University Policies

Property & Liability Risk Management is the process of minimizing the adverse effects of accidental losses to the University and ensuring policies are maintained and understood.


Volunteers are permitted provided they have authorization by the University, which means there must be written documentation (Volunteer Terms of Service) to support this authorization, signed by the Sponsoring Manager and Volunteer, as well as the Parent/Guardian, if the volunteer is a minor. It is important to make certain that you have and maintain this documentation that indicates someone is a volunteer on behalf of your department. Likewise, you have a duty to educate volunteers about any foreseen hazards they may encounter during their service on behalf of your department.

Documentation giving permission is important for future reference in the event that something occurs, such as a claim or lawsuit brought against the volunteer and/or the University because of the volunteer's negligence in causing an injury to someone or causing damage to someone's property. For the Commonwealth to provide legal defense and insurance protection for our volunteers, there needs to be a clear documentation trail indicating their status as a volunteer agent of the University.

Helpful Hints for Volunteer Terms of Service Completion

If the student's permanent home address is other than their local address, both their local and permanent home addresses should be listed. The same applies to phone numbers.

Length of Service – the amount of time and dates the volunteer is authorized to act on behalf of the University in a volunteer capacity. If this time frame changes for any reason, this form should be updated accordingly.

A complete and accurate description of the volunteer's activities is important. There should be no confusion about what the volunteer will be authorized to do on behalf of the University. It is important to understand that the volunteer, while engaged in an authorized capacity for the University, is acting as an agent of this institution. This makes us responsible for their activities while they are serving as a volunteer. Furthermore, the volunteer's safety is important to us. Therefore, it is wise to document any restrictions or limitations that pertain to the volunteer's activities, alleviating any confusion later as to what the volunteer was authorized to do. This can be particularly important when the volunteer is performing services in a visible public service function (i.e. interacting with the general public) or in a high-risk area of the University (i.e. research labs).

It is priority to protect volunteers from getting injured or sick while serving in their volunteer capacity on behalf of the University. It is important, therefore, that volunteers are instructed in the appropriate safety guidelines applicable to your department, particularly as it relates to the volunteer's activities. It should be documented as to what safety guidelines are discussed with the volunteer. You should keep in mind that what seems commonplace to you, because you work in a particular setting every day, is probably quite foreign to the volunteer. They may not be familiar with your building or other aspects of the department's operation.

It may be appropriate to indicate we will be doing a criminal background check on the volunteer if the individual will have interaction with students, especially minors, or will have access to sensitive University data or University funds.

It is also important to have emergency contact information for a volunteer in case something happens to that person.

Available Guidance

Fair Labor Standards Act and similar regulations – UVA Human Resources
Prohibited Activities – Office of Property & Liability Risk Management
Background Checks – UVA Human Resources
Foreign Nationals – Office of Immigration Services or International Studies Office or Office of Export Controls


Related Laws and Regulations

29 CFR § 553.101 – Definition of a Volunteer

U.S. Department of Labor – Fact Sheet #14A, Guidance on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs – U.S. Visas 

Relevant University policies

FIN-004: Travel, Meals, and Entertainment Expenses Incurred on Behalf of the University

FIN-043: Managing Export and Sanction Compliance in Support of University Activities

HRM-005: Appointment of Unpaid Faculty HRM-009: Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment

HRM-034: Background Checks, Screenings, and Ongoing Responsibility for Employees to Disclose Criminal Convictions

HRM-050: Protection of Minors and Reporting Abuse

IRM-017: Records Management

PRM-014: Use and Management of University Vehicles

PROV-011: Student Enrollment

PROV-013: Appointment of Visiting Faculty and Scholars

RES-007: Human Research Protection Program

School of Medicine Policy: 2.300 Volunteers in Research Medical Center Policy 0058: Medical Center Volunteers

Minors – Office of Youth Protection

Motor Vehicles – Office of Property & Liability Risk Management

Hazardous Materials and Equipment – Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Research – Office of Sponsored Programs



Accident Review Committee

The University Accident Review Committee evaluates each accident in which a University-owned vehicle is involved and some accidents in which a rented or motorized-utility vehicle is involved. After thoroughly reviewing all of the material concerning each accident, the review committee determines whether the accident was Preventable, Not-Preventable, or an Incident, based upon the definitions of the criteria provided by the Department of State Police. After an accident is evaluated and classified by the committee, it is forwarded to the appropriate Vice President or designee of the employee involved. 

Overview and Purpose

This describes the general responsibilities of the University Accident Review Committee and the responsibilities of the University community in complying with the Provisions of Section 52-4, of the Code of Virginia, of 1950 as Amended, Memo-2001-No. 10 which requires each state agency to form an Accident Review Committee to review accidents that involve agency-owned vehicles. Penalties may be prescribed for the drivers involved, if the accidents were "Preventable". Additionally, all state agencies are required to submit an annual report to the Department of State Police, indicating the number of accidents falling within the categories of "Preventable", "Not-Preventable", or "Incident", defined in accordance with State Police guidelines. This program is established to emphasize the importance of safe driving, to develop a sense of responsibility among all employees in the operation of agency-owned vehicles, to reduce the number of vehicle accidents, to assign accountability, and to create an awareness of the need to drive defensively at all times. 

Accident Committee Structure and Guidelines

The University Accident Review Committee shall be comprised of at least three members of the University community from departments with significant fleets of vehicles and the Committee shall meet monthly, or as needed, to evaluate each accident in which an University-owned vehicle is involved. The committee will meet whenever the review of an accident involving a University-owned vehicle requires the committee's review.  The Office of Property & Liability Risk Management will provide the committee with the available information and documentation on all accidents needing to be reviewed from the period prior to the committee meeting. After thoroughly reviewing all of the material concerning each accident, the review committee shall evaluate each accident as Preventable, Not-Preventable, or Incident based upon the following criteria: It shall be considered a Preventable accident when the operator of the vehicle is found to have been guilty of contributory negligence. The accident shall be considered Not-Preventable when it has been determined that the operator of the state-owned vehicle did not contribute to the accident. Those cases resulting from natural forces, from acts by other than human sources, from a deliberate act (e.g., vandalism), from a non-perceivable object, or while the vehicle is properly parked shall be classified as an incident and not considered an accident.

Where the committee identifies other remedial action that might be taken (training, vehicle modifications, etc.), it may make such recommendations to the appropriate vice president or designee. The Property & Liability Risk Management Office will retain records of the activities of the University Accident Review Committee. The driver may appeal the decision of the committee by providing written statement to the committee with the reasons why he or she thinks the committee's recommendation should be changed. If the driver is not satisfied with the committee's decision in response to the appeal, then he or she may appeal the decision to his/her vice president, who may elect to have the Virginia State Police review the accident and provide their recommendations (per VSP Memo-2001-No.10 Revised-section VI) before making a final decision regarding the appeal.

Vehicle Use

University vehicles are for transportation in the most effective, efficient and safest way possible for University employees in the performance of their duties.

A University vehicle is defined as a licensed motorized device for land transportation owned, leased or rented by the University, State or any State agency.

The University has policies and procedures regarding drivers and University vehicles. It is the responsibility of each department to assure compliance with these. Please refer to this page for specific information.

Gifts of Property

Gifts of property that have been received by a school from its related foundation must be documented, as outlined in the policy noted in the next paragraph.  If there is no documentation of ownership by the University, then if a loss of that gifted property occurs the claim cannot be honored.  It is the responsibility of the department suffering the loss to provide evidence that the property belongs to the University in order to receive insurance compensation for the loss.  Not recording such assets can result in the property not being insured properly and also will result in understating the assets of the University.

The University has a policy and procedures for recording gifts of property received from donors outside of the University such as alumni, friends, and corporations.  For more information on these policies, we refer you to University Policy EXT-006. - (  The procedure is structured such that the donor gets a gift receipt and the University obtains the information necessary to record the property in the accounting records.

We have learned that this property gift procedure is not being consistently followed when gifts of property are received by University schools/departments from University-related foundations.  Property from University-related foundations should be handled in a similar manner to gifts of property received from outside donors. This will improve our ability to record and manage property received from related foundations.

Contract Review

Please visit here for details on the contract review process. 


Risk Management