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Preparing volunteers

This stage takes about 1-2 months. It includes:


Future volunteers are invited to a pre-departure training course (PAD – préparation au départ) before their assignment, either individually or in groups. It is carried out in a group setting and enables the future volunteers to get to know each other better and to discuss their fears and expectations with their peers.

For longer missions of over six months, volunteers receive several days of preparation before departure, the form and content of which vary according to the dispatching organisation.

This training can be completed on arrival in the mission country.

During the first three months of their missions, young people engaged in Civic Service receive compulsory Civic and Citizen Training (FCC – Formation Civique & Citoyenne) (minimum 2 days), including first aid training (one day).

This step is fundamental and an obligation for sending organisations. It is an opportunity for volunteers to confirm their desire to get involved, to understand all the aspects of their mission, and to envisage their daily lives as volunteers. It enables the dispatching organisations to ensure that the volunteers are ready to leave, that they have understood the expectations of the partner organisation and have the keys to understanding their new environment. The fundamental themes to be addressed are safety, cultural issues, rights & duties/contractual provisions.

For shorter-term schemes, a period of information/preparation is also recommended to enable better integration into the mission.

Administrative & medical procedures

Guiding volunteers in obtaining their visa, getting the mandatory vaccinations, a medical check-up, etc.

Signing the undertaking

This only takes place once the administrative and medical formalities have been completed and validated, as well as after the validation of a transport plan (flight booking, logistics on arrival). A volunteer signs a contract for his/her deployment in the country of assignment and to secure his/her rights (protection, payment of contributions). An induction session in France within the organisation can be organised, within a reasonable time frame before departure.

For International Solidarity Volunteers (VSI – Volontaires de Solidarité Internationale), the contract is signed after the pre-departure course, which confirms the undertaking.

As far as the Civic Service is concerned, volunteers sign their contract and at the same time they are registered on the French Civic Service Agency’s extranet for approval (Services & Payments Agency).
For other types of volunteering, the signing procedures vary according to the organisation concerned.