FAQ's for Volunteers

Say YEA to Volunteering with STEPS!

What would you like to find out more about?

  1. Applications 
  2. Training
  3. School Visits
  4. Child Protection
  5. Volunteering Options
  6. Social Events

When do applications open for Volunteer Engineers?

Applications are now closed.

Register your interest for volunteering with the STEPS Young Engineers Award in 2020 HERE. We will contact you with information on the award and upcoming training sessions for volunteers.

Why do I have to complete a training session? 

All Volunteer Engineers must attend a STEPS training session each year to volunteer with STEPS. This is so you can hear the latest information on the programme and comply with our Child Safe-guarding policy. 

I have volunteered before with STEPS - do I still need to complete the training? 

We require that all Volunteer Engineers attend a STEPS training session 

What if I can't attend a training session? 

We require that all Volunteer Engineers attend a STEPS training session to be covered by our Child Protection Policy. 

There are other volunteering options within the STEPS Programme - such as Engineers Week - that are not covered by our Child Protection Policy, where you can organise your own school visit with a local school or run an Engineering Event during Engineers Week. See www.engineersweek.ie for more details.

Please contact steps@engineersireland.ie if you have any queries regarding training sessions. We will certainly do our best to accommodate you


Typically, how many hours committment does the Volunteer Engineer Role in STEPS require? 

The committment is approx 2hrs for the training session and a half day for the school visit (1-2hr visit). 

If you would like to do more there are options available such as carrying out more than one visit, taking part in the Live Webinars or becoming a STEPS YEA Judge. 

If you would like to find out more about the other roles please email steps@engineersireland.ie  

Does the Volunteer Engineer have an official role description? 

Yes! All Volunteer Engineer will receive a STEPS Volunteer Pack which will include the Volunteer Policy and Role Description - so it will be very clear what is expected of you and what is not!

Can I take photos while on my visit? 

Most teachers will have photo consent from parents. However, it is up to you to ask the teacher to confirm this. If there is photo consent you are perfectly free to take photos.

Can I claim my volunteering hours as CPD? 

Yes! We think volunteering for STEPS is the Best way to earn CPD hours! 

The accountable hours include your preparation time for the visit, as well as the training and the visit itself.

How can I inform my company, managers and colleagues of my great work with STEPS? 

There are many ways to build awareness of your great work with STEPS.

STEPS provide volunteers with a report template to circulate to their colleagues and employers, which includes lots of information and stats on the STEPS Young Engineers Award and the impact of our Volunteers on raising awareness of engineering with young students in Ireland. It also inlcudes a customisable section for you to fill in about your visit.

Send in your photos to us (please ensure you have photo consent) and we will share them on the Engineers Ireland social media. Or tag STEPS in your posts - we will be sure to give them a like!  

The Young Engineers Award features regulary in The Engineers Journal - be sure to circulate the article links to your colleagues to show them the impact you are making for the Next Generation.

Why are the visits taking place during a set week?

The last week in November is the ideal window for Volunteer Engineers to visit a class taking part in the STEPS Young Engineers Award. At this stage the students have completed their engineering projects and are ready to showcase their work. Importantly, they are now familiar with the concept of engineering and can fully engage with the Volunteer Engineer.

Will my travel expenses be covered? 

Unfortunately, due to budget we will not be able to cover travel expenses.  

Do I need to be Garda vetted to volunteer with STEPS? 

No. Currently we have been advised that for irregular, short term volunteering (1 or 2 visits) no vetting is required. The teacher is required to stay in the classroom with you at all times for Child Protection purposes.

What is my role in Child Protection? 

Child Protection is paramount for us at STEPS. We have a dedicated Child Protection liaison and a Child Protection Policy. We require all STEPS Volunteer Engineers to attend training to get up to date on their important role in Child Protection. 

Is it possible to volunteer with someone or in a group? 

Yes! When you are selecting your preferred schools to visit - we will ask you if your would like to be matched with a STEPS Volunteer Engineer for your visit. If you indicate Yes to this question we will contact you before we allocate the schools and put you in touch with a fellow Volunteer to arrange the visit.

Can I volunteer with colleagues or friends in a group visit? 

Yes! We are very happy for you to complete your visit in a group. Just email us on steps@engineersireland.ie with the name of your partner or team and we will arrange it. Please note all Volunteer Engineers must have completed a STEPS training session.

What is the Adventure Option? 

Last year we trialled The Adventure Option. This offered Volunteer Engineers a sense of excitement and mystery around what school they would visit. On the application form engineers were asked if they would like to be allocated a 'surprise' school in their county of choice. For the real explorers you can choose the 'Anywhere in Ireland' option - and visit a place you may have never been!

Are there any more volunteering opportunities within the STEPS Young Engineers Award? 

Yes! For schools that cannot get a STEPS Volunteer Engineer visit we hold two live interactive Webinars from Engineers Ireland Clyde Road in November 2020. We would love to have Volunteer Engineers take part. If you are interested please contact STEPS steps@engineersireland.ie 

If you are interested in judging the contest - please email steps@engineersireland.ie and we will be in touch.

I have a number of colleagues in work who are very keen to volunteer with STEPS. Are there options for us?

Yes! If there are circa ten (or more) engineers in your workplace who are interested in volunteering with STEPS, it is possible for you to nominate a STEPS Liaison and for us to provide training to the group in your workplace. Please contact steps@engineersireland.ie for further information.  

Are there any social events for Volunteers? 

Yes! There is a STEPS Christmas Party in December. The party is in Engineers Ireland Clyde Road Dublin.