Adviceline resource area

At the start of your phone session check:

  • Your telephone is working and the headset is connected
  • Your chair and screen are comfortably adjusted
  • You have pen and paper to take notes (unless typing directly)
  • Your computer is switched on & connecting to the internet
  • Your session log-in details with your supervisor

Open the web tools

  • Load and login to PETRA

Open a new window:

Setting up

  • Check the “location” is the correct desk and the phone number chosen to receive calls is correct and click “save” (ask your supervisor if in any doubt)
  • Use the telephony on line tool set your status as “free”
  • If you take a call your status will automatically change to “talking”
  • When you finish your call it will then change to “write up”
  • Before getting ready to receive another call set the “activity code” and click “record”

The next steps

  • Use your skills and knowledge together with the Question Templates and the support of your supervisor to explore the caller’s problem and gather key facts.
  • Use  Citizens Advice public site or Local Links to identify information that the client could use to self help or with basic assistance.
  • Identify where full advice is needed. Trigger points are:
    • where the problem is COMPLEX
    • where there is an EMERGENCY (identify the deadlines for action)
    • where the caller is VULNERABLE
  • Provide Assisted Information unless you have identified that the caller needs tailored advice for any of the reasons above
  • Where full advice is needed, consider short discreate advice
    • or call transfer
    • or call back options

Advice options

Where advice is needed the options are:


  • Call transfer to a Call Transfer Partner:
    “We have a partner agency that specialises in this type of problem- would you like me to transfer you? I can give you the direct dial number first in case we get cut off (their call rates are cheaper-would you prefer to call them direct?”

Or Local Warm Transfer

  • Setting up an appointment telephone callback or face to face advice
  • Ask additional questions to check eligibility for enhanced services (legal help, FIF, Childrens Centres, BSL, RSL)
  • Prepare the caller for the appointment by- navigating to or sending out background information. Where a face-to-face appointment is made ensure that the caller has directions to the service as needed.
  • Search call-back or telephone appointments on nellBOOKER
  • Signposting to an External Partner agency using Local Links

Further resources