Senior Companion Training Requirements

Component 1: Training Requirements

The Corporation for National and Community Service requires that the sponsor provide not less than 40 hours of orientation and training to Senior Companions– of which 20 hours must be pre-service orientation – and an average of four hours monthly in-service training.

Pre-service orientation (new volunteers)
According to the Senior Companion Program Handbook, 2008:

  • At least 20 hours of pre-service orientation.
  • Plan orientation with help from a sponsor, volunteer station staff, and staff of other health and social service agencies.
  • Daily training over a one to two week period recommended.

In-service (new and ongoing volunteers)

  • An average of 4 hours a month of in-service training.

Here is an example of how a Senior Companion Program might train new and ongoing volunteers:

  • New Senior Companion volunteers receive a one-on-one orientation, followed by 5 days of pre-service training over a one-week period.
  • As an extension of pre-service training, new volunteers are then matched with tenured volunteers to “shadow” for a week, to see and experience what a Senior Companion volunteer does.
  • Once the Senior Companion volunteer completes 40+ hours of pre-service orientation training, the volunteer continues to participate in 4-hour in-service trainings once a month.
  • Volunteers may go to a central location for a large group training, or project staff may take the training “on the road” to different locations where the volunteers are serving.


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