All kinds of people come into the bureau with all kinds of problems. The adviser helps clients to explain their problems and asks question to clarify the situation.
Advisers have access to a comprehensive electronic information system to help clients. A supervisor is always on hand to help out with difficult problems.
The adviser has to explain the choices that the client has, so that the client can decide what to do. Advisers also help clients by filling in forms, drafting letters, making phone calls and calculating benefits.
It is very important that all clients’ cases are recorded so that the bureau can offer an efficient service if the client comes back or the case gets more difficult. Your supervisor will show you how the case recording is done in your bureau.
Bureaux collect a lot of information on the different problems that clients have. This information is used to influence government policy or a company practice.
- Be good at listening
- Be able to work in a team
- Be able to read and write English, and do basic maths
- Be open–minded and non-judgemental
- Enjoy helping people
What support and training do I get?
All CAB advisers complete a comprehensive four-stage training programme. This can last from 4 weeks to 18 months depending upon the amount of time you can give and the level of expertise you wish to achieve. We aim to have most volunteers advising under supervision with 8-10 weeks. The Certificate programme includes:
- training packs and observation on the advice process (interviewing)
- training packs on the main enquiry areas (debt, employment, benefits etc.)
- a training course to explore and practise aspects of advising clients
- interviewing clients with close support and supervision and attending further courses as needed
What we want from all our Volunteers
Whatever your views are, you will be expected to assist all kinds of clients on any kind of problem they have. You will need to be prepared to examine your own views and feelings to make sure that you are able to give an equally good service to everyone.
All volunteers are expected to carry out the CAB’s policy of equal opportunities. This means actively opposing all forms of discrimination and ensuring that the service is equally available to all people.
Everything that you see and hear in the bureau is private. Every volunteer must sign an agreement to observe a strict rule of confidentiality before they start volunteering.
A commitment to training
A willingness to learn and develop is central to being an effective adviser and can be important for other volunteer roles. Learning to be a generalist adviser in particular involves a great deal of commitment to training and learning. All advisers periodically assess how they are performing via a set of competences specifically adapted for the role of adviser. This helps identify training and development needs.
Things are always changing and you will need to spend some time reading in order to keep yourself up to date. All kinds of training courses, sessions and self-study material are available for all volunteers to develop their skills and knowledge.
Bureau staff meetings
As part of your continuing development it is a priority to attend the bureau staff meetings. They provide a forum for training, case discussion, explanation of policy and practice, and mutual support.
To run an effective service we generally need advisers to volunteer in the bureau a minimum of 6 hours per week. We usually ask that people can volunteer for at least 1 year as well.
For the other roles above we will usually accept fewer hours and a lesser ongoing commitment.
Do I get expenses?
It is CAB policy that bureau volunteers should get out-of-pocket expenses. You should talk to the bureau manager about the arrangements locally.
What happens after I have filled in the application form?
After returning your form we may invite you to an informal interview, if you are successful we will arrange for you to have an induction session at one of our bureaux.
How to Apply
To apply for one of our current roles please download the Application Form, fill out the application and send it to us using the form below. (Unfortunately the ability to upload a document may not be supported if you are using a tablet.)