a young woman with her eyes looking up at a blackboard which has a large white light bulb and two question marks drawn on it.

Organisations put in a lot of work to make sure that volunteers have the right training and correct information to start, and it can also take a little while to get used to the volunteer role. So, if the person you are supporting is only able to commit for a few shifts then it might be best to look for a role where they only have to volunteer occasionally, instead of a regular weekly or fortnightly shift.

Most volunteering roles will require some kind of police check. This is free for volunteers.

Most places have to do this as part of their policies, regulations, insurance and industry guidelines.

They might send a link to complete it online or provide a form to fill in.

young woman with brown curly hair in wheelchair using laptop. wearing jeans and a grey sweatshirt jacket.

If the person you are supporting has a criminal record, and they feel OK to speak to the volunteer manager (or give you consent to do so), you can discuss this with them. If the offence is something that won’t matter to the volunteering role, then the organisation can make the decision about having the volunteer continue with the application process.  You may wish to do this before the police check is filled in, or after the results come in.

Depending on the place and type of role, they might also ask that a Working with Children or other checks are done. These usually need to be done online and are free for volunteers.  The volunteer advertisement should mention this on their ad, flyer or website or they will let you know when you apply.


When completing the checks identification is required. You don’t need all of these. These are just some of the more common kinds of ID that are asked for:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Driver’s licence
  • Tertiary students’ card
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Centrelink or pension card
  • Medicare Card
  • Bank statement or utility bill in your name (just showing the bank and your name – NOT the account balance and other info)

Sometimes the ID will need to be verified by a Justice of the Peace (JP). These are usually found in your local library and it’s free. You need to show them the original document, and a photocopy to certify.


  • You can get the ID verified at a local police station, by a Police Officer.
  • The place you have applied to volunteer might be able to verify your ID.

If there isn’t enough ID to get the check, you won’t be able to volunteer.

Everyone should have a birth certificate.  If the person you are supporting doesn’t have one, you need to apply for one in the state or territory where they were born.  They are usually under $70.00 * (as of February 2023)

Each state has a different process for getting one. To find out how to apply for a birth certificate in South Australia click here