Essential Skills - Becoming a Volunteer Tutor

Your questions answered...

What does a volunteer tutor do?

A volunteer tutor supports learners to develop their skills and confidence in reading, writing, using numbers and spelling in a variety of settings e.g 1:1 and small groups.

Do I need experience of teaching or tutoring?


A tutor needs:
- confidence in their own essential skills
- good people skills
- a friendly, flexible approach
- a willingness to learn
- an ability to recognise what they have learned through their own life experiences

Here, a tutor shares how her own learning experiences led her to volunteer with Essential Skills.

How do I become a tutor?

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, you will be given an application form to complete. Suitable applicants will then be invited to attend an interview and, depending on the outcome of the interview, will be invited to train to become a volunteer tutor for the Essential Skills Service.

What training and support will I receive?

Essential Skills values its volunteers because of the great work that they do. The service works within the Moray Council's Volunteering Policy (PDF). We were recently given a Volunteer Friendly Award, overseen by Volunteer Action Moray.

The initial training to become a volunteer tutor is the Introduction to Adult Literacies Learning, a 16-week course with sessions of 2.5hrs each week.

At approximately week 10 you will be matched with a learner so, for the final six weeks of the course, the time commitment increases to 4.5 hours a week.

Integrated into this course is the SQA Professional Development Award ‘Supporting Adult Literacies Learning’ which is a nationally recognised qualification which is the equivalent to a higher.

During the training course you have easy access to the trainers if you have any concerns. There are also individual support sessions integrated in to the course to provide you with 1:1 support.

During completion of the qualification and throughout your time as a volunteer tutor, you receive regular support from your local Adult Learning Co-ordinator through review sessions, inservice training and ongoing contact by phone/email. Inservice training takes place 4 times per year. It is expected that all tutors will attend these sessions as they provide the opportunity to catch up with what’s happening in the service, meet other tutors, explore new resources and share ideas. Other training opportunities are provided on a regular basis and tutors are asked to decide which will best equip them to support their learners.

How much time will I have to give once I have completed my training?

Tutors and learners usually work together once a week, for about one and a half-hours. Tutors also need to allow for preparation time, attendance at in-service training sessions and support meetings with the Co-ordinator.

Where will I meet my student?

Sessions take place in a variety of locations throughout Moray e.g. libraries, community centres and resource centres. Tutors and learners do not meet in the home of either party.

Who are the learners?

Learners are over the age of 16 and no longer in full time education. They come from all walks of life and have a variety of aims, such as preparing for promotion, helping children with homework, getting to grips with new technology, working toward the driving test etc.
Many combine their learning with full time and part time work. Some are studying and need some extra support to see them through.

Disclosure Scotland

As tutors may be working with vulnerable adults, all tutors are required to complete a form that permits a search of criminal record including any charges brought but not resulting in a conviction. This is to ensure that you are a fit and proper person to work with vulnerable people. Even if you have completed a Disclosure Scotland check for another organisation you will be asked to complete one again for your work with the Essential Skills Service.

All tutors are also required to complete Child Protection training.

When is the next course?

Dates for the next course have yet to be finalised. Please register your interest and we will contact you when a course is organised.

Who do I contact?

Register your interest in becoming a volunteer tutor.

If you have any further queries, please contact:
Moira Strathdee
Essential Skills Development Officer
Elgin Library
Cooper Park
IV30 1HS
Tel: 01343 562632

Read the latest tutor newsletter here

Our newsletters will give you an idea of what's happening for tutors now.

A volunteer tutor's story

Here, a tutor shares how her own learning experiences led her to volunteer with Essential Skills.

Need more information on volunteering?

Visit the volunteering page for more information about volunteering with the Moray Council.

Contact Us

Essential Skills Development Officer
Elgin Library
Cooper Park
IV30 1HS

01343 562632

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