Orientation Manual (2)

An ID badge, lanyard and initial vest are issued to volunteers, and to the Co-Operative Educationprogram participants at no cost. Any costs associated to replace lost items will be at the volunteers or student’s own expense.

About your ID Badge

The CHEO ID badge is an official identification card while you volunteer at CHEO. It provides proof of avolunteer status with CHEO. Volunteer Resources will create and issue an ID badge. It requires yourphoto, which you supply given a number of requirements. The benefits associated with this badge include parking and access. In-patient units are locked,and require card access to enter and exit. ID badge must be prominently displayed on volunteers at alltimes.

The CHEO ID badge is issued to a volunteer under the following conditions:

  • The person whose name is on the card account is responsible for all usage.
  • It must be used solely for the purposes that it was issued.
  • It is non-transferable.
  • The CHEO ID badge, like the vest, is the property of CHEO.
  • ID badges should not be worn when outside of CHEO property.
  • It may be cancelled or revoked by Volunteer Resources.
  • If the CHEO ID badge is lost or stolen, contact Volunteer Resources for deactivation, and toobtain replacement card. A replacement fee will be required.
  • Upon completion of an assignment or a break in the relationship with CHEO, volunteers arerequired to return the ID badge to Volunteer Resources.

Use of volunteer ID badge for unit access:

Each inpatient unit has upgraded locks, video phones and access card readers as an added safetymeasure. Units require an access card for entry and exit. Parents/guardians/visitors will have the choiceof using an access card, or the video intercom to unlock the door. All visitors must sign in once theyarrive on the units. CHEO ID badges will allow volunteers, staff and physicians with appropriate accessprivileges to enter these units.

Swiping yourself in and out of the unit is important. Should there be an emergency, the time and location of the last use of your badge might help us know where you can be located.

We ask that you please do not hold the doors open to allow anyone in orout of the unit. Unit staff must be able to confirm that visitors are appropriate or that a patient ispermitted to access and / or leave the unit.


Appropriate attire and grooming must be consistent with the work environment, health and safetyregulations and infection control guidelines. Should you require accommodations for religious or cultural reasons, please speak with Volunteer Resources.

Personal Grooming:

All volunteers are expected to keep their hair clean, tidy and out of danger of unintentionalcontact with patients, food or equipment, and present themselves in a clean, well-groomedmanner.Volunteers who provide direct patient care (in direct physical contact with patients) mustkeep fingernails short and clean. Artificial nails, gel polish and nail enhancements are not to be worn.Nail polish may be worn if freshly applied and in good condition - chipped nail polish must be removed.

Jewelry that presents a safety hazard to patients and that hinder the effectiveness of handhygiene will not be worn. Hand and/or arm jewelry must be limited to a smooth band withoutprojections or mounted stones and/or a watch.

Volunteers in the NICU must have bare nails and no jewelry from the elbows down during their shift.

CHEO is a fragrance-free environment.


Volunteers are expected to dress in a manner that promotes professionalism, project apositive image that is clean and in good repair. Comfortable and loose clothing that permits somephysical activity is required to perform the duties expected of volunteers.

  • Tops should have high enough neck lines at the front and back so that they are not revealing andshould be long enough to cover the midriff.
  • Casual pants including capris/cargo and denim - please no sweat pants or ripped/frayed jeans.
  • Shorts are not permitted.


Safe and appropriate footwear is generally defined as a shoe with closed heel and toe, constructed of a
durable material and a quiet sole of non-slip material. No sandals or open toed shoes will be permitted to be worn on shift.

COVID-19 Dress code and care of personal belongings

A gentle reminder to ensure that you are leaving your belongings in a locker in the Volunteer Resources locker room before heading to your unit. This includes your purse or backpack.

Volunteers are not to be using staff storage spaces on the unit to hold their belongings.

  • If you don't want to put something in a locker, we suggest you keep it at home or safely locked in your car for the duration of your shift.
  • Don't forget to give your vest and lanyard a wash regularly - and alsowipe down your badge regularly with a Virox wipe or other disinfectant.

Lockerswith keys are available to volunteers for the duration of their shift. At the end of eachshift, replace the key in the lock. CHEO is not responsible for lost or stolen items.Volunteer Resources is tracking locker usage to determine any needed repairs ormissing keys. Volunteers will be required to complete the tracking sheet on the usedlocker. When a locker is broken, kindly write a message on the sign-in sheet. Inthe event of a missing key, notify one of the coordinators or in our absence, call Securityext. 2227 to open the locker with a Master Key.


Parking for volunteers:

Registered volunteers are given free access to the parking lot while on duty. To request complimentaryparking, volunteers must notify the coordinator in Volunteer Resources. Information such as the licenseplate and the make/model of your primary vehicle will be required.

For those who park onsite, volunteers now use Lot D – use Lot C when D is full. “Swipe” your ID badge on the card reader, located at the gate. - do the same when exiting. If there is a problem, press the intercom button to speak with Security staff. See the map for an easy reference.

COVID- 19 Protocol
Building entrance
Volunteers and staff enter and exit CHEO via the CTC Entrance – closest to Roger Neilson House / Treatment Centre.See the map for an easy reference. If you are taking the bus, you can also enter via Max Keeping entrance

Volunteer Orientation Manual (3)

Please note:

CHEO faces a shortage of parking daily for families and visitors. As a result, some areas are reserved for families and visitors only. Parking elsewhere without consent may result in a warning from security and/or a fine of 95$, as well as a loss of Parking privileges.

CHEO’s Security team conducts regular audits and we want to ensure that volunteers do not lose access to this parking benefit. Volunteers identified using unauthorized parking will be required to pay for periods of use, and may result in a retraction of this parking benefit.

Entry and exit to/from thisautomated lot requires the use of your ID badge on the access pads. Always use your card even if the gate is up. The system has a feature that prevents the card being used without a complete transaction of exiting.

Hold your ID badge over the image of the card in order to lift the gate.
Volunteer Orientation Manual (4)

Volunteers are to be accountable to park at CHEO during their allocated volunteer shift. Therefore, the ID badge with parking is not to be used when;

  • Medical appointments or visits with to loved ones at either CHEO or the General Campus

  • Attending school at Ottawa university

  • Employment with CHEO or the Ottawa Hospital, General Campus or Research Institutes

What to do when the lot is full?

Kindly contact Security via the intercom at the gate, for advice on which STAFF parking lot you may use.

It's no secret that volunteers have the biggest hearts and are willing to help when they see an occasion to assist! There is nothing more awkward than seeing a parent or visitor – maybe a fellow volunteer? - struggling with exiting the parking lot, especially when there is a line-up of cars behind them. We have all been in that situation. Let's leave it up to Security staff to guide and resolve those situations. At the parking lot gate, to either enter or leave, there is an intercom – press the button to speak to Security staff. It's tempting to speed up the situation and swipe people out, by using your ID badge. However, your ID badge is not to be used to grant anyone from leaving the parking lot – despite the back-up of cars! We want to ensure that volunteers do not lose access to this parking benefit.

Recognition Initiatives

Annual Recognition

CHEO recognizes volunteers who, based on their date of involvement, have invested theirservice at 5 year intervals. We also award two different awards annually: the Alison Craig Memorial Scholarship, and the Maureen Tourangeau Award.

We also enjoy celebrating International Day of the Volunteer, and National Volunteer Week each year, planning small ways to say thank you to each and every volunteer.

Letters of Reference

  • Letters of reference by staff supervisors are available as per their discretion. Often supervisors wish to see that volunteers have been active for over 1 year, with approximately 100 hours logged, prior to providing an in-depth reference (especially for graduate/medical school applications)
  • Letters of Attestation are available by Volunteer Resources. Medical School applications are notcompleted by Volunteer Resources. However, providing information as a verifier is acceptable.
How to Handle Questions, Concerns and Complaints from Families and Youth

Patient Experience

How to Handle Questions, Concerns and Complaints
Our patient and family representative is here to listen to our experiences. Our aim is to ensure that all of your feedback, both positive and negative, is heard and used to enhance care at CHEO.

To reach us:

  • call us at 613-737-7600 extension 3078

  • email us atexperience@cheo.on.ca

Religious Considerations

Volunteer Resources should be contacted if a volunteer requests/requires special consideration to their grooming/attire due to religious practices. Special consideration will be granted if deemed safe for patient care.

If it is not deemed safe for patient care, the CHEO will make every reasonable effort to reassign the volunteer, reorganize the schedule or find another solution. If these attempts at accommodation fail, the volunteer is expected to conform to CHEO’s policy.

Any changes to scheduling as a result of Religious Observances will be accommodated. We do respectfully ask that Volunteers inform their staff supervisors of any changes to their schedule in advance, in order for their supervisor to be able to accommodate the vacancy.

Animal Assisted Therapy at CHEO:

In CHEO's Animal Assisted Therapy program, trained therapy dogs help cheer up our patients and help them feel less isolated.Patients can hold or pet the dogs. And since dogs make great listeners, the children and youths can talkto the animals as much as they want, which gives them a chance to express their emotions. It's just onemore way CHEO makes one’s stay a bit more like home.

Accessible Customer Service: What You Need to Know

Accessible Customer Service: What You Need to Know

At CHEO, we provide “customer service” through the care and support we provide. By reducing barriers and enhancing service for people with disabilities, we improve communication with patients and their families. As a result, providing accessible customer serviceis a means of providing outstanding care.

CHEO's Annual Accessibility Plan

This plan has been developed for use between 2019-2024 - and developed by the Accessibility Working group, made up of patient and family representatives and staff from across CHEO.

We want every patient, family member and visitor to feel welcome at CHEO. We want to make sure that everyone can get the most out of our hospital and services. We are committed to meeting accessibility needs for people with disabilities in a timely manner.

Our goal is to provide everyone who walks through our door with barrier-free access to our facilities, policies, programs, practices and services.

The plan is an important public document. It can be viewed here on the CHEO website: Accessibility.

Interacting and Communicating with People Who Have Disabilities

It is not uncommon for some of us to be uncomfortable around people with disabilities. We may be unsure of what to do, how to act, what is correct, and what will offend.

The most effective strategy is to be sensitive, flexible and honest. A lack of sensitivity can make the situation awkward, and may cause unintentional discrimination. Talking about disability is often difficult, partly because the appropriate terminology is unclear and often laden with negative connotations.

The most appropriate terminology, “person with a disability,” puts the emphasis on the person, not the limitation or disability. Treat people as people. Address a person with a disability by his or her first name, only when extending the same familiarity to others.

Different cultures also view disability differently and may not share the common view of disability as a physical or physiological issue. Be aware that people from other cultures may be embarrassed if you draw attention to the person with a disability.

Above all, be respectful, polite, and considerate, offer assistance, communicate effectively and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Treat all people in the same way you would wish to be treated yourself.

Terminology and Communication Tips

SayVolunteer Orientation Manual (5)

Avoid SayingVolunteer Orientation Manual (6)

  • Person with a disability

  • Person with cerebral palsy or vision impairment, etc.

  • Person with a physical disability

  • Person who uses a wheelchair

  • Person with a hearing impairment, hearing loss, person who is Deaf

  • Accessible parking, accessible toilets, etc.

  • Victim, suffers from, deformed

  • Afflicted by / with or blind / can’t see

  • Crippled, the crippled, crippling, invalid

  • Wheelchair bound, confined to a wheelchair

  • Deaf and dumb, deaf mute

  • Disabled toilets, handicapped parking, etc.

DoVolunteer Orientation Manual (7)

  • Look at the person when addressing them. Speak directly to the person with a disability, even if a person without a disability accompanies them.

  • Ask the person about the best way to communicate if you are unsure.

  • Ask, “May I help you?” Offer assistance if it appears necessary, but don’t assume a person with a disability needs or will accept it. Wait for acceptance and instruction before proceeding. Respect peoples wishes.

  • Be patient. People with some kinds of disabilities may take longer to understand and respond.

  • Listen carefully. If you cannot understand what is being said, politely ask them to repeat what was said.

  • Extend your hand to shake when meeting someone.

  • Avoid stereotypes and make no assumptions about what type of disability or disabilities the person has. Some disabilities are not visible.

  • Make an effort to learn about appropriate language and terminology to use when referring to people with disabilities.

  • Refrain from touching assistive devices, including wheelchairs, without permission.

  • Avoid touching or speaking to service animals – they are working and have to pay attention at all times.

What’s Available at CHEO?

Some ways CHEO makes services accessible to people with disabilities include:

  • Arranging and paying for sign language interpretation

  • Welcoming service animals in all public areas

  • Ensuring support people are welcome

  • Providing wheelchair accessible bathrooms and automatic door openers

  • Providing elevator, ramps and lifts to ensure access to all levels within CHEO

  • Including floor indicators in Braille on all elevators

  • Minimizing the use of overhead paging to reduce background noise and promote clear communication for people who are hard of hearing or have developmental disabilities

  • Offering two TTY machines, allowing those unable to speak to type a text message which is then translated into a verbal message. TTY machines are located in the Emergency Department and at the switchboard. A public Bell TTY is located in the main lobby.

  • Providing a Para Transpo phone in the main lobby and at the entrance of the Max Keeping wing

  • Providing wheelchair accessible family lounges, including barrier-free showers

Awareness Quiz

Once you have reviewed this section, please complete your Awareness Quiz by clicking the button below.

Awareness Quiz
Volunteering Safely

CHEO is committed to taking reasonable measures to protect volunteers and expects volunteers to adhere to all established safety related policies and procedures.
Volunteers recognize and accept that their activity may involve personal risk and could result in bodily injury or illness. It's important you are aware of the following in order to volunteer safely:

  • Registered volunteers carrying out their assigned activities are covered by CHEO’s Liability insurance. To ensure coverage, volunteers must perform their activities in accordance to policies and procedures, their role description and information obtained through orientation and training.
  • Volunteers are not covered by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and as a result, no claims for compensation pursuant to the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act may be made.
  • Volunteers are not permitted to carry out clinical activities with patients, such as bathing, lifting, and or transferring. Wheelchair use will be directed and guided by program staff.
  • Always alert a member of the healthcare team when you are concerned about a patient’s condition (changes /deterioration or is in visible danger). The healthcare team will assess the situation and decide on how to proceed.
  • We request that friends and family do not visit or interrupt you and others while volunteering.

If you are hurt or need help:

Volunteers must immediately report any health or safety hazard and injury sustained during the course of their volunteer activity, to their program staff and Volunteer Resources. Volunteers and their supervisors are to report themselves to the Occupational Health office, Monday to Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for an assessment. After hours, present yourself to CHEO’s Emergency Department. All incidents must be reported and documented in the volunteer’s file with Volunteer Resources.

Common Allergens

In order to reduce the risk of exposure to a food allergen for patients, volunteers are asked to, prior to arrival at CHEO, refrain from bringing foods that are most likely to cause severe anaphylactic reactions, such as peanuts / tree nuts. Peanut residues are oily and can easily be spread from hand-to-hand and also on surfaces. In the event of contact with “peanut products”, hand washing with liquid soap is required. Use of hand sanitizer is insufficient to get rid of peanut/nut protein residue.

Allergies to latex rubber, such as latex gloves and other medical supplies, can be prevented by protecting patients/families and staff from latex exposure. Volunteers are asked to be mindful when wearing First aid tape or bandages. CHEO uses Mylar (foil type) balloons from our gift shop.

Due to our safety and infection control guidelines, patient allergies, and limited space, we cannot accept any donations of food products, used toys, stuffed animals, books, electronic games/videos and homemade toys/crafts. While many stuffed animals and toys appear new and clean, we still cannot accept them because they may have been exposed to germs, dust, pets and bacteria. All of these create a risk to our patients who may have allergies and fragile immune systems. Items we distribute to patients and families are provided through the Foundation.

CHEO is also a scent-free environment. Avoid heavily scented products and perfumes.

Infection prevention and control

When performing in a healthcare setting, all patients should be considered to be a potential source of infection. Infections can be spread from patient-to-patient, patient to staff/volunteer, staff/volunteer to patient, or from staff/volunteer to staff/volunteer.

The objective in providing volunteers with the following infection control information is to protect you from getting an illness while performing at CHEO and to protect our patients from getting an infection from you.

COVID-19 Vaccinations and CHEO volunteers:
Vaccination is an additional layer of protection that helps keep CHEO, our patients and our community safe, and is part of our commitment to each other, to the kids and caregivers we serve and to the broader community.Vaccination against COVID is now mandatory at CHEO. Please ensure that you have provided Volunteer Resources with proof ofa minimum of 2 doses (doses 1 and 2) vaccinereceipts from the Ministry,to this email:vresources@cheo.on.caprior to coming to CHEO. We strongly encourage volunteers to continue to be vaccinated against COVID by receiving booster doses at the appropriate intervals.

COVID-19 Universal Masking and Eye Protection at Point of Care:
All volunteers must put on a CHEO supplied mask when they arrive for their shift.

Masks without eye protection are always available at the entrance,and at Volunteer Resources.

Should your volunteer role have you within 2 meters of a patient or caregiver, you must be wearing eye protection during those interactions.

Masks with attached visors are usually available at the entrance - you can choose to select one of these for your shift when you arrive.

We also have a supply of masks with visors at the VR office during our office hours.

Finally, you can access these masks with visors at the unit where you are assigned. If they are not immediately accessible (usually at the desk), please as ask your supervisor or another staff person for a visor.

Should you notice that someone else is not wearing their mask appropriately, or is not wearing eye protection at point of care, gently remind them if comfortable. If not, approach your supervisor or the Care Facilitator on your unit to ensure that someone approaches that individual to make sure we are all masked and using eye protection appropriately.

The Flu Vaccine
A Flu Vaccine is highly recommended during peak season. In the event of an outbreak of influenza among the unit patient population, unprotected volunteers will not be permitted to perform in affected units. The flu vaccine is available annually at CHEO for all staff and volunteers, though volunteers who are 65 years of age and older, who wish to receive the high dose vaccine, should contact their physician, as it is not available at CHEO.
Understanding Isolation
Isolation Precautions sign outside a patient’s room indicates the presence of an infection. Access to patient rooms with precaution signs are to be directed only by your supervisor, with appropriate training. Volunteers deemed ready to be trained to wear protective equipment at the discretion of their supervisor, must demonstrate good judgement and are expected to take all reasonable precautions when performing their activities. We all have a great responsibility in protecting our patients from severe complications that can result from getting an infection while in at CHEO.
How are infections spread?
Spreading of infections can result from contact with patients and/or body fluids or from contact with the patient’s environment (i.e. contaminated bedside tables, side rails, etc.). Many patients admitted to the hospital have infections that are easily spread.
What must I personally do to prevent infections?
To protect our vulnerable patients from getting infections while admitted to the hospital, please inform your program staff of the first signs of illness (e.g.: rash, “pink eye”, fever, sore throat, nausea, flu, cold). Many infections can be spread to others even before you are feeling really sick.
It is essential that you stay home when feeling unwell. Volunteers experiencing diarrhoea and / or vomiting can return to CHEO once you have been symptom free for 48 hours. If cold / flu symptoms have been present for greater than 48 hours without fever, diarrhoea or vomiting or new symptoms and there is improvement, volunteers may return to their assignment. The single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection is good hand hygiene. You can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (e.g. Purell), or hand washing with soap and water when hands are soiled, before and after any patient contact, before eating, and after using the washroom or performing other bodily functions (e.g. blowing your nose). Further information about hand hygiene is below. If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve – not your hands. Discard soiled tissue. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth - all are access points for infection! Be good to your hands and use a moisturizing lotion. Consuming food or drink at your placement site is not permitted. The cafeteria, coffee shop and Volunteer Lounge are all appropriate places to eat your meals
Hand Hygiene: The Facts and the Friction!

Why is Hand Hygiene so Important?

Cleaning your hands at the right time and in the right way are the most important means of preventing Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI's). HAI's make our patients sick, increase costs to parents who have to take time off work, and to CHEO, and increase the length of stay in hospital. Practicing proper hand hygiene is one way of maintaining the patient safety culture at CHEO.
Two ways to clean your hands:
  1. Alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is the preferred method when hands are not visibly soiled. The transmission of bacteria can be decreased as much as 50% by using ABHR for 15 seconds.
  2. When hands are visibly soiled, hands should be washed with soap and warm water for least 15 seconds.

The Four Moments of Hand Hygiene

The four most important moments for performing hand hygiene (HH) are the following:
  • Immediately before patient contact or contact with the patient's environment
  • While not relevant to volunteers: before assisting with/performing an invasive procedure
  • After exposure to body fluids or blood
  • After patient contact or contact with the patient's environment
Volunteer Orientation Manual (8)In addition, hands should always be cleaned before preparing, handling, serving or eating food, and washed (soap and water) after using the washroom.

Additional Hand Hygiene Resources:

Volunteer Orientation Manual (9)Volunteer Orientation Manual (10)Security and Emergency PreparednessCHEO's security officers assist in the prevention of crime and ensure personal safety to staff, volunteers, students, patients, families and visitors. Volunteers are extra eyes and ears: please report thefts, threats, observations of suspicious persons, activities, violence/aggression, or upon endangerment of personal safety, including individuals without identification thought the Emergency Line at 4444.The Security Dept. is responsible for the access control policy of CHEO. Card access to patient and restricted areas require the authorization of the department Manager or Director. Access for volunteers will be on a case by case basis. Remember to never allow someone else to piggy back on your entry into a secure area and close doors behind you.

How will I know of an Emergency?

CHEOis committed to ensuringthat children, youth, families, visitors, staff, and volunteers are cared forduringan incident while at CHEO. An outbreak or hospital emergency can occur without warning atany given time, thereforeCHEO must be prepared at all times to respond to these incidents.In the event of an incident, a Code, Hazard or Protective Measure is announced over the Public Announcement System (PA) by the switchboard/reception operators. Volunteers are to be aware of all codes, your location, emergency equipment in area of work, nearest exits/stairwells the location of the incident, andfollow instructions provided by appropriate authorities such as: Security, Fire Safety Officers, Police and follow up over the PA system support instructions and response until and “ALL CLEAR” messaging is received.

What if I have a safety concern, see something dangerous, or feel unsafe?

Please tell the nearest CHEO staff member right away, or dial 4444 from any CHEO phone.Emergency CodesDuring your shifts at CHEO, you may hear some emergency codes announced overhead. It's important that volunteers are aware of what to do when they hear these codes.
We use an emergency colour coding system. If there is an emergency situation, we’ll announce a code over the intercom system to clearly give staff the information they need. We have many systems in place to protect everyone who enters CHEO. If you hear a code over the intercom - stop, listen and follow any prompts. It’s best to stay where you are unless it is unsafe or until appropriate authorities let you know what to do next. If you are unsure as to what to do, check in with your supervisor.Volunteer Orientation Manual (11)

How are volunteers to respond to these codes?

Code Red:

Code Red will be reviewed in detail in the next section on Fire Safety at CHEO.

Code Blue:

If you are in the area of a Code Blue, ensure that you are out of the way of the medical professionals responding to the Code. Encourage kids to stay in the playroom or continue with an activity to distract them.Should you ever be concerned that a patient is experiencing a life-threatening medical event, call for help from nearby medical staff. If there are no staff nearby, you should call for help by phone or by pressing the Code Blue button in your area.

Code White:

If you are in the area of a Code White, ensure that you are out of the way of the medical professionals responding to the Code. Encourage kids to stay in the playroom or continue with an activity to distract them. Should you feel it necessary, close doors between you and the activity. Stay safe and follow instruction of staff.

Code Orange:

A Mass Casualty/Disaster Event is a situation which results in a great number of injuriesof such severity that it requires mobilization of CHEO’s operation toward the care of the casualties. All volunteers are to report to the volunteer lounge. Volunteers will be asked to be available to act in roles, such as messengers and traffic control agents, if needed.

Code Green:

Should evacuation be necessary at CHEO, it is very important that volunteers follow the direction of Security officers and the staff in their assigned area. Please check in with your staff supervisor and/or a Coordinator of Volunteer Resources once outside the building (in person or via phone).

Code Yellow:

If you hear a Code Yellow, listen closely to the description of the missing person. Unless instructed otherwise, do not leave your assignment, but keep an eye out for the described person in your area and as you travel around the building. Call security at x4444 if you see the missing individual, and approach them as a friendly helper only if you feel safe and it is unlikely that they seem ready to run away. Once the person is found, you will hear an all clear. Until then, keep your eyes open.

Code Black:

It is very important in the event of a Code Black that volunteers follow the direction of Security officers and the staff in their assigned area.

Code Brown/Grey:

Should a Code Brown or Grey be called, pay close attention to the instructions of security and staff. A Code Brown or Grey may impact programming you are supporting or not at all. Follow instructions and listen for the all clear.

Code Silver

ACTIVE SHOOTER/WEAPON situations occur when there is an active presence of an armed individual whose aim is to inflict harm while at CHEO or in the surrounding area. While we often think of and talk about firearms, a Code Silver may be applied to an individual armed with any other type of weapon (e.g. firearm, knife, explosives, etc…) as well.

How should volunteers respond to a Code Silver?The response to any activation of CODE SILVER is to “RUN! – HIDE! – SURVIVE!”
  • RUN – Evacuate as far away from danger as possible. Evacuate immediately from the area, help to direct any other persons in your area away from the danger if possible. Dial 4444 to activate a “Code Silver” once you are in a safe location
  • HIDE – If Evacuation is not a safe option, you should hide in a safe place, lock andbarricade doors, place devices on silent, stay quiet and low to the floor. DO NOT come out of your hiding place until you have been cleared by police to do so. Do not unlock or open your door for anyone at all.
  • SURVIVE – Only as a last resort if your life is directly threatened you should use force todefend yourself from harm and attempt to subdue your attacker. Use improvisedweapons and work with others

What is the difference between Code Silver, a Lockdown, and a Secure Facility?A “Lockdown”is a response to an immediate threat to life inside a facility which may require an armed police response. “Lockdown” is a term which is synonymous with “Active Shooter” or Code Silver.
A call for a “Secure Facility” is a response to an immediate or imminent threat or hazard external to a facility (e.g. security incident nearby, potential for an unsafe situation arriving at CHEO. Precautions are taken to limit or restrict access to a facility or areas of a facility and monitor entry and exit points. Regular business may continue with some precautions.
What about Patients/Families?You may have to leave a patient alone during an active shooter situation. You are responsible for your safety first. If you feel that you cannot leave a patient or a patient area, then you should do your best to HIDE in the patient room, lock or barricade the door, shade windows and stay as silent as possible.
Fire Safety at CHEO

The CHEO Fire Alarm System

The CHEO Fire Alarm System is a two-stage multi zone system. It operates as follows;
  1. Alert Alarm: 1st Stage, 20 strokes per minute. When a fire alarm pull station is activated the bells will ring at 20 strokes per minute for one minute, and then stop. This does not mean “All Clear”.
  2. General Alarm: 2nd Stage, 120 strokes per minute. This is only used if an evacuation is imminent. The Fire Dept. or the Fire Administrator can only order it. Upon hearing the General Alarm staff must check their area, listen for direction over the paging system and prepare to evacuate.
The Fire Alarm paging system is the only authorized method of announcing “All Clear” and terminating the Fire Emergency Procedures.

What is a CODE RED?

When the General Alarm is sounded a CODE RED is announced over the Paging System. The following will occur:
  • Communications will announce the zone under alarm.
  • CHEO’s Fire Response Team goes to the scene of the fire.
  • All personnel return to their area of work. The designated person wears the RED VEST.
  • Close all doors. Clear all hallways.
  • All PSU’s are to designate one person to stand where they can hear the Paging System announcements and relay all information to the supervisor.
  • Do not use elevators.

Upon discovery of fire, think SCATEE:

  • SAVE lives by removing persons from immediate danger
  • CONTAIN - Close door to affected area
  • ALARM - Activate nearest alarm box
  • TELEPHONE - dial 4444; give the exact location and nature of the emergency
  • EVACUATE adjacent rooms and wait for evacuation instruction if necessary
  • EXTINGUISH only if safe to do so
Introduction to WHMIS: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information SystemWHMIS is a short form for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. It is a comprehensive plan for providing information on the safe use of hazardous materials used in Canadian workplaces. Information is provided by means of product labels, material safety data sheets (MSDS) and worker education programs. WHMIS became law effective October 31, 1988.Volunteers will not be expected to handle or interact with chemical products and medical gases. As a volunteer, you have the right to know about the hazards of chemicals that may be used in the areas where you volunteer. CHEO must provide you with information about hazardous products.
Why was WHMIS created?
To reduce or eliminate the incidence of injuries and illnesses resulting from exposure to hazardous materials in the workplace.
What are the main parts of WHMIS?
The main components of WHMIS are:
  • Hazard identification and product classification
  • Labeling (supplier an workplace labels)
  • Material Safety Data Sheets MSDSs
  • Worker training and education.
What are controlled products?
Controlled products is the name given to products, materials, and substances that are regulated by WHMIS legislation.All controlled products fall into one or more of six WHMIS classes. The Controlled Products Regulations specifies the criteria used to place materials within each classification. There are six (6) classes although several classes have divisions or subdivisions.Each class has a specific symbol to help people identify the hazard quickly. The classes are:Class A - Compressed Gas
Class B - Flammable and Combustible Material
Class C - Oxidizing Material
Class D - Poisonous and Infectious Material
Class E - Corrosive material
Class F - Dangerously reactive material
WHMIS symbols
Volunteer Orientation Manual (12)A: Compressed Gas
Volunteer Orientation Manual (13)B - Flammable / Combustible
Volunteer Orientation Manual (14)C: Oxidizing
Volunteer Orientation Manual (15)D1: Immediate and Serious Toxic Effects
Volunteer Orientation Manual (16)D2: Other Toxic Effects
Volunteer Orientation Manual (17)D3: Bio hazardous
Volunteer Orientation Manual (18)E: Corrosive
Volunteer Orientation Manual (19)F: Dangerously Reactive
WHMIS Labels
Almost every controlled product at CHEO must have a WHMIS label. These labels should be affixed to the controlled product so that you can read about the product inside the container. What Information should be on a Supplier Label?
  • Product identifier
  • Name of supplier
  • MSDS statement
  • Hazard symbol
  • Risk phrase(s)
  • Precautionary measures
  • First Aid measures
Material Safety Data Sheets [MSDS]
MSDS are more detailed than labels. They describe the product’s properties, its hazards, and how to keep from being overexposed to it. Our suppliers are legislated to send us new MSDS sheets with every new product they deliver to CHEO. MSDS sheets will be updated every 3 years.At CHEO MSDS Sheets are kept in all of the following locations:
  • MSDS binders are available in each department for the chemicals specific to each area. Check with your supervisor as to where they are located
  • Occupational Health & Safety office
  • Online, under Tools & Reference, on CHEOnet.
WHMIS QuizTime to test your knowledge about WHMIS. Click the button below to access your WHMIS Quiz.
WHMIS QuizRESPECT in the WORKPLACEVolunteers and staff have the right to carry out their activities in a safe and healthy environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. It is understood that employees and volunteers have the responsibility to act professionally, courteously and respectfully in all interactions. What one person considers as proper behaviour, another may perceive to be harassment. The test is in how we treat one another in our daily interactions.
Should volunteers feel that they are being harassed or are witness to harassment, they have the right and responsibility to communicate this directly to the violator, to their program staff, and/or and the Coordinators of Volunteer Resources.There is no room for harassment of any kind in a workplace where people value and respect each other. Harassment is the opposite of respectful workplace behaviour. You have the right to work in an environment that is free of harassment.
What is Harassment?
The Ontario Human Rights Code specifically states that every employee has a right from harassment based on race, ancestry, place of origin, colour creed, age, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, gender or handicap. The Ontario Human Rights Code defines harassment as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome. The Code generally holds that a course of events must take place for violation of the Code to have occurred. However, a single event, which is significant or substantial enough to create a “poisoned environment,” can be interpreted as a breach of the Code. In general terms, harassment is any unwanted physical or verbal conduct or written messages and e-mails that offends or humiliates. Such conduct can interfere with a persons’ ability to do a job or obtain a service.
CHEO Policies that address Harassment

Code of Conduct, Human Resources

To set out expectations for all employees, members of the medical staff, volunteers, board members, students, and contractors of CHEO, and provide a guide for appropriate and consistent ethical behaviour as well as the prompt resolution of any potential violations.

Workplace Harassment, Human Resources

The purpose of this policy is to foster a respectful workplace through the prevention and prompt resolution of complaints of harassment in the workplace.

Conflict/Complaint Resolution, Human Resources

To provide employees, volunteers, students and physicians with a step by step approach to resolve work related conflicts and/or complaints in a timely, respectful, supportive and consistent manner.

Violence in the Workplace, Human Resources

To demonstrate CHEO’s commitment to the prevention of workplace violence and meet legislative requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Criminal Code of Canada and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. As per provincial legislation, the definition of workplace violence (WPV) also includes those situations where behaviours/actions related to a patient’s/clients medical condition result in the threat, attempt, or actual application of physical force against a worker. Violence in the Workplace also includes domestic violence that may occur in the workplace, criminal intent (visitor or suspect with no affiliation to workplace), and ideological violence.
Workplace harassment and discrimination prevention
Workplace Harassment means:
  • engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome
  • jokes about one or more Prohibited Ground, for example racist or homophobic jokes
  • the display or circulation of offensive materials
  • degrading words used to describe a person based on one or more Prohibited Ground
  • derogatory or degrading remarks directed toward all members of a group who share characteristics
  • based on one or more Prohibited Ground
  • suggestive or obscene comments or gestures
  • any objectionable act, comment, display, email or other electronic communication that demeans, belittles, causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threatening behavior that is based on one or more Prohibited Ground
Workplace Sexual Harassment means:
  • engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome
  • making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.
Sexual harassment may include but is not limited to:
  • sexually suggestive remarks or gestures, or inappropriate physical contact or sexual assault
  • sexist jokes and the display or circulation of offensive material including sexually offensive slides and cartoons
  • sexually degrading words used to describe a person
  • derogatory or degrading remarks directed toward the members of one sex
  • an implied or expressed condition of employment or a promise of reward for complying with a sexually oriented request
  • an implied or expressed threat of reprisal in the form of either actual reprisal or the denial of opportunity for refusal to comply with a sexually oriented request
Personal Harassment includes:
  • engaging in any course of comment or conduct that is hostile, demeaning, belittling or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment which ought reasonably to have been known by the harasser to be hostile, demeaning, belittling or the cause of personal humiliation or embarrassment to another.
  • is targeted at a person or a group of persons on the basis of personal values of the harasser and may or may not be based on one or more Prohibited Ground.
Personal harassment may include but is not limited to:
  • serious or repeated rude, degrading, or offensive remarks such as teasing about a person’s physical appearance
  • threats, intimidation, ridiculing and insulting comments, acts, or gestures
  • screaming, shouting and name calling in the workplace
  • disrespectful behaviours such as engaging in repeated and persistent gossiping, rudeness and repeatedly interrupting another individual’s speech
  • inappropriate inquiries or comments about a person’s personal life when the individual has indicated that he/she does not wish to discuss
  • repeated and unwarranted, non-constructive criticism
Other important terms and definitions
IntentIntent is not a prerequisite to workplace harassment, personal harassment, workplace sexual harassment, discrimination or bullying. It is sufficient that the victim perceived the conduct as harassment, discrimination and/or bullying and that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would have perceived the conduct as such.
BullyingBullying is an intense form of personal harassment characterized by a deliberate action or course of comment that is offensive, malicious and cruel with an aim to humiliate, intimidate, undermine or destroy the character or confidence of an individual or group of individuals. It differs from personal harassment in that bullying is always intentional. Like personal harassment it may or may not be based on one or more Prohibited Ground. Bullying behaviours can lead to workplace violence.
DiscriminationAny action or behaviour which results in unfavourable or adverse treatment based on one or more Prohibited Ground which is not otherwise permitted by law.
Poisoned Work EnvironmentWorkplace harassment may also include behaviour, conduct, comments or activities that are not directed specifically at an individual, but which nonetheless create a degrading, offensive, “poisoned” work environment. Behaviours which contribute to a poisoned work environment may include, but are not limited to, repeated patronizing behaviour, language or terminology that reinforces stereotypes and language or terminology that undermines self-respect or adversely affects work performance or conditions.
What is not included in Harassment
Harassment does not include:
  • reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of its workplace such as appropriate investigations, directions or delegation
  • attendance and/or performance management
  • management appointment to positions based on fair and equitable practices
  • appropriate disciplinary action
  • a truly voluntary social relationship where the parties are mutually consenting
  • stressful events encountered in the performance of legitimate job duties
The impact of workplace harassment
We know harassment impacts the individual(s) targeted and the people around them, but the cost to CHEO for workplace harassment issues can also be substantial and may include:
  • increased absenteeism
  • higher than normal turnover
  • associated costs resulting from legal action
  • creation of a poor corporate image
  • decreased morale and productivity
Respect in the Workplace QuizTime to test your knowledge about respect in the workplace. Click the button below to access your last quiz.
Respect in the Workplace Quiz

Volunteer Agreements and Personal Health Information Package.

I have read and understand all the policies and procedures - now what?

First, you need to read through and sign an Agreement to Volunteer at CHEO. You can find this link here:

Agreement to Volunteer at CHEO

Next, you must read through and sign a Confidentiality Agreement. You can find this here:

CHEO Confidentiality Agreement

Do you need parking while at CHEO? Please complete the Parking Agreement here:

Parking Agreement

Finally, you must collect your personal health documentation which includes:

  • The name and phone number of a person to contact in case of an emergency.
  • A photo for your photo ID - must abide by the following requirements
    • Image of your current appearance, taken within the lastsixmonths
    • Headshot only:face and shoulders to the camera: straight-on,centeredand squared.No group photos

    • Eyes open and clearly visible

    • No sunglasses,hats and head coverings not worn daily for religious beliefs or medical reasons

    • Quality of the photo is clear, sharp and in focus

    • Neutral background (light colored wall, no pictures, trees)

    • Smiling encouraged

  • Vaccination form signed off by a physician
    • Results of a 2 step TB test: 2 injections, 2 readings = 4 visits to the doctor.
    • Proof of vaccination for Mumps, Measles, Rubella, and Varicella (chicken pox).
    • Proof of vaccination status for Hepatitis B and Pertussis.
      • In the absence of documentation for Varicella, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, and / or Hepatitis B, a blood test will be required to confirm immunity status.
  • Both copies of your COVID-19 vaccination records.

It's important that you submit your health and personal information package in full and all at one time.

Due to the nature of this information, this must be emailed to vresources@cheo.on.caonce complete.

Download your Health and Personal Information package

Please note:

You must submit all paperwork at one time.

If you have been provided a deadline for completing your Orientation and paperwork package, and still have items outstanding, please contactvresources@cheo.on.cato let us know.

Please emailvresources@cheo.on.cato submit your information package.

What about my Police Record Check?

What about a Police Record Check?

All roles at CHEO require a Police Record Check, however they do not all require the same level of Police Record Check. We have provided you with a letter via email to upload to the Ottawa Police Servicewebsite:https://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/contact-us/Police-Record-Checks.asp

Police Records Checks may have fees involved - the volunteer is responsible for the fee upfront. CHEO commits to reimbursing volunteers the 10$ fee that Ottawa Police charges volunteers after 3 months of service to CHEO (Volunteer Probationary Period). The volunteer is responsible for requesting this reimbursement once three months has passed.

Should you have questions or concerns regarding the Police Records Check process please contactvresources@cheo.on.ca.

Role Placement

Wait - where am I volunteering?!

Volunteer Resources will place new volunteers into volunteer roles based on the following, in order:

  • the needs of the organization
  • the schedule of the volunteer and perceived "fit" for the role

We understand that some people hope to work in a specific program or location, though this is not always possible.

Should we not be able to immediately assign you to a volunteer role, we may invite you to be added to a casual pool of volunteers, and will prioritize you as soon as we have upcoming vacancies that suit your availability.

Volunteers are permitted to change roles, though due to the nature of the environment, the training and observation required of a new volunteer, and the challenges of scheduling over 800 volunteers, we ask that volunteers support their assigned unit for a minimum of 8-12 months prior to changing roles.

Orientation Process

CHEO Volunteer Orientation

Volunteer Resources provides an in-person orientation to life at CHEO regularly. This is an overview of the manual information presented here, as well as an opportunity to ask questions and get to know other new CHEO volunteers from across the organization.

Every volunteer is required to attend at the first available opportunity, but may begin their role before attending their orientation session.

Dates will be emailed to new volunteers once available.

Due to COVID-19, in person orientation has been suspended. A member of our team will be sure to greet you and get you oriented on your first day.

Program Specific Orientation

Program staff is responsible for the orientation, training, integration and performance of their assignedvolunteers. They liaise with Volunteer Resources, contribute feedback towards a volunteer’s integrationand assist volunteers where possible. Furthermore, they monitor and reinforce policy and procedures.

Program staff will provide specific orientation and training to volunteers assigned to perform in theirareas, based on the responsibilities outlined in the role description. They will assist with guidance, andshall be available for consultation, assistance, and direction. Volunteers agree to follow the directionand guidance of CHEO staff to which the volunteer has been assigned to carry out their activities.

On your first day as a CHEO volunteer

Present yourself to the Volunteer Resources office to register using the touch screen monitor(enter the 7 digits home phone number - no area code). You will be shown how to register for your role, and beaccompanied to your location and introduced to your program staff.

You'll get your vest, ID badge, and a big welcome from the Volunteer Resources team.

We are glad to have you on board!

Your biggest fans,

Andrea, Nanette, and Courtney.

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