Strict confidentiality is a key aspect of the service we offer here at Nightline, and it’s essential that all our volunteers appreciate the importance of adhering to this. All students should be able to feel that they can contact the service without any fear of their identity or content of their phone call going any further than our volunteer base. As a result, every Nightline volunteer is required to sign a confidentiality agreement during the initial training process in recognition of their understanding and acceptance of Nightline’s confidentiality policies. Confidentiality is expected to be upheld while you are a volunteer, and after you leave the service.
Confidentiality applies to a variety of areas within the service:
- The nature and contents of calls taken/communications received; general outlines of calls and communications are recorded for auditing purposes, but are never shared with anyone outside of the service.
- The identity or personal details of any callers/students getting in touch with the service.
- The identity of fellow volunteers
- Details surrounding the office, including its location.
- Secure details such as log-in information for our email, and IM services.
- The contents of the preliminary training session.
Aberdeen Nightline does not, and will never, record or monitor calls.
At no point during active service are our volunteers allowed to tell friends, family, flatmates, course mates that they volunteer for Aberdeen Nightline, this is in order to protect our anonymity and provide an equal service for all. This does not apply to volunteers who are a designated public face.
This confidentiality policy also acknowledges the exceptional occasions volunteers may break confidentiality. This is when callers or concerned third parties mention the following:
- Threats of terrorism; we are legally bound to report any information about planned or actual terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000. This should be done even if the volunteer considers the call a hoax.
- The caller specifically requesting that confidentiality is broken; ie. they offer their location so Nightline can direct the Emergency Services to them.
- Following the issuance of a Court Order or Civil Procedure Rule.
If any of these specific scenarios are mentioned in calls or communications to the Nightline, the volunteer has a duty to report the details of these calls to the Coordinators. They will then pass this information on to the appropriate party, whether that be the Police or the emergency services.
Breaking confidentiality outside of these specific scenarios will be regarded as a gross misconduct, and will result in disciplinary action being taken in accordance with the relevant policy. This may result in immediate dismissal.
It is also the responsibility of every volunteer to bring to the cooordinators attention any evidence they see that confidentiality may have been breached. This includes breaches pertaining to details in calls and to details of the identities of current volunteers for Nightline.