Quality Manual

Academic Guides

This page provides guidance on the responsibilities of Academic Guides. Its contents are primarily directed at Academic Guides but may also be of interest to staff and students across all of the UK, China and Malaysia campuses.

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1. Purpose

Academic Guides are staff who support registered students throughout their studies, within an interdisciplinary team. They are also referred to as the ‘Here for You’ Academic Guides. This page describes the recruitment, roles and responsibilities of the Academic Guides. 


2. Scope

This page applies to Schools or departments, on any campus, where the ‘Here for You’ Academic Guides exist, rather than personal tutors. 

3. Role and Responsibilities

The University Senior Tutor will be responsible for regularly reviewing and updating these regulations, policies, and procedures to ensure alignment with the Quality Manual, and the University's overall student support framework and best practices. 

The Academic Guides will maintain accurate records of student interactions, student attendance  at meetings with the Academic Guide, and any interventions provided. The lead School/Unit must allocate every undergraduate student an Academic Guide at the start of their course. 

The lead School/Unit must appoint Joint Honours students an Academic Guide from that School/Unit. In the non-lead school, the student will be appointed a Joint Honours Liaison Officer or an Academic Guide.

3.1 Workload and Allocation 

The School/Unit will allocate appropriate workload in the Academic Guide's workload plan to ensure sufficient time for duties. Typically, the workload amounts to 0.2 FTE,  encompassing responsibilities for overseeing typically 80-100 students.   

3.2 Professional Development   

The School/Unit will signpost Academic Guides to ongoing professional development provided by the University in relation to student support, advising, coaching methodologies, and EDI best practices, and encourage Academic Guides to take up these training opportunities. 

The School/Unit will ensure Academic Guides receive regular updates on changes to university policies, procedures, and support services.

3.3 Boundaries and Limitations 

The Academic Guide will not be involved in organising timetables, participating in EC panels, or, for UNUK students, engagement in dashboard monitoring.

3.4 Inclusion and Diversity

  • The School/Unit will ensure Academic Guides adhere to the University's EDI principles and are aware of the Access and Participation Plan, promoting inclusivity and understanding among students. 
  • The School/Unit will require Academic Guides to demonstrate sensitivity to cultural issues and to be able to communicate effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds. 

3.5 Communication and Transparency

  • The School/Unit will clearly and timely communicate the role, responsibilities, and boundaries of the Academic Guide to all undergraduate students, including incoming students and exchange students. 
  • The School/Unit will ensure any changes or updates to the Academic Guide role are promptly communicated to all undergraduate students.
  • The School/Unit will establish clear channels for students to provide feedback or raise concerns regarding the Academic Guide system. 

3.6 Conflict Resolution and Complaint Procedures

  • The School/Unit will have clear protocols for addressing conflicts or complaints that may arise between Academic Guides and students or other parties. 
  • The School/Unit will define the appropriate channels for escalating and resolving such issues within the School/Unit or at the University level. 
  • The School/Unit will, where appropriate, permit a student to change their Academic Guide and will clearly advertise this process to students. 

3.7 Support, Performance Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

  • The School/Unit will use an agreed framework for regularly evaluating the performance of Academic Guides, beyond relying solely on student feedback. 
  • The School/Unit will establish mechanisms for identifying areas of improvement, providing constructive feedback, and implementing necessary support or training for Academic Guides. 
  • The School/Unit will signpost Academic Guides to ongoing support and wellbeing provision provided by the University and encourage Academic Guides to take up these opportunities.  

3.8 Succession Planning and Continuity 

  • The School/Unit will have, where possible, procedures for ensuring a smooth transition and continuity of support when Academic Guides leave their roles or new ones are appointed. 
  • The School/Unit will have measures to maintain institutional knowledge and ensure a consistent student experience during such transitions. 

3.9 Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodations

  • The School/Unit will implement guidelines for ensuring that the services provided by Academic Guides are accessible to students with disabilities or specific requirements. 
  • The School/Unit will outline procedures for providing reasonable accommodations within the ‘Here for You’ scheme and collaborating with disability support services when necessary. 
  • 3.10 Contingency Planning:The School/Unit will develop contingency plans to address situations where Academic Guides may be unavailable or unable to fulfil their duties, such as instances of illness or emergencies.  
  • The School/Unit will establish protocols for ensuring continuity of support and communication with students in such cases. 

4. Procedural Steps

4.1 Recruitment and Selection

The School/Unit will use the University-agreed job description and person specification for the Academic Guide role, without adding or subtracting from the requirements outlined. 

  • The School/Unit will monitor the performance of Academic Guides in relation to the job description and person specification.   
  • The School/Unit will implement a fair and transparent recruitment process. 
  • The School/Unit will ensure successful candidates undergo training in Safeguarding, Prevent, GDPR compliance, CMA, and EDI principles, before commencing their duties.  This is a minimum and not an exhaustive list of development that may be useful in the role.  
  • Academic Guides must be academic/clinical academic members of staff. Note that in the UK, clinical lecturers, practitioner health lecturers, NHS mentors, and social work practice learning tutors or equivalent can be Academic Guides. 

4.2 Meetings and Support 

  • The School/Unit will provide guidelines for Academic Guides to conduct group meetings which will take place four times a year. 
  • The School/Unit will determine agendas prior to the meetings and disseminate to students sufficiently in advance to allow for adequate preparation.  
  • The School/Unit will establish procedures for students to book one-on-one meetings with Academic Guides either in-person or online. 
  • Academic Guides will have regular meetings and collaboration with key support teams (e.g., student wellbeing, learning development, EDI, disability support). 
  • Academic Guides will be in regular contact with the other members of the School/Unit's 'Here for You' team.

4.3 Record-keeping and Reporting 

  • Academic Guides will use advisory notes on Campus for recording student attendance and interactions.   
  • The School/Unit will establish procedures for Academic Guides to report non-attendance to the responsible party within the School/Unit. 
  • Academic Guides will maintain confidentiality and adhere to data protection regulations. 

4.4 Evaluation and Feedback 

  • The School/Unit will conduct annual surveys to gather student feedback on the effectiveness of the Academic Guide system and support provided. 
  • The School/Unit will implement processes for analysing survey results, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing necessary actions. 
  • The School/Unit will ensure that learning from survey results is shared with other Schools/Units 
  • The School/Unit will establish clear communication channels for disseminating survey findings, and associated actions to students. 

5. Version Control Table

Version Control Table
 Version Number Purpose/Change Approving Committee Date
 1.0 Page published  QSC  June 2024
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This content was last modified on 18 June 2024

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