Volunteer Code of Conduct

Cabrillo National Monument
August 2022


The purpose of this policy is to provide a code of conduct for Cabrillo National Monument volunteers.


This policy applies to all volunteers registered with Cabrillo National Monument.

Policy Statement

As a volunteer at Cabrillo National Monument, you are expected to honor the time commitments required for your position(s), and to take part in any necessary orientation, training, and continuing education events. You are also expected to represent the park in a professional and competent manner both inside and outside the park, and as such should know the tenets and techniques of effective interpretation (and share only the official position of the park and not a personal opinion, should they differ). Part of what you do is translating the park for visitors in a professional manner, leaving all staff (including other volunteers), and visitors with a positive experience both at Cabrillo National Monument and in the community. While acting as a park volunteer you are considered a federal government employee and are bound by the Fourteen Principles of Ethical Conduct (Appendix A).

Core Values

The core values of an organization are those that form the foundation on which we perform work and conduct ourselves. In an ever-changing world, core values are constant. Core values are not descriptions of the work we do or the strategies we employ to accomplish our mission. The values underlie our work, our interactions with each other, and the strategies we employ to fulfill our mission. Core values are the basic elements of how we go about our work. They are the practices we use (or should be using) every day in everything we do.

NPS Core Values

  • Shared Stewardship – We share a commitment to resource stewardship with the global preservation community.
  • Excellence – We strive continually to learn and improve so that we may achieve the highest ideals of public service.
  • Integrity – We deal honestly and fairly with the public and one another.
  • Tradition – We are proud of it, we learn from it, we are not bound by it
  • Respect – We embrace each other’s differences so that we may enrich the well-being of everyone.

Professional and Personal Behavior

Volunteers are expected to perform their duties and behave in a manner which at all times includes:

  • Adherence to all aspects of our Policy Statement and the intent of our Core Values
  • Respect for customers/clients/members of the public
  • Respect for staff members and other volunteers including cooperation and equal opportunity, and a workplace free of discrimination and harassment
  • Respect for health and safety issues including the organization’s policy on alcohol and drugs, security measures, and historical weapons
  • Respect for the organization’s procedures
  • Respect for privacy and confidentiality
  • Respect for dress code and wearing your uniform with pride
  • Appropriate use of organization’s resources and use of the park’s information

Volunteers shall at all times:

  • Avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest
  • Avoid any kind of corrupt conduct
  • Avoid either by action or by communication anything that will tend to embarrass or disparage the park
  • Refrain from making public comments or contacting the media pertaining to any aspect of the park without prior approval from park staff
  • Refrain from accepting gifts over $20 in value from any entity doing official business with the park without prior park staff approval


Contacting and Greeting Visitors

The two basic building blocks of visitor contacts are:

  • HOW you say it, and
  • WHAT you say to the visitor


  • Greet visitors with eye contact and a smile
  • It is okay to say “I don’t know”. One of the benefits of volunteering is learning something new each day.
  • Treat every visitor as if they are the only visitor. Even if it is the 70th time you answered the same question that day. Your last visitor should receive the same excellent treatment as the first.
  • Prioritize greeting visitors, even if it means interrupting a conversation with a coworker. Creating an enjoyable visitor experience is our #1 priority.
  • Use the S.L.O.W. method when dealing with angry or impatient visitors:
    • Stay cool
    • Listen
    • Offer validation
    • Walk away



Breaches of this code of conduct could result in instant dismissal.

Appendix A


Fourteen Principles of Ethical Conduct for Federal Employees

(1) Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain.

(2) Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.

(3) Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.

(4) An employee shall not, except as permitted by the Standards of Ethical Conduct, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee’s agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s duties.

(5) Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

(6) Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.

(7) Employees shall not use public office for private gain.

(8) Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.

(9) Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

(10) Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.

(11) Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.

(12) Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all financial obligations, especially those — such as Federal, State, or local taxes — that are imposed by law.

(13) Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.

(14) Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in the Standards of Ethical Conduct. Whether particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or these standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts.

Last revised 18-Aug-22