Accessibility statement


Slack is a digital workplace that connects us to our colleagues, external partners and systems, allowing us to feel connected no matter where we are working from.

The fundamental pillar of Slack is a Slack channel. Instead of endless email chains, Slack organises conversations around a topic, project or team in a channel. This provides everyone with a shared view into the work being done, so teams can stay in sync and new members have full context when they join.

We use an Enterprise Grid version of Slack, which means we have access to more features and control of specific settings that we can set for the organisation.


Who can use Slack?

  • University staff with ResourceLink records and postgraduate students are automatically given a Slack account when they join the University  
  • Other University members of staff (associate/temp pool) are potentially eligible for a full Slack account
  • External collaborators and organisations can join us in Slack through Slack Connect
  • Undergraduate students can be invited as a guest

For more information on access see: How users get access to Slack (York Wiki).

Logging in to Slack

The best way to use Slack is through the desktop app, which you can install from the software center on any managed University laptop or on unmanaged devices from Slack. The benefits to using the Slack app include only having to log in once, better user experience and not missing messages.

Once downloaded you will need to sign into the University of York Grid using your University of York Google account:

  1. Enter the Grid URL:
  2. Select 'Sign in with Google'. If you are already logged into your University Google account you will be automatically signed in. If not, you will need to enter your University of York email address and password

Using Slack

Once you’ve logged in to Slack you’ll be added to a few public channels by default.  
Keep an eye out for a message from Slackbot which will take you through the basics of using Slack and help you get your profile and settings set up.


Records of Slack messages may be subject to a Freedom of Information or Subject Access request. You should be particularly careful when discussing details relating to other individuals.

  • Public vs private channels
    • Public channels promote open and transparent communication within workspaces and are encouraged where appropriate. They make it easier to find information, ask questions, submit ideas and participate in discussions. 
      • Public channels can be viewed or joined by any member of the workspace it's been created in so you should ensure you are happy for the content to be seen
      • Public channels have a # next to the channel name
    • Private channels should be used for discussions that should not be visible to all members of a workspace, for example team-specific chat or finance or legal matters.
      • Members of private channels have to be added directly by someone already part of that channel
      • Private channels have a lock icon next to the channel name
  • Sharing personal data or sensitive information - ensure that you only share personal data or sensitive information to relevant colleagues in private channels or DMs when necessary to do so.
  • Sharing information that’s contained in other systems - when referring to information held in another system such as SITS or e:Vision, you should when possible refer colleagues to check the system rather than copying information into Slack
  • Sharing files and documents - when possible use sharing links to files and  documents in Google Drive, Docs and Sheets rather than downloading and attaching them

Training and help

Training and guides

Day-to-day issues and troubleshooting

You can receive help with issues and troubleshooting from the Digital Tools team in by logging your problem in the #help-slack channel within Slack.

If Slack isn’t working

The easiest way to check if Slack is down is to use their Slack system status page which is external to the Slack system and always available.

Sometimes Slack stops working for a few minutes - in this case it doesn't usually get flagged by Slack on their system page and we won't communicate it internally. We recommend reloading Slack after a few minutes (Ctrl+R in the desktop app).

If Slack has a major incident, we will log it on the IT Service Status page and depending on the issue, update as much as possible within the #help-slack channel.