Dignity and Respect Advisors provide a confidential and informal service for anyone involved in cases of harassment or bullying.

How Dignity and Respect Advisors can help

The University provides a network of Dignity and Respect Advisors, which are members of staff from across the University who have volunteered and are trained to undertake the role. They provide a confidential and informal service for anyone involved in cases of harassment or bullying (including those facing allegations about their behaviour). Advisors can listen, talk through the options available and, if appropriate signpost to other sources of support and advice.

Can I contact them?

Dignity and Respect Advisors can provide support to any staff or students. Students can contact any of the Dignity and Respect Advisors. Staff can contact any of the non-Guild Dignity and Respect Advisors. It is also recommended that wherever possible, the Dignity and Respect Advisors based in your own College or Service are not selected to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

Occasionally, a Dignity and Respect Advisor may need to refer an individual contacting them to another Advisor within the Network. This may be due to personal commitments, a potential conflict of interest or because another Advisor is better equipped to assist with a particular issue.

Dignity and Respect Advisors are there to listen to what has happened and to help and support, and explain the options, whether or not someone wishes to make a formal complaint. They also have names and addresses of external support groups or other professional bodies if referral is more appropriate.

Confidentiality

You can be assured of Dignity and Respect Advisors' total confidentiality. The Advisor will complete a brief, anonymous record of any discussion that will be used by the University’s Equality and Diversity Office solely for the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness of the Policy and the network of Dignity and Respect Advisors in dealing effectively with concerns about inappropriate conduct. The Advisor will discuss the contents of this record with you.

Exceptionally, if the Dignity and Respect Advisor considers that there is unacceptable risk to the individual, another person or the University, they may inform one of the University’s Personal Representatives to the Vice-Chancellor, but you will be advised of this before any disclosure is made. The information will only be disclosed to relevant parties and all investigations will apply appropriate levels of confidentiality (see safeguards).

What can and can’t a Dignity and Respect Advisor do?

Dignity and Respect Advisors can:

  • provide a supportive, confidential and informal environment in which to discuss issues regarding harassment and/or bullying
  • provide information on the options that are available
  • assist those seeking advice in thinking those options through
  • empathise without judgement
  • accompany individuals at meetings in an informal capacity or under their ‘right to be accompanied’ (providing all parties involved are in agreement)
  • if appropriate, signpost to other sources of support/advice

Dignity and Respect Advisors cannot:

  • make decisions for the individual seeking advice or ‘fix’ their situation
  • take action against the alleged harasser
  • mediate or negotiate between the individual seeking advice and the alleged harasser
  • provide counselling (counselling for students is provided by Wellbeing Services; staff can access counselling via Care First)
  • give directional advice
  • meet with individual seeking advice outside of office hours or outside of University premises