Staffing Update


Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, this is a turbulent and challenging time for us all. From 14th April, the Societies Team will be working at reduced capacity for the foreseeable future and will be unable to respond to emails or updates. There is a skeletal staff still working remotely, so transaction list and BACS requests will still be processed and any urgent queries will be looked at as soon as reasonably possible. Apart from that, all other services will cease for the time being. At this time, we are unsure of when we might be back ‘in the office’ - physically or virtually - so please bear with us during this time. As soon as we are back in a working capacity, we will be in touch and provide any appropriate updates.  


Take care and look after yourself during this time. Speak to you all soon.  


(Accurate as of 13th April 2020)



Available Services

  • Society BACS Requests 
  • Online payments into the Societies Account 
  • Transaction list requests 
  • Some basic Society admin queries 


Unavailable Services

  • Block bookings – this is running on a delayed timetable, details below 
  • Welcome Week events – this is running on a delayed timetable, details below 
  • Marketing support 
  • Microsoft Teams updates 
  • Access to Society support from Dan and Sarah (Societies Coordinator and Student Opportunities Officer) 
  • Constitutional/AGM queries 
  • Depositing Society money 


If you haven't already done so, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO RE-REGISTER YOUR SOCIETY FOR 2020-21




All Office Bearers have been enrolled into online Society Training. This covers all the information you need to know in order to fulfil your role throughout the year. For non-executive committee members, there are 4 chapters. Executive committee members will have another chapter which is role-specific to give you some information on how to complete your role as President, Secretary or Treasurer. 


All committee members are Office Bearers and therefore should complete their training. This is an important component for receiving HEAR recognition at the end of the year for your role. 


The deadline for all training is Friday 28th August, 2020. Please do not panic about new OBs that haven’t been elected yet. There will be an extension for those who are elected in Semester 1 to complete the training then. 



Online Training – New Office Bearers

All new Office Bearers should complete the Full Training. This goes into detail about the services that are available to you as an Office Bearer in order to succeed as a Society. Please be sure to complete all 4 chapters of the training. 



Online Training – Returning Office Bearers

Any student who has been on a committee before and is staying on in the same or a different role, in the same or a different Society, should complete the Refresher Training. This covers a summary of the services available as a reminder, and some full detail on any services or resources that are new this year. 



Online Training – Those registered but waiting to hold a later AGM

Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to separate you from the training upload due to time restraints and limited resource at this time. You have been enrolled into the training as such, but do not need to complete this. We apologise about the emails you will receive as a result and endeavour to remove you if requested as soon as we are able to. However, if you have been enrolled and since held an AGM, please be patient. The new Office Bearers will be enrolled as soon as we are able to do this and we will remove those who do not need to be on here. In the meantime, please pass on the relevant information to your successor who this may be applicable to.



Where can I find the training?

The training is on LEARN. To access this, you will need to login to directly. The training will not appear through MyEd. The title of the training course is Society Office Bearer Training 2020-21



How do I complete the training?

The training is found through LEARN. The training guides will open in Sway, in a separate tab, but the quizzes and updates will be found through LEARN. Each chapter has a quiz that needs to be completed in order for you to move on to the next chapter. 



Concerns about being enrolled into the wrong area etc. 

As the Societies Team are now on an absence of leave, we will be unable to assist with any queries about errors with uploads. Please do not panic. This will not have any negative impact on your role, HEAR or Society status. Due to the situation, we are being lenient with deadlines and can allow extensions where there have been complications.  

We apoligise for any inconvenience that may have been caused by this and will endeavour to resolve any issues as and when we are able to. 



Other online resources

If you have other queries about running your Society, please be sure to visit the Office Bearer Resources section of our website. There is a list of Guides and Templates that are useful for lots of different issues – constitution templates, risk assessment templates, as well as the Office Bearer handbook. This contains information about how to hold AGMs, how to market your events and how to make your Society inclusive. You can find this page here


Why not take this time to update your Society profile? There is a guide here about how to update your profile with pictures, text and information about who you are and what you do. This is a really useful platform for you to sell your Society and encourage new members to join! Find out more here.


What is a Society Risk Assessment?

All Societies are required to complete a risk assessment in order to be registered with the Students’ Association. This is to show the duty of care that Societies have to their members when running and hosting events. But it also allows Societies to benefit from the Students’ Association’s public liability insurance. 



How do I complete this?

All Societies have nominated a risk assessor as part of the re-registration process. This will be one member of your Society committee and they will have been enrolled in a separate training course on LEARN. This course is called Society Health and Safety Training 2020-21. This member should log into this course, also directly through and complete this course. They will then need to use the templates available in LEARN to compile the risk assessment document.



When do I need to complete this by?

The deadline for completing risk assessments is Friday 29th May. If you can’t make this deadline, please submit it as soon as you are able to.



I don’t know who my risk assessor is...

As there will be a skeletal staff in the office from 14thApril, we won’t be able to let you know who this is, if you aren’t sure. For this reason, you will need to take it upon yourselves to ask around your committee and see who has been enrolled. If this student is no longer able to complete the risk assessment, please let us know. We will amend this when we return to work and provide an extension for you to submit the risk assessment. 



We don’t know when our events will be next year

If you haven’t planned any events yet, please enter your generic regular events with TBC for dates and venues. Risk assess for those and this can be amended at a later stage. For example, an academic Society might have regular events such as:

  • Monthly academic talks
  • Weekly committee meetings
  • Fortnightly socials
  • Annual ball 


You can guestimate the risks and measures for these events as they are now, and use your risk assessment from previous years for ideas. There is also full guidance on this in the training. When you know more, please be sure to update your risk assessment. 



What should I do with my risk assessment once it’s complete?

Please email this to with your Society as the file name, and make sure to upload this, along with your up to date constitution, to your Society profile. When we are back in the office, we will be able to have a look over them and get back to you with feedback. 


Due to the ongoing challenges at this current time, Welcome Week submissions are not open yet. We will be in touch at a later date when we and the University know more about what Welcome Week will look like, approximately June, and provide further guidance and instructions about what you need to submit and when by. Please be patient with us during this time.


Due to the ongoing challenges at this current time, unfortunately the April Block Bookings round will not be taking place. The application process for booking rooms is being postponed until June. You will still be able to book ahead for Semester 1 bookings, both one off and blocks and we will be in touch at a later date with full information and guidance on how to do so. Please bear with us during this time.


At this time, block bookings will still only be open to those who were able to register by 3rd April 2020. This is due to reduced staff capacity to update our systems accordingly in time for block bookings taking place. This is subject to change, so please keep your eyes out for further information on this.


For context:


What are block bookings?

As a Society, you get priority access to booking rooms within any of the Students’ Association venues – Potterrow, Pleasance, Teviot and KB House. You can request one off or block room bookings, for up to 12 hours a week to hold meetings and events. It is important to remember that the requests you put in are requests and by no means a guarantee that you will be allocated your first choice room. There are over 300 Societies all looking to book rooms, so please keep this in mind when putting in your submissions.


When can I complete this?

We will be in touch in late May/early June to confirm the timetable for block bookings. The application window will be open for 72 hours for you to submit your requests for semester 1 rooms. Before this opens, you will have access to a trial form so you can get used to it and know what information you need to input when it goes live. Please keep your eyes on your emails for further guidance and instruction on this.


If you have any further questions, please contact and we will get back to you as soon as reasonably possible.