CARF logoBackground to Citizens Advice and Rights Fife (CARF)

Citizens Advice and Rights Fife (CARF) provides free, independent and confidential information and advice to those who live and work in Fife. We are a charity and a Company Ltd by Guarantee. We are a member of Citizens Advice Scotland and meet fully the terms of membership including a regular audit of the organisation and our quality of advice. We currently employ 71 paid staff and have 100 volunteers.

Background to the original project

During 2013/14 CARF worked with Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service (DAGCAS), Minerva People Limited and Routes to Employment (RTE), along with the Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQFP). DAGCAS and CARF had identified the need for a comprehensive review of job descriptions and agreed that working together on this would be mutually beneficial to both organisations but also had the potential to be shared with other CAB service colleagues.

How has using the SCQF Employer Toolkit benefited your organisation? Have there been benefits to both employer and employee?

The chief benefits have been the successful review and clarity of job descriptions developed. We now also have a clearer idea of the skills and competencies required along with the knowledge of how we can encourage and help people to develop their skills to move through the organisation. The job descriptions are clearer for new employees coming into post, and also give more opportunities for appropriate people to apply.

I think the exercise has given more credence to the organisation and show that we are trying to be a good employer. It has certainly been recognised by our key funder and I think that employees themselves understand the framework and can, if moving on, use this information to inform their applications.

How easy was it to implement the practices and processes using SCQF Employer How to Guides and Levelling Tool in this phase?

We found it fairly easy to use but clearly benefitted from external independent help.  It has to be recognised there are going to be subjective aspects and areas of disagreement. It can also be complicated if individuals have had poor experiences of job levelling in the past or confuse it with a full job evaluation. I think the hard areas are decision making and autonomy, and individuals’ understanding of that or perhaps rather their perception of that in respect of colleagues. However, I think if you can communicate what you intend to do positively so that you have the majority of people working with you in the long run.

Have you been able to progress your original work and how has it benefitted your organisation?

The main benefit to the organisation was that it gave us more confidence in ourselves to change and improve things by taking time out to look at how we are doing and how we could do better for staff (and volunteers) and clients.  People have bought in to the strategic objective in the revised Business Plan for 2015-18 – “to be a great organisation to volunteer in and work in”.

For further information on the project, contact Norma Philpott from Citizens Advice and Rights Fife (norma@carfonline.org.uk).

During 2015/16 project work continued with Minerva and RTE, with a further 12 regional CAB offices engaging with the How to Guides and Levelling Tools, via a bespoke workshop. For further information, contact the SCQF Partnership executive team at info@scqf.org.uk.

Download a pdf version of this Case Study

View the original case study Citizens Advice and Rights Fife and Dumfries and Galloway Advice Service