What is a trusted contact?
A trusted contact is someone who a student nominates to act in a similar way to a next of kin. Usually, students will choose a parent or guardian, although it can be any individual over the age of 18 such as a family member or friend. It’s entirely the student’s choice, but we encourage students to choose someone they trust and who they can ask for help.
Why do students need to provide a trusted contact?
At the University of Bath we are committed to fostering a culture of care and to protecting student welfare. As part of this commitment, we ask all students to provide up-to-date contact details for a trusted contact throughout their registration at the University.
When a student joins us, they are starting a new phase in their life and will probably have a network of people outside university who can help them along the way. This could be parents, family members, guardians or other supporters. A trusted contact might be someone students tell about how they are settling into university life and someone they rely on for advice and support.
Additionally, the University also provides support to students to help them transition to university and thrive whilst they are here.
What do I need to do if I am a student?
We ask that students obtain their chosen trusted contact’s permission to fulfil this role before they register with us, make them aware what the role entails and that their contact details will be shared with the University. A good way of doing this is by sharing this webpage with a chosen trusted contact.
It is essential that students keep their trusted contact details up to date. Students can review and update these details at any time by logging into SAMIS. Students are also required to provide details of their registered GP on SAMIS at registration. As with the trusted contact, it is essential that these details are kept up to date by the student and can be updated at any time.
What do I need to do if I am a trusted contact?
If you’re outside of the University and you’re concerned about a student’s safety, please contact the University’s Security Services. If it’s not urgent, you can contact Student Support – email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01225 383838.
In practice, the University will use information about trusted contacts very infrequently, and we try to involve students in any decision where we are considering contacting their trusted contact.
We might contact you if we have reason to believe a student’s welfare or safety is at significant risk. This would usually happen alongside the University contacting other organisations such as emergency services, and we’ll always consider the impact of such contact on the student and any concerns we have for their safety. Ultimately our aim is to prevent any student coming to harm and reduce any risks of that happening.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Any student struggling with their mental health is encouraged to reach out to Student Support for help.
When accessing support from the University, students are informed of the Student Support and Safeguarding Team’s approach to confidentiality and asked whether they give consent to share information with other professionals – internal or externally to the University. Where consent is given, this can be withdrawn later on, and the team will work with students to encourage them to involve other people in their support. That could include their GP, family or trusted contact.
In a small number of cases and in exceptional circumstances, the University may decide to contact a student’s trusted contact without consent, if we judge that doing so is in the student’s best interests.
View the full Students Trusted Contact Policy for further information about our use of trusted contacts.
The University has more information for parents and supporters: supporting your student and a Data Protection Statement for student registration which provide further useful information relating to this policy.