Volunteer Trainee Advisors

Time on your hands?

Looking for intellectually stimulating voluntary work?

Do you have skills to offer your local community?
Do you want to gain a recognised qualification in the field of Generalist Advice Work?
Why not train to be a CAB Adviser?

Kingston CAB Service generally recruits two groups of new volunteer trainee advisers per year. The recruitment process is as follows:- If you are interested you can attend an Open Day, you may then pick up an application form. If you meet the basic criteria you will be invited to an interview. If selected, you will be allocated a place for the next available intake. The training to become an adviser is lengthy and demanding and consumes significant resources, so applications need to be considered carefully.
At the Open Day you can expect to be with us for 2-3 hours depending upon how many questions are asked. During this time you will hear about the history of the CAB, about the CAB service in Kingston and about the roles volunteers play in the organisation. You will also have a chance to have a look around our workplace, examine the training packs we use and to get an idea of how the training programme is organised and delivered. You will be able to ask any questions you may have, including questions about which days of the week training occurs on, which expenses can be claimed and other practical matters.
We hope that you will be sufficiently interested to pick up an application form at this stage. All returned application forms will be considered. Selected candidates will then be offered an interview. The selection process is lengthy because you need to be available to volunteer 2 full days per week (from 9.45 to 4) for at least 18 months and be able to cope with the course material in the time allotted for training.
Every CAB adviser is trained to nationally agreed standards. All trainees, whatever their background and previous experience, go through the process, from developing interviewing skills to effective use of the information system, to learning how to do benefit calculations and case recording. Trainees are given assistance, support and encouragement from the Training Supervisor, Advice Session Supervisors and from the Client Services Manager in the bureau. Trainees are gradually introduced to interviewing clients under supervision and with the support of the bureau team.
The training consists of a combination of pen and paper ‘packs’, on-line materials and pod-casts, in addition to observing interviews and learning about the practical aspects of the work. Much of this takes place in the bureau. Training in interview skills and exploring attitudes takes place over a 3 day course at our regional office . After the initial training period of approximately 3-6 months you will be classified as a Trainee Adviser and will begin to interview clients. To complete the course and gain the certificate of competence our Trainee Advisers volunteer with us for a further 12 months. This allows them to gain experience whilst contributing to the work of the bureau and to qualify as a Generalist Adviser.

What will the training help me do?

INTERVIEW clients face to face and by telephone using sensitive listening and questioning, letting the client explain their enquiry and helping the client to identify priorities.
FIND, interpret and communicate the relevant information and explore the options and implications so that the client can make an informed decision on a course of action.
ACT for the client where necessary by calculating, negotiating, drafting or writing letters, telephoning or by making appropriate referrals.
COMPLETE clear and accurate case records.
RECOGNISE the root causes of problems and participate in taking appropriate action.
Understand the importance of KEEPING UP TO DATE by further training and essential reading.
Become a member of the bureau team by ATTENDING bureau meetings and SHARING administrative and domestic tasks.

What will you be joining?

The CAB service is the largest national independent organisation providing free confidential and impartial information and advice to the public on every subject. There are nearly 400 main CABx with more than another 1,000 outlets linked to them. 28,500 people work across the Citizens Advice service; 7,000 paid staff and 21,500 volunteers.

Our commitment to you

• The appropriate training for this professional, challenging and enjoyable service
• Continuing support in the bureau during and after training
• Availability of information on a wide range of different topics which support the advice given to clients
• Reasonable travel expenses for the bureau sessions and training days
• Further opportunities for training and personal development

Are you interested in applying?

 The next open day date is to be arranged – please check our website for updates

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