Other Training Content and Resources

Component 4: Training Content and Resources


There are two key opportunities for projects and stations to offer training: pre-service orientation and “on-the-job” or in-service training. The amount of training volunteers need depends on the assignment. Many topic areas might be appropriate to both pre-service and in-service training. Below are topic suggestions from the Corporation for National and Community Service and Senior Corps project directors.

Pre-Service Orientation Topics (DOC) (PDF)

Additional Training Topics (DOC) (PDF) (for in-service training and/or pre-service orientation)

1. Check the topics that you would like volunteers providing independent living services to be trained on this year. (Not every topic listed will be appropriate, and some may not fit into your annual schedule, as volunteer assignments, level of experience, and timing of placements over the year varies.)

2. Identify the people that could conduct the training or speak on the topic (e.g. project director or staff, volunteer coordinator, experienced volunteer, sponsoring agency representative, volunteer station representative, expert in topic, etc.).

Who Should Train?

Internal training resources –project staff, sponsor organization staff, volunteer station staff, and experienced volunteers – are often the best sources for training because of their understanding of the volunteers, clients and services. However, carefully selected speakers from the community can add specific knowledge and expertise to your training (examples of Community Trainer Resources (DOC) (PDF).

Whether you draw on external or internal trainer resources, keep the training interactive to hold your audience’s attention (see Chapter Two of the Facilitator’s Guide for more information on adult learning).


Part of your training plan may involve training others to train the volunteers (“train the trainer”). When volunteer stations or other community partners provide volunteer training, preparing those individuals or agencies helps ensure consistent, quality messages. See Train the Trainer Topic Suggestions (DOC) (PDF) to view some of the topics that Senior Corps project directors that conduct train-the-trainer sessions recommend.

Training Resource

Providing Independent Living Support: Training for Senior Corps Volunteers, developed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, consists of eight modules focusing on specific skill building areas to assist volunteers enhance their independent living services. The modules in this curriculum have been used for pre-service and in-service training, and can be facilitated by project directors or those at the volunteer station level without any additional experts. The design engages the participants and invites them to share their own knowledge and experience to contribute to the larger group’s knowledge.


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