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APPENDIX 6 DATA SOURCES AND COMPILATION METHODS
The first valuation method described in the Handbook is the opportunity cost approach. Under this method, the appropriate wage rate to apply to each volunteer hour is what the volunteer could earn in their usual occupation. Data on the number of hours volunteered, classified by the usual occupation of the volunteer, was obtained from General Social Survey 2014. Occupation categories are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First edition (cat. no. 1220.0). The number of hours volunteered for each occupation category was then multiplied by the relevant wage rate for that occupation category. For each valuation method described, calculations were done separately for males and females and the average ordinary time hourly rate for non managerial employees was used. Where the volunteer did not nominate a usual occupation, for example they were retired or not in the labour force, the average wage rate for all occupation categories was applied. The opportunity cost approach valued total volunteer services at $18.1b. In addition, the total number of volunteer hours are able to be converted to full time equivalents by dividing hours volunteered by the average ordinary time hours worked in full time occupations associated with each occupation category. Full time equivalents will therefore vary with each valuation method, depending on the occupation categories used. Full time equivalents under the opportunity cost approach were 254,300 persons.
The second valuation method noted in the Handbook is the replacement cost approach. Under this method, the appropriate wage rate to apply to each volunteer hour is that associated with the activity being undertaken by the volunteer. The 2014 General Social Survey does not contain information about the number of hours volunteered by each type of activity, so a single wage rate was applied to each volunteer hour under this method. This wage rate was calculated in a two step process. Firstly, volunteer activities were matched to occupation categories to determine a wage rate for each activity. For some volunteer activities, more than one occupation category was matched to the activity and in these instances an average of the relevant occupations was used. The second step was to weight the results for each activity to calculate a single weighted average wage rate. This weighted average wage for all activities was then applied to each volunteer hour to calculate the value of volunteer services. Weights for each activity were based on the actual number of volunteer involvements associated with the activity compared with the average number of involvements for all activities. The value of volunteer services calculated using the replacement cost method have been included in the satellite account for 2012-13 as this valuation method was considered the most appropriate. As seen in the above table, volunteer services under this method were $17.3b and full time equivalents were 265,600 persons.
The Handbook recognises that data necessary to populate the opportunity or replacement cost approaches will not be available in all countries. Where detailed data on volunteering is not available, the Handbook recommends a fallback option which values each hour of volunteer time at the average gross wage for the community, welfare and social service occupation category. Under this approach, volunteer services were valued at $16.4b and full time equivalents were 266,400 persons. The number of full time equivalents differ under each approach as the average weekly hours worked in the relevant occupation categories are different.
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