Your role will be to provide advice to Camden residents over the telephone and in person. Our advice covers a wide range of areas, including welfare benefits, money advice, housing, employment and consumer.
We will provide you with the extensive, ongoing training and support you will need to build skills and learn the Trainee Adviser role. In addition to providing advice and on-going casework for clients, Trainee Advisers also have to keep accurate records of the advice they give and contribute to our Research and Campaigns work.
You will be required to:
- Interview clients using sensitive listening skills and record notes on our case recording system.
- Use Citizens Advice resources to find, interpret and communicate the relevant advice and information to clients.
- Research and explore options and implications so that clients can make informed decisions.
- Act for the clients where necessary by calculating, negotiating or drafting letters.
- Refer internally or to other specialist agencies as appropriate.
- Maintain detailed case records for the purpose of continuity of casework, information retrieval, statistical monitoring, and report preparation.
- Support our research and campaigns work through various channels including case studies, data collection and client consent.
- Engage positively with the paid staff and experienced volunteers providing support and training to ensure our high quality of advice is maintained.
Skills and attitudes
- Sensitive listening and questioning skills
- Ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing
- Being open and approachable
- Ability to interpret information and extract what is relevant
- Respect to views, values and cultures that are different to their own
- Good IT and numeracy skills
- Ability to recognise own limits and boundaries in the role
- Ability to work accurately, work as part of a team and act on constructive feedback
Trainee advisers are given coaching, support and encouragement from the Trainer & Supervisor and the Advice Supervisors. For the first 12 to 14 weeks of your time with us, you will spend one to two sessions per week learning in a group and being trained to deliver advice and support to clients. If you successfully complete this stage, you will be gradually introduced to interviewing clients under supervision and with the support of the team.
This role will be delivered through a combination of face to face and remote channels. To deliver advice remotely, you will need a telephone, a computer and a private, secure internet connection. You will need to have a confidential working space to perform your role and adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Citizens Advice confidentiality guidelines.
In return for your time and commitment, we will provide you with the training, support and extensive information and advice resources you will need for this role. As well as learning transferable skills, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference to your local community.
Trainee Advisers will be expected to work with all kinds of clients and on any kind of problem they have. They must be prepared to examine their own views and feelings to make sure that they are able to give an equally good service to everyone.
All Citizens Advice Camden volunteers are expected to carry out the Citizens Advice Camden’s policy of equal opportunities. This means an active opposition to all forms of discrimination, and to make sure that the service is equally available to all people.
Everything seen and heard whilst volunteering for Citizens Advice Camden must be kept private and every volunteer has to sign an agreement to observe a strict rule of confidentiality before starting to volunteer with us.
A commitment to learning
A willingness to learn and develop is central to being an effective Trainee Adviser.
Good written and spoken English is essential to ensure accuracy of case notes and information exchanged over the phone. A good telephone manner and strong IT skills are also helpful.
Volunteering hours: by arrangement. A minimum availability of 2 days per week for 12 months is required.
Support and supervision: Day to day support will be provided by the Trainer & Supervisor and the Advice Supervisors. There will be additional support from the Community Advice Manager at other times.
Expenses: Travel expenses will be reimbursed. If sessions of more than five hours are worked in one day, a contribution of £3.00 will be made towards the cost of a meal when working in the office. If selected, full details will be given when you join us.
How to Apply
If you would like to apply to volunteer as an Trainee Adviser, please download the application form below, complete and return it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in contact with you in due course.