What is Report and Support?
Report and Support is an online tool developed by an organisation called Culture Shift where staff, students and others can report bullying, harassment, discrimination and other issues. Reports can be made anonymously or with named details. Report and Support also provides information about internal and external support, policies and procedures.
Who are Culture Shift?
Culture Shift exists to lead positive change in organisational culture, through building products that empower them to tackle harassment and bullying. Its online reporting platform ‘Report + Support’ gives organisations the insight they need to monitor and prevent bullying and harassment, and support anybody who experiences it. The software allows users to report any incident safely and anonymously and access further support – enabling organisations to take a proactive and preventative approach to protecting their culture. The underlying principles of removing barriers to reporting and providing a survivor-centred approach and support, were originally developed in collaboration with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team at the University of Manchester in February 2017. Since then, Culture Shift has worked with over 50 universities in the UK and Europe to implement positive change, and has a proven track record of activating change in educational organisations for the better and eliminating the stigma around reporting any form of harassment.
Who manages the Report and Support system at BCU?
The Report and Support system is overseen by Mental Health & Wellbeing (for reports relating to students) and HR (for reports relating to staff).
Who can make a report?
Staff and students of BCU, as well as members of the BCU community such as agency staff or visitors, can use Report and Support to make a report. Individuals can report in respect of themselves or on behalf of someone else.
How does Report and Support fit in with existing reporting routes?
Report and Support does not wholly replace current reporting channels, but provides an additional route for reporting. Existing referral routes can still be used as Report and Support will not replace these. However, one of the key benefits of using Report and Support is to create a central record of reports in order to understand better what is happening within our University community. We would therefore encourage any relevant behaviour to be reported via Report and Support rather than other channels, so that we can build a comprehensive picture of what is happening at BCU.
There is currently no change in relation to existing processes for investigating these reports.
What is the difference between the two types of reports (Report anonymously and Report with contact details)?
With anonymous reports, the University does not know who has made an anonymous report, and therefore cannot reach out and provide support. We can, however, use the report to understand what types of incident are happening in the University and thus inform our preventative work.
If someone wants to receive specific support or consider informal or formal options to address a concern, they can report with contact details and speak to an adviser. Advisers are based in Mental Health & Wellbeing (for student concerns) and HR (for staff concerns).
What happens when someone makes a report?
The information you provide through Report and Support will be shared with a small group of relevant University staff from Mental Health & Wellbeing and HR who will assess how best the University can respond. The content of the form will be accessible only to a very limited group of staff.
What happens when someone reports with contact details?
Depending on the issue or incident being reported, your report will be sent to an adviser in Mental Health & Wellbeing (if you are a student, or are reporting on behalf of a student) or HR (if you are a member of staff, or are reporting 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 report using the details provided in the report and they discuss next steps. This will include identifying your options, and if you have named an individual they will let you know if we plan to make the reported person aware of the report.
The University will not normally take action without consulting you and will not treat your report as a complaint until we have contacted you. If, however, there are serious safety and wellbeing concerns raised by your report we may need to take urgent action without asking you first.
What happens when someone reports anonymously, what action can you take and what happens with the information gathered from anonymous reports?
We take all reports 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 reporting person 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 reported person being made aware of the report.
If for whatever reason we cannot take action on the back of an anonymous report, this information is still very useful as it lets the University know something has happened. The University uses information gathered from anonymous reports 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 report 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.
How will the University manage malicious complaints?
If a report is found to be malicious or vexatious, such reports will be addressed under existing student and staff procedures.
Is there a time limit on the reports I can submit through Report and Support?
We would always recommend that you report an incident to the University at the earliest opportunity, when you feel best placed to do so. There is no time limit on reporting, but generally the more time that has elapsed since an incident took place, the more limited we are likely to be in the action we can take.
How secure is the data and information sent through the system, and how will my data be used?
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 available on the site. The system has been security tested by both Culture Shift and by BCU.
What support is available in respect of the issues being reported?
The ‘Support’ section of the Report and Support site includes detailed guidance on understanding the issues captured by Report and Support, including explanations of terms; recommended steps to take in particular situations; and sources of internal and external help.
In respect of individuals’ wellbeing, students can access support from Mental Health & Wellbeing; staff have access to support via the Employment Assistance Programme.