We're committed to creating a positive working and learning environment free of harassment and bullying, where all people are treated with dignity and respect. We want staff and students to fulfil their personal potential and don't tolerate bullying and harassment of any kind.
All allegations are promptly and thoroughly investigated and, if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken. Staff and students should be aware that if they harass someone, they may be personally liable as well as the institution.
Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, or misuse of power which is meant to undermine, humiliate or injure the other party. It may be an abuse of power, position or knowledge. Unlike harassment it is not based on membership of any legally protected minority group.
Harassment is based on membership of any legally protected group. Harassment is unwanted and unwelcomed conduct which has the purpose or effect of:
- violating the dignity of a person or group; or
- creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment
A single act can constitute harassment.
Dignity at Work and Study Policy
Our Dignity at Work and Study Policy and Code of Conduct on Professional/Consensual Relationships outline the minimum standards of behaviour expected of everyone who works or studies at St George’s. The code defines situations which might constitute a conflict of personal interest for staff with their duties towards the institution.
St George's Counselling Service is free and available to all staff and students at St George's whether they feel they are being bullied, or have been accused of bullying. This service is completely confidential.
Dignity Advisers scheme
Dignity Advisers offer confidential, impartial advice and support to any member of staff or student concerned about bullying or harassment. They're fully trained and usually hold other posts at various levels within the organisation.
They aren't involved in any decision making; neither do they represent individuals. Instead, they're available to discuss the situation facing a member of staff or a student and to talk through the options available. Our Dignity Advisers respond within 24 hours to any student or staff member who asks for help and an appointment is usually made within five working days.
Without the express permission of the individual concerned, action is rarely taken following an informal approach concerning bullying or harassment (unless the allegations are very serious).
One of our senior managers is a Dignity Adviser as well as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual (LGBT) staff network group. This provides an extra reporting route via the LGBT staff network group.
Additionally, the LGBT student society president also attends the LGBT staff engagement group to act represent LGBT issues which may affect both staff and students.
What can a Dignity Adviser do?
Provide a supportive, confidential and informal environment in which to discuss issues regarding harassment and/or bullying.
Provide information on the options that are available.
Assist those seeking advice in thinking those options through.
Empathise without judgement.
If appropriate, signpost to other sources of support/advice.
What can’t a Dignity Adviser do?
Make decisions for the individual seeking advice or ‘fix’ their situation.
Take action against the alleged harasser.
Mediate or negotiate between the individual seeking advice and the alleged harasser.
Give directional advice.
Meet with individual seeking advice outside of office hours or outside of University premises.
- Dignity at Work and Study policy (PDF)
- Code of Conduct on Professional/Consensual Relationships (PDF)
- Dignity Advisers role description (PDF)
- Dignity Advisers application form (PDF)
- Harassment and bullying: complaints procedure for staff(PDF)
- Harassment and bullying: complaints procedure for students (PDF)
Last Updated: Monday, 05 October 2015 15:05