Recruiting EDI volunteers

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre is looking to recruit EDI volunteers around the College. There are three types of EDI volunteer opportunities: Staff Harassment Support Contacts, Staff Supporters, and Dyslexia Champions.

A‌ccessible versions of these role description documents are available below.

These roles do not replace the remit of the Consuls or the trades unions. Consuls will continue to be available for advice on academic staff matters. The College trades unions (UCU, Unite and UNISON) will continue to provide information, advice, and an advocate service for their members.

Application process

Before applying please ensure you have line manager approval and that you are not already holding any other volunteer roles in the College.

Please be advised that we can only accept one application per candidate for these volunteer roles – candidates cannot apply for more than one role at this stage.

To apply, please complete this online application form by Tuesday 12 April 2022.

After the deadline, applicants will be contacted by a member of the EDI Centre with a decision regarding their application. For applications that have been accepted, they will be invited to interview for the role in May.

Drop-in sessions

We are holding online drop-in sessions to allow interested staff to learn more about the roles and answer any questions you may have. The drop-in sessions will be:

  • Monday 28 March, 15.00-16.00
  • Wednesday 30 March, 15.00-16.00
  • Monday 4 April, 15.00-16.00
  • Wednesday 6 April, 14.30-15.30 (cancelled)
  • Friday 8 April 10.30-11.00

If you would like to attend a session please sign up via Forms. This helps us plan and enables us to collate questions in advance.

If you are unable to attend a drop-in session, please email the EDI Centre if you have any questions.

EDI volunteer role descriptions

Dyslexia Champions

Job Title: Dyslexia Champions
Campus/Location: All campuses
Responsible to: The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre
Contract type: Volunteer

Purpose of the Post

Imperial College London is looking for new volunteers to join the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre (EDIC). Our aim is to have an organisational culture which fully embraces the concept of neurodiversity and provides appropriate support for neurodivergent colleagues. For people to feel safe and comfortable talking about any challenges they may have with their tasks, to be able to find out about what support is available to them, and to feel empowered to make informed decisions about whether to seek support.

As a Dyslexia Champion, you will be expected to be the knowledgeable, approachable, and impartial volunteer ‘sign-posters’ who, following their course of study, are ‘qualified to guide’ neurodivergent colleagues towards a recognised process of support. You will need to help raise awareness, in the wider organisation, of the benefits of becoming ‘dyslexia/neurodivergent-aware’. Helping avoid potential discrimination and bullying and thereby increasing the likelihood that neurodivergent colleagues will be able to utilise their strengths, realise their potential, and thus enhancing their workplace wellbeing and reducing risks to their mental health.

Key Responsibilities

Provide an essential, safe 'gateway' for those who may have concerns about seeking support for dyslexia and associated ‘processing differences’.

Work with heart – and be approachable, knowledgeable and impartial.

Be able to guide colleagues towards a recognised process of support.

Provide important initial dyslexia 'first aid' for those who are feeling overwhelmed and unsure whether they should mention their challenges.

Appreciate the need for positive well-being - for colleagues and for themselves.

Be equipped and able to answer questions from individuals and line managers.

Agree to continue to gain knowledge around the area of interest - dyslexia and associated neurodivergent conditions.

Know to ask EDI Centre for guidance and advice beyond their level of competence.

Dyslexia Champions do not replace the remit of the Consuls or the trade unions. Consuls will continue to be available for advice on academic staff matters. The College trades unions (UCU, Unite and UNISON) will continue to provide information, advice, and an advocate service for their members.

Person Specification

Volunteers will be expected to demonstrate the following:

Experience

Experience providing support to those who have dyslexia and are associated with ‘processing differences’ - Essential

Skills & Abilities

Excellent interpersonal and listening skills - Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality - Essential
Ability to be unbiased and to put personal assumptions and preconceptions to one side to offer completely impartial support - Essential
Treating everyone with respect - Essential
Take responsibility for own actions - Essential
Able to create a safe space - Essential
Work within our own level of competence & refer to specialist advice when necessary - Essential
Use dyslexia/neurodivergent-friendly practices in communications - Essential
Acknowledge the need to keep up to date and maintain currency of knowledge - Essential
Putting people in touch with others who may be able to advise e.g., the EDI Centre who can give further advice on procedures - Essential
Attending network catch-up meetings and yearly CPD/supervision - Essential
The following courses should have been completed in the last three years: EDI online course, Unconscious bias online course - Desirable

Staff Harassment Support Contacts

Job Title: Staff Harassment Support Contacts
Campus/Location: All campuses
Responsible to: The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre
Contract type: Volunteer

Purpose of the Post

Staff Harassment Support Contacts (HSCs) are an award-winning scheme that helps support individuals who are feeling bullied, harassed, or intimidated at work. We are proud of having created a confidential network of volunteers who will listen impartially and believe the individual with no judgement.

Our aim is to provide a safe environment where someone can get immediate support and information on the various options as they think about what has happened and how they want to deal with it. This might include talking about how they want the behaviour to stop, getting some help with dealing with the aftermath, helping rebuild a relationship (if appropriate), or understanding the College’s policy and procedures if they decide to use the formal procedure for complaints.

Key Responsibilities

Harassment Support Contacts (HSCs) play a key role in the promotion of equal opportunities at Imperial College London. They provide an impartial listening and information service to any person concerned about discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and bullying, including the provision of support to individuals who make a complaint or have had a complaint made against them.

he HSC role provides an opportunity to utilise existing skills and will require the application of specialist knowledge, for which training will be given. HSCs will need to possess a high level of interpersonal skills and be able to communicate comfortably with different people at all levels within the College.

The network will operate in line with the following principles:

  • HSCs will be as representative of the College community as is practical and possible.
  • HSCs will offer a confidential listening service in line with College policies and are supported in this role by College.
  • Confidentiality will be respected wherever possible (unless someone is at risk of harm – HSCs will be trained how to manage this).
  • HSCs will be well informed on harassment issues and will take individual responsibility for updating their knowledge and working with the EDI Centre to access further development as needed.
  • HSCs will be encouraged to be mutually supportive and to share learning and skills.
  • Individual HSCs will be taught how to recognise their personal limitations in offering specialist advice and will redirect or refer individuals to other appropriate departments and agencies.
  • Any support given will be offered objectively and in a non-judgemental way with respect for individual boundaries.
  • The HSC scheme will be widely publicised with the name of contacts highly visible to help staff access the service easily.


Person Specification

Volunteers will be expected to demonstrate the following:

Experience

Experience of counselling - Desirable
Experience of supervising or managing staff - Desirable
Coaching experience - Desirable
Experience of volunteer helplines - Desirable

Knowledge

Knowledge of employment law, particularly discrimination legislation - Desirable

Skills & Abilities

An interest in and commitment to matters of equal opportunities - Essential
Ability to listen to staff at all levels, who may approach them with a complaint - Essential
Ability to maintain utmost confidentiality - Essential
Ability to remain calm and impartial - Essential
Ability to deal with difficult situations - Essential
The advisor will need to be easily accessible through MS Teams/Yammer or emails. And potential to meet on campus if required, able to spare some time at relatively short notice, to see people - Essential
Acting as a sounding board, listening to the complainant - Essential
Putting people in touch with others who may be able to advise e.g., HR managers who can give further advice on procedures - Essential
Attending network catch-up meetings and yearly CPD/supervision - Essential
Record keeping - Desirable
Report writing - Desirable
Clear track record of modelling diversity and inclusion - Essential
Good understanding of boundaries – personal and role boundaries - Essential
Good active listening skills - Essential
Able to build rapport - Essential
Able to maintain confidentiality - Essential
Able to create a safe space - Essential
Evidence of modelling College values - Essential
The following courses should have been completed in the last three years: EDI online course, Unconscious bias online course, Harassment: confronting inappropriate behaviour - Desirable

Staff Supporters

Job Title: Staff Supporters
Campus/Location: All campuses
Responsible to: The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre
Contract type: Volunteer

Purpose of the Post

The Staff Supporters scheme is an initiative that will help all staff access the support and guidance they need.

A Staff Supporter is an existing member of staff who is part of a trained network of volunteers which provide confidential and positive assistance to all Imperial staff when they need information, guidance, and support. Staff Supporters have received bespoke training and are able to provide confidential assistance on a range of issues, from queries about career advice or flexible working, to concerns about the behaviour of a colleague.

Sometimes staff do not know who to contact when they have a problem, they might not have access to a PC and perhaps can't talk to their line manager. In these instances, the Staff Supporter acts as a signposting and guidance service to provide information direct to staff.

Key Responsibilities

Staff Supporters can provide information direct to individuals on a range of issues. This service is particularly important if the individual is undergoing structured performance support or is subject to other formal or informal College processes (grievance/disciplinary). Staff Supporters can also provide information on College services to support a concern related to health or personal circumstances not directly related to work or about less contentious matters – for example accessing career advice and support.

The role of the Staff Supporter is to support the individual in accessing the relevant College or external services – including those listed above - and to keep in regular contact with the member of staff, ideally until the matter has been satisfactorily resolved or concluded.

Staff Supporters do not provide specialist advice to individuals, or act as an advocate for them, but they do ensure that staff are able to access the appropriate College or external service relevant to their issue. The Staff Supporter is also an ongoing point of independent contact for as long as the individual requires support.

Staff Supporters will maintain confidentiality and will not share information about the member of staff’s concerns with anyone else without the express permission of the member of staff (unless someone is at risk of harm).

Staff Supporters do not replace the remit of the Consuls or the trades unions. Consuls will continue to be available for advice on academic staff matters. The College trades unions (UCU, Unite and UNISON) will continue to provide information, advice, and an advocate service for their members.

A Staff Supporter will need to commit to a one-day training session on commencement of their role and termly half-day refresher briefings which will include sharing and learning from the experiences of other colleagues in Staff Supporter roles.

Person Specification

Volunteers will be expected to demonstrate the following:

Experience

Experience to offer support and guidance to staff when this is needed - Essential
Experience dealing with confidential information - Essential

Knowledge

A good understanding of College services and procedures (for which training will be given) - Essential

Skills & Abilities

Excellent interpersonal and listening skills - Essential
Ability to deal calmly with emotional upset - Essential
Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds - Essential
Ability to be unbiased and to put personal assumptions and preconceptions to one side to offer completely impartial support - Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality - Essential
Putting people in touch with others who may be able to advise e.g., the EDI Centre who can give further advice on procedures - Essential
Attending network catch-up meetings and yearly CPD/supervision - Essential
Good understanding of boundaries – personal and role boundaries - Essential
The following courses should have been completed in the last three years: EDI online course, Unconscious bias online course - Essential