Advisers

We have recently begun a new advisers' training programme. We are always happy to hear from people interested in becoming advisers, but we are not able to start another round of training until February 2019.

Advisers

Advisers need to be non-judgemental, able to work with clients whose experiences and values are very different to their own, and be good listeners. Full training is provided and you will need to spend about 2 days a week over a period of 6 months. You are fully supported throughout your training and afterwards and all expenses are paid. When completed and you start work as an adviser you will probably work 1 day a week (we can be flexible with hours) or a minimum of 6 hours per week.

Advisers work on a huge variety of issues, both complex and simple, that clients consult us about every day. Advisers work in teams, with support from colleagues. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know all the answers, but you do need to be able to find the relevant information required. There is a range of information and specialist support to enable you to deliver a quality service.

The Citizens Advice Fareham office is open on a Thursday evening so it would be useful, if you are able, to include evening appointments, follow up work, reading and writing up reports. A single day may be preferred, or time can be spread over different “shifts”. We try to be as flexible as possible to allow for outside commitments. A minimum of 6 training events or staff meetings should be attended over the course of a year.

Volunteer Generalist Adviser


Purpose of the role:

  • To help provide an effective and efficient advice service to members of the public
  • To help influence government and other organizations by informing them of the effect of their actions on the lives of clients.

Main duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Interviewing clients, both face-to-face and on the telephone, letting the client explain their enquiry and helping the client to set priorities
  • Finding, interpreting and communicating the relevant information and exploring options and implications in order that the client can come to a decision
  • Acting, where necessary, on behalf of the client, negotiating, drafting or writing letters or making appropriate referrals
  • Completing clear and accurate case records
  • Recognizing the root causes of problems and participating in taking appropriate action
  • Keeping up to date on important issues by attending the appropriate training and by essential reading
  • Attending volunteer staff meetings.

Personal skills and qualities that an Adviser needs:

  • A commitment to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Being open and approachable
  • Ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing
  • Ability to sift through information and extract what is relevant
  • Basic mathematical skills, including percentages
  • Respect for views, values and cultures that are different to their own
  • An understanding of why confidentiality is important
  • Being open to using computers on a regular basis
  • A positive attitude to self-development and assessment
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Ability to recognize their own limits and boundaries in the role.

Volunteer Digital Adviser

Purpose of the role:

  • To provide advice to clients through digital channels.
  • To act as an ambassador for the digital service by encouraging and assisting with the training of current staff and volunteers so they too are able to contribute to the running of the service.

Main duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Assess clients' problem(s) using sensitive listening and questioning skills.
  • Identify key information about the problem including time limits, key dates and any requirement for urgent advice or action (using the Citizens Advice public site, scripts and other diagnostic tools,as necessary).
  • Identify and summarise the essence of the problem
  • Establish what the client wants.
  • Assess and agree the appropriate level of service, taking into consideration the client's ability to take the next step themselves, the complexity of the problem and the office's resources.
  • Refer clients appropriately (both internally and externally) to suit clients' needs following agreed protocols, including making arrangements and informing clients of what to expect.
  • Signpost clients appropriately to suit their needs, following agreed protocols.
  • Record information given during gateway assessment interviews onto Casebook.
  • Identify and be aware of discrimination.
  • Identify and be aware of research and campaign issues.

Personal skills and qualities:

  • A good, up to date understanding of equality and diversity and its application to the provision of advice.
  • Ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively and a willingness to challenge constructively.
  • Ability to monitor and maintain own standards.
  • Understanding of the main enquiry issues involving in assessing clients' problems.
  • Ability to use IT systems and packages in the provision of gateway assessments, including the ability to input data for record keeping and navigate online information systems.
  • Interpersonal skills, including sensitive listening and questioning skills to understand the needs of others.
  • Flexibility and willingness to work as part of a team.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to assess client needs and identify relevant signposting information (electronic and written materials).
  • Ability to work within guidelines, protocols and procedures.
  • Ability to manage time effectively for the purpose of gateway assessment.
  • A commitment to continuing professional development, including a willingness to learn and develop knowledge and skills in main enquiry areas.

Interested in learning more?

email or call us on 01329 237121

If you wish to apply; please complete our volunteer application form