Customer Service Assistant

Durham, United Kingdom
£17,361 - £17,682
Wednesday, 9 September 2020
End of advertisement period
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Contract Type
Full Time


Grade 2: - £17,361 - £17,682
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contract Duration: N/A
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 23-Sep-2020, 6:59:00 AM 

This position belongs to Durham University Job Family: Community, Participation and Engagement Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.    

OUR VALUESWe are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling. 

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives. 

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University: 

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.  

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide an excellent stakeholder experience for our diverse and supportive community.    

Overall family purpose 

  • Provide excellent student support services, development and extra-curricular activities.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Respond to stakeholders at the point of service delivery, either in situ or remotely.
  • Facilitate the development of excellent colleague and academic engagement.
  • Provide a stakeholder focussed service designed to increase widening participation and diversity.
  • Promote the Durham reputation by establishing and broadening national and international community links to enhance the cultural and economic viability of the City and region.
  • Enhance the Durham wider student experience by developing extra-curricular activities.
  • Contribute to and enhance active, inclusive and supportive communities of stakeholders.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Engage with suppliers, consultants and specialist professionals to deliver programmes and activities to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage outreach and participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.
  • Engage and network with both internal and external stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange and impact through local, national and international communities.  

Link to key strategic plan 

  • An economically and environmentally sustainable approach to delivering stakeholder focussed services across the University;
  • A world-class student, alumni and donor experience;
  • Focussed on the needs of all users working together to deliver front-line services as part of the Wider Student Experience;
  • Learn from and match best practice in the Wider Student Experience around the world;
  • Opening up our world-class sporting facilities to local clubs and athletes;
  • Support and facilitate activities as part of the Widening Student Experience at Durham;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

Customer Service Assistants

Applications are invited from people seeking full time or part time hours.

In your application, please specify whether you are applying for full time or part time hours. If you are applying for part time hours, please specify how many hours per week you are seeking. Please note: part time positions must be 17 hours per week or more. Full time positions are 35 hours per week.

The Department and role purpose:   

In January 1833 Bishop William van Mildert donated 160 volumes to found the University Library, located on Palace Green.

Today Library & Heritage Collections offers spaces, collections, expertise and services supporting education, research, the wider student experience and cultural and educational outreach. Collections and services operate across a wide estate of libraries, museums, galleries and exhibition spaces, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Palace Green. Our nationally and internationally recognised collections span early books and manuscripts, museum objects and art, print and electronic materials and include a repository of digitised materials, research outputs and research data. 

We are an ambitious and developing team with a focus on providing the best experience for our students, researchers and the wider community. We are valued partners working with students, professional services and academics across the University, and professionals and organisations regionally, nationally and internationally.

The Library’s Customer Services Team, under the leadership of the Customer Services Manager, provide all front-line (face to face and virtual) customer, visitor and enquiry services. 

Customer Services Assistants play a vital role in delivering a high quality experience to our customers. Work can include engaging with customers in a reception role, through to shelving returned library materials; processing new books to moving materials between sites. The role is important in maintaining an excellent work and study environment, conducting furniture checks, ensuring the replenishment of multifunctional devices and keeping the buildings tidy and safe for our customers. 

Core responsibilities: 

  • Contribute input within a service team to provide a responsive service for stakeholders.
  • Contribute input to deliver a stakeholder-focussed service.
  • Respond to straightforward requests for information from stakeholders.
  • Contribute to team effort with more straightforward tasks during peak work flows.
  • Follow documented service procedures, referring to more experienced colleagues with less straightforward issues.
  • Demonstrate some pre-employment familiarity with the techniques, and processes used in the service area.
  • Learn new skills and techniques on the job working alongside more experienced team members.
  • Learn about the hazards and risks within own area of work and report incidents in accordance with recognised procedures and protocols.
  • Communicate with supervisor, team members, other staff, students and visitors in person or using electronic tools and applications.  

Role responsibilities: 

  • Operate everyday domestic, office, maintenance, and library tools and equipment.
  • Follow procedures to determine how to record information or use resources within the role.
  • Learn and adhere to specific risk assessments when delivering specific tasks within a variety of work environments.
  • Wear and use protective equipment and clothing to carry out tasks on a day to day basis as necessary.
  • Assist team members to manage and maintain buildings, tools, appliances, equipment and resources safely, securely and according to hygiene and quality standards.
  • Carry out a range of tasks that require a more than standard level of physical, manual and sensory dexterity, following training, for short periods of time.
  • Complete necessary skills training to deliver a foundation service in a workplace environment.
  • Any other reasonable duties. 

Specific role requirements:

The post holder may be asked to work early mornings, evenings, and/or weekends according to service need . Bank Holiday working may also be required. You will be required to work at any of our sites in Durham. 

Library work involves considerable manual handling and physical activity, for example: packing and lifting books, lifting boxes, and pushing trolleys. Appropriate training will be provided. 

The role holder may be required to drive University vehicles.  

Recruiting to this post 

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above (including those listed in the section ‘Realising Your Potential Approach’).  

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.  

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage. 

How to apply 

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above
  3. Evidence and examples of how you meet the person specification criteria (by answering the Application Questions)
  4. A document outlining how you meet the criteria in the Realising Your Potential Approach information provided. 

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage. 

Contact details 

For further information please contact; Katharine Davidson-Brown at j.k.davidson-brown@durham.ac.uk.  

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required 

Essential Criteria

  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • Basic IT skills including Microsoft Office.
  • Basic numeracy and literacy skills.  
  • Experience of working in a team.
  • Experience of working in a customer focussed service.
  • Ability to follow instructions, written or oral, accurately.

Desirable Criteria

  • Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.  
  • Experience of managing time in order to meet deadlines.
  • Experience if working in a library environment.
  • First aid training/qualification.
  • Clean driving licence, and willing to drive a University vehicle.

Durham University – Realising Your Potential Approach

DEVELOPING MYSELF AND OTHERS - Showing commitment to own development and supporting and encouraging others to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential for the wider benefit of the University.

Effectively demonstrate new/improved knowledge and skills

RESPECTING OTHERS - To embrace diversity by promoting and maintaining an inclusive and supportive work and study environment that enables all members of our University community to achieve their full potential.

Acting fairly and respectfully towards others in both verbal and non-verbal communication

WORKING TOGETHER - Working co-operatively with others in order to achieve objectives. Applying a wide range of interpersonal skills.

Develop effective working relationships with colleagues

PROVIDING EXCELLENT STUDENT SERVICES AND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT - Providing the best quality service to all our students, customers and stakeholders. Building genuine and long-term relationships through everyday interactions in order to drive up service standards and to enhance their experience.

Provide excellent service to students, customers and stakeholders.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.