How does Report and Support, fit in with existing disclosure routes?

Report and Support does not replace current disclosure channels, but provides an additional route for making a disclosure. Existing referral routes can still be used as Report and Support will not replace these. There will be no change in relation to existing processes for investigating these disclosures. Making a disclosure via Report and Support does not automatically initiate a formal disclosure.

How do I make a disclosure?
What is the difference between the two types of disclosures? (Making a disclosure anonymously and making a disclosure with contact details)

With anonymous disclosures, the University of St Andrews does not know who has made an anonymous disclosure, and therefore cannot reach out and provide support.  In most cases, we cannot progress anonymous disclosures, as we cannot adequately assess the risk our actions may cause to you or others, or seek further information for an investigation.  However, anonymous disclosures can help us to understand the issues affecting our community and how the University can respond to support students and staff, even if you’re not yet ready to share your identity with us.

Whereas if someone wants to receive support or consider informal or formal options to address a concern, they would make a disclosure with contact details and speak to an adviser. 

What happens when someone makes a disclosure?  

When you’ve made a disclosure to Report and Support, assigned staff will carefully consider the details provided and assess the relevant risks to decide what action is necessary. The content of the form will be accessible only to a very limited group of staff.  If you have provided contact details, staff will be in touch to discuss this with you, seeking to decide next steps together. Sometimes, especially with anonymous disclosures, staff are unlikely to have sufficient information and are consequently unable to act. However, anonymous disclosures can be instrumental in identifying patterns that can help us to legislate for a safer community.

What happens when someone makes a disclosure with contact details?

Depending on the issue or incident being disclosed, your disclosure will be sent to an adviser in Student Services or Registry (if you are a student, or are making a disclosure on behalf of a student) or HR (if you are a member of staff, or are making a disclosure on behalf of a member of staff). 

Administrators then assign a case to the most relevant adviser. Each of the advisers are provided with a login and can only access cases that are assigned to them. 

The adviser receives an email notification that a case has been assigned to them – no identifiable information is provided within this email alert. The adviser then logs into Report and Support to access information provided using their login details. The adviser then contacts the person who has made the disclosure using the details provided in the disclosure and they arrange a meeting to discuss the disclosure.  This will include identifying your options, and if you have named an individual they will let you know if we plan to make the disclosed person aware of the disclosure. 

The University will not normally take action without consulting you and will not treat your disclosure as a complaint until we have contacted you. If, however, there are serious safety and wellbeing concerns raised by your disclosure we may need to take urgent action without asking you first. 

What happens when someone makes an anonymous disclosure, what action can you take and what happens with the information gathered from anonymous disclosures?

We take all disclosures seriously, but if you choose not to provide your name or contact details, this may constrain the University's ability to take any action and we will not be able to contact you to offer advice/support or provide a progress update on the case. The relevant team will assess the information provided, with regard to whether any action could put the person disclosing or others at risk.  Based on this a decision will be made in relation to the best course of action, and if you have named an individual, this may result in the mentioned person being made aware of the disclosure. 

If for whatever reason we cannot take action on the back of an anonymous disclosure, this information is still very useful as it lets the University know something has happened. The University of St Andrews uses information gathered from anonymous disclosures for trend analysis reporting. This information is useful for informing targeted proactive education and awareness-raising. The University can use this information to tailor resources and training sessions to cover emerging trends. 
If you prefer, you can choose to make a disclosure to an adviser instead (this is not anonymous). This is the recommended option as this will allow you to speak to an appropriate member of staff, make an official complaint or register your concern, and be referred for specific support. 

What does a 'zero-tolerance' approach mean?

The University is committed to a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment, discrimination or victimisation of any kind. Such behaviour is contrary to the values and ideals of our shared community which requires a commitment to treat everyone with dignity, courtesy and respect. Any allegation of bullying, harassment, discrimination or victimisation will be looked into promptly, efficiently and sensitively by the appropriate department (Human Resources (HR)/Student Service/Student Conduct), and if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken. In the case of anonymous disclosures where investigation may not possible or feasible, systemic options/campaigns will be considered where appropriate. 

How will the University manage malicious complaints?

If a disclosure is found to be malicious or vexatious, such disclosures will be addressed under existing student and staff procedures.

Is there a time limit on the disclosures I can disclose through Report and Support?

We would always recommend that you disclose an incident to the University at the earliest opportunity, when you feel best placed to do so. Ideally areas of concern would be disclosed within 6 months, as investigation after that time may be difficult, or not possible.

Can I give feedback on the platform?

We are always looking for ways to develop what we do and would like to hear about your experience of Report + Support. You can provide us with anonymous or named comments or suggestions via our feedback form.


How secure is the data and information sent through the system?

Data held on Report and Support is GDPR compliant and further information about how data is collected and stored is outlined in the Privacy Notice. The system has been security tested by both Culture Shift and by the University of St Andrews.  

How long is data stored on the system? 

We will only retain personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for. We will keep records of disclosures six years from case closure on the Report and Support system as outlined in the Privacy Notice. All personal data will be kept according to the Records Retention Schedule. 

There are two ways you can tell us what happened