Coverage slots are a special kind of job slot in which:
The slot is usually of long duration (more than one day)
Volunteers self-select start times and durations. These times are not "fixed" like a normal job slot, and the assignment durations can vary: the start times and durations are chosen, within ranges that you've set beforehand, by the volunteer.
Volunteers can also be assigned manually by staff.
Multiple volunteers can sign up for different times.
The same volunteer can be in one slot more than once at different times.
The slot is never "filled" in that the number of volunteers assigned has no meaning: the goal is to have as much of the time covered using as many or as few volunteers as needed.
100% coverage is not required.
Depending on your settings, volunteers can be allowed to have overlapping shifts.
For a long slot, the same volunteer can have multiple shifts at different times.
No One Dies Alone
Consider the case of "No One Dies Alone" (NODA). NODA is a program where volunteers sit vigil with patients who are actively dying to be a compassionate presence at the bedside. When a patient is in need, nursing staff page the on call volunteer NODA coordinator who will then activate the vigil, notifying eligible volunteers where they ask volunteers to schedule time with the patient.
At activation, we don't know how long the vigil will last: this makes scheduling volunteers challenging! Using coverage slots, VSys can make the process easier.
Create a coverage slot in VSys with the start date/time, location, and some standard length.
Notify eligible volunteers.
Volunteers self-select times during the vigil.
When the patient passes, cancelling the vigil changes the end date/time of the slot and cancels the assignments in it, but only those after the cancellation time. In other words, volunteers who served before the cancellation time still have their assignments and get credited hours, but future ones are cancelled and you can send notifications to those volunteers as appropriate.
Setting up coverage slots
To be used with coverage slots, a job must have Enable slot coverage checked.
Set a First slot date and Last slot date; a separate slot will be created on each of these days. Except: if you set the Duration of each slot to 24 or more hours, you'll create only a single slot on the first day.
Check Create as long-duration slot with varying assignments, then set the Duration of each slot. In the case of NODA, this would be the vigil's expected duration.
Set the Start time each day; this is the start time of each slot.
Duration of each slot may be eight hours, it could be 744 hours (30 days), or anywhere in between. This duration doesn't directly affect individual volunteer assignments, it's the overall time that needs to be covered.
Min self-selected duration and Max self-selected duration are how long each individual assignment can be.
Start time interval sets what time period each assignment can start at. For example an interval of 15 allows assignments to start at 1:00, 1:15, 1:30 and 1:45.
Set the remaining fields the same as you would other job slots.
Click Test to see what slots would be created; Create to actually create them based on these rules.
Setting up coverage slots and its associated tools and processes is not part of the standard VSys Live implementation. In general, installing and configuring this option comes with an additional fee. See Advanced features for information.