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Volunteers - Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated 22nd April 2020

Hello kind Wellbeing Specialists and Coaches 😊 

Thank-you again so kindly for considering volunteering with us.  We believe we have something really amazing to offer to NHS staff with your help.  We are continually developing and evolving our processes and training and are hoping that you will benefit too from the work that we are putting in.  We also want to encourage people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds and make sure that our service is accessible to all, including for wellbeing volunteers, NHS staff users, and all of the central team volunteers, so please do give us feedback on this on our feedback page where appropriate. 

We have been asked a number of questions, and have tried to cover these here.  It is really difficult for us to answer everyone individually, though we try to do this where we can. However, hopefully this list is comprehensive.  

Things continue to move VERY FAST here, so some of this detail may change.  It is correct as of May 26th, and we will update the date and send alerts of updates as things change.  

Thank-you again!!!   



  • Background Questions 

  • Governance and legitimacy questions 

  • Fund raising questions 

  • Identity Checking questions 

  • Accreditation and Registration questions 

  • Students and Trainees 

  • The intervention model and training 

  • Supervision 

  • Research and evaluation 


Who are we?​

What is Project5 and how did it come about? 

Clinical Psychologist, Craig Newman had an idea – already working with coaches in the NHS, he wanted to be able to help NHS staff who are risking their lives for us.  His background as a clinician, having worked with many people who have burntout within their jobs and worked in challenging situations, made him feel really motivated to help.  Initially he put together what he thought was a small call to coaches and psychologists that he knew, with a link to his business Aim that was already providing coaching to Primary Care staff in the NHS.  


However, then it grew, and quickly became clear that this needed to be a separate enterprise, and so he set up a separate CIC specifically for Project5.  This was to make it clear that this was a not-for-profit enterprise.  

Numerous people have offered support along the way so that there is now a full voluntary management committee (including researchers, senior clinical psychologists, NHS staff, and organisational psychology and technical experts).  This developed to include a separate clinical governance committee, a research team, and an admin team, all volunteers donating their time to the development of a highly governed, tiered care (tier 2, coaching support, and tier 3 trained mental health professionals (Wellbeing Specialists) approach, with supervision and continued effective evaluation.  This has taken considerable time and energy to put together, but we were extremely concerned to ensure quality safeguarding and service was in place.  We want this to be a full service that all of us can be proud of and work collaboratively together to achieve 😊 

How is Project5 unique in the context of other coaching for the NHS offers?

Project5 is a full service built to the standards of an NHS service.  It only recruits approporirate individuals and creates the support package to ensure that our team and the NHS team have the safest and best exeprience.  We are endsorsed by the appropraite bodies and transparent about our evidence and governance.  It is led by Clinicians who were trained by the NHS to lead and deliver mental health services.


Governance and legitimacy questions 


How do I know that this is a legitimate campaign? 

Project5 is run by a management committee that includes a number of members affiliated to professional membership bodies, and recognised individuals of high standing in their professions.  This can be evidenced through internet searches, and checking membership with relevant boards.  All of their contact details are available on the website:  


Project5 is a project of Project High 5 CIC, which was set up at pace to deliver Project5.  This is a not-for-profit social enterprise designed specifically for any surplice funding to be ploughed back into mental wellbeing projects.  The UK government enables these companies to be developed for social enterprises and audits them to ensure that they are not for profit and are to enable social benefit.  The registration of the company can be checked through the UK government CIC information website. 

Project5 includes a separate clinical governance committee of experienced Clinical Psychologists and other highly qualified individuals with clinical, NHS, Research and Coaching experience. 

We make every effort to be fully transparent within our processes.  All meetings are minuted. 

We are also forming an external consultation group and welcome applications to join this as members to provide consultation on how best our company can serve the community. 

We are also supported by the main UK coaching bodies, the AC, APECS and ICF. 

Please do visit our website for further details about who we are, what we do, and how we do it:  

We follow strict GDPR processes with data.  Further, as the company is run by HCPC registered professionals and chartered psychologists, these people can be held accountable to their own professional bodies, should their actions be inappropriate. 


Why are some of your email addresses located in different companies? 

We are a brand new publicly funded CIC, and have not yet raised enough money to cover all of our costs.  Therefore committee members have to email using their own email address.  In order to ensure the highest levels of GDPR, data is currently stored on the secure servers of UXCGroup - via a datasharing agreement that limits use and commits to deletion in the near future. This will be moving over to a Project5 365 drive in the next 2 weeks.

How do you manage concerns? 

We have worked hard within processes to try and be as ethical as possible.  However we realise that we may not always get things right.  We welcome comments and feedback and would ask you in the first place to email and include in the subject line ‘Complaints’.  We are developing an online form.  Please be aware that if you email Dr. Craig Newman or any of the team about this directly this could get lost in our emails.   

We aim to respond to complaints within 2 weeks. 

If we are not able to help with your concerns, then please speak with the CIC regulator. 

CIC Regulator complaints about a CIC contact is located here:  


Fund raising questions 

Why are you raising money when we are offering time as volunteers? 

We are raising money in order to enable on-going wellbeing provision for NHS Wellbeing staff.  Currently all members are volunteers within the project.  However, we want to make the programme sustainable over a period of time.  In order to achieve this, we need to be able to pay for the infrastructure of the service.  This includes: 

  • Bandwidth / charges for email supply and platform use

  • Web support 

  • Company insurance 

  • Registration costs (GDPR, Companies House) 

  • Administration costs

  • Marketing / Comms to support NHS staff awareness


What happens if you raise more money than is needed? 

Currently we are under-funded, though an increasing number of companies are donating short term credit and support in order to help us to get off the ground.  If we were to fund more than required for Project5, we would look to fund the support of additional mental health projects.  For further details, please see our website.  Again, this is a not-for-profit organisation, so any surplus money will be fed back into further mental wellbeing projects to benefit the community.  For further details about how CICs work and how they are accountable for funds, please see:  


Identity checking questions 

Why do we need to go through identity checking and accreditation checks? 

As part of ensuring high ethical standards and service provision, we do need to check both your identity and that you are able to deliver a minimum standard of intervention as a Coach or as a Wellbeing specialist.  

These requirements are to protect you, our volunteers, the staff that we serve and our supervisors and give all confidence that this project is being undertaken in a highly professional and confidential way.  All data is handled carefully and sensitively and we have a thorough GDPR process in place.   


Why do I have to supply my ID? 

We need to check who you are in order to ensure that you are a real person.  We are trying to make sure that we offer a high quality service to people who need it.  We hope that you would also wish to do this and to know that you are only associated with others who have gone through the same high standards, and we want to have some assurance for NHS staff that the people that we are referring them to are who they say they are.   


What ID do I need to send? 

One piece of current photo ID so that you can prove your identity.

Please check that the details are visible before you press send as you will be asked to resubmit this if the details are not clear and this will delay the processing of your data. 

This photo could be: 

  • A driving Licence (must have a photo please, not the old style paper-format). 

  • Passport

    Please do make sure that it is possible to read all of the details on the ID document. 


How long will you store my ID? 

We need to store the copies for as long as we are referring people to you as a volunteer.  Once identity checking has been completed we will then archive the data on a secure database.  Archiving will take place every 3 months.


What do you need to see on my insurance document? 

We need to see: 

Start date / end date (if your insurance is due for renewal shortly, please forward a copy of your new policy as soon as possible). 

How much you are covered for (the minimum we require is £1 million) 

What you are insured for (type of work, coaching / private therapy) 

That you are insured for professional indemnity 

Again, please make sure that the details are clear otherwise you will be asked to resubmit this information and this will delay processing your application. 

Please keep track of our website for details of potential insurers / further details if you need this information: .   


Why do I need professional indemnity insurance? 

It is important to be insured, as unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong and people are not happy with the service provided.  Project High 5 CIC is not an employer, so links only to individuals carrying their own insurance.  This is normal practice for all professionals, including therapists even working within the NHS.  The NHS normally requires a minimum of £1 million.  For some professionals this is covered within union membership, such as the RCN (Royal College of Nursing). 

We have worked hard to gain opinion from all sectors around the minimal entry, but there seems to be no sector standard.  The current figure is provided based on the collaborative perspective of coaching bodies, and requirements made of professionals offering these services into the NHS in the past. 


Accreditation and Registration questions 

Do I have to be registered, accredited or a member of a professional body? 

At this moment, yes you do.  However, the rules vary for different bodies as they have different minimum entry requirements.  The following minimal requirements are currently acceptable.  Please note that there is no formal register for some of these bodies so there is ongoing negotiation around these, so please watch this space:





HCPC – Registration Required 

BABCP – Full Accreditation 

BACP - Membership

UKCP – Registered member 

HCPC – Registration 

GMC – Registration 

NMC – Registration 

Social Workers - Registration

NCS - Accredited Registrant 


Why do I need to be accredited with a / or a member of a professional body? 

We are wanting to deliver a high quality service into the NHS, that is delivered by professionals, trained to a known minimum level, so that staff can have confidence in the service being provided.  This is to protect both yourselves and us.  For you as a coach or wellbeing specialist, we do not want you to feel overwhelmed or be placed in a situation where you feel out of your depth.  We do have emergency supervision in place, supervision procedures, and training for what to do if these things occur, however, we wish to make sure that they are managed as best as possible. 


What if I am not registered / accredited at the current recommended standards? 

We are developing a ‘Competency Excellence Framework’ for coaches and those who think that they might be qualified to provide tier 2 support.  This is being completed in consultation with clinical experts from the NHS, and the main coaching bodies in the UK (EMCC, AC, ICF, APECS).  We will update you when this becomes available. 


What details do you need from my professional accredited body? 

The more information you can supply to confirm your membership the quicker we will be able to verify your data and confirm that you possess the required level of professional competence. If you can include a photo or scan of your current membership card that will help.  Where your accredited organisation gives more than one membership or registration number (eg: BACP), please provide the one that is used on their Members’ Register on their website.  If you are not sure which number this is, then please include all.   

If you are a member of several relevant professional organisations, please provide details as further back up to support your application. 


Students and trainees 

What if I am a student or trainee? 

Currently we are not onboarding student members, however, we are likely to have structures in place to do so in the future.  We are developing a minimum requirement, so please check this space later. 

The main challenges are that people need to be insured and to have evidence of a minimum skill level.  We are developing a Competency Excellence Framework, and it may be that you are able to meet this.  In that case you will need to send evidence of this. 


Onboarding questions 


I have already sent my documents, why have you not yet onboarded me? 

We have a new and developing admin team.  It is currently taking approximately 1 week per 1000 coaches.  If you have not received onboarding information then you might need to check that you have sent us: 

Clearly recognisable phot ID 

Insurance details so that we can read the required information (see section on insurance above 


How will I know when I can start? 

You will be sent a link to click and this will enable you to agree to our terms and conditions and to enter your availability into the site. 


Can I see my progress with this? 

At the moment this is not possible.  Please note that we are working very hard to process as many people as fast as we can.  We are sometimes delayed where accreditation numbers don’t match, or information is unclear. 


Who is checking my data? 

Our Project5 Admin Team are checking the data.  These people have all also been identity checked, have signed data processing agreements and have had their references checked.  We are following strict data processing protocols. 


The intervention model and training 

Do I have to use a solutions focused model? 

We have built this around a solution focused model drawing on clinical expertise and knowledge, and the available evidence from the literature.  We needed an approach that could be translated for coaches and wellbeing practitioners, and used in this unusual situation.  The difficulty is that this is not really therapy or coaching – no-one yet knows the real concerns that will arise, nor how most effectively to manage these.


We have tried to use a best guess.  We have a developed an approach that people can flexibly use based on their current knowledge and experience.  This may feel constraining for some, but hopefully will be containing for others.  There is a huge variation in peoples experience and practice, and we would like staff accessing the service to know what it is that they are getting. 

Will you provide training for this? 

Yes, we have developed training to support this process, which we hope will be really valuable for you.  This has been developed by Clinical Psychologists and Senior Coaches to ensure high quality design and training, under a provision of Excellence Framework.  This will enable you to become uniquely trained in a specific area of coaching / wellbeing intervention, gaining training that has not yet been developed anywhere else.  You will gain evidence based and supervised expertise to deliver a new form of support to those facing new challenges.  


What other training will you provide? 

We will also offer additional CPD for coaches, and the coaching bodies have come together to support this provision in different ways, so we expect that you will be able to access a wide range of CPD and training resources in different areas to uniquely benefit your practice. 




Does this service provide supervision? 

Project5 does not provide any services, rather we will link you to other volunteers who are qualified supervisors and offered some guidance from us.  Supervision is provided by expert clinicians / coaches once every 6 weeks.  This is specifically around the work that you are completing within Project5.  This can be booked through the booking system (from early May).   

Do I need to have my own supervision outside of the programme. 

Not for the work conducted on the project.  However, you will likely be receiving supervision for other work completed.  If you are a trainee, or on some training programmes you may need to have additional supervision in place to fill those requirements.   


Research and evaluation 

Are you collecting data about the project?


We will be collecting data at each stage of the project in order to maintain constant evaluation of the work.  We believe that this will be essential to the ongoing development and improvement of the service.  This will be important so that we know that are processes are all evidence based.  This is supported by international experts in research, experienced University lecturers, doctoral trainees, and clinical researchers. 

How will you use this data? 

We will use the data to adapt the training and assess how to improve our service.  We may write academic papers in order to share the learning from this project.  We will use the data to inform the NHS of benefits and to develop learning materials about how best to provide support to NHS staff in this unusual context. 

Will I have the opportunity to feedback my experiences? 

Yes, we are really concerned to access and engage with the amazing wealth of knowledge and experiences brought by all volunteers.  As part of the research process we will include an opportunity to feedback so that we know how to develop and improve all aspects of our processes. 


We hope that this helps to answer your queries 😊 


Best wishes, and thank-you again for volunteering for what we believe is such an important cause 😊 


The Project5 Team 

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