Good Practice Guidelines

What are the Good Practice Guidelines?

The Good Practice Guidelines were initially created at the request of Nightlines, to raise the professionalism of Nightline services and create trust in the Nightline community. The guidelines have been developed in partnership with Nightlines and  are based on advice from mental health professionals, legal advisors, Samaritans and the Helplines Partnership.

Highlighting the key aspects of running a Nightline service, these guidelines enable Nightlines to check that they are operating according to good practice. They exist to support Nightlines to run their service legally, safely and with duty of care to callers and volunteers. The guidelines embrace the need for each Nightline to be able to operate slightly differently to meet the needs of their students and universities and provoke thought and consideration of the many circumstances that a Nightline may find themselves in, ensuring they have fully considered and made plans for every eventuality.

How can Nightlines become accredited?

To become accredited, Nightlines need to complete workbooks on different aspects of running a Nightline service. This is to ensure that basic standards are met and that Nightlines have fully considered and have made plans for every eventuality that they may face.

There are currently eleven workbooks, on the following topics:

  • Promotion & Publicity
  • Training
  • Call Taking
  • Supervision & Support
  • Evaluation, Monitoring & Complaints
  • Confidentiality
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Information Calls
  • Operational Procedures
  • Fundraising
  • Relationships and Stakeholders

On average, it takes 10 months for a Nightline to become accredited. It depends on the Nightline in question, but the average amount of time a Nightline spends on preparing its first submission is 3 months. From the time of first submission it takes an average of 7 months to bring the Nightline to accreditation.

Once Nightlines have become accredited, they will need to return an annual checklist which ensures that Nightlines are keeping on the right track with following their policies and staying true to the Nightline principles. Every three years after a Nightline has become accredited, they will have to complete and submit the workbooks again. The guidelines, workbooks and checklist will be updated annually, but there won’t be too much deviation from the original workbook structure.

What are the benefits of being GPG accredited?

  • The knowledge and satisfaction that your Nightline is operating at a professional standard

  • The provision of a higher duty of care, both to callers and Nightline volunteers

  • Assurance that your Nightline is operating legally

  • Improved relations with your stakeholders, by accredited assurance of the quality of your Nightline service

  • Increased funding opportunities

  • The use of the Good Practice Guidelines logo on your website and microsites

  • Your Nightline will be added to the list of GPG accredited Nightlines (below)

Good Practice Guidelines Accredited Nightlines

  • Aberystwyth Nigtline
  • Bangor Nightline
  • Birmingham Nightline
  • Cambridge Nightline
  • Cork Nightline
  • Dundee Nightline
  • Durham Nightline
  • Essex Nightline
  • Exeter Nightline
  • Glasgow Nightline
  • Glasgow Strathclyde Caledonian
  • Keele Nightline
  • Leeds Nightline
  • Lancaster Nightline
  • Leicester Nightline
  • London Nightline
  • Manchester Nightline
  • Northumbria Nightline
  • Nottingham Nightline
  • Oxford Nightline
  • Sheffield Nightline
  • Southampton Nightline
  • St Andrews Nightline
  • Strathclyde & Caledonian Nightline
  • Norwich Nightline
  • University of East Anglia Nightline
  • Warwick Nightline
  • York Nightline

If you have any questions about any aspect of the Good Practice Guidelines, feel free to get in touch with