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Frequently Asked Questions

HR Support

What is included as part of the HR retainer service?

I offer Bronze, Silver and Gold retainer packages, which suit most of my client’s needs. I do however offer tailored packages to some clients who want some extra support in different areas.

The retainer packages can cover any of the below as well as regular, on-tap advice on any employment related matter.

  • Recruitment – I could draft or review job descriptions, advise on salaries and benefits, draft you an application form, review CVs, draft you a list of suitable and effective interview questions, draft letters to candidates, review or draft contracts for new employees.
  • Learning and development – I can design an induction programme or checklist for new staff, provide training to managers on HR issues, advise on paying for employees’ study and reclaiming costs of training if they leave employment, advise about apprenticeships and other training programmes.
  • Performance – I can draft a suitable appraisal form for you to use, can draft letters to employees regarding performance concerns and can advise on when you can use the disciplinary procedure for performance issues.
  • Absence – I can advise on how to deal with lateness and regular absence, can give context on what normal levels of absence are, advise on strategies to deal with problem absence, provide access to an occupational health provider if necessary, provide a return to work interview form and self-certification for short absences and draft letters to employees for whom absence is a concern.
  • Family leave – I can advise on current requirements in the ever-changing area of family leave, draft letters to employees going on maternity leave or other leave, and advise on the procedures you need to follow.
  • Terms and conditions – if you need to change terms and conditions I can advise you how to do this and draft all the necessary letters and documents.
  • Termination – if you are contemplating terminating someone’s employment for whatever reason, or considering a redundancy process, I can advise you on how to do it safely, on correct procedure and draft all necessary letters.
How does the retainer service differ to HR helplines?
  • You always get your own dedicated consultant. This is not a helpline arrangement whereby you could ring up and get a different adviser every time. I work with you, know about your business, and understand the context and the history.
  •  You get the benefit of a long-term relationship with someone you trust. I take time to know and understand your business, know the history of the employees concerned, understand how you like to work and can give much higher quality advice as a result.
  • I don’t give generic advice on the law in respect of any employee issue; I tailor it to the client and to the specific situation. Sometimes this involves giving advice and support over a longer period of time, with a specific end result in mind.
  • You don’t get issued with a standard set of documents, you get the documents either drafted by (or signed off as being suitable by) me, updated and continually tailored to your needs.

The ALM HR retainer offers much more than a helpline service. Many of the examples of what I can do for you outlined above would not be covered by a helpline service at all – you would be expected to do them yourself.

Can you provide on site HR support?

Absolutely. I am available on an ad hoc basis for site work including interviews, taking part in or chairing hearings, meetings with employees and also delivering training. If you have a particular on-site need in mind, please get intouch to see how I can help.


Mental Health First Aid Courses

What is the online Mental Health course structure?

It typically takes 15hrs for a learner to complete the course. This is structured for the learner in the following way:

  • Individual learning – 1hr
  • Live session one – 1hr 45mins
  • Individual learning – 2hrs
  • Live session two – 2hrs 20mins
  • Individual learning – 2hrs
  • Live session three – 2hrs
  • Individual learning – 2hrs
  • Live session four – 1hr 55mins

Individual learning will be a mix of reading, videos, and workbook activities.

What happens if I miss one or more live sessions?

You will need to attend all four live sessions and complete all the individual learning BEFORE you can be marked as completed by your Instructor, to receive your MHFA England certificate. The course will remain live on the platform for one month after the last live date and you will need to negotiate with your Instructor Member to attend any live sessions you missed.

How will I receive the materials I need for the course?

The ‘hard-copy’ materials such as workbook and course manual will be posted directly to the address you provide when signing up for the course. Please ensure you have these to hand for your individual learning prior to and when attending the live sessions.

Do I need to have a webcam?

If you are not able or comfortable to participate in the course with your camera on, then this online version of our Mental Health First Aid course is not the right one for you. There is nothing more important than your wellbeing, and, just like the face-to-face Adult MHFA Two Day course, this course has been designed to ensure a safe environment for learners. One of the key safeguards is to ensure that Instructor 6 Members can see all learners and check for signs of anxiety or distress, which requires all learners to have their cameras turned on for live sessions.

What equipment and software do I need for the online course?

To ensure you have the best experience, we recommend checking your system requirements ahead of time.

System Requirements

In order to ensure a high-quality experience, your computer/phone/tablet and internet connection speed should meet the following recommended system requirements.


  • Internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers and microphone* – built-in, USB plug-in, or wireless Bluetooth − Webcam* – built-in, USB plug-in *Webcam and microphone are only required for those speaking and broadcasting video.


To use the web platform, you’ll need:

  • Windows 10, Windows 8 or 8.1, Windows 7
  • Chrome, Firefox, Edge, IE11 (with client)
  • Computer or laptop with Intel Pentium 4 processor or later that is SSE2 capable and 512 MB of RAM, or a Surface PRO 2 or Surface PRO 3


To use on Mac, you’ll need: − Mac OS X, macOS 10.9 or later

  • Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari (coming soon)
  • Intel processor 64-bit and 512 MB of RAM


To use on Linux, you’ll need:

  • Ubuntu 12.04, Mint 17.1, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4, Oracle Linux 6.4, CentOS 6.4, Fedora 21, OpenSUSE 13.2, ArchLinux (64-bit only) 7
  • Chrome, Firefox
  • Intel Pentium 4 processor Chrome OS Works directly through the Chrome browser on laptops and tablets utilizing Chrome OS (Chromebooks).
  • Chrome − 2GB Ram iOS

iPhones and iPads

To use on iPhone, you’ll need:

  • iPhone 5S or later
  • Safari − iOS 11 or later

To use on iPad, you’ll need:

  • iPad Mini 3, iPad Air, iPad Pro, iPad (2017) or later
  • Safari
  • iOS 11 or later

Android (phones and tablets)

To use on Android phones or tablets, you’ll need:

  • Android 4.0 or later

Chrome Bandwidth Recommendations

The bandwidth is optimised to deliver the best experience based on your network:

  • Participate with webcam and microphone: 2 Mbps upload, 2 Mbps download − Participate with microphone: 1.5 Mbps upload, 2 Mbps download
  • Participate without webcam or microphone: 1 Mbps upload, 2 Mbps download


To participate in a live session, please ensure that the location you are connecting from allows for the streaming and downloading of real time video.

  • UDP
  • TCP: 80, 443
  • HTTP: 80, 443


Cookies must be enabled in order to use the Online Learning Hub. Extensions or browser configurations that block or disable cookies may prevent participants from joining a live session.

Useful Resources

ACAS Disciplinary & Grievance Procedure

A disciplinary procedure is used by an employer to address an employee’s conduct or performance. A grievance procedure is used to deal with a problem or complaint that an employee raises.

Line Managers' Resource from MHFA England

This Line Managers’ Resource was originally developed by Shift, the Department of Health’s then programme to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding people with mental ill health in England.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Support

Coronavirus support is available to businesses, to include loans, tax relief, and cash grants. Click on the link below to find out more about the government schemes available to your business.

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