Advice Service Agreement

UCLan Students’ Union Advice Service Agreement

By accepting this agreement either explicitly, or implicitly (by continuing to engage with the service after being provided access to this document), you are agreeing that you have read and understood the terms of this agreement. Please read this information carefully.

We aim to always act in line with the following core principles of service

  • Independent
    The University of Central Lancashire Students’ Union is its own charitable organisation and a distinct and separate organisation to the University of Central Lancashire. We act in the best interests of students first and foremost.
  • Impartial
    As an impartial party we will not operate in an unnecessarily adversarial way towards the university, however we will seek to empower students and defend their rights where needed.

  • Our staff are impartial and will not express personal preferences or allow social, political, religious, or cultural biases to influence how we support you.

    Where conflicts of interest arises, we will ensure impartiality by allocating different advisors to each client. Where this is not possible we will support students on a first come first serve basis.

  • Non-Judgemental

    Our staff are here to help students with a range of concerns, regardless of how those concerns arose; we won’t judge you. We will only ask for information we feel is relevant to your case. We ask that you are open and honest with staff so they can give you accurate advice and information.

  • Empowering

    We aim to empower students to resolve their own issues and retain control of their own case. We recognise the power imbalance that can exist in both student/university and advisee/advisor dynamics.

    Our advice is non-directive, staff will identify possible courses of action, and their potential impact, outcomes and consequences, so that you can make considered and informed decisions. We may call upon our professional experience when advising you but will never seek to unduly prejudicing you to any particular viewpoint.

    We understand that it is your voice that needs to be heard. We will help enhance and strengthen that voice by giving you the benefit of our experience and expertise.

  • Confidential

    Case records are kept on a secure computer-based system for up to 7 years from your last engagement with us. Paper documents are stored in secure locked filling cabinets and uploaded to our case management system at the earliest opportunity and then destroyed.

    We won’t share your personal information or case details to anyone outside the service unless we have your permission or there are exceptional requirements. Exceptional requirements include where you are at risk of harming yourself or others and where we are required by law to disclose information, including but not limited to disclosures related to terrorism or proceeds of crime. We will always aim to discuss options and gain your permission first if we feel another party needs to be disclosed to. Where this is not possible, we will be governed by the Safeguarding/Data Protection lead or their nominee.

    In the unlikely case of a breach, we will always be transparent, open and honest, including what actions have been taken to resolve the breach.

  • Inclusive

    The Advice service is open to all students regardless of race, sex, age, gender, religion, disability, sexuality of any other factor. All students should feel safe and comfortable coming to us. We also require you respect the privacy of other students accessing the service.

    For those who require reasonable adjustments in order to access our service we will ensure you have the space to articulate such needs, and ensure it is sensitively noted on your casefile so staff are aware of your needs before engaging with you. On occasion we reserve the right to request a copy of a needs assessment or other evidence from a suitably qualified independent expert- our staff are not disability assessors and may require clear guidance from appropriate professionals as to what adjustments are reasonable.

Proactive and engaged

We are an extremely busy service and may not be able to support you if you approach us at short notice. It is your responsibility to meet any deadlines set by university procedures and/or agreed with your advisor. You should keep in regular contact but please allow sufficient time for us to respond to you.

We ask that you provide any documentation related to an enquiry at the earliest opportunity.

We assess each case and allocate resource based on the needs of all students, ensuring fair access for all. We therefore take a stepped approach to resource allocation; seeking the most resource effective solution to your concerns and allocating further resources as and when needed. In order to achieve this, we require that you engage with each step, including that you do your best to engage with any self-help material provided to you.

Where students fail to engage with the service or to keep in contact, we reserve the right to close their case, however we can reactive closed cases should engagement resume.

Honest and Open

We rely on the accuracy and reliability of information given to us by students in order to allocate resources and offer the most appropriate advice. Without key information we may be unable to prioritise effectively or advice correctly. We recognise students have a right to choose which information to share and when, but delays may disadvantage students through reduced access to appropriate support, which in turn may impact the success of your enquiry.

You must notify us of any other services/agencies being consulted in parallel to an enquiry at the advice service, including if you are actively engaging in accessing legal advice. Unless agreed with us that you should seek additional advice from another source, we may be unable to provide advice in parallel with another service.

Where students deliberately mislead us, or withhold key information needed in order to advice or prioritise cases, we reserve the right to withdraw or restrict service.

Acting with respect and due regard

We expect clients to treat our staff with respect and will withdraw or restrict our service if clients where they behave in an unacceptable way. We have a zero-tolerance position to abusive or threatening behaviour towards staff.

Students are also required to be mindful of making unreasonable requests of the service, including excessive contact, making demands that the service acts beyond its remit, capability, or capacity, and seeking to circumvent this agreement in anyway

We also require you to be considerate of others accessing the service; this means being considerate to the confidentiality of others, the right of others to access the service, and the fair allocation of resources by the service.

Scope of Service

Our service provides Academic Advice related to the University of Central Lancashire. At our discretion we may offer additional support in matters pertaining to Compelling Personal Circumstances Claims with Student Finance England. We also remain a hate crime reporting centre.

Who can use the Advice Service

Student Advice is only funded to provide a service to students of UCLan University and members of UCLan Students’ Union. We cannot advise parents, guardians, family members, or friends of a student, except where that contact has the express written authority of the student. We cannot advise a student’s legal representative, and/or supplement the advice of a third party.

Limitations of service

We are not an emergency service, nor can we provide counselling or mental health support although we understand many cases may have an acute impact on your wellbeing; wherever possible we will refer you to other services

We will not advice beyond our scope of competence. Where we cannot advice on an issue we may refer the student to another source of assistance, either within the Student’s Union, the wider University community, or to local or national services.

Signposting and Referrals

Services we may signpost/refer to include but at not limited to

  • ACAS(Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
Student Finance (non CPR)
Welfare Benefits
Student Immigration & Visa

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