Harassment & Bullying

Harassment is a form of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. 

The legal definition of harassment (as applied to the protected characteristics including sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender, race and age) is:

'Unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct that violates people's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment'. The essential characteristic of harassment is that the action(s) is/are unwanted by the recipient.

UCA is committed to creating and maintaining a workplace and learning environment that is free from any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination. To this end the University will take appropriate measures to ensure that the principals of equality, fairness, respect and dignity are embedded into its culture and code of conduct.


Download the Harassment and Bullying Policy and Procedures.

Student Harassment contacts

UCA has created a network of staff and student volunteers, from across all functions, who are specially trained to provide help and support. These volunteers can be approached at any time in total confidence and without fear of recrimination. They can help you explore what action you can take. The contacts can be found by following the links below: 

Bullying and Harassment contacts in Kent.

Bullying and Harrassment contacts in Surrey.

Perhaps you don't want to take formal action. That's OK. You will not be persuaded or forced into action against your will.

Perhaps something is bothering you but you are not sure if it is harassment. It doesn't matter. Any of the harassment contacts will be happy to talk it through with you.

Posters in the communal areas in toilets across the five sites provide details of who to contact. For a full list of people who are trained volunteer contacts please see the Equality and Diversity section of Docshare on the staff intranet.

If you hear of students who need help, some students have been trained as volunteer contacts. The network has strict rules of confidentiality and these will be explained to you when you first make contact.


Becoming a harassment contact

How to access support from trained volunteer harassment contacts

If you are interested please contact Learning & Development at ldev@uca.ac.uk or on 01252 891471. Alternatively, please contact the Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Lara Bell on 01252 892774 or email lbell1@uca.ac.uk


We regularly hold training sessions for existing contacts to refresh skills as well as for new contacts. If you are interested in attending one of these events, please contact Learning and Development on ldev@uca.ac.uk or on 01252 891471. The objectives are:

  • To understand the legal definitions of harassment and bullying in the workplace
  • To understand the UCA policy on harassment and bullying
  • To describe the role of the contact and relevant boundaries
  • To understand sources of support for contacts
  • To understand general issues arising in practice.

In addition to the training events, contacts are encouraged to attend regular support meetings where any matters of concern arising in practice can be discussed in a confidential setting. These are coordinated by the Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Lara Bell on 01252 892774 or email lbell1@uca.ac.uk.