1) Will my College find out I’ve asked for advice?
No, we are completely confidential which means we won’t tell anybody outside of the Advice Service about your case. The only exceptions would be if we felt you posed a risk to yourself or others, or if we were required to break confidentiality by law (these situations are incredibly rare).
2) What will happen during my appointment/drop-in session?
An adviser will start by collecting some basic information from you, such as your contact details. You will then be given the opportunity to tell them why you are seeking advice. Your adviser will listen to you without making any kind of judgement or assumption. They will take notes and may ask some questions if they need to clarify anything. Where possible, your adviser will outline your options there and then, and explain how we may be able to support you with these. In some situations it is necessary to seek further information before advising fully. If this is the case your adviser will make this clear and will also let you know how they will communicate any follow up advice to you.
3) Why do you need to collect my details?
We try to keep the details we request to a minimum, however, in order to advise effectively, it is important for us to know some basic details about your circumstances such as what course you are on. These details also allow us to monitor our usage, which will help us identify any trends or patterns.
4) My adviser hasn't got back to me yet, what should I do?
All our advisers aim to respond to queries as soon as possible, however, the service can get very busy. Sometimes your adviser will tell you when you can expect to hear from them and, if this is the case, we would ask you to be patient until this date. If this date has passed (or you haven't been given a specific timescale) you are welcome to send a follow up email or give us a call on 020 7514 6270.
5) I have an urgent query, how can I speak to someone as soon as possible?
We recognise that many students who contact us are very anxious and would like an answer as soon as possible. We also recognise that a speedy response is often required due to procedural deadlines, such as in the appeals procedure. We aim to respond to emails within two working days, however, during busy periods, we may be a little longer. It is helpful if you can clearly state any deadlines in your email and provide us with any relevant documentation, such as your Exam Board results letter in the case of appeals. The quickest way to talk to someone is often through our drop-in service (Monday – Friday, 10am – 12pm, High Holborn).
6) What can I do if I am unhappy with the service I have received?
We aim to provide a high standard of advice to all students and welcome any feedback you may have about how to improve the service. If you have any concerns, please contact Jenni Hastings (firstname.lastname@example.org), Advice Manager, who will investigate. If you remain unhappy, you are welcome to complain through the Students' Union’s Complaints Procedure.