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PAL Academic Course Contact Guide: Recruitment

This is a guide created by the Central PAL Team that provides information and advice on being a PAL Academic Course contact.


PAL Leader Recruitment

Please read through ALL of the information listed below as it is all crucial to the recruitment process. Some parts of our process have also changed since last year so it is important to keep up to date with changes.

Recruitment Process

Please find below the link to the application page on PAL Central that you can send out to your students:

The page on PAL Central has all of the information that your students need for applying for the role, including a job description, important HR requirements and this year's application form. Please do not distribute your own application forms - direct your students to this page and ask them to read through all of the information before applying.

Application forms should be submitted to you by potential candidates, shortlisted and then the successful applications should be passed on to the Central PAL Team by yourselves.

Please note: you should only begin the recruitment process if you have had confirmation from your faculty and the Central PAL Team.


As is the case with the delivery of teaching for the remainder of the semester, the recruitment process for PAL Leaders this year will need to be done virtually. We appreciate that this may be challenging as many of our ACCs promote the roles during seminars and lectures, but we hope that you will be able to do so in your online seminars and lectures with your students. We would also request that our ACCs make use of student email and Brightspace announcements to promote applying for the role. 

For those ACCs that tend to interview their applicants as part of the recruitment process, we hope that you are still able to do so without minimal disruption using programmes such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Hangout as we are sure that many of you are using these programmes to conduct daily meetings and virtual learning environments.

Compliance to Start Work

Before your successful PAL applicants can begin their Facilitation Course or conduct any PAL work, they will need to be formally employed by the university and be made compliant to start work in line with employment regulations. 

To become compliant, students will need to complete a pack of online employment documents as provided by BU's Part Time Hourly Paid (PTHP) Team and provide a form of Right to Work documentation. Right to Work in most cases is a passport, but if students do not have a Passport or are a Tier 4 student, the PTHP Team will be able to advise what other documents they can provide instead.

Due to the current situation, with staff working at home and students not residing in Bournemouth, the PTHP team will allow student to send in a photo of their Right to Work rather than providing this in person as is usually the case, so as not to delay the process. However, when students return to Bournemouth and the campuses re-open, PTHP will require them to resubmit their right to work in person, to confirm it for their records. 

All information pertaining to the employment of PAL Leaders will be communicated by the PTHP Team to PAL applicants directly once they are confirmed as successful and processed by the Part Time Hourly Paid Team.

Recruitment Timeline

1. Central PAL Team confirm that recruitment is open for PAL Leader applications and confirms the number of PAL Leaders the ACC needs to recruit.

2. Level 4 students submit their applications to the PAL ACC (you).

3. The PAL ACC shortlists the applications (this may include interviewing if the ACC chooses) and sends the successful applicants to the Central PAL Team at with password encryption for data protection.

4. The Central PAL Team confirm receipt of the applications and process them in a master spreadsheet shared by the Central PAL Team and the Part Time Hourly Paid (PTHP) Team.

5. The PTHP Team will contact the PAL Leader with the documents and requirements that need to be completed by the PAL Leader for them to be employed.

6. Once the PTHP Team confirm the compliance of the PAL Leader, the PAL Leader will be sent the online part of the PAL Leader Facilitation Course to complete.

7. Once the online part of the Facilitation Course is completed, PAL Leaders will be invited to attend a 2 hour session (this may be face to face or a virtual classroom session depending on the circumstances) to complete the PAL Leader Facilitation Course.

8. The Central PAL Team will update ACCs closer to the start of term on the status of their PAL Leaders and whether they can begin working as a PAL Leader for the start of term.

Here you can find a Powerpoint that provides a background to the PAL role to prospective PAL Leaders. This includes information on the role, the benefits to being a PAL Leader and expectations of what is involved within the role.

PAL Leader Profile: Roles & Responsibilities

Below is the profile of a successful PAL Leader, including our expectations and their roles and responsibilities. Please consider these when selecting your successful applicants.

Training: Attend compulsory training sessions

Level of commitment: Preparation time for each session (30 minutes), facilitate a weekly or fortnightly PAL session (1 hour); depending on course

Action in sessions: Facilitate the discussions; be supportive; signpost students to appropriate help and BU services; register attendance for evaluation work; give first years confidence to ask questions both within and outside of PAL (e.g. to peers and academics); in some cases you will need to work with another PAL Leader

Action beyond sessions: Email and Facebook the PAL group to remind of session time/location; ask first years if there are specifics they would like to cover and share/promote if necessary; keep in contact with your PAL Leader partner (if applicable), Academic Course Contacts and Peer Learning Officer

Expectations: PAL Leaders are not Academics (you are a facilitator not a teacher) and PAL sessions are not a substitute for course lectures and seminars

Personal qualities: Enthusiastic; friendly; approachable; trustworthy; non-judgemental; role-model; team player; confident; committed; emotionally intelligent; organised and proactive

Professional skills: Communication; time management; organisation and planning; facilitation; leadership; teamwork

Support for you: Regular liaison with your PAL Academic Course Contact and the Central PAL Team; additional training and support; observation(s) to check how you are progressing and provide feedback; Access to PAL Central

Benefits: Opportunity to shape and improve the future of PAL (feedback) and potential opportunity to enhance your continued professional development (e.g. Placement PAL Leader or Peer Support Leader); Recognition and reward (celebration event)