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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked the most by students about the ‘Exe-Change the Norm’ programme.

Exeter academics Rachel Fenton and Nate Eisenstadt have developed the ‘Exe-Change the Norm’ bystander programme. This programme is comprised of three training sessions that target Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) priorities around gendered harms (e.g., sexism, sexual harassment, intimate partner abuse) through bystander intervention.  

Exe-Change the Norm is tailored to the student community both in terms of pedagogy and content (including language, examples and contextual scenarios.) Providing a safe space to explore these topics, encouraging a person-centred approach through celebrating individual qualities and empowering people to flourish. 

Part of Exeter University’s current strategic vision is to build a fair, socially just and inclusive society. Bystander training is one of the integral building blocks to reach that vision, raising awareness of important subject matter and providing skills to safely intervene when necessary.

The Exe-change the Norm programme is made up of three, 2-hour sessions delivered face to face.  

The sessions are as follows;  

  • Introduction to bystander and social norms  

  • Building knowledge; Sexual and domestic violence 

  • Skills training and intervention strategies  

Yes. All sessions are open to all. You can book the training through Handshake. Not all sessions will be necessary running at one time due to prioritisation and meeting demand(Handshake link? 

All postgraduate students can book onto the training by contacting  

Due to the nature of the content, the training is delivered face to face as we want to ensure people feel comfortable having open discussions and sharing their thoughts with peers. These sessions provide a safe and inclusive space to explore these topics through encouraging a person-centred approach, whilst imparting skills and knowledge based on positive framing. This means, we create an open environment that celebrates individuals’ qualities and enables non-judgmental practice of Bystander Intervention. It also allows room to discuss any misunderstandings or misconceptions around race, sexual violence and what skilful and safe intervention can look like.

As the training is open to all students it will be delivered across all campuses. Streatham, St. Luke’s, Penryn and Truro. Room location will be confirmed when you book onto your sessions.

The training will be delivered weekly throughout term time, across all campuses. For further detail on available sessions please look on Handshake or contact

Apart from the all-important new skills, knowledge and behaviours – once you have attended Session 1, you can put this towards your personal development options for the Exeter Award. Additionally, if you attend all sessions, you will have completed the bystander journey as shown on Handshake. This will result in receiving a LinkedIn recommendation for the Bystander programme on your profile. 

There is no specific deadline to complete these sessions by. Completing Session 1 first, and Session 3 last will best facilitate learning 

The sessions are a maximum of two hours each, so a total of six hours if you complete all three sessions. 

The training is delivered by two dedicated Learning and Development Managers within the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team. 

Every session will start with creating a safe place for all participants, setting up a contract for how we will communicate during the session and ensuring confidentiality. No names will be shared during discussion of real – life examples. 

Please get in touch with the training facilitators if you have any specific accessibility needs and we will try to meet your needs.  

Staff have access to a shorter training session, but it covers the same theory so that everyone within the University has the same understanding and access to knowledge around being a Bystander.  

You will be sent a PDF copy of our Bystander Handbook after you have attended session one which includes signposting to further support and resources. Both facilitators are contactable after the session to follow up with any questions you might have.

Yes, you can. There will be regular sessions running on Penryn campus. St. Luke’s and Truro will be less frequent but still available. Please check on Handshake for upcoming dates or contact for further information.