Encouraging volunteerism and community service.

AmeriCorps Pre-Service Training Guidelines

Pre-Service Orientation

AmeriCorps members must receive pre-service training to prepare them for their term(s) of service. This is the time to establish the foundation for promoting an ethic of service, active citizenship, esprit de' corps and team-building. The commission recommends a three- to 10-day pre-service orientation depending on program design.

Programs can choose to host one multiple-day event incorporating all topics or host several shorter events throughout the first 30 days of members' terms of service. Programs may also choose to partner with other programs to host a combined orientation to offset costs and provide opportunities for networking and to reinforce the national service concept.

As a minimum, topics to incorporate in pre-service orientation, include:

Core topics for Pre-Service Orientation
  • Member rights and responsibilities
  • Standards of Conduct (45 CFR 2522.230)
  • Prohibited Activities (45 CFR 2520.40, 2520.65, 2540.100) 
  • Requirements under the Drug Free Workplace Act (41 USC 701 et seq.)
  • Suspension and termination from service (45 CFR 2522.230)
  • Grievance procedures (45 CFR 2540.230)
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Other non-discrimination issues
  • Other topics as necessary

Serve Idaho will also provide Pre-Service Orientation training on:
  • What it means to be an AmeriCorps member
  • History of national service
  • Planning service projects

Standard member training:
    • AmeriCorps 101 (Resources: “Talking about AC,”  “This is National Service”-Video, History of AC)
      • History of Service in America
      • The AmeriCorps Network
      • Ethic of service
    • Performance measures and how to collect data
    • Program operating policies
      • Living allowance
      • Benefits (see below)
      • Timesheets (signed by member AND supervisor)
      • Making up missed service hours
      • Safety protocol
      • Travel Policies
      • Expense reimbursement
    • Staff and member roles (Volunteer-Member-Staff Exercise: Training Handbook)
    • Recruiting and supervising volunteers
    • Diversity and cross-cultural sensitivity
    • Teambuilding (do throughout program year)
    • CPR/First Aid if applicable
    • Disaster Preparedness and Response on line training
    • Volunteer TN Statewide Events info/ Esprit de Corps (Volunteer TN Event Info)


    • Citizenship training (see resource sheet)
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Life After AmeriCorps
      • Goal setting
      • Resume Writing
      • Job searching/interview skills (etc.)
    • Effective Communication
    • Accommodation of Persons with disabilities
    • Stages of Group Dynamics
    • Personality Styles/work Styles
    • ***Member Recognition


Required Member Benefits
    • Living allowance—IV.F.1-2. (Required for full-time only, 45 CFR 2522.240)
      • Paid in regular increments only during period of service
    • Health care coverage—IV.F.4 (full-time only and half-time serving in full-time capacity)
    • Childcare—IV.F.5 (full-time only, income requirements—45 CFR 2522.250)
    • Occupational accidental death and dismemberment insurance—IV.F.3.d. (Worker’s Comp)
    • Family and Medical Leave—only under circumstances described in 45 CFR 2540.220
    • Member service gear—IV.B.1-2. and Policy FAQ entitled “Member Service Gear”
    • Time to Vote—Policy FAQ entitled “Voting” (only if unable to vote before or after regular service hours)
    • Credit for jury duty—Policy FAQ entitled “Jury Duty” (credit for normal service hours only)
    • Credit for armed forces reserves two-week activity duty—Policy FAQ entitled “Armed Forces Reserve” (Credit for normal service hours only and only if can’t be scheduled when it won’t disrupt AmeriCorps service. No credit for once-a-month weekend service.)
    • Reasonable accommodation—IV.C.3. and Policy FAQ entitled “Reasonable Accommodations” (member must disclose disability and request accommodation)

    • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award—Policy FAQ entitled “Post-service Education Awards” (Pending on successful completion of the program)

Other Available Benefits
    • Food stamps (income dependent)
    • Student loan forbearance for qualified loans (member must request forbearance)


    • Education award info click here for resources, and My AmeriCorps Portal)
      • Matching of education award at certain colleges and universities click here
    • Student loan interest accrual payment—45 CFR 2529 (member must submit interest payment form)
    • Alumni network click here