CUSU-GU Student Advisor by 483JpCr5


									CUSU-GU Student Advisor
(Maternity cover)

Recruitment Information Pack

Thank you for expressing interest in the maternity cover position for the CUSU-GU Student

This information pack has information about CUSU and the Graduate Union (GU), and the Student
Advice Service and explains how the role of the Student Advisor is central to the running of the
Student Advice Service.

This pack includes information relating to the following:
1. Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU)
2. Cambridge University Graduate Union (GU)
3. Student Advice Service
4. The Role
5. Key relationships and CUSU-GU Staffing Structure
6. Job Description
7. Person Specification
8. Summary of Terms and Conditions
9. Details of the recruitment procedure and guidance on completing the application form

To apply for the post please submit an application form, a Curriculum Vitae and a cover letter
explaining what motivated you to apply for the post (max 500 words).

Applications should be submitted electronically to or via post
(addressed to Harriet Flower) to: Cambridge University Students' Union, Old Examination Hall,
Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RF.

For an informal discussion about the job please contact Mark McCormack, or
01223 333 313.

Application deadline:          Monday 25th June, 5pm GMT
Interviews will be held:       Friday 6th July.

Please contact us in advance at if you foresee the interview dates
being problematic.

Cambridge University Students’ Union is an equal opportunities employer: we welcome
applications from anyone and value diversity.


The University of Cambridge has over 20,000 students in 31 colleges and has two Student Unions;
Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) represents and supports all undergraduate and
postgraduate students of the University of Cambridge and the Graduate Union (GU) is the only
students’ union in the UK that works exclusively for graduate students (including all
postgraduates, mature students, affiliated students and undergraduates in their fourth year of

Both Unions are dynamic and creative student-led organisations working to support, represent
and campaign for students in Cambridge in order to improve every aspect of the student
experience. The Unions run a range of events and services, sit on University committees and work
with local charities and organisations as well as the City and County Council. Importantly, CUSU
and the GU work with elected student officers in University departments and in Junior Common
Rooms (JCRs) and Middle Common Rooms (MCRs) in each college, which represent and support
undergraduates and graduates respectively.

CUSU and the GU share over 11,000 members and identify student support and welfare as the
strongest joint priority. The Student Advisor role was added to the team of students and staff in
2010. This has proven to be an exciting and positive step in the direction of improving student
support, advice and representation for all students in Cambridge by giving them access to a
professional, confidential and impartial support service run by sabbatical officers and the Student

The atmosphere at both Unions is friendly and informal, and if you enjoy working for and amongst
students of any age, you will enjoy working for the GU and CUSU.

1. Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU)

The CUSU sabbatical officers (President, Coordinator, Access, Women’s, Education and Welfare &
Rights Officer) lead and coordinate the activities of CUSU and work with the CUSU team (over 40
part time student officers and seven staff members) to campaign in the interests of students and
provide academic and welfare support, services, widening participation activities, events and
representation both in Cambridge and nationally. Sabbatical Officers also support, train and work
closely with elected student officers in each college (JCR/MCR Committees) and faculty reps.

CUSU places great emphasis on equality, diversity and widening participation. The CUSU Access
Officer leads efforts to actively encourage students from non-traditional backgrounds to apply to
Cambridge, while the CUSU Autonomous Campaigns (representing Black and Minority Ethnic
Students, LBGT, Women, International Students and Disabled Students) campaign for and
represent groups of students who are traditionally disempowered or have special needs.

2. Cambridge University Graduate Union (GU)

The GU provides a wide range of services aimed solely at graduate students. The GU recognises
that many graduates get involved less with college life than a typical undergraduate might, and
furthermore 40% of graduate students are international students, and as such, the GU focuses
extensively on providing centralised social events and providing support on graduate student and
international student issues. The GU also represents GU members on committees, and works
closely with graduate representatives from colleges and faculties.

The sabbatical GU President leads a Board of full-time graduate students to carry out GU
activities. The Board consists of a Treasurer, Secretary, Academic Affairs Officer, Welfare Officer,
Families Officer, International Officer, Events Officer and Environmental Officer. The GU/CUSU
Welfare & Rights sabbatical officer works as a member of the GU Board as well as being a CUSU

The GU also has a centrally located building with study space, meeting rooms, printing/binding
facilities, a shop and a café.

3. Student Advice Service

The Student Advice Service team includes four members - one full-time staff member (Student
Advisor) and three sabbatical officers (CUSU-GU Welfare & Rights Officer, CUSU Education Officer
and CUSU Women’s Officer). The CUSU-GU Welfare & Rights Officer is the sabbatical officer who
is responsible for the Student Advice Service. The Student Advisor works very closely with the
Welfare & Rights Officer in managing the Student Advice Service. All members of the Student
Advice Service provide confidential and impartial support to all students on welfare and academic
issues. The Student Advice Service is one of the most used services CUSU and the GU provide.
Officers and the Student Advisor work with the University Counseling Service and Disability
Resource Centre as well as Tutors in colleges, nurses, GPs, the City Council and local charities and
organisations to ensure students have access to a range of sources of advice, information and
support. Over the last few years, CUSU and the GU have improved the quality of support available
for students by training sabbatical officers, ensuring they have support, developing policy and
publicising the service.

The Student Advisor and the Welfare & Rights Office are based at both the GU and CUSU.

4. The Role

You will work closely with the Welfare & Rights Officer to coordinate the running of the Student
Advice Service. As part of your role you will work with CUSU and GU Sabbatical Officers
recommending best practice, supporting sabbatical officers, and you will take the lead in
providing professional, impartial and confidential support to all students.

The Student Advisor position is a diverse and dynamic role that requires dedication to improving
the student experience and providing confidential and impartial support. You will join the
student-led team of sabbatical officers and staff in CUSU and the GU, work on welfare issues and
collaborate with elected student officers in CUSU and the GU as well as in colleges, University
organisations and groups in the local community. Welfare issues that come under your remit
include student complaints, issues of discrimination and harassment, disability and mental health
issues, equality, examination concerns, difficulties with colleges, faculties and other students,
student finance and accommodation among other things. You will play a key role in providing
information for students by working with the Welfare & Rights Officer on relevant CUSU and GU
publications, to ensure these resources reflect student needs.

Most importantly, the Student Advisor will ensure a high degree of professionalism and will use
their experience and expertise to work with sabbatical officers to address the root causes of
welfare issues in the University and continuously improve the representation work that is central
to the activities and importance of CUSU and the GU.

The Student Advisor will be responsible, in the first instance, to the CUSU General Manager on
behalf of both organisations.

5. Key relationships and CUSU-GU Staffing Structure

CUSU-GU Student Advisor
Job Description
Salary:                     Starting at £24,000 - £26,000
Responsible to:             CUSU General Manager
Functional Relationships:   Student Officers (sabbatical and non-sabbatical), all CUSU and
                            GU staff, relevant University and college staff, Trustees of
Place of work:              Cambridge University Students’ Union and the Graduate

Job Purpose

The CUSU/GU Student Advisor will provide professional, confidential and impartial advice,
support and information to all students of the University of Cambridge. At present the
Student Advisor is the sole non-elected employee of the Student Advice Service. They will
work with, and support, elected Sabbatical Officers to lead the coordination and
management of the Student Unions’ Student Advice Service.

Specific Duties

1.      Student Support and Advocacy

1.1.    Provide students with non-directive, confidential advice and guidance via
        telephone, email and face-to-face. Be the primary point of contact and referral for
        all CUSU/GU Student Support enquiries.
1.2.    Provide in-depth advice and information on relevant college, University and
        national regulations, procedures and policies.
1.3.    Maintain and share knowledge of national best practice, legislation and initiatives
        in higher education that are relevant to student support in Cambridge University.
1.4.    Participate in regular meetings to discuss relevant issues, ensure best practice and
        and review student support with the CUSU-GU Welfare & Rights Officer, the CUSU
        Education Officer, CUSU Women’s Officer. Maintain records of these meetings.

2.      CUSU/GU Student Advice Service

2.1.    Manage sensitive and confidential information and maintain accurate, up-to-date
        and confidential records and statistics of casework.
2.2.    Produce reports, as required, on use of the Student Advice Service and issues
        relating to advice provision, including writing an annual report for the service.
2.3.    Advise on development and updating of policies relating to the CUSU-GU Student
        Advice Service (e.g. Confidentiality Policy). Maintain and uphold these policies,
        and ensure policies and procedures are reviewed effectively and in line with legal
        requirements and best practice.
2.4.    Assist with the production of Student Advice Service literature.
2.5.    Maintain up-to-date and accurate information in all the resources the Service
        provides to students, including the Student Advice Service website
2.6.    Identify new publications, leaflets and information that might be of use or interest
        for students.
2.7.    Update relevant sections of the Student Advice Service, CUSU and GU websites.

3.     Supporting Sabbatical Officers

3.1.   Support and advise sabbatical officers in their own casework.
3.2.   Organise and facilitate handover activities and regular training for CUSU and GU
       sabbatical officers on issues relating to student support.
3.3.   Prepare reports, briefing papers and relevant information for sabbatical officers in
       preparation for relevant University committees.
3.4.   Support sabbatical officers in offering and running training for CUSU/GU part-time
       officers, JCR/MCR committees and officers, Faculty Reps and any other relevant
       student volunteers or groups.

4.     University and External Liaison

4.1.   Maintain links and working relationships with relevant student organisations (e.g.
       Linkline) and University bodies and staff (e.g. the Disability Resource Centre, the
       University Counselling Service, college nurses).
4.2.   Maintain contact with local GPs, Primary Care Trusts and other local health
       organisations as well as a thorough knowledge of support services, including
       charities that support students, in Cambridge and nationally.

5.     Other Duties

5.1.   Consent to any relevant checks required for the role such as Criminal Records
       Bureau (CRB) checks or equivalent.
5.2.   To abide by the Student Advice Service’s’ code of practice, procedures and policies
       at all times.
5.3.   To abide by the Unions’ constitutions, procedures and policies at all times.
5.4.   To demonstrate a commitment to equality of opportunity, together with an
       understanding of how it operates within the responsibilities of the post.
5.5.   To have a flexible approach to duties and work, and, in particular, adopt and
       promote a teamwork style with departments and activities across the Unions.
5.6.   To maintain proper records and management.
5.7.   To ensure that procedures for confidentiality and the security of all documents are
       maintained effectively.

6.     General Duties

6.1.   To deliver targets outlined in the Unions’ strategic plans where appropriate.
6.2.   To contribute and assist in the Unions’ planning processes and the review of
       performance and systems in relation to student support.
6.3.   To attend meetings, training events and conferences where necessary and
6.4.   To liaise as required with University and college personnel and appropriate
       external organisations.
6.5.   To portray the Students’ Unions in a positive, proactive and professional manner.
6.6.   To contribute to publications and informational materials.
6.7.   To be involved with Union wide events for both Unions.
6.8.   To undertake own typing, filing, photocopying etc.
6.9.   To provide cover, where appropriate, for other staff during holidays, sickness etc.

   CUSU-GU Student Advisor
   Personal Specification
                                                                                             Essential   Desirable
A first degree or relevant professional experience                                              X
A relevant professional qualification - NVQ level 3 or 4

One year’s experience of advice work, preferably within the last three years                    X
Experience of working within a Students’ Union, or similar charitable/third sector                          X
organisation, or within a University/Higher Education environment
Experience in handling sensitive and confidential matters                                       X
Experience of designing and delivering training programmes relevant to student support                      X

Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written                                         X
IT literacy and excellent record keeping skills                                                 X
Report writing, including some basic statistical analysis                                                   X
Highly developed interpersonal and advice-giving skills, both face-to-face, by email and        X
by telephone
Ability to work effectively in a team                                                           X
Ability to develop and maintain good working relations with elected officers                    X
Advice provision
Ability to understand complex systems and cases; and ability to identify the best course        X
of action for specific cases
A diplomatic, sensitive, non-judgmental approach to students using the Student Advice           X
Ability to listen to and communicate effectively with a diverse range of students,              X
responding to differing needs and perspectives

A demonstrable understanding of current guidelines, legislation and best practice relating      X
to student support, advice and guidance
A demonstrable understanding of themes/issues relevant to Cambridge students                                X
An understanding of one or more of mental health, sexual health, eating disorders,              X
disabilities, student safety, pregnancy, racism, harassment, bullying
Values & Attitudes
Able to work independently, without supervision                                                 X
Enthusiastic and flexible                                                                       X
Self motivated, innovative and positive about change                                            X
Commitment to equality of opportunity with an understanding of issues related to                X
Commitment to working within a democratic, student led environment                              X
Able to show leadership                                                                         X

 CUSU-GU Student Advisor
 Summary Terms & Conditions

Job title:            CUSU-GU Student Advisor
Contract type:        Maternity Cover (twelve-months fixed term)

Hours of work:        This post is full-time and contracted hours are 36½ hours per week, plus additional
                      hours as necessary (although these are expected to be minimal). Specific times of work
                      will be agreed with the postholder - due to the nature of the post the majority of the
                      work will be completed during office hours Monday to Friday. Requests for flexibility
                      will be considered and accommodated where the post allows for this.

Location of work:     You will normally work from Graduate Union or CUSU offices in central Cambridge
                      (Mill Lane and Free School Lane respectively) and may need to attend meetings
                      elsewhere within the University of Cambridge and its Colleges. Occasionally the
                      postholder may be required to work away from Cambridge, potentially including
                      overnight stays.

Salary:               The starting salary for this post is £24,000 - £26,000 per annum, depending on

Probationary arrangements:
                    This post is subject to a 6-month probationary period, with 1-month, 3-month and 6-
                    month probationary reviews.

Annual leave entitlement:
                     The post holder is entitled to 36 days of annual leave inclusive of 8 bank holidays.

Pension:              We will make arrangements for direct payment of your employee pension
                      contributions to a scheme of your choice. We will pay employer’s contributions equal
                      to a maximum of 5% of your salary into a scheme of your choice.

Equality of opportunity:
                      Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) and the Cambridge University Graduate
                      Union are committed to creating organisations in which all members and employees
                      are respected, discrimination is not tolerated and diversity is encouraged. All
                      members and employees will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for
                      employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude
                      and ability.

Management arrangements:
                  The Student Advisor will be responsible, in the first instance, to the CUSU General
                  Manager on behalf of both organisations.

The Recruitment Process

Completing your application form

Included in this pack is the job description and person specification. Please read these very
carefully before completing your application form as applicants will be marked against this
criteria. The job description lays out the specific tasks to which the Student Advisor post will be
expected to perform; the person specification lists competencies and values for which the GU and
CUSU have defined as essential or desirable for the post to perform successfully.

Part III of the application form gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your suitability to the

To be considered for interview, applicants will have to demonstrate to the short-listing panel that
they fulfill all criteria deemed essential; applicants should do this by drawing on their own
personal experiences to explain their skills, attributes and personal values. It is important to
consider all your experience, whether it references previous employment, voluntary positions or

This pack has also given contextual information relating to the background of the post and the
expectations of both the GU and CUSU, therefore it is advised to consider this information
carefully before completing your application form. Applicants will find plenty of information on
the GU and CUSU web pages, which may give applicants a better understanding of how both
organisations operate. The Student Advice Service website will be of particular use to applicants.

Please ensure your CV is up-to-date, is adequately tailored to the job (where possible) and can be
easily referenced when the short-listing panel are reading your completed form.

We request the equalities monitoring form be included with your application, however it will not
form part of the selection process and is not mandatory.

Further information:

To discuss this opportunity with someone at CUSU or the GU, please contact with your contact details.

Submitting your application

The closing date for applications is 25th June 2012 at 5pm; applications received after this date will
not be considered. We prefer forms to be received electronically, however they can be posted
(addressed to Harriet Flower) to: Cambridge University Students' Union, Old Examination Hall,
Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RF.

Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their application via email (please ensure an
email address is included in posted forms).


Applications will be assessed against the essential criteria in the person specification. Where
many candidates meet the essential criteria, the panel will consider desirable criteria in the
person specification and job description. Only information contained within the application form
will be considered in the short-listing.

Short-listed candidates will be notified via email or telephone no later than Wednesday 27th June;
interviews will take place on Friday 6th July.

Candidates invited to interview will be given sufficient information at the time in order to prepare
for the interview. The GU and CUSU will be as accommodating as is practicably possible to the
recruitment process with all candidates. Candidates will be required to bring along evidence of
their qualifications and official documentation proving Right to Work (see Right to Work section


CUSU and the GU want to know if any applicants feel unfairly treated during the course of the
recruitment process. This application pack seeks to assure potential applicants of the due and fair
process both organisations have for recruitment and would welcome feedback where applicants
feel it is needed. To complain or comment on any part of the recruitment process, please email

Data protection

The information included, and provided by you, within your application for the post of CUSU-GU
Student Advisor will be used to assess your suitability for the specific post; it will only be viewed
by those involved in the recruitment process. Applicants’ information will be shared with those
persons delegated by the GU and CUSU to take part in the recruitment process and, as such, this
will necessitate that two organisations have access to applicants’ private data contained within
their application form. Due to the nature of the post (being employed by CUSU, however working
under the direction of the GU and CUSU) this cannot be avoided.

The application form of the successful candidate will be retained by CUSU; the forms of
unsuccessful applicants/candidates will be destroyed after nine months, except in cases where
there is a dispute (in such cases applicants will be notified that their form is still on file).

By submitting the equalities monitoring form you accept and consent to CUSU and the GU
keeping and using this data for statistical analysis and monitoring within the organisation (which
will be anonymous) so that we can continually improve our equal opportunities practises.

Right to Work in the UK

CUSU and the GU are required to undertake checks to ensure that all prospective employees are
entitled to live and work in the UK in accordance with the Asylum and Nationality Act (2006) prior
to the successful candidate starting work. Candidates will need to provide official documentation,
such as a passport, which proves they are entitled to work in the UK. For further information,
please see or email if
you have any questions.

Disclosure of criminal convictions and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Details of any unspent criminal convictions must be communicated in the application process as
defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Having a criminal record will not bar any
employee from CUSU or the GU; all applicants will be assessed fairly and indiscriminately on the
strength of their abilities as described in their application form.

CUSU and the GU welcome applicants with previous offences. We treat all applicants equally and
fairly and we comply with the CRB Code of Practice. From time-to-time employees at CUSU and
the GU may come in to contact with vulnerable groups; the Student Advisor is a position for which
this is extremely likely and as such you will be expected to submit a CRB disclosure form on
starting employment with CUSU. Should this CRB disclosure prove problematic for any reasons
connected to the post (ie a conflict in the post-holder’s ability to perform elements of the job
description in a manner the organisation feels appropriate), a risk assessment will be produced to
assess whether the successful applicant can continue in post. The position will only be able to stay
in post if risks identified can be reduced dramatically without negatively affecting GU or CUSU


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