Creating a Great Member Position Description (MPD)

Date: 
08/08/2019
Document Text Version

Creating a meaningful and compliant member position description can be a challenge. It takes time and input from a host site. A great MPD can help you recruit quality members and ensure the program helps meet the community need. Developing member service activities that align with the approved grant and the logic model will help the program meet its performance measures. While time consuming, the member position description should not be an afterthought.

 

According to AmeriCorps, an effective, well-written member position description can: https://www.nationalservice.gov/resources/recruitment/encorps/create-position-description

  • Identify the skills and interests a member should have
  • Clarify expectations of the new member as well as staff
  • Explain the service assignment to the new member
  • Help the member understand their role in the organization

 

SIX STEPS TO A GREAT POSITION DESCRIPTION

STEP 1: Ensure an accurate service assignment title and anticipated service schedule are included.

Do:

Review the grant narrative, theory of change, and logic model to determine appropriate member service activities and interventions.

Position title should be unique to the service; all positions should not have the same name separated by slot type.

Anticipated service schedule should include the minimum number of hours required on a weekly basis, service hours and the days of the week a member is expected to serve.

If the community need supports different schedules, for example, a fall/winter/spring schedule vs a summer schedule, that information should also be included.

If the service activities require specific events where the service schedule will be altered, those events should also be noted.

Do not:

Include vague service schedule information, (i.e., Serve 20-40 hours/week).

Include a lengthy description of the host site and/or goal of member service or AmeriCorps program description.

 

STEP 2: Collaborate with host site and/or site supervisor on the development.

Do:

Provide ample time to engage host sites and collect their input.

Ensure that host site staff understand the scope of allowable activities, based upon the grant narrative, theory of change, and logic model.

Review the prohibited activities and nonduplication/non-displacement language with host site prior to creating service activities.

Get input and feedback from site supervisor within the process, as appropriate. The program or host site can develop the first draft.

Do not:

Create service activities are random or do not connect to the approved grant ant activities

 

STEP 3: List 5-8 essential duties in descending order of importance.

Do:

Brainstorm a list of all the activities required for the member’s term – daily, weekly, monthly or as a project.

Bullets should be outcome-based, and each should have a purpose and be meaningful.

Each bullet should contain 2-3 sentences.

Begin drafting bullets with action verbs (see attached list). Keep the sentence structure simple, omitting unnecessary words, abbreviations, and acronyms.

Review the list and group the duties based upon the specific functions and responsibilities of the position – do any of the items listed go together?

Group program-focused service activities, such as orientation and required training or service projects, and site-focused service activities together.

Keep specific administrative duties to activities that advance the program’s goals stated in the approved grant agreement, not the host site’s goals.

Do not:

Use the narrative form when writing a member position description.

Assign members duties related to cleaning, general administrative support, or other general site management responsibilities.

Be vague or use term that members or potential members would not know or be familiar.

Include minor or occasional tasks, which are not unique to the MPD.

 

STEP 4: Identify skills, methods, and tools members will need or use to complete the work.

Do:

Be sure to include specific training needed to complete higher level service activities, e.g., excel or mentoring training.

Recognize that members will be pleased to have the opportunity to develop new skills and methods while serving.

Be sure to collect data necessary to support duplicative service activities.

Do not:

Include service activities that require skills, knowledge or ability that are beyond the member’s ability or capacity to learn within service term.

 

STEP 5: Ensure the member position description aligns with AmeriCorps requirements.

Do:

Stay away from vague language. You should avoid using terms like “often” or “sometimes.” Use legitimate and tangible units of measurement when describing outcomes or amount of change/service required.

If member service activities are consistent across slot types there will need to be differentiation added to the intervention – the dosage frequency, intensity, and/or duration should be different and specifically outlined.

Remember to use AmeriCorps vernacular – for example, service, support, member, enroll instead of terms like work, assist, hire, employee.

Provide information on term type, start and end dates, benefits available for the specific position, service site and living allowance amount.

If members are recruiting or managing volunteers, be certain to add language that communicates volunteers will not be recruited, trained, or managed by members while doing any prohibited activities, including nonduplication/non-displacement.

Do not:

Use the word “assist” as an action verb to describe the member’s role in a service activity. Instead, describe the service for which the member will be responsible.

Use words like hire, work, wage, or employee.

Include catch-all language, such as “other duties to be assigned.”

 

STEP 6: Provide other pertinent facts, such as required mandatory training, qualifications, etc.

Do:

Requirements that are necessary for the position.  Be specific, for example, must be comfortable with public speaking, instead of saying the position requires good communication skills.

Consider adding knowledge, skills, and abilities, or educational level that are desirable, for example the ability to speak another language.

Include information about specific training members will have an opportunity in which to participate.

Provide information on any professional certifications that will be available as part of the position.

Add language about available benefits for the slot type, citizenship and background check requirements,

Do not:

Place requirements if not completely necessary to be successful during service.

Require driver’s license unless that is a requirement for work-related travel, such as driving organization owned vehicle, unless the expectation is that the member will be driving as part of their service.

 

 

Examples of service activities

DON’T

DO

Partner with schools, related extracurricular activities like FFA, and alternative school to build community skills.

Partner with schools, related extracurricular activities like FFA, and alternative school to build community skills to recruit volunteers for the Master Gardner program.  This program is held three times a year with established curriculum.

Build Developmental Assets within identified high barrier youth (such as self-esteem, responsibility, achievement motivation).

Build Developmental Assets, for example, constructive use of time, school engagement and decision-making skills, within identified high barrier youth. This would be accomplished by using systems and tools provided by the program and with the support of program staff.

Promote effective teamwork among staff and volunteers

Promote effective teamwork among staff and volunteers on the build site by:

  • ensuring there is good communication all day long;
  • that everyone continues to know who to go to with questions and concerns;
  • there is always a staff person in charge and visible to the volunteers;
  • if there is conflict it is handled quickly and professionally;
  • that safety remains everyone’s top concern.

Accurately​ ​and​ ​professionally​ ​discuss​ ​with​ ​community​ ​partners​ ​and​ ​volunteers​ ​the​ ​objectives​ ​of AmeriCorps,​ ​the​ ​​Mentor​ ​marketing​ ​initiative,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​​Mentor​ ​Advantage​ ​Program

Make connections in the community and create community partnerships to increase number of program participants. This can include face to face meetings with individuals and groups interested in partnering with the mentoring program or attending other community activities to make connections to the Mentor program.

Facilitating single and group activities including a variety of literacy activities

Integrate educational and leadership components into projects using icebreakers, team builders, service-learning and reflection activities that promote teamwork and social interaction while increasing participates ability to read.

Assist with youth programs and year round community outreach

Maintain regular communication with local youth, schools, agencies and colleagues throughout the program network to promote current projects, plan new opportunities, and share achievements.

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator will develop, enhance, and implement a short and long term engagement plan to align community efforts behind engagement goals.  This includes working with other AmeriCorps members to understand their area’s engagement needs and opportunities as well as existing community resources that can support those goals. 

Review, update, and carry out comprehensive recruitment and on-boarding strategy for volunteers with the strategic goal of increasing the number of volunteer-led activities in the area; this may include creating recruitment materials, as well as promoting and building clubs through meetings, presentations, recruitment events, and online volunteer websites.

Coordinate the placement of volunteers into appropriate roles such as team leaders, program event volunteers, team mentors, subject matter experts, board committee members, and organizational support roles

Maintain accurate records and tracking of volunteer engagement through database entry and utilization

Create content for the local College’s newly updated website and other social media, particularly as it relates to  interactions with community partners and other Civic Engagement sponsored programs.

Design informational/educational material for the social media and web platforms; train staff and volunteers on maintaining website, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to build capacity for the local College.

Develop and maintain weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions.

Develop and maintain a weekly tutoring schedule to allow for approximately 15 – 20 students (full-time members) to receive daily 20-minute, one-on-one tutoring sessions

 

 

 

 

Action Verbs

Accommodate

Authorize

Control

Eliminate

Increase

Participate

Resolve

Achieve

Budget

Coordinate

Enforce

Inform

Perform

Review

Acquire

Calculate

Correspond

Establish

Initiate

Plan

Schedule

Address

Circulate

Counsel

Evaluate

Instruct

Predict

Search

Adjust

Authorize

Create

Execute

Interact

Prepare

Select

Administer

Clear

Customize

Expand

Interface

Present

Solve

Advise

Collaborate

Deliver

Explore

Interpret

Perform

Specify

Allocate

Collect

Demonstrate

Facilitate

Interview

Process

Strategize

Analyze

Combine

Design

Formulate

Investigate

Provide

Streamline

Apply

Communicate

Develop

Furnish

Issue

Quantify

Strengthen

Appoint

Compile

Devise

Generate

Lift

Recognize

Summarize

Approve

Complete

Direct

Guide

Maintain

Recommend

Support

Arrange

Compose

Disseminate

Handle

Manage

Record

Teach

Assess

Compute

Distinguish

Hire

Monitor

Recruit

Train

Assign

Confer

Distribute

Identify

Motivate

Reduce

Translate

Assist

Consolidate

Document

Illustrate

Negotiate

Regulate

Troubleshoot

Audit

Construct

Draft

Implement

Observe

Report

Update

Augment

Consult

Edit

Improvise

Operate

Research

Validate

 

 

 

Incorporate

Organize

 

Verify

 

 

Training on how to Create a Great Member Position Description is available on the Volunteer Iowa website.  Look to www.volunteeriowa.org > AmeriCorps > Current AmeriCorps Grantee Resources > Other Resources, Training and Development for more information on this training and others.

A companion resource, Member Unallowable/Allowable Activities is also available on the Volunteer Iowa website.  This resource can guide programs in making unallowable service activities allowable and identifies common service activities that are not allowable and should be removed from the MPD.

Volunteer Iowa also offers a training for programs and site supervisors on Prohibited Activities and Nonduplication/Non-displacement, focusing on allowable member activities and the risk involved in having members do activities that are not aligned with the approved grant and logic model.  This training and additional resource is available on the Volunteer Iowa website.

Printed from the website on December 03, 2022 at 9:58am.