Universal Support - Help to Claim Face to Face Adviser

Citizens Advice Northumberland offers confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free. We give people the knowledge and the confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.  We help with everything from money issues to problems at work, housing to consumer rights.

Universal Credit (UC) is the fastest growing advice issue for the Citizens Advice service and improving the support available to people making a claim is vital.

Citizens Advice is set to deliver a new service called “Help to Claim” which offers end-to-end support to help people make a new Universal Credit claim and be ready for when their first payment arrives.

We are looking for an adviser with good IT skills to support clients to make and complete their new Universal Credit claim, as well as a commitment to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice Service.

You’ll have the ability to interview clients using sensitive listening and questioning skills to get to the root of the issues and empower clients, whilst maintaining structure and control of meetings.

Salary Scale: £19,622 to £20,868 pro rata depending on experience

Hours: As part of our commitment to being a flexible employer, applications are welcomed from candidates who are able to offer up to 22.5 hours a week.

Contract length: Until 31st March 2020

Role Purpose: To provide support to Universal Credit claimants to help them make a claim and be ready for when their first payment arrives.

Location: Alnwick/Berwick office

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 is set to deliver a new service called “Universal Support: Help to Claim” which offers end-to-end support to help people make a new Universal Credit claim and be ready for when their first payment arrives.

We are looking for an adviser with good IT skills to support clients to make and complete their new Universal Credit claim, as well as a commitment to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice Service.

You’ll have the ability to interview clients using sensitive listening and questioning skills to get to the root of the issues and empower clients, whilst maintaining structure and control of meetings.

Main Duties

Advice and information

  • Interview clients using sensitive listening and questioning skills in order to allow clients to explain their problem(s) and empower them to set their own priorities.
  • Support clients to use IT to make their new Universal Credit claim
  • Use Citizens Advice resources to find, interpret and communicate the relevant information to clients.
  • Complete benefits checks when appropriate.
  • Research and explore options and implications so that clients can make informed decisions.
  • Act for the client where necessary using appropriate communication skills and channels.
  • Identify the need for and refer internally or to other specialist agencies as appropriate.
  • Ensure that work reflects and supports the Citizens Advice service’s equality and diversity strategy.

Maintaining service delivery

  • Complete the required training to comply with quality assurance processes.
  • Ensure that all work meets quality standards and the requirements of the funder.
  • Ensure continued conformity to the organisation’s systems and procedures and quality standards
  • Maintain case records for the purpose of continuity, information retrieval, statistical monitoring, report preparation and quality checking.

Research and campaigns

  • Participate in research and campaigns activity by providing information about clients’ circumstances.
  • Keep up to date with current research and campaigns issues.
  • Assist in the identification of areas for development and priorities for future campaigns.

Learning and development

  • Keep up to date with legislation, policies and procedures and undertake appropriate training.
  • Read relevant publications to maintain knowledge and expertise.
  • Prepare for and attend relevant supervision sessions / staff meetings / Trustee Board meetings as required.

Administration

  • Use of IT software for statistical recording of information relating to research and campaigns and funding requirements, record keeping and document production. Ensure GDPR compliant training is completed on an annual basis.
  • Ensure that all work conforms to your organisation’s systems and procedures.

Other duties

  • Uphold the aims, policies, and membership requirements of Citizens Advice.
  • Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues.
  • Adhere to the organisation’s information assurance policies and procedures and report any breaches or incidents of non-compliance.
  • Undertake any other duties that are consistent with the level of the post and ensure the effective delivery and development of the organisation’s services

Person Specification

Essential Requirements

  1. An understanding of, and commitment to, the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service and its equal opportunities policies.
  1. A good working understanding of the benefits system, and in particular of Universal Credit and the potential impact on claimants.
  1. A commitment to helping people and a professional, approachable and non-judgemental manner.
  1. Ability to use sensitive listening and questioning skills to get to the root of the issues and empower clients, whilst maintaining structure and control of discussions with them.
  1. Ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively and a willingness to challenge constructively.
  1. Ability to use IT systems and packages, and resources in the provision of advice, record keeping and document production.
  1. Good IT knowledge with an ability to support clients with their online claim application.
  1. Good oral communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively in writing with particular emphasis on a clear and concise style.
  1. Ability and willingness to work as part of a team.
  1. A commitment to continuous professional development, including a willingness to develop knowledge and skills in advice topics.
  1. Ability to develop and maintain positive working relationships with external stakeholders.
  1. An appreciation for the importance of storing and processing personal data in line with data protection regulations (GDPR).
  1. Ability to monitor and maintain standards for advice provision and quality assurance.

Desirable

  1. Ability to carry out accurate benefit check calculations.
  1. Basic knowledge of multiple enquiry areas to aid with identifying emergencies and making referrals where appropriate.

Further Details

  1. Full-time employees are entitled to 36 days annual leave (including bank holidays).
  2. Travel expenses will be paid on authorised business.
  3. Closing date for applications is: 9.00am Weds 15th May 2019
  4. Interviews will be held on: 22 May 2019
  5. If you would like an informal discussion about the role please contact Rachel Turnbull, in the first instance to arrange this, using the contact details below.
  6. Return completed applications (CV’s will not be accepted) using the details below.

Contact Information

Rachel Turnbull

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

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

Please ensure that you receive a read receipt.