FAQs for signing up as an NHS Volunteer Responder

Introduction

In this guide you will find more information about how to volunteer and signing up as an NHS Volunteer Responder.

In addition to our FAQS for signing up, you can find out more about volunteering in our FAQs for NHS Volunteer Responders and information to support you in your role in our facts sheets.

 

Page last reviewed: 04 January 2021

Suitability to volunteer

I do not have a smartphone, can I still help?

Unfortunately the functionality requires a smartphone in order to be able to acknowledge requests.

Do I need a particular smartphone to use the app?

For the functionality to work correctly we require:

  • Apple – iPhone 5 and above (anything in the past 7 years). We are currently releasing an update to support iPhone 4, this will be with you soon.
  • Android – The app works with anything that Google supports, therefore if you do not have the functionality of Google Play you will not be able to install the app.

I’m a GoodSAM Responder for Cardiac Arrests, what should I do?

Please do NOT re-register. Your services will be transferred to Royal Voluntary Service, your current affiliation will be lost and you’ll need to be approved again. In a few days time your profile will enable you to opt-in as an NHS Volunteer Responder.

I'm already a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer and can help. Do I need to apply?

If you could apply through goodsamapp.org/NHS this will allow us to make sure we can assign you to specific local support requests as part of this NHS England project. We're delighted you want to continue to support us in these challenging times.

Is the app designed for people with accessibility issues such as people who are blind or partially sighted?

At this stage the app does not support people who are blind or partially sighted. We will update any guidance documents with relevant information if this becomes available.

Do I need to change my car insurance to be able to drive as a volunteer?

If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), we advise you contact your car insurers to let them know you are driving for voluntary purposes.

Can I volunteer using my bike?

Yes, this is fine as long as you are able to transport goods safely.

I'm under 18, can I volunteer?

You are not able to register but could ask someone who is over 18 to register and you can volunteer with them as support.

I'm over 70 and want to help

You could sign up to volunteer as a Check In and Chat Volunteer and offer support by making calls to check in on a person’s wellbeing.

Does being a ‘responder’ mean you will be called to an emergency? Is this the same as a First Responder for heart attacks?

You will only be asked to support the NHS Volunteer Responder programme. Whilst the app is used for several organisations such as paramedics, this is completely separate.

I live in Wales or Scotland and want to support?

This is only an initiative for NHS England.

I have signed up but I am still working so can only do evenings and weekends, is this ok?

Yes, this is absolutely fine. When your ID has been verified you will receive an email to download the app, you just need to ensure when you can support that you make sure the ON DUTY toggle is clicked ON, then when you are unavailable for support click the On DUTY toggle to OFF. That way you will never be sent requests for support when you are unavailable. 

We both want to help and live in the same house, is this allowed?

As long as you are fit and healthy and have no symptoms in line with the NHS and public health guidelines then you can both support. If either of you do get symptoms then you must follow the self-isolation guidelines to prevent any risk to yourself or others.

I am currently self-isolating so cannot go out but still want to support?

If you are well enough and have access to a telephone, then we do have a volunteer position where you would call people for conduct Check In and Chat conversations.

Is the system and site legitimate?

Yes, the web address goodsamapp.org/NHSvolunteerresponders is publicised via NHS England and on the Royal Voluntary Service website. The NHS Volunteer Responders initiative in support of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a joint activity between Royal Voluntary Service, NHS England and GoodSAM – the technology provider. It’s a widely known application and used in times of emergency.

 

 

Page last reviewed: 04 January 2021

Signing up process

I want to help, how do I sign up volunteer?

Information:

You can join us by signing up via the website goodsamapp.org/NHS

You will be asked to enter some basic personal details and attach a photo of your ID. Then select what support you can offer by selecting which of our volunteer roles you are interested in. Some of these roles do require an existing DBS so ensure you check this before selecting your roles.

Can I sign up to multiple roles?

Yes, there are various roles to choose from and you can sign up for as many as you are able to support. However, some of the roles require a DBS check:

  • Patient Transport role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Community Response Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Check In and Chat Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months

I cannot find my local authority on the list?

If your local authority is not displaying in the dropdown list, then recruitment for that area has either been filled or your area is coming in the next few weeks. Keep checking the site as locations will be added as demand rises.

I have completed the signing up form, what happens now?

You will receive an email with a link to verify your email address. Once you do this you will receive a confirmation email advising you that we are now going through the verifying ID process. 

I have not received my “activate” email to confirm my email address?

Have you checked your junk/spam folder? If so, go back to the sign up page goodsamapp.org/NHSvolunteerresponders and click Resend my activation email.

I have signed up and verified my email address but have not heard anything? What’s next?             

Thank you for stepping forward and signing up. We are now verifying ID and this should be completed within 7 days, although this may be longer if we have a high volume of applications. You will then receive an email confirmation listing the roles you have been approved for, this will also include a link to download the GoodSAM app. Download the app (GoodSAM Responder) on Apple/Google Play stores and log in. Do not forget to switch to ‘on duty’ when you are available after this date and we can start matching you to local requests for support. 

I have applied for a role and I want to change the role I have applied for?

If you would like to change your role, please contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382. They will be able to change this for you. However, some of the volunteering roles require a DBS check, please see the question above. You can only add roles that have the same vetting criteria for the role you’re currently signed up for.

I have registered but want to change my details that were keyed in when I originally registered?

If you would like to change any details, please contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382.

I’ve been approved and received a confirmation email. The email states the roles I’ve been approved for, but I applied for more than those stated?

This means the ID checking team found something wrong with a DBS certificate and therefore deselected the roles that they could not approve you for. This ensures that you were still able to volunteer in the non-DBS roles you selected.

I’ve been accepted and have downloaded the app but I have been greeted with some medical questions and/or been instructed I will receive a GoodSAM identity card?

You have incorrectly attempted to register on the app which has taken you through a different route (e.g. NHS Volunteer Responders do not need a GoodSAM identity card – your profile on the app will become your ID). You do not need to register again, this was done via your sign up process. Simply log in using the email address and password you supplied during the sign up process. 

What is this app? I’m not a first aider?

GoodSAM is a platform that has been saving many lives for the last 5 years. It alerts those trained (from resuscitation to cardiac arrest) to nearby incidents, while the ambulance is on its way. It is because of its technology of coordinating volunteers to those in need, that the system has been adopted for the NHS Volunteer Responders Programme.

I have been approved but I have not received my Getting You Started Guide?

The Getting You Started Guide will be included as a link in the body of the first email you received when you registered. This is the same email that requested you to verify your email address. You can also find these on our website.

I have received a rejection email, can you tell me why?

Unfortunately, we are unable to tell you the exact reason for rejection. We automatically delete your details on rejection for security purposes. The email that was sent lists the common reasons as to why rejections can happen.  You are more than welcome to reapply, however ensure you have read the information carefully so you can upload your ID/DBS in the correct way. You may want to consider using a different form of ID.

 

 

Page last reviewed: 04 January 2021

ID and DBS

What ID do I need?

ALL 6 volunteer roles require you to submit a valid form of ID from the list below:

  • Passport
  • Photo driving license
  • Utility bill (last 3 months) + Bank/Credit Card statement (last 3 months)
  • Utility bill (last 3 months + P60
  • Utility bill (last 3 months) + mortgage statement
  • Bank/Credit Card statement (last 3months) + P60
  • Bank/Credit Card statement (last 3months) + mortgage statement
  • P60 + mortgage statement

If you applying for the following 3 roles, you must also submit the specified DBS certificates below:

  • Patient Transport role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Community Response Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Check In and Chat Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.

How do I upload my ID?

Take a photo of your ID and then attach a picture of that when you complete the registration form. The picture MUST be in an IMAGE format e.g. JPEG or .png, not a PDF or a word document. These formats would be too large. Screenshots of bank statements etc are not accepted.

Can I upload a PDF with my ID?

No, but take a photo of the PDF and upload this as a JPEG or PNG file.

How long will it take to verify my ID?

We anticipate this will take up to 7 days. In exceptional circumstances where we have high volumes of applicants to process, this may take longer than 7 days.

What happens once my ID has been verified?

Once your ID has been verified, you will receive a confirmation email listing the roles you have been approved for. This email will also include a link to download the GoodSAM App. Download the app (GoodSAM Responder) on Apple/Google Play stores and log in. Don’t forget to switch to ‘on duty’ when you are available after this date and we can start matching you to local requests for support. 

I do not have a DBS, what can I do?

A DBS is required for 3 roles:

  • Patient Transport role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Community response Plus Role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Check In and Chat Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.

If you do not have a DBS then you can still volunteer for the other 3 roles. You can upload a photo of your valid and in date passport or driving license. If you do not have either of those then you can use two forms of ID including P45/P60 (last 12 months), mortgage statement (last 12 months), bank statement or utility bill (last 3 months). 

How do people show their DBS if it’s on online update system/service?

By uploading a screenshot, showing full details. The date entered should be the date of your DBS certificate or the date of your update. Please note, only 3 roles require a DBS:

  • Patient Transport role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Community Response Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Check In and Chat Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.

How do I convert a PDF to a compatible file type?

The easiest way for you to do this is to take a photograph/screenshot of the PDF document and then you can simply attach the photograph/screenshot to the registration.

I have a DBS but it is just over a year old, can I use it?

The DBS must be dated within the last 12 months for us to accept it. Please remember a DBS is only required for the below roles:

  • Patient Transport role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Community Response Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate with Adult Barred or Both Barred and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months.
  • Check In and Chat Plus role requires an Enhanced DBS Certificate and needs to have been issued in the last 12 months

I have a DBS, but I do not have it to hand as it is at work and I am at home?

Due to the emergency nature of this ask, if you do not have your DBS details to hand you can still support us by registering for the other roles which do not require a DBS.

 

Page last reviewed: 16 February 2021