Job profile – Advice and Support Officer

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under About us - find a job.

Grade F

  • Location: Gateshead Civic Centre/remote working across the Borough of Gateshead including temporary home working during COVID-19
  • Service: Customer Services
  • Line Manager: Rent and Income ASO Team Leader
  • Car user status: Casual

Job purpose

To provide welfare benefits, welfare reform advice, budgeting advice, energy advice, homeless prevention and money advice to tenants, with a focus on those affected by Universal Credit and other welfare reforms; and to support the promotion of financial inclusion in Gateshead.

The key roles of this post will include:


  1. To ensure conduct and behaviour demonstrates a commitment to the core company values and promotes cross service working to achieve excellent customer service and outcomes.
  2. To be proactive in all aspects of health & safety management to comply with current legislation, promote a culture of good health and safety practice within the working environment, ensuring personal responsibilities to yourself and others are discharged in line with company policies and procedures
  3. To demonstrate a positive, diverse and inclusive attitude in all aspects of day to day work and interactions both internal and external i.e. customers, colleagues and partners
  4. To actively participate in the evaluation, development and continuous improvement of the service. Keeping up to date with policies, procedures and participating in meetings and training as necessary
  5. To work as part of a team collaborating and sharing knowledge openly to enhance service delivery, ensuring both individual and team objectives are met

Role specific

  1. To proactively assist and advise customers with regards to Universal Credit
  2. To work across multiple partnership locations including Citizens Advice, Job Centre Plus and Neighbourhood Housing offices to promote joint working and positive customer outcomes
  3. To assist customers in appealing any benefit sanctions that may have been imposed on them
  4. To deliver effective specialist welfare benefits advice to new housing applicants as well as existing customers
  5. To engage proactively with customers as well as external and internal support services to ensure income is maximised and tenancies are sustained
  6. To provide crisis support and intervention in a timely and effective manner
  7. To promote the take-up of benefits across Gateshead through carefully targeted campaigns to identify and target potential customers
  8. To keep up to date with changes in legislation and update policies and procedures when required, as well as cascading this knowledge to internal staff and client groups
  9. To proactively manage and maintain personal resilience including attending relevant training to support the management of setbacks, unforeseen events and obstacles.
  10. To respond positively to changing priorities including managing workload effectively to meet key performance indicators and deadlines.
  11. Such other responsibilities allocated appropriate to the grade of the post.

Essential criteria

Experience of:

  • Dealing with sensitive and complex information with customers
  • Delivering benefit advice, money/budgeting support and promoting financial inclusion
  • Dealing with difficult (and often emotional) situations effectively


  • 5 GCSEs (A*-C or 9-4) including Maths and English or relevant demonstrable experience
  • Evidence of continual professional development and a willingness to undertake additional training as required

 Knowledge of:

  • The state benefit systems and welfare reform
  • ICT systems including Windows and Microsoft Office
  • Equality and diversity and how this is demonstrated within a work environment.

Desirable criteria

Experience of:

  • Submitting benefit appeals and back-dating requests
  • Working as part of a diverse and inclusive workforce


  • A full driving license or ability to meet the travel requirements of the role

Knowledge of:

  • Universal Credit, the sanctions regime and local support networks
  • Rent collection procedures

Competencies relating to this post

Working with people
Shows respect for the views and contributions of other team members; shows empathy; listens, supports and cares for others; consults others and shares information and expertise with them; builds team spirit and reconciles conflict; adapts to the team and fits in well.

Relating and networking
Easily establishes good relationships with customers and staff; relates well to people at all levels; builds wide and effective networks of contacts; uses humour appropriately to bring warmth to relationships with others.

Presenting and communicating information
Speaks fluently; expresses opinions, information and key points of an argument clearly; makes presentations and undertakes public speaking with skill and confidence; responds quickly to the needs of an audience and to their reactions and feedback; projects credibility.

Analyses numerical data and all other sources of information, to break them into component parts, patterns and relationships; probes for further information or greater understanding of a problem; makes rational judgements from the available information and analysis; demonstrates an understanding of how one issue may be a part of a much larger system.

Learning and researching
Rapidly learns new tasks and commits information to memory quickly; demonstrates an immediate understanding of newly presented information; gathers comprehensive information to support decision making; encourages an organisational learning approach (i.e. learns from successes and failures and seeks staff and customer feedback).

Delivering results and meeting customer expectations
Focuses on customer needs and satisfaction; sets high standards for quality and quantity; monitors and maintains quality and productivity; works in a systematic, methodical and orderly way; consistently achieves project goals.

Coping with pressures and setbacks
Maintains a positive outlook at work; works productively in a pressurised environment; keeps emotions under control during difficult situations; handles criticism well and learns from it; balances the demands of a work life and a personal life.