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Volunteer Drivers Guide - Section 10

Program Records

Sponsoring Organizations are responsible for maintaining appropriate records and for being knowledgeable about legal requirements related to timelines for maintaining records.

What Driver Records Should Be Maintained?

The Sponsoring Organization must have a file containing all pertinent information about each driver. The Federal Privacy Act covers volunteer drivers. All personal information about the driver should be covered by a written confidentiality policy that parallels the organization's personnel policies. The following is a list of the documents, and related information, to be maintained in driver files: [Form 33: Personnel Records Checklist]

  1. Original volunteer/employment application
  2. Interview and reference check documentation
  3. Criminal history documentation
  4. Department of Licensing (DOL) history report and any subsequent history reports generated
  5. Copy of current drivers license
  6. Copy of training certifications
  7. On-going objective documentation
  8. Any documentation relevant to performance
  9. Copy of current personal automobile insurance card. Insurance must be at least the State of Washington's minimum coverage requirement for POV drivers. Personal auto insurance verification must be kept current.

How About Vehicle Records?

Programs that use volunteers to drive vehicles owned by the Sponsoring Organization must have files containing records relevant to each vehicle. Vehicles and related records should be reviewed annually. A vehicle file should contain sections where the following documentation is maintained:

  1. Vehicle maintenance schedule
  2. Maintenance records
  3. Maintenance receipts
  4. Description of maintenance completed
  5. Daily pre-trip inspections
  6. Inventory of safety equipment
  7. Maintenance records for related safety equipment (i.e. fire extinguishers)

What Records Should Be Kept on Riders?

Sponsoring Organizations are required to maintain specific information on the riders using the services. The rider information must be collected and properly maintained using a database or an adequate system done by hand if the agency does not have access to a computer. Rider information, collected by Sponsoring Organizations, will be used primarily for reporting purposes. In the event of an emergency, this information can also be valuable. Rider records should contain the following information:

  1. Rider's name
  2. Address
  3. Phone number
  4. Age
  5. Ethnicity
  6. Income level
  7. Medicaid and/or other specific program eligibility
  8. Mobility information (i.e., uses a wheelchair, cane)
  9. Disability information (i.e., cerebral palsy, legally blind)
  10. Height and weight of children under six years old
  11. Name, address and phone number of emergency contact
  12. An individual Sponsoring Organization may require additional information for specific program purposes. To assure that rider confidentiality is maintained, Rider files must be kept in a secure location.

How To Record Trip Information

Standard forms are used for reporting trip requests and completion. All trip requests and completed trip information must be properly documented. Trip request information should be recorded when the request is received and the trip completion information when the trip is completed. If a trip requests is deemed to be "special risk," special forms and procedures may be used for the trip. Many programs use "dispatching software" to electronically record trip information.

Trip Requests

Sponsoring Organizations are encouraged to develop a form to record information when a trip is requested. [Form 34: Trip Request] Requests should contain the following minimum information:

  1. Date the trip request was made
  2. Trip date
  3. Rider name, address and phone number
  4. Destination address and phone number
  5. Trip purpose
  6. Appointment time
  7. One-way or round-trip
  8. Return pick-up time
  9. Special rider information (e.g., uses a wheelchair, uses a cane, escort, child restraints required)
  10. Emergency contact information. This information is very useful when a child or vulnerable adult is returned to a residence where no one is home as expected. Sponsoring Organizations should develop a policy requiring a personal care attendant (PCA) if there are repeated occurrences of drivers needing to use emergency contacts.

Trip Reports

The driver must document trip completion information. This report may be combined into the reimbursement voucher and coupled with an Incident Report, if indicated. Driver reports typically contain the following information for each trip:

  1. Date
  2. Driver name
  3. Rider name
  4. Pick-up location
  5. Destination location
  6. Mileage at pick-up and drop-off
  7. Volunteer or paid driver hours (not including down time)
  8. Status of trip (no-show, late cancel, or completed)
  9. "Gatekeeper" information, if indicated

Turndowns, Late Cancels and No-shows

To properly manage a volunteer transportation program the Sponsoring Organization needs to collect accurate information on trip request status. When a rider's trip request is turned-down, the rider cancels the ride late or does not show for the ride, this information must be recorded.

The following definitions apply:

  1. Turndown: A trip is recorded as a turndown when the Sponsoring Organization is unable to provide the trip. A trip can be turned down for many reasons. For example, a driver may not be available to complete the trip, the schedule for the day may be full or the van may be down for repairs. If this occurs, the trip is recorded as a turndown. If a rider requests a round-trip ride, the result is two trip turndowns. This information is valuable in determining the unmet need in the community and for the development of funding proposals.
  2. Late cancel: A trip is recorded as a late cancel when the rider cancels the scheduled trip with less than 24 hours advance notice. If the rider had requested a round-trip, the result is two late cancels.
  3. No-show: A ride is recorded as a no-show when the driver arrives at the pick-up location and the rider is not there or refuses to board. If a rider was scheduled for a round-trip, the first leg of the trip is recorded as a no-show and the return trip is recorded as a late cancel. The driver log should document rider no-shows and late cancels.

New and Unduplicated Riders

Sponsoring Organizations may be required to report data on new and unduplicated riders. Funding agencies may require this information to be reported differently.

The following serves as an explanation for reporting new and unduplicated riders:

  1. New riders: When a rider registers with the program and receives his/her first ride, that person is a new rider. New riders are only recorded once.
  2. Unduplicated riders: Unduplicated riders are counted based on the fiscal year. Each rider is counted only once during the fiscal year, no matter how many times he/she receives service. The unduplicated rider count is the total number of people who received rides during the year.
  3. When a rider is new and receives his/her first ride, that person is a new rider and an unduplicated rider.

Trip Purpose Definitions

If rides must be counted by trip purpose on a service summary, the following terms could serve as a guide for identifying trip purposes:

Trip Term Ride Purpose
Medical: All medical appointments that are not life sustaining, including prescribed physical therapy, i.e. swim therapy.
Life-sustaining medical: Dialysis, Chemotherapy, Radiation treatments.
Personal business: Rides to meet personal needs. Examples include participation in Adult Day Care Center, visitation of spouse or others in nursing home, support group meetings and banking.
Supportive services: Rides to an agency/organization that provides direct or supportive services to the rider. Examples include Social Security Office, Veteran's Administration Offices, Resource Centers, etc
Shopping: Rides to any store, shopping center, mall or retail establishment.
School: Rides, to meet personal educational needs, to local colleges, universities, and educational training programs or meetings.
Work: Rides to and from a work/employment setting or assignment and work training.
Volunteer activities: Rides to and from volunteer work setting or assignment, including from volunteer's home and to an individual senior's home if that is the work setting
Recreational: Trips to museums, sightseeing, movies, opera, plays, etc.
Nutrition: Rides to and from a meal site including restaurants.