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University Counselling Service

Student & Staff Counselling

Studying at Cambridge


Job vacancies

Information Updated: 16th July 2014

Current Vacancies

Receptionist/Administrator (part-time)

Post XD0000: 25 hours pw (working mornings - 0.68 FTE)
Salary: £18,549- £21,391pa, pro rata

Cambridge University Counselling Service is seeking to recruit a part-time Receptionist/Administrator to support the growing work of this busy and well-respected multi-disciplinary Counselling Service.

You will need to have a warm personality, good communication skills, a reliable and mature approach as well as excellent administrative and computer skills. You will sometimes be dealing with students or staff who are upset or in crisis, so you will need to be welcoming and calm, have a friendly telephone manner and be able to keep strict confidentiality. You will also need to have strong administrative experience, be a confident computer user and accurate in record-keeping and data-entry.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.
The University is committed to equality of opportunity.
Closing date for applications: 14 November 2014
Provisional interview date: 1 December 2014
To start as soon as possible thereafter.

Further Information

Job Title: Receptionist/Administrator (University Grade 3)

Reporting to: Office Manager, University Counselling Service

Background Information

The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world. The University Counselling Service itself was founded in 1969. It is a very busy but friendly Service situated on Lensfield Road, Cambridge, and contains 18 counselling rooms, two group rooms and appropriate office and other facilities.

The Service exists to offer counselling to undergraduate and postgraduate students of all Cambridge Colleges, and all staff of the University. Many clients self-refer, others are referred by College tutors and chaplains, nurses, Human Resources, Occupational Health, GPs and psychiatric services. Over 2100 students and staff attended the Service last year, the majority being seen individually on a weekly basis, but the Service also offers a wide range of workshops and counselling groups.

The staff of the Service currently comprises the Head of Service, 4 Senior Counsellors and Senior Mental Health Advisor, thirteen full or part-time employed Counsellors/Therapists, a Mental Health Advisor, and nine counselling Trainees on placement. A Psychiatrist attends for one session per week during term time. The administrative staffing includes an Office Manager, Financial Administrator, and three part-time Receptionist / Administrators; the post being advertised arises following the resignation of one of the current post-holders.

The culture in the Service is friendly, collaborative and valuing of team-work and team decisions, but also expects all staff to work hard and set high professional standards.

It is an exciting time to be joining the university counselling service. The well-established and respected team has undertaken some recent changes with a new Head of Service having started in October 2013. Discussions are underway for the service to move to a new purpose-build city centre location in 2017.

General Duties

• Reception duties for students and staff attending for counselling
• Updating the electronic diary and database
• Answering telephone enquiries and operating the internal telephone system
• Responding to email enquiries from students, staff and others
• Accurate record keeping – including computer data entry
• Liaising with the counselling and administrative staff
• Filing
• Some typing duties
• Supporting Counsellors/Therapists and Financial Administrator with some administrative duties
• Any other tasks required by the Office Manager or Head of Service
• Helping to maintain a hospitable and professional environment

Personal aptitudes required

You will need to be comfortable working alongside our existing office team but also confident to work alone and unsupervised for periods of time.

You will need to take responsibility for the role in a mature and professional way, have open and welcoming reception skills, present yourself well and have an excellent telephone manner.

The role requires a lot of multi-tasking so it will be important to remain calm, and not be daunted by simultaneous demands from different quarters. This is a very busy role and requires a flexible and responsive approach.

It is essential that you can preserve strict confidentiality. Punctuality and reliability are also key to this role.

Technical skills

You will need to be a confident and competent computer user and accurate in record-keeping and data-entry. You will need to be experienced in using MS Word, email and database programmes.

The duties also include some typing and filing.

Person Specification


• Good people skills, including empathy with people in distress
• Good listening skills and telephone manner
• Able to maintain strict confidentiality
• Strong administrative experience
• Good at prioritising tasks
• Ability to multi-task and remain calm when dealing with interruptions
• Confident computer user with good word processing skills and data-entry experience
• Accuracy & attention to detail
• Working efficiently


• Experience of working in a similar setting

Terms & Conditions of Employment

Hours of work

The working hours of the post is as follows:

Post XD0000: 25 hours pw (0.68 FTE)
Mondays to Fridays: 8.30am – 1.00pm


Annual leave entitlement is 36 days including Public Holidays (pro rata). Leave should be taken during student vacations and when the Service is closed. The Service shuts for short periods over Christmas and Easter, but is open throughout the rest of the year.

The University does not take school half terms, and the Service remains open on Bank Holidays during Term, i.e. typically those falling in May each year (time can be taken off in lieu during the vacations for Public Holidays that are worked in Term).

You may be required to be flexible over working hours when other Reception staff are on leave.


The pensionable salary is £18,549- £21,391 p.a. pro rata per year (Grade 3 on the University's single salary spine); the starting salary will depend on experience.

Probationary Period

The post is subject to an initial probationary period of three months.

The University as an Employer

The University of Cambridge is committed to a policy and practice, which require that entry into employment with the University and progression within employment be determined only by personal merit and by the application of criteria, which are related to the duties of each particular appointment and the relevant stipend or salary structure. No applicant for an appointment in the University, or member of staff once appointed, will be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age. If any employee considers that he or she is suffering from unequal treatment on grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age, he or she may make a complaint, which will be dealt with through the agreed procedure for dealing with grievances.

Information if you have a Disability

The University's recruitment and selection procedures follow best practice and the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. Fair selection for employment is based on the ability or potential ability of an applicant to carry out the duties of the post and decisions on appointments are based on the merit and suitability of the candidate. If you have a disability you are invited to request any special arrangements you may require for interview, or adjustments you may anticipate would be needed in your working arrangements, at the point of application. However, the University recognises that you may prefer to forward this information if and when you are called for interview and you may do so at that stage without prejudice, if you prefer.

Apply Online

Géraldine Dufour, Head of Service, 20 October 2014


Training placements for 2014-15

The closing date has passed for applications for training placements with the University Counselling Service 2014/2015. We will not be accepting further applications at this point.