Advice Session Supervisor

Job Title: Advice Session Supervisor 

Responsible to: Advice Service Manager (Ashington)

Hours of work: As part of our commitment to being a flexible employer, applications are welcomed from candidates who are able to offer 16 – 20 hours per week – Monday / Tuesday / Thursday

Salary: £21,888 – £24,413 per annum (pro rata) dependent on experience

Location: Ashington

Contract length: 2 years

Closing date:   5th August 2019 9.00am

Interview date: 12th August 2019

The Citizens Advice Service

The aims of the Citizens Advice service are:

  • To provide the advice people need for the problems they face
  • To improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

Citizens advice Northumberland provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.  It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.

In furtherance of its aims the service follows policies of non-discrimination and seeks to be an Equal Opportunities Employer.

The Role

Citizens Advice Northumberland’s 150 volunteers and staff work with over 20,000 people to address more than 40,000 issues every year, providing free, independent, impartial and high quality advice. Our service gives people the knowledge and the confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem. 

We provide “drop-in” face-to-face support at 9 main offices and additional outreach premises across Northumberland, and further support from telephone support via our Adviceline service, which we deliver 5 days/week 9.30-4.30.

The main areas of advice we cover are welfare benefits, debt, housing, fuel poverty and employment, but we are the only service who is there to support everyone whatever their issue. We provide additional specialist casework services for universal credit, debt, fuel poverty, and welfare benefits, including targeted services funded by Macmillan cancer support. 

We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination wherever we find it, and through our research and campaigning we speak up on the issues that affect people’s lives. 

Role Purpose 

Reporting to the Advice Service Manager in Ashington, the Advice Session Supervisor is a senior role responsible for the supervision and support of our team of advisers in Ashington, who are responsible for the delivery of high quality face-to-face advice through drop-ins and pre-arranged/emergency appointments. 

The Advice Session Supervisor will take the lead on the first level advice supervision in Ashington. With primary responsibility for the supervision of the advice delivered by our volunteers, the post holder will ensure the efficient use of resources to maximise support available to clients. 

Main Duties

Supervision of advice

  • Manage the practicalities of our face to face advice sessions delivered by volunteers, ensuring adequate staffing and resources across advice channels.
  • Provide an appropriate level of support and supervision to individual workers (volunteers and paid staff), in accordance with levels of competence. 
  • Monitor the case records of designated staff and volunteers to meet quality standards and service-level agreements. 
  • Maintain, and, wherever necessary, improve the quality of advice, ensuring prompt corrective action is taken to protect client interests in the event of poor or inadequate advice, and staff/volunteer development actions are identified and implemented. 
  • Keep technical advice knowledge up to date and provide support to advisers and caseworkers. 
  • Undertake advice work as required to ensure service requirements are met.

People management 

  • Create a positive working environment in which equality and diversity are well managed, dignity at work is upheld and team members can do their best. 
  • Ensure the effective performance management and development of advice staff is met through regular supervision sessions, the appraisal process and learning and development. 
  • Provide an appropriate level of support and supervision to individual workers (paid and voluntary) depending on their level of competence. 
  • Ensure corrective and developmental issues are identified and acted on to develop individuals, improve the quality of advice, and ensure clients do not suffer detriment due to poor or inadequate advice. 
  • Participate in recruitment and selection activities as delegated. 
  • Participate in the induction of new staff as delegated. 

Research and campaigns

  • Keep up to date with current research and campaigns issues.
  • Ensure effective involvement of staff and volunteers in gathering evidence.
  • Participate in research and campaigns activity by providing information about clients’ circumstances and taking action on behalf of clients. 

Other Duties

  • Deputise for the Advice Service Manager when required at internal and external stakeholder meetings. 
  • Keep up to date with and implement Citizens Advice aims, and Citizens Advice Northumberland policies and procedures. 
  • Ensure that advice work reflects and supports the Citizens Advice service equality and diversity strategy.
  • Research, identify and respond to advice needs, in particular the needs of identified disadvantaged groups and different geographical and demographic areas. 
  • Develop and maintain effective administration systems and records relevant to the role. 
  • Monitor and evaluate activities appropriate to the role and contribute to the wider organisation planning process by providing regular reports and feedback on areas of responsibility. 
  • Work cooperatively with colleagues and encourage good teamwork, clear lines of communication and common practices within the advice team. 
  • Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own health and safety and that of colleagues. 
  • Identify own learning and development needs and take steps to address these. 
  • Carry out any other tasks within the scope of the post to ensure the effective delivery and development of the service. 

Training will be provided to ensure a successful candidate can fully meet the requirements of this role.’

Person Specification

Essential requirements

  • Ability to commit to, and work within, the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice service.
  • Recent and substantial experience of providing advice to the Advice Quality Standard in the key subject areas.
  • Proven ability to supervise and monitor the technical aspects of advice work and to maintain casework systems and procedures.
  • The ability to research, analyse and interpret complex information and numeracy skills at the level required to undertake the role effectively.
  • Experience of working collaboratively with external stakeholders to develop, deliver and monitor services to agreed targets.
  • Proven ability to manage/supervise others, including ability to recruit, develop and motivate staff and volunteers through the supervision and appraisal process.
  • Proven ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively; and willingness to challenge constructively.
  • Proven ability to create a positive working environment where equality and diversity requirements are well managed, dignity at work is upheld and staff are empowered and motivated to do their best.
  • Proven ability to develop individuals or groups by providing support through guidance, tutoring and/or training.
  • Demonstrable understanding of the issues involved in interviewing clients, including managing challenging behaviour.
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing – both within the organisation and with external stakeholders.
  • A flexible approach and the ability to work as part of a small team.
  • The ability to use ICT effectively to access information; record statistics; maintain accurate case records and promote and develop the service.  
  • A commitment to continuing professional development including the development of support and supervisory skills.    

Desirable Requirements 

  • The Citizens Advice Certificate in Generalist Advice or equivalent.
  • Experience in the recruitment & selection of personnel.

Further Details

Further Details – Advice Session Supervisor

Normal hours of work for a full-time worker are Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm including a 30 minute unpaid break. 

Full-time employees are entitled to 36 days annual leave (including bank holidays).

Travel expenses will be paid on authorised business. 

If you would like an informal discussion about the role please contact Sarah Hall, in the first instance to arrange this, using the contact details below.

Completed applications (CV’s will not be accepted) using the details below:

Contact Information

Sarah Hall
Citizens Advice Northumberland (Ashington Office)
89-91 Station Road
Ashington
NE63 8RS

07384510724

Alternatively completed applications can be emailed to sarahhall@citizensadvicenorthumberland.org.uk

Please ensure that you receive a read receipt.