We’ve answered the most commonly asked questions about the Personal Tutor System below. However, if you don’t find the answer you're looking for, contact your School’s Senior Personal Tutor or email personaltutor@abdn.ac.uk.

Answers for students

Concerns over tutees

Concerned about a student?  Confidentiality and where to seek advice.

1. What do I do if I am concerned about a student?

Keep an eye out for indicators

There can be many different indicators that a student is experiencing difficulties eg. the student might tell you directly or you might realise that they are having attendance difficulties from Student Records. The student might also be demonstrating low mood or erratic behaviour or you might notice that their appearance or demeanour is different to how you normally see them.

Don't keep it to yourself

If you feel any concern having spoken to a student, definitely don't keep it to yourself. Depending on the nature and level of your concern, you could either discuss this with your Senior Personal Tutor in your school or refer the student to other services at the University.

Watch for signal Something as apparently simple as a student seeking an extension for an assignment can be an indicator of an underlying or emerging problem.

You should be alert to any early suggestions that a student may be experiencing difficulty. You can refer to this guidance if you are worried about a student.

Refer to expert colleagues

There may be times when you wish to refer a student onto someone else, perhaps about a problem when you don’t feel competent to offer advice.

If you are concerned about a student’s well-being, you should refer them to the Student Advice & Support Office on the second floor of the Students' Union Building in the first instance, or seek guidance from that office yourself, if that is more appropriate. Routes of referral for a wide range of issues are also provided in the Student Help Guide.

If you feel that a student might benefit from longer term counselling, the following Guidance from the Counselling Service explains how you might discuss that with them.

Students can also be referred to the Chaplaincy for a confidential discussion on any personal matter.

Know your boundaries

Sometimes a student’s behaviour to you might cause you to feel uncomfortable (eg. if they are threatening, or flirtatious).

Different members of the University staff will have different boundaries in terms of their relationships with students. There is no 'one size fits all'.

Guidance on steps you can take if you are worried about a student has been produced to assist you. If you would like to discuss your concerns with someone in Student Advice & Support, please call Ext. 3935

2. Where do I refer students if I can't answer their queries?

In broad terms, if a student has queries or difficulties relating to administration (ID Cards, making payments to the University, Student Records, Accommodation and Registry Advice), please refer them to Infohub. For more personal difficulties (disabilities, financial worries, personal issues, visa renewals), refer them to Student Advice and Support.

Have a look at the Support & Advice pages on this website or use the Student Help Guide.

3. What do I do if a student wants to make a complaint?

The University of Aberdeen is committed to enhancing the experience of our students. 

We aim to ensure that our teaching, support services and Students’ Association activities provide positive experiences and opportunities for our students. 

If we are to achieve that aim, it is important that we know what is and is not working. We endeavour to listen to student concerns and to ensure they are dealt with appropriately.

Complaints:

The University recognises that there will be occasions when students will wish to raise concerns about issues relating to their experience at the University. We strongly encourage and indeed expect students to try to find a way to resolve problems quickly at local level in the first instance. However we appreciate that sometimes this may not be possible for a variety of reasons, and the University has a student complaint procedure through which students can raise complaints relating to their experience at the University. You can refer a student to the relevant procedure below.

Appeals and complaint procedure

4. Confidentiality: What should I do if a student’s parent contacts me and asks for information about their son/daughter?

Confidentiality:

Students at the University are above the age of consent and therefore it is a matter of statute that no personal information about students is divulged even to parents. This can result in anxiety for the parents, so it should be explained sensitively that it is standard practice across UK Universities, that in terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, their son or daughter is an adult data subject whose personal data cannot be released to anyone without the prior written consent of that data subject.

A parent should ask their son or daughter to give the University express written consent to authorise release of their personal data to one or both of the parents (or to any other person) and, only upon receipt of that instruction, and proof of identity of the requester, will the University release that personal data.

Guide explaining confidentiality and boundaries.

5. Confidentiality: If a situation arises which is drastic who do I go to with breaking confidentiality?

Confidentiality:

On matters of confidentiality students should be made aware that personal tutors are approachable at any time should an issue arise. If in any doubt, always seek advice from Student Support before knowingly breaching confidentiality.

Guide explaining confidentiality and boundaries.

6. What should I do if a student indicates that they are considering withdrawing from study?

As a Personal Tutor you may wish to explore their reasons for withdrawing and explore their options and support which may be available.

Refer the student to the Duty Registry Officer in the Infohub who can give appropriate advice on withdrawing from studies and the possibility of readmission at a later date.

7. In the rare event of a problematic relationship between tutor and tutee, will it be possible for the tutee and/or tutor to request a transfer?
Yes, but the Senior Personal Tutors should be approached in the first instance if there is a problem and a resolution cannot be found. Tutees can be reallocated Personal Tutors in exceptional circumstances.
8. If students as a group perceive and are unhappy about their Personal Tutor’s lack of enthusiasm and/or support, what recourse will they have for complaint?
As above, Tutees should speak to the Senior Personal Tutor and/or Head of School who will seek to address the situation.
9. Is there a list of who can help and to whom I should refer students?
Please see the Student Help Guide.
10. What do I do if a student discloses to me that they have a disability, including any Specific Learning Difference or long term medical condition?
If a student discloses a disability to you, it is worth first checking with them if they have formally informed the University of this and already have some support in place. If not (eg. they tell you that you are the first person they have told), you should advise them to contact the Student Advice and Support Office in the Students' Union Building, for a confidential discussion about their particular circumstances. If they appear to be uncomfortable with this, you should offer to make that initial contact on their behalf (student.disability@abdn.ac.uk).  Any confidentiality request from the student should be respected and recorded.
Evaluating and sharing good practice

Answers to general questions about evaluating and sharing good practice for all tutors in the Personal Tutor System.

1. What networks, virtual or other, have been set up in Aberdeen for the sharing of good practice between Personal Tutors, for example about group meetings?

Senior Personal Tutors meet on a regular basis through the Senior Personal Tutor Forum.

There will be an expectation that individual schools will discuss good practice at their own staff meetings. Any issues arising from these meetings can be fed back by the Senior Personal Tutor at Forum meetings.

2. How will the effectiveness of the system be evaluated?

The Personal Tutor System is being monitored and evaluated throughout the academic year. Feedback and evaluation is invited in several ways - through meetings, the SPT Forum or directly with your SPT.

Students should be asked by the tutor informally/verbally how the process has gone at the last meeting of the year and at the end of a student’s degree. 

Tutees should be emailed by their Personal Tutors at the end of the year asking how the process has helped and any changes they might suggest. This feedback to be discussed with Senior Personal Tutors and fed into the Senior Personal Tutor Forum.

General questions

Answers to general questions about the personal tutoring system for all members of the Personal Tutor System.

1. What is the Personal Tutor system

The University of Aberdeen is committed to the delivery of a high quality student experience, providing support to the diverse student body and also to improve the University’s retention and progression rates. 

The Personal Tutor role will focus on providing general support to students in matters such as achievement of the Graduate Attributes, Employability, Co-curricular opportunities and feedback as well as a pastoral support role. All members of academic staff have a role as a personal tutor and will be assigned a relatively small number of undergraduate tutees from across all years of study. It is intended that, as far as possible, tutees will be assigned to the same personal tutor throughout their studies and that this continuity of contact will enable a more meaningful and supportive Tutor:Tutee relationship to be built.

The framework is designed to bring about more consistent quality of provision, while also helping students to monitor their progress and performance more systematically and relate these to their longer-term aspirations.

2. What are my responsibilities?
3. What should I expect from my Senior Personal Tutor?

Your Senior Personal Tutor is based within your School to assist with problems and feedback to the Senior Personal Tutor Forum. You can find them in the Senior Personal Tutor directory.

4. What will be the approximately load of students per Personal Tutor?

The load of students per tutor will vary per school but will be in the region of 15-20.

5. When will staff receive an e-mail list of tutees?

Personal Tutors will receive list of all their tutees by the start of the academic year. Where there are reallocations identified with Heads of Schools due to staff leaving, sabbatical leave or absence through illness, reallocations will be done throughout the academic year and individual tutors and tutees notified of changes.

You can print and view your own list of tutees from SRS live records using this Guide to help you.

6. Who will allocate my tutees?

This is done centrally through the Infohub Co-ordinators in Infohub. You can contact them on personaltutor@abdn.ac.uk 

7. Whose responsibility is it to make initial contact with Level 1 students regarding the first tutorial?

The Personal Tutor will contact the student in the first instance, although the name of the tutor will already have been supplied to the new student by Infohub Coordinators in a letter. The initial meeting will be set up centrally, though the format will differ between schools; some meetings will be in groups, some held as induction events and some as individual appointments. Students are expected to attend and notification of when and where will be uploaded into their Student Hub. Attendance will be monitored by the Infohub team. Staff who cannot attend centrally scheduled times in Induction week, as specified by their school, are expected to set up meetings at alternative times themselves as soon as possible after term starts.

8. Will I be responsible for those tutees allocated to me who are studying abroad for a year?

You will remain Personal Tutor for these students and as such you can offer to remain in email contact with the students concerned (at the relevant meeting times on the schedule, it would seem logical to “check in” with these students).

Obviously, support will vary across different institutions they may be studying at, and we have no control over that. Hopefully, if students know there is someone at their “home” institution who could signpost help here, they may be reassured. 

Most students studying abroad will have a designated Aberdeen co-ordinator/contact within their School/unit. It would be worth finding out who that might be (via, for example Erasmus Office or programme co-ordinators if the student is not sure), as this person is likely to have specialised knowledge of the exchange and experience of liaison with the foreign institution in question, and should be able to answer most queries.

On return they will meet with you as per the rest of your tutees.

9. Will I be responsible for those tutees allocated to me who are on an industrial placement?

You will remain Personal Tutor for these students and as such you can offer to remain in email contact with the students concerned (at the relevant meeting times on the schedule, it would seem logical to “check in” with these students). Hopefully, if students know there is someone at their “home” institution who could signpost help here, they may be reassured.

On their return to University they will meet with you as per the rest of your tutees.

10. I have been asked to provide an academic reference - where can I find help in preparing this?

There is guidance prepared by the Careers Service and it can be found here.

11. I have been asked by a tutee if they can request a Gaelic-speaking Tutor?

The University Gaelic Plan is developing a policy for students to request a Gaelic-speaking personal tutor.

If a Gaelic-speaking student wishes to have a Gaelic-speaking personal tutor, that request should be sent to personaltutor@abdn.ac.uk for consideration. Priority will be given firstly to students in Gaelic Studies or Gaelic Initial Teacher Training programmes.

12. What support is available for students with specific curriculum queries?

Personal Tutors are not expected to advise students on curriculum matters. As such, please see the extensive Tutors' Concerns FAQs, listed below.

13. I need to excuse a student from Jury Duty as it will clash with coursework/exams- what should I write?

You can use this text to excuse your student, filling in the relevant details for the individual. You should print it onto headed paper.

Managing meetings with students

Answers to queries regarding managing meetings and interactions with students, for all members of the Personal Tutor System.

1. What do I need to do to prepare for meetings?

Personal Tutors will play a role in facilitating meetings with their tutees and encouraging them to take an active role in their personal development during their studies (eg. in regard to preparing for employability, reflecting on feedback). Personal Tutors are not expected to be experts but rather will have a role in guiding and sign-posting students to relevant sources of information and in encouraging them to be self-reflective. They will also be a source of pastoral support to their Tutees.

A proposed timetable of meetings between tutors and tutees has been developed. These meetings may occur as individual or group meetings. A tutor may wish to task their tutees with organising meetings using useful tools such as Doodle.com.

For those Personal Tutors who feel they need assistance, use these guidelines for organising meetings. See also these suggestions to help you prepare for meetings, including information about resources that are provided for you to tailor and potentially use during your meetings.

Ideas about how to approach meetings and what you could do in group and individual meetings are provided.

Given the focus on tutees taking an active role, you should actively encourage your tutees to prepare for your meetings. Information is available on Infohub Personal Tutoring pages providing guidance to tutees in preparing for their personal tutor meetings.

2. What should I record?

Attendance Record Keeping: 

You are encouraged to take a note of attendance at meetings. You can use this pro-forma (or in Word format). Tutors will find this helpful to refer to later (e.g. if a student asks for a reference and/or makes a comment regarding the value of the meetings). In order to encourage students to attend, tutors may also wish to send gentle reminder emails to students who have not attended any meetings. If a tutor becomes concerned about a student (e.g. they suddenly stop engaging with the process in a way that appears out of character), they are encouraged to inform the support team in the first instance and, if you think there is a cause for concern about a student’s wellbeing, you can flag this to Student Advice & Support.

You should record group attendance and discussion topics, and this will be collated by PT Support Staff allocated to your School.

Meetings will be held for students in Induction weeks (week prior to the start of teaching in Sept and Jan) and attendance will be taken at these meetings. All students will be advised of their meeting and the format thereof, as per arrangements in the individual schools and in liaison with the Personal Tutor Coordinators in Infohub.

Recording detail of meetings - guidance on keeping a record of meetings with students:

You are encouraged to take a note of attendance at meetings and, although not obligatory, you may wish to make a record of your meetings. You can use this pro forma (or in Word format).

As with all individual meetings, you would have with students, it is helpful to have a note about any discussions.

You might also wish to ask your student to make a brief record of what was discussed and email it to you which you can file along with your own note. You may wish to confirm or amend what the student sends to you in terms of feedback advice given or actions required.

Maintaining your notes:

Students could request to see their records under both data protection and Freedom of Information legislation. Records should therefore be created clearly and professionally.

Emails are work records too; significant emails should be retained like other records.

Although you will be able to add notes to the Student Record, it is not recommended as a way to keep records of your meetings as student records are accessed by a number of staff across the university. Instead, you may wish to use this pro forma (or in Word format) for recording attendance and making any notes for your tutee group meetings, or meetings with individual tutees.

3. Can I use Student Records to keep records of meetings?

It is recommended that as Student Records are accessed by a number of staff across the University, that you use the pro forma (or in Word format) for recording attendance and making any notes for your tutee group meetings, or meetings with individual tutees.

4. How should I encourage students to take responsibility for their own progress in terms of Graduate Attributes?

Graduate Attributes are explained on the University site. You can also use the resources section on this website for meeting about Graduate Attributes.

Students should be encouraged to make use of the resources within the ACHIEVE site in MyAberdeen which provides guidance to students on the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes and materials to support their reflection on the achievement of these attributes.

In addition the Bringing Graduate Attributes to Life project provides links to ‘talking heads’ from employers as to why they value the Graduate Attributes. 

5. If a student comes to my office how do I politely tell them I'm busy just now?

Whilst it is appreciated that students will need to interrupt Personal Tutors on occasion, Tutors should make clear to Tutees how best to contact them and when they are available (eg. office hours).

Respond to the situation: situations will vary enormously and you will need to use your judgement.

You should of course respond to messages from your Tutees. You should respond promptly (normally within three working days) to a request for contact; where this is not feasible, the Personal Tutor should arrange a suitable response.

Your approach may, of course, differ if a student is clearly distressed.

6. I have not been able to make contact with my Tutees and it is now some way into term.  Will they contact me?

If Tutees have not heard from their Personal Tutor within the first few weeks of term, they are advised to contact infohub@abdn.ac.uk or pop into the Infohub and speak to one of the Infohub Co-ordinators who will follow this up on their behalf. The Co-ordinator will then contact you. There may, of course, be reasons as to why you might not have been able to contact your students, but you are encouraged to make contact and introduce yourself as soon as possible into term in order to support students if they need it.

7. What tools could I use for off-campus/remote meetings or if I can’t find a space to meet my tutees in?

It is recognised that there will be pressure on room availability for meetings. Whilst it is preferable that you meet your students face to face, it may be that you are working off campus and that you cannot.

For these reasons, you may wish to have “remote” meetings in a virtual meeting room using Blackboard Collaborate. 

You can use Blackboard Collaborate (which works on mobile devices, and only requires a webcam and microphone) as a conferencing tool with webcams, in audio only, as text chat and with added tools such as whiteboard facilities adding notes etc to discussions and sharing documents. IT Services have provided a Help Guide for using MyAberdeen or contact the e-Learning team for help if you are unfamiliar with Blackboard or MyAberdeen.

The installation of Skype is not allowed on University machines and to use Facetime would mean a tutor sharing their personal phone numbers or other details. As an alternative, you can make use of the Aberdeen University technology through MyAberdeen as above.

8. Discussing feedback in a group setting. What are tutors expected to cover in the sessions on feedback, since clearly it would not be appropriate to discuss individual student performance in a group setting?

Advice on what is to be covered can be found under the Resources section of this website. Individual feedback on performance should indeed be kept to individual meetings and treated in confidence.

9. What is the difference between co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities?

The phrase ‘co-curricular activities’ refers to opportunities which complement the academic curriculum and which are recognised by the University (e.g. work placements, study abroad & volunteering). In comparison, involvement in off-campus community initiatives and/or other recreational activities are referred to as ‘extra-curricular activities’. Both co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities are important to students’ personal development and their CV profile, and are valued by employers.

10.  What will appear on the enhanced transcripts?

Students who started their studies as a first year student in September 2010 or later, will receive a new and more comprehensive record of their university achievements when they graduate. The enhanced graduate transcript will not only include details of their academic learning, but will also record their recognised co-curricular achievements eg. the STAR Award. These co-curricular activities will be included under three headings: 

  • University, Professional and Departmental Prizes
  • University accredited activities – currently University accreditation of activities is provided through the STAR award and a limited number of non-credit bearing placement activities which are recognised by the University i.e. the Aberdeen Internship
  • University recognised activities – these are additional recognised activities undertaken by students which demonstrate achievement but for which no recognition is provided in terms of academic credit eg. Class Representatives or Students’ Association Officer. The mechanism for recognised activities to be included will be provided via the Students’ Association

The transcript will only include details of co-curricular activities; extra-curricular activities are not included on the transcript. It should be noted that the enhanced transcripts include a record of all examination results attained. For students graduating after 2012/13, transcripts show details of all CAS marks awarded, including marks which are fails. Where a resit has been required as a result of a medical certificate, self-certificate or other good cause (MC/SC/GC) this will not be shown, but all other circumstances (ie. No Paper ‘NP’) will be included.

The STAR Award (Students Taking Active Roles) provides a framework to support skills and attribute development outside the study environment. It is also an opportunity to achieve recognition for contributions to a wide range of Students' Association, on-campus/peer support and community-based/volunteering based roles affiliated with the University. It has been designed around five, employability-related Aberdeen Graduate Attributes.

The Aberdeen Internship Programme has been approved as a University recognised activity, meeting the enhanced graduate transcript category descriptor, as it is an assessed and measured activity which demonstrates achievement not rewarded by academic credit.

Enhanced transcript website: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/infohub/life/enhanced-transcript-623.php plus hard copy Enhanced transcript information is available from the Careers Service.

Training and IT tools

Answers to queries about training and IT tools available for Personal Tutors.

1. What training is available for me?

Online resources are available for Equality and Diversity, Graduate Attributes, Feedback and Reflection, Employability, Support and Advice, Co-Curriculum. More materials will appear over the next academic year - however, if there is anything you would like to be developed, email personaltutor@abdn.ac.uk.

2. Is it OK to tailor/adapt some of the resources provided?

Individual personal tutors might wish embellish and contextualise resources, but the broad scope should remain the same across the University.

3. Will Tutors be offered training in Effective Helping etc?

The University Counselling Service runs an Effective Helping course each year.

If demand for these exceeds supply, external providers of similar courses will be sought. In addition, there are Guidelines for Effective Helping as a Personal Tutor

4. Are Tutors able to access coaching skills training?

Coaching is a part of the role of a PT - click here to find out about support available for coaching.

Coaching is often less 'directive' and more 'results and outcomes' based.  It relies on the coach asking questions to help an individual reach their own decisions, but without giving direct advice.

The University offers coaching and mentoring services in each of the Colleges.

5. What networks, virtual or other, have been set up in Aberdeen for the sharing of good practice between Personal Tutors, for example about group meetings?

Senior Personal Tutors meet on a regular basis through the Senior Personal Tutor Forum.

There will be an expectation that individual schools will discuss good practice at their own staff meetings. Any issues arising from these meetings can be fed back by the Senior Personal Tutor at Forum meetings.

6. Can I create/print a photographic list of tutees?

  • Yes, you will be able to do this from student records. Use this "How to ..." guide.
  • You can print and view your own list of tutees from SRS live records using this Guide to help you.

7. Can I use Student Records to keep records of meetings?

It is recommended that as Student Records are accessed by a number of staff across the University, that you use the pro forma for recording attendance and making any notes for your tutee group meetings, or meetings with individual tutees.

8. Where can I find help in using Student Records, creating email lists and lists of my tutees?

You can use the Personal Tutors Guide to Using Student Records. In addition, there are a number of other "How to ..." guide for SRS and generating records (see under 'Reports' section) prepared by IT which may also be of use.

You can print and view your own list of tutees from SRS live records using this new Guide to help you.

9. Is there a MyAberdeen Tool for use by Personal Tutors?

Yes, you can access the Help Guides for MyAberdeen here.

10. Are there guidelines for Personal Tutors writing academic references?

Tutors' Concerns

Answers to concerns and questions about the personal tutoring system for all tutors.

1. Who will cover my personal tutor duties when I am on research leave? Or will I be expected to maintain my responsibility for my own tutees despite my research leave?

It is assumed that there will be a period of handover when a member of staff is due to go on a period of leave or sabbatical from the University. It is expected that this handover will include the transfer of Personal Tutor duties. You can discuss workload concerns with your Head of School.

2. As a Senior Personal Tutor, how should I deal with the potential problem of colleagues who are less than enthusiastic in the discharge of their tutorial duties?

All academic staff will be a Personal Tutor. It is the responsibility of the staff member’s Line Manager to manage personal tutoring in the same way as would apply to all other aspects of an employees’ duties. There will be no separate Line Manager system for the Personal Tutor System. Senior Personal Tutors who become aware of problems should liaise with their Head of School as per the role descriptor.

3. Who is the line manager for Personal Tutors?

Heads of Schools are the line managers for all academic staff in the School. A Senior Personal Tutor does not have line management responsibility, but is a line of communication for Personal Tutors.

4. What sanctions will there be for non-compliance with contractual tutorial duties?

As above, the usual recourse from the line management process will apply.

5. Will effectiveness as a Personal Tutor be recognised in the promotions procedure?

The contribution of members of academic staff in relation to the pastoral care and welfare of students is one of the criteria for promotion as outlined within the National Academic Role Profiles.

6. What steps will be taken to ensure that all students receive the most appropriate subject specific advice from their Personal Tutor?

As far as possible, Tutees will be allocated Personal Tutors from within their home school. This will mean that some schools have a higher Tutee: Tutor ratio, but it is felt that the benefits outweigh the workload consequences. It is still the aim that there will be 15-20 students per Personal Tutor. The caveat is Joint Honours students who will be allocated to the school in which the tutee:tutor ratio is lowest.

  • If students change courses within their school, they will remain with their allocated Personal Tutor.

  • If students change courses outwith their school, then a new Tutor within the student’s new school may be assigned.

7. What changes can a student make to their own enrolment and course registration, and when? Can they change their own course registration through MyCurriculum after their initial course selection?

MyCurriculum provides guidance for students on the arrangements for course selection. There are "How to..." guides and videos available as well as FAQs.

Students can make changes to their initial course selection by returning to MyCurriculum - refer to the User Guides for more information.

8. Who is the first point of contact for a student wanting to change their course selection?

Students should refer to the User Guides available on the MyCurriculum website for information about changing their course selection and the time periods within which this can be done.

9. With the new short terms, how long is the window within which students can change their courses? It used to be a fortnight; what is it now? Where is this enforced—is it part of operational guidance, or is it enforced by the software?

Registration will need to be completed within the 2 week window.  i.e. by the second Friday of term (excluding Induction Week).

10. Who is the first point of contact for a student seeking to be reinstated on a course, and who can actually do this?

There is no change to the student monitoring process. The following webpage gives guidance to students on what they should do where they have been refused a class certificate: Removing a C6 or C7.

11. Who is the first point of contact for a student wishing to change their degree intention, and who can actually do this?

Students wishing to change their degree intention should be referred to the "Changing your Programme using MyCurriculum" available on the MyCurriculum website.

12. Is there a centrally available list of course co-ordinators so that when a PT needs to delegate a question to the course co-ordinator (perhaps for History of Art or Language and Linguistics) there’s one place for the whole of CASS they can look to rapidly discover the person that they need to send the student to see?

The Course Catalogue includes details of the name of the course coordinator for each course. Alternatively, students should be directed to the relevant School Office in the first instance.

13. Is there training available for PTs on using MyCurriculum?

Please see this Guide for Personal Tutors to MyCurriculum

14. How will the Personal Tutor system be organised for those staff who are part-time or who have research leave?

It is intended that those staff on contracts ≥0.5% FTE will undertake Personal Tutor duties pro rata. Provision will need to be given by schools to cover staff on sabbatical/research leave.

15. Will we be able to exploit this opportunity by organising specific tutorial courses around it?

Individual schools can decide on this.

16. Is an academic reference for a tutee written by a Personal Tutor who is not in the same discipline and who does not know the academic competence of the tutee appropriate/useful?

The Personal Tutors will be based within the school where possible. Academic excellence will be visible through exams/assessments, but non-discipline specific issues such as achievement of the Graduate Attributes will be explored with Personal Tutors and Tutees and therefore any Personal Tutor will be in a good position to act as a reference for any student.  Students also have the option to approach any member of staff for an academic reference as well as their Personal Tutor.

Guidance on writing academic references for Personal Tutors.

17. Should a Personal Tutor be an expert in the area that a tutee has studied so that a relevant academic reference can be provided?

No, personal tutoring is more about personal development than academic support. Personal Tutors are directed to their School website where information is readily available.

18. Students may ask for academic advice that a personal tutor is not comfortable giving – to whom should the student be referred?

A personal tutor may refer a student to Registry staff, degree programme co-ordinator or the course co-ordinator.

19. What are the legalities of writing a reference?

You may wish to go on a reference writing course for more details but if you are uncomfortable writing a reference you can either decline or if student insists, you can keep any reference very factual eg. I can confirm <Joe Brown> was a student here between <X and Y dates> and graduated with an upper second class Hons degree in <discipline>. 

20. What happens if a Personal Tutor is on long-term leave or long-term sick leave?

That Tutor’s tutee’s will be reallocated and then returned to original tutor on their return.