Dignity Contacts

Dignity Contacts are members of staff who have volunteered to listen to the experiences of reporting students or staff who have concerns about harassment, bullying, or hate incidents, as outlined in the University’s Dignity at Work and Study policy. They provide advice and guidance on the Dignity at Work and Study Policy and procedures, and provide information on how to navigate informal and formal reporting procedures.

Speaking to a Dignity Contact does not commit you to taking any further formal or informal action. A conversation with a Dignity Contact is not the start of any procedure, but an opportunity for you to discuss your concerns in a supportive and non-judgemental space and explore options, before deciding whether, or how, to proceed with further action.

You do not have to speak to a Dignity Contact to make a report. Staff and students can make reports directly through the Report and Support online portal.

Hull York Medical School (HYMS) students reporting student or staff misconduct, and HYMS staff reporting HYMS student misconduct, should use the HYMS Report and Support tool.

If you are HYMS staff, you may approach Dignity Contacts for general information and queries whether you are employed by the University of Hull or York, however for more formal enquiries, University of Hull employed HYMS staff should approach the Hull Dignity and Respect Advisors.

Dignity Contacts offer:

  • A minimum of two meetings to provide a confidential, first contact listening service. This will involve advice or guidance for a member of staff or student who has either experienced harassment, bullying or a hate incident or have been accused of harassing or bullying another.
  • Information about the University’s Dignity at Work and Study Policy and Procedures, Grievance procedures for staff, and Regulation 7 misconduct procedures for students.
  • Discussion about the courses of action available (but it is the reporting member of staff or student who decides how to proceed).
  • Signposting to sources of support available to both staff and students.

Where appropriate, Dignity Contacts may act as a supportive friend or colleague by accompanying the reporting staff or student at any meeting held under the informal or formal procedure. This will be in the capacity of providing moral support. Dignity Contacts cannot participate in the proceedings. Dignity Contacts have no obligation to attend meetings, and will not do so if they have a conflict of interest (see limitations of role below).

Dignity Contacts cannot:

  • Where they are attending a meeting to provide moral support to an individual, Dignity Contacts cannot participate in the proceedings themselves.
  • Attend proceedings if they have a conflict of interest, for example, if the Dignity Contact has a close personal, professional or working relationship with either the reporting or the reported student or member of staff, or if the same Dignity Contact has been approached by both the reporting and reported person. In such cases, it may be more appropriate for another Dignity Contact to take their place.
  • Decide or judge whether the behaviour/conduct of a student or member of staff constitutes harassment, bullying or hate incidents.
  • Undertake any formal or informal investigations (any formal investigations will be conducted by an appropriately identified investigating officer and manager, outlined within the Dignity at Work and Study Policy/Regulation 7).
  • Take action against an alleged harasser themselves.
  • Discuss an incident that has already been reported and investigated, or discuss an incident currently under investigation.
  • Provide counselling, mediation or any form of intervention.


Dignity Contacts will treat any information provided by a student or member of staff as confidential and only discuss this information with another person (eg colleagues in Student Life and Wellbeing, Equality and Diversity Office, the line manager or personal tutor of the reporting person) if they have permission, or if they are concerned about potential safeguarding issues, risks or any harm to the student or member of staff or others.

Dignity Contacts may make brief notes of who they have met and advice they have given, and any further meetings or actions they have agreed to. Such notes will be private to the Dignity Contact and the reporting person, and will not be disclosed to anyone else except with the permission of the individual, or under duty of care and safeguarding procedures. Individuals can request to see their notes at any time.

List of Dignity Contacts

Dignity Contacts are voluntary roles, and not every department or service area will have a named Dignity Contact. However, all Dignity Contacts offer support and advice to any student or staff member in the University. 

You are encouraged to contact the Dignity Contact for your department or service area if you have one. If you do not have a named Dignity Contact, or you do not wish to contact your named Dignity Contact for any reason, you are welcome to contact a Dignity Contact of your choice, and you do not need to give any reason or justification for doing so.

We recruit and train Dignity Contacts on a continual basis, and will update this page with their details as they become available.

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office

+44 (0)1904 324680

There isn't a Dignity contact for Politics right now. 

Dignity Contacts aim to respond to queries within 5 working days.

Becoming a Dignity Contact

If you are a staff member and you would like to become a Dignity Contact, or find out more about the role, please email the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team on equality@york.ac.uk and we will contact you with further information.

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office

+44 (0)1904 324680