For Hays County
Master Gardeners Only
Tracking Hours in VMS
Reporting our volunteer hours is important as they are used for two purposes:
Certification – To be certified as an MG in good standing for the next year, an HCMGA member must volunteer 15 hours and complete 6 hours of continuing education (CEU). By recording your hours, the Membership Director can generate a list of the MGs who have reached these milestones to be certified for the next year.
Funding – HCMGA has to report our hours of service to the state and all funding organizations as part of the AgriLife Extension Service requirements. The accuracy of these hours is extremely important when providing these funding organizations with proof of our output. Our hours are often converted to the equivalent of FTEs (Full Time Employees) to show the amount of comparable work our volunteers do.
Report your hours as soon as possible. – Hours that are not reported until the end of the year are often forgotten. In addition, if you report them late, those hours aren’t available for the AgriLife Extension reports that go out earlier in the year and won’t provide support documentation for the work we do.
Don’t report travel time as volunteer time. While we understand the time you spend traveling to and from events is real and greatly appreciated, it‘s not considered eligible for inclusion in the reports that show our equivalent FTEs.
Be careful not to double dip. If you’re volunteering at a presentation that qualifies for CEUs you may count the time as either volunteer hours or CEUs, but not both.
Record your hours to the nearest half hour. Sometimes this means you record a few extra minutes and sometimes a few minutes less, but, over the course of a year, it will average out.