Head of Counselling and Specialist Support, People (SUP146A)

The University Counselling Service successfully transitioned to a “One at a Time/Single Session Therapy” model from the summer of 2019 in order to provide counselling at the point of need rather than at the point of availability. The service assists around 1,400 students each year and since March 2020, the service has also been available for University staff. We are proud to have no waiting list and an average wait of 2 days for an appointment.

School/Section: People
Division: Student Support Services
Staff Category: Academic
Position Type: Full Time
Grade: Grade 7
Salary: £41,526 - £52,559
Ref No: SUP146A
Closing Date: 09-AUG-2021


Job Description

Looking forward, we are seeking a new Head of Service to lead the team in meeting the evolving demands of our student body including the diverse international community, online learning students and those studying in our global campuses, including in Doha, Qatar. The role will also take responsibility for oversight of our Specialist Mentor team, working with our Lead Mentor, to develop and enhance the service and will also be responsible, as appropriate, for additional service development relating to mental health for our students.

The postholder will play a crucial role in the development and operation of the University’s general policies on student support and act as a member of the Student Support Management team and, as required, take on delegated responsibilities from the Head of Student Support.

The postholder will be responsible for managing the University Counselling Service and its budget and line managing and supporting the team of counsellors, administration team and honorary staff. You will also oversee the strategic and operational delivery of Specialist Mentoring services in conjunction with the Lead Specialist Mentor, taking responsibility for the budget associated with the service. You will be required to liaise with a range of University staff and external professionals, prepare reports and training materials, provide workshops and presentations as required. The role will also look at supporting the development and management of the University crisis and trauma-support processes for students and have a wider input to the management of the Student Support department. Depending on the position of the successful applicant (and working hours agreed) you may also be required to take on a counselling case load to supplement the role.

Candidates must hold a recognised counselling qualification (Diploma or higher degree) and must be a registered member and accredited (or working towards accreditation) by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

They must have management experience and extended experience undertaking duties as a Counsellor since qualifying, preferably in a Higher Education setting. An understanding of the role of Counselling in Higher Education, especially the One-at-a-Time/Single Session Therapy model and the current issues affecting both home and international students will be important.

The candidate should have wider experience of working with mental health issues and be able to take a leading role in the policy and procedure relating to, and the direct support given to, student mental health. 

In addition, excellent communication skills and experience working with a diverse population is required.  Flexibility and the ability to respond to multiple demands and emergency situations is essential as well as experience working with people at all levels within a large organisation. The candidate should have experience of managing a team of counsellors and taking overall responsibility for clinical decisions. They candidate will also have experience of managing staffing and operational budgets. 

Salary will be at the appropriate point on the Grade 7 salary scale (£41,526 - £49,552 per annum) with placement according to qualifications and experience.

Any appointment will be made subject to satisfactory references, a commitment to apply for BACP accreditation within 12 months (if not already accredited) and a 12 month probation period.

This post does not meet the minimum requirements for visa sponsorship under the Skilled Worker Route. We are therefore unable to consider applicants for this post that require sponsorship to work in the UK.

It is the policy of the University, in line with the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003, to carry out Disclosure Scotland checks on all staff.  Any offer of employment will be conditional on the completion of a satisfactory Disclosure Scotland check and employment will not commence until such a check has been satisfactorily completed.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 09 August 2021

Interviews are expected to be held on 25 August 2021

Should you wish to make an informal enquiry please contact:

Nicholas Edwards, Deputy Director of People/Head of Student Support


Please do not send application forms or CVs to Nicholas Edwards.

Please quote reference number SUP146A on all correspondence

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