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Aims of the Citizens Advice Bureau

  • To ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights and responsibilities, or of the services available to them, or through an inability to express their need effectively
  • To exercise a responsible influence on the development of social policies and services, both locally and nationally

The Orkney CAB works together with Citizens? Advice Scotland to achieve these aims.

The 12 Principles

All member bureaux must comply with the association’s conditions of membership, which includes 12 principles. The main principles are:

  1. Free Service – All services provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau are free of any charges, and are advertised as such.
  2. Confidentiality – All information gained during a visit will be kept private, unless given express permission by the client, to ensure the confidentiality of the client.
  3. Impartiality– Any information given during a visit will be selected based upon their usefulness to the client, instead of any biases held.
  4. Independence – Policies and practises of the bureau are decided by the bureau as a whole, as opposed to any one individual person or or external agency
  5. Accessibility – Work is done to ensure that everyone who needs the Citizens Advice Bureau's help is able to get it, and that the service is advertised to those who may need assistance.
  6. Effectiveness – The Citizen's Advice Bureau will assist its clients in the most effective manner that it is able to.
  7. Community Accountability – Every branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau is autonomous from others. Additionally, the managing staff of each bureau is decided by the community it serves, through Annual General Meetings.
  8. Client’s Right to Decide – While the service may provide and recommend certain options, the client is given the freedom to make their own choices with the information given.
  9. Voluntary Service – Each bureau is ran entirely by a staff of volunteers, who are willing to put their time into helping clients without promise of pay
  10. Empowerment – The ultimate goal of a visit is to give the client the ability to help themselves by giving them the power to solve their own problems.
  11. Information Retrieval – Information gathered through services will be used to support social polices, unless this information would break a client's confidentiality.
  12. Generalist Service – The Citizens Advice Bureau works to resolve any type of problem. If problems cannot be resolved by the bureau itself, work will be done to ensure the client gets a specialist who can assist.

More information for each of the principles can be found on the CAS Website

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