Respect Advisers

Are you… 

  • approachable? 
  • a good listener? 
  • a skilled communicator? 
  • committed to equality of opportunity and respect in the workplace? 
  • keen to make a difference? 

If you’re looking to make a positive impact by helping to cultivate a safe, inclusive and respectful University environment, we have an exciting opportunity for you to contribute to ensuring the University is a safe, positive and inclusive environment for all colleagues, students and visitors. 

The role of a Respect Adviser is to offer confidential, independent and impartial support and advice to colleague and students who feel they have been harassed or bullied, or those accused of bullying or harassment.  Empowering individuals so they are able to resolve their concerns effectively.  

The following provides details of the Role Definition and Responsibilites and Guidance.

Respect Advisers are fully trained to fulfil this role. Taking on the responsibilities of a Respect Adviser is a great opportunity for anyone who is passionate about tackling harassment and bullying and motivated to provide direct support to colleagues and students in difficult situations. 

Thank you for your interest in the Respect Adviser Role.  Following a very successful recruitment drive, we currently have sufficient numbers of Advisers at this point.  Please do keep an eye out for future opportunities! 

Respect Adviser - Role Definition

In alignment with the University’s strategy World Changers Together, Respect Advisers support behavioural change, ensuring our values are articulated and understood. This role supports students and colleagues to resolve issues informally at source.

Aims and Objectives:

The University has a duty of care for students, colleague and visitors and is committed to maintaining a professional, inclusive working, learning and social environment which is free from any form of bullying, discrimination, racial or sexual or other forms of harassment or bullying.  Respect Advisers play a vital role in supporting this as an informal contact for colleagues and students seeking support.

The role of the Respect Adviser is to provide a safe environment where colleagues and students may discuss and explore their situations and the options available to them. The aim is to support informal resolutions wherever possible, however the Adviser can provide information on the formal processes. The Adviser may support a colleague or student in meeting other parties involved but would not be expected to act as a formal mediator or to take actions independently or on behalf of those who approach them.

Respect Advisers are trained to fulfil this role. This includes gaining an understanding of the law in relation to discrimination, harassment and bullying, the processes and policies relating to the University’s Dignity at Work and Study Policy and guidance on how to support those individuals who approach them. Respect Advisers will also undergo specialist training focused on supporting individuals who have experienced racial and sexual harassment.

The University recognises, appreciates and values the contribution of this role and reasonable time off normal duties to fulfil this function will be given. The role is voluntary and there is no remuneration for these duties. However, it is expected the role will be recognised within Advisers’ own Performance and Development Review. 

The Respect Advisers report to Respect Advisers Network, Equality & Diversity Unit and the Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee (EDSC).

Purpose of the Role:

  • To offer confidential support and impartial advice to colleagues and students who feel they have been harassed or bullied, or those who have been accused of bullying or harassment, in the course of their work or study at the University.
  • To signpost and build confidence in processes and mechanisms of support available to colleagues and students.
  • To empower individuals so they can resolve their concerns effectively.

Essential experience, skills, and attributes of the post holder:

The person appointed must have:

  • A clear commitment to equality of opportunity within both the workplace and learning and teaching environment.
  • Experience of working with students and colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds, and at a range of levels across the organisation.
  • Excellent listening and interpersonal skills to enable effective communication.
  • Have a high degree of motivation to provide a support role to colleague and students in difficult situations.
  • The ability to treat all disclosures in a confidential and sensitive manner in accordance with existing policy and safeguards.
  • The ability to deal objectively with, at times, distressing situations. 

Limitations of the role:

A Respect Adviser does not represent a colleague or student in an unlimited fashion. Therefore, it is key for applicants to understand you cannot:

  • make decisions for the individual seeking advice
  • give directional advice
  • take action against the responding party
  • mediate or negotiate between the individual seeking advice and the responding party
  • provide counselling
  • meet with the individual seeking advice outside of office hours or outside of University premises.

Responsibilities and Guidelines


1. To act as a confidential and independent contact for those who feel they have experienced, or have been accused of, harassment or bullying.

Listen, support and offer guidance on the University’s policies and procedures and services available.

Do not investigate or take responsibility for resolving a complaint.

Provide the colleague/student with the course(s) of action available to them and the support services available to them.  Explore these with them and help them to reach a decision on what they will do. (See below)

Meet with the member of colleague/student up to three times (unless in exceptional circumstances).  Agree a suitable place to meet where both you and the individual will feel comfortable, and a confidential conversation may be held.  Any meetings should not be outside of University premises or outside of office hours.  Any notes you take at such meetings must be kept secure and confidential and destroyed once your engagement with them ends.
2. To maintain confidentiality.

Keep all interactions/correspondence with the colleague/student confidential.

The only exception to this is if you reasonably believe there is a significant risk to the health or safety of the individual colleague/student, other colleagues, or other students.  

In these circumstances, inform the Equality and Diversity Unit (EDU) or your local Head of People and Organisational Development (POD)/ POD Adviser immediately.

Explain the potential for this exception to the individual colleague/student at the start of your first meeting.

3. To be approachable and non-judgemental.

Adopt a professional approach in line with the eight behaviours of the Glasgow Professional Behaviour Framework.

Make the purpose and boundaries of your role clear at the earliest opportunity. If it is helpful, give the colleague/student a copy of this role description.

Avoid getting emotionally involved to maintain independence and impartiality.

Where appropriate, seek support from other Respect Advisers, the EDU, or relevant POD team whilst ensuring the confidentiality of the individual within the boundaries set out above.

4. To encourage informal resolution of complaints wherever possible.

Listen empathetically to concerns and suggest ways in which the situation may be dealt with constructively (following University policy and procedures).

Do not give directional advice.

Signpost to appropriate internal (and external) services.

If you are comfortable so doing, you may agree to meet with others involved alongside the colleague or student who has approached you. This would only be part of an informal approach to resolution.  You should remain neutral at all times and aim to support all parties to explore a resolution.  You must not act to represent one or other of the parties or in a formal mediation role. You must not negotiate between the individual seeking advice and any responding party. 

If a colleague or student wishes to invoke the formal procedures, you will no longer be involved.  Please direct them to the relevant procedure.

5. To take an active role in the Respect Network.

Make every effort to attend meetings and relevant training. Ensure that all additional E&D related training is complete and kept up to date, including Race Equality and Unconscious Bias training.

Without breaching confidentiality, share experiences with the Network.

Support other members of the Network.

Develop an understanding of the legal requirements related to bullying and harassment.

6. To collate information and forward to the Equality and Diversity Unit to assist with monitoring trends.

Each Respect Adviser will report the nature of their ‘cases’ by reporting them anonymously via the relevant Online Reporting Tool.  

Individuals must not be identified.

This will allow the Equality and Diversity Unit to monitoring trends.