The university is putting out a call for volunteers for the role of consultant!
1. What is a Consultant?
Consultants are peer volunteers who serve as an initial point of contact for employees and students experiencing conflict or seeking information about the H&D policy.
2. What does a Consultant do?
Consultants provide information, perspective and an opportunity to confidentially discuss issues. They sometimes refer individuals to other resources, and with signed consent, the Consultant can also intervene and facilitate resolution of the issue. Their work is important and impactful.
Consultants may be faculty, APOs, or staff volunteers. In this capacity, they are not professional Personal Counsellors or professional Mediators, although they may perform this role elsewhere.
3. What policy is this governed by?
The Harassment and Discrimination Policy.
4. Would I be paid extra for this role?
No. These are volunteer positions.
5. Would I receive training as a Consultant?
Yes. Typically, 2 – 3 training sessions (typically 2 – 4 days) are available annually at no cost to your department, other than your time away, and at no cost to you personally. You also benefit from informal training provided by Human Resources (HR), Legal Counsel, and fellow consultants.
6. So what opportunities do the positions provide?
Primarily, this work provides an opportunity to help other faculty and staff in the University community manage the conflicts that are an inevitable part of working and studying together. Occasionally, consultants are asked about concerns of a more serious nature, and when this happens, they are supported with appropriate guidance from the university.
This is an opportunity to expand your skills through training, practise and camaraderie with other Consultants, which together with the experience itself, may be helpful in your career. In previous years, training has included Mediation Skills, Crucial Conversations, Mental Health First Aide, and Violence Threat Risk Assessment.
Faculty Members selected for the volunteer positions may include this service activity on their Professional Activity Reports (PARs).
7. Does my supervisor need to approve my participation?
The appointment is made by the President; however, we encourage staff to talk to their supervisors to get their support before applying. If you are a staff member, the support of your Supervisor will be critical to allow for time away for training, meetings, and case management.
8. How many cases will I be expected to manage?
Typically, a Consultant handles only one or two cases per year. Most interaction is actually helping others understand what Harassment and Discrimination is, informing others about the policy and relevant legislation, providing support and encouragement in the management of conflict in the workplace, and advising on other resources that are available.
9. What are the position requirements for being a volunteer Consultant?
- A continuing appointment as a University employee, and
- Two or more years of experience at the University, either as an employee or student.
10. What other skills will be considered in the selection process?
- Experience with conflict resolution
- Strong listening and communication skills, both oral and written
- Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities
- Ability to remain neutral in conflict situations
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
In addition, Consultants are expected to be familiar with the University Harassment and Discrimination policy, relevant procedures, and legislation; however, the University is willing to provide training specific to this.
11. What is the nature of the appointment?
The appointment is made by the President for a three-year term, which is renewable.
12. Where can I get more information?
If you are thinking of putting your name forward for consideration, we suggest that you review the policyand the Terms of Reference for Consultants. Next, contact one of the current consultants to get a personal view of what the work can be like.
13. I’m interested! How do I put my name forward?
Provide your resume, together with two brief letters of support from others in the University community, to Elaine Carlson, Associate Vice-President (Human Resources and Administration) by September 8, 2017. The collected applications will be submitted to a subcommittee of Consultants, who will make recommendations for appointment based on constituency representativeness, suitability, and best fit.